The third annual Rivertown Revival: Last Sunday we went to the art-boat festival on Petaluma’s downtown peninsula, benefitting the David Yearsley River Heritage Center. The Dixiecutioner and this writer, both wayward and lonesome Southern gals in the Golden State, are known to scavenge hillbilly hayrides however we can get ’em.
Petaluma Rivertown Revival … In which this gal who spent the past 15 years embedded with the Cacophony Society, Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, and the Burning Man festival worker–roustabouts in San Francisco gets to visit some of our ideas pollinating outwards and paying off: Cacophony is radiating DIY, make-it-from-junk, ride-it-like-you-stole-it, leave-everything-better-than-you-found-it GOODNESS throughout the land.
Our first clue these people had been to our parties came fast at the gate: Looks like Cyclecide gypsy rope, but made clever-err by the use of cement, thrift-store golf clubs, and old coffee cans. The Ladies’ Guide to the Apocalypse loves events where you move your crowd the “derelicte” way.
Turns out this whole shindig was inspired by Camp Tipsy (scroll back a couple posts in this blog for pics of that). They even used pictures of Chicken John’s Camp Tipsy and Swoon and friends’ “Swimming Cities of Serenissima” in their first two years’ publicity materials, ostensibly because they didn’t have enough photos of homemade punk rock DIY art boats from their own festival yet.
The second most handsome and glamorous bike club in Northern California, the WHISKEYDRUNK CYCLES boys and gals, brought the Whiskeydrome along. It should be noted that Cyclecide Bike Rodeo is in an open relationship with the Whiskeydrunks, but we would NEVER betray our sacred and unholy primary marriage to the Black Label Bike Club.
As sometime-stylists for the Cyclecide midway, the Ladies’ Guide to the Apocalypse gushingly approves of the Whiskeydrunks’ new midway modifications. Any old EZ-up with a shredded covering can be remodeled into a gypsy tent of the highest order. They also one-upped our gypsy rope idea and made pretty carnival flags out of old fancy-fabric scraps, so it looks like we’re going to have to step up our game.
The ‘Drome itself. It is a thing of beauty.
Rider assumes all risk!
Our friend Kaotica knows a guy who got this poster tattooed on himself. Jarico Reesce, our “fearless bleeder” of the Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, is obsessed with dirigibles and would gladly make a pedal-powered one if we had the time and resources. So this photo is sorta for him. Get on it, fellas! We’ll make the balloon part, you make the gears and whatnotery
[stage whisper] ::should we really be telling children how to handle guns? … I mean, shouldn’t we let the television do that?::
The beloved Front Porch was there. (It’s a trailered, reclaimed-wood-built porch on wheels. With the interior of the fake house on the other side of the wall.) This is the David Luning Band. All the bands we saw were charming and rustic and matched the decor perfectly.
Nice backdrop for a festival on a peninsula in the center of a mid-sized California farm city, no?
More backdrop. Who doesn’t love giant rusty metal things that float?
We love how trusting everyone is in Northern California. And how safe your shit is from being tooken. But oh God if we were a thief we woulda tooken these vintage handmade turn-of-last-century quilt-blankets. They were just laying out for people to sit on. Also we love that in our alternative little world up here, brand names and synthetic materials are such a no-no that we would rather go ahead and use up delicate old things in the name of being stylish and natural all the time.
Oh really? Five dollar weddings?
Dying of quaint DIY charmingness. Said it before; will say it again: Good clean fun is the new punk rock.
Besides the signs on the food and drink stands themselves, this guy was the only advertising we saw all day. “Advertising” being the list of bands playing, plus whatever message you cared to give him to ride around.
We’ve done it differently, but there’s no end to the kludging you can pull off with some old clothes and found lattice.
The Hubbub Club is the North Bay’s premiere ragtag marching band. They’ve been doing it for much longer than the Extra Action Marching Band have. We dream of joining this group as old ladies, perhaps as a clave player and bass drummer. Gotta start doing curls and pushups.
Honestly, it was like we died and went to quaint ol’ hobo-hillbilly heaven.
We missed the art boat competition but here’s one of them. This one resembles more fancypants Arcata Kinetic Sculpture Race-style technology than just plain ol’ Camp Tipsy obtainium-clowngineering.
Anybody who’s been to the Burning Man event in Nevada has seen a version of this oversized rocking chair.
“Someday we might try to build one o’ these!”
(We’re sure we’re not the only one who said it)
Petaluma Rivertown Revival attendees were encouraged to wear Victorian Carny / Old West wear. Fortunately we live in an area of the country where if costumes are required, they are worn, and when music is played, it is always danced to.
HubBub Club leads the sunset parade out of the festival during closing time. We get out our parade hankies and twerk with the herd, while the band plays “Down By The Riverside.” We momentarily have a PTSD freakout and have to sit down and wipe tears away in secret, remembering how the last time we paraded to that song it was during the Krewe of Dead Pelicans Funeral for the Gulf march through New Orleans in 2010. In fact, Halliburton ruined a pastoral scene such as this, then left us for dead. HubBub Club followed up with “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and we almost lost it.
Believe it or not, kids banging on this noisy metal sculpture made of junk and old instruments and kitchenware made everything better, restoring the jovial mood of the day. If it had been adult hippies, not so cute. Kids: Cute.
Ember chooses her sonic weapon in the long shadows of the waning sun.
The sculpture’s papa wanders around banging out ostinati on the old metal and skins. He knows how to get the kids fired up and working together.
Rivertown. With big rusty metal sculptures. Just the way we like it.
Petaluma Rivertown Revival 2012 Monument Angel of Awesomeness, or whatever she’s called. We missed her on the way in somehow. Said a prayer of thanks for junkyards, music, and friendly people. Turns out our pal Mike Garlington prolly made it.
Closeup. We lub her.
Nice to meet you, downtown Petaluma. You’re really pretty. We’ll be back.
Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.