In high school, my psychology teacher would sometimes break away from paraphrasing Noam Chomsky and launch into fantastic tales of the hippie-saturated Claremont that she grew up in. She regaled us with stories of how she bucked the stifling dress code system by refusing to wear shoes, and about Saturday afternoon concerts in the park that were always free and more about exuberant youthful creativity than listenable music. “Those days were some of the best of my life,” she confided in us, “You could come as you were. You didn’t even have to bring your own dope!” Giggles all around. Apparently, the anti-establishment sentiment of smoking weed in the park with random strangers was lost on our generation.
This weekend’s Cochina Fest, which began as an answer to the overpriced, over-corporate Coachella, just might be the stuff of a psychology teacher’s dreams. It’s free. It’s at the park. It’s about exuberant creativity. (We doubt there’s going to be an overabundance of free dope, though.) The fest focuses heavily on acoustic, outsider-style folk and alt-country, will use little or no electricity, and is completely biodegradable. Plus, it has some of the same local bands and musicians that rocked the Saturation Fest a couple weeks back, along with notable out-of-towners Treasure Mammal, who pen loving ballads to the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Golden Boots, who churn out crumbly folksy country. The Vaginals, a Locust side project, will also goof it up with some avant-garde sounds. Free dope couldn’t make it better. (Phil Fuller)
The Cochina Fest, with a whole mess of bands, at Higginbotham Park, 625 Mt. Carmel Dr., Claremont; www.myspace.com/prerock. Sat.-Sun., noon-dusk. Free. All ages.