The inaugural Sierra Surf Music Camp starts this Friday. That means a return to the Donner Mine Camp at the end of a 3-mile dirt road off of Highway 20 in the Bear Valley. You may recall from a previous blog that is where Paul and Cheri’s wedding was last year.
No hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, mini-marts, gas stations, or similar accoutrements are within miles. For some folks, that may put it in the middle of nowhere. For others, it merely is equidistant from Nevada City and Truckee.
Given the remote location, we will be free from many of the distractions of the World to focus on surf music, surf art, having fun, and enjoying a weekend with our fellow “campers.” Nobody will be able to say (with a straight face), “Let’s go into town and have few drinks.”
Then again, we most likely will not be freed totally from the internet or mobile phone signals. That means that, at some time during camp, somebody’s smart phone will ring, ding, or vibrate. Or some camper will sneak a glance at a ubiquitous iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry and hope that nobody noticed. Will it be while in line for breakfast? Or during an evening of performances? Or during one of the “classes”?
Looking at the line-up of events and classes, I am baffled as to why anybody would want to be distracted by a mobile device. The events include performances by The Pyronauts, the instructors, and the campers, band practices, private and group lessons by some of the best surf musicians on Earth, gold mine tours, and a sneak preview of rough footage of the documentary “Sound of Surf.”
The classes will cover an amazing variety of material. Surf art. The history of surf music. Songwriting and production. Stage presence (aka Guitar Face 101). Technique. Gear maintenance (bring nail polish). We even get to learn about physical exercises which will free us to play music (and maybe even jump while on stage). We might learn how to apply super glue to our finger tips to replace callouses which have been pealed away and not stick to everything in reach.
The anticipation is building. Just the thought of all of this inspired me put what I learned in animation class to use. Check out “The Pup Is Ready for Camp.” It may be childish -- amateurish, overworked, etc. -- but it kept my mind off of the wait for the upcoming camp.
After all, what possibly could be better than spending a weekend immersed in the music you love with friends, family, and the gurus and pioneers of that music?
A three-day weekend! And that is what we get. Wow!