The Hum-Bob’s Music People @ Northtown Coffee

Bob’s Music People

A photo show of my work (plus) just went up in Arcata’s Northtown Coffee. I’m calling it “Bob’s Music People” for a reason, all of the pics are of musicians and all are mine (and all are for sale) but they’re not exactly all “mine,” but in a sense they are. Confusing? I’ll explain.

There are several sections, a couple of walls full of things I made over the course of 20 years of photography in Humboldt, hung casual salon style, then there’s boxes filled with some little mounted Instagram-style square photos, and then there’s the centerpiece, a collection of 8 x 10 glossies that I amassed over the years. (And of course all pics feature music peeps.)

So again, the photos were not actually all made by me, one wall is crammed full of pics of people who played locally, done by other photographers, drawn from my massive collection, a banker’s box full of them sent to me when I was at the North Coast Journal over the years. When the newspaper was moving its office from Arcata to Eureka, Caroline Fernandez, the art director, had a box marked with a Post-it note saying, “Bob— Keep? 8×10.” Of course I wanted to keep them, I just wasn’t sure what I’d do with them. This is apparently what they were meant for.

The Post-it

For those who know nothing about music publicity, when a band or an artist comes to town, typically their publicist will send along a package with what is known as a “one sheet,” maybe for album they’re touring behind or whatever, maybe a bio, often both, and an 8 x 10 glossy photo they hope will run the paper. They often also a CD, of their work, like their latest album. (I have hundreds of those.) As the arts and culture editor and music writer, I got a lot of them. I would put a Post-it explaining the date and place some one is performing and the art department would run whatever they could fit in the calendar, or they’d use one to illustrate my column, “The Hum.” Carolyn would file the pics alphabetically when they were done. By the way, that was how publicity was done back in analog days, before everything went digital. Now it’s all about jpegs and music files. (And I get dozens daily even though I seldom write anything about them.)

The pic of ani difranco is already sold, but there might be another in the box. She’s playing at the Kate Wolf Music Festival next year.

As some of my friends know, I’ve been working on re-organizing my attic and my storage unit. A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a music sale at Northtown Coffee in connection with Everyday People, a new organization supporting youth music education.

I’ve been selling record albums and 45s at the flea market, and I brought some of those. Also brought the box of 8 x 10 glossies that I had buried in my attic.

The benefit was held on a dark rainy night and very few people actually came, but I got to know the vendors, all cool music people of Humboldt. They were quite fascinated by 8 x 10 glossies box and I ended up trading with most of them.

Taj Mahal is another of the stellar artists playing at the upcoming 25th anniversary Kate Wolf Music Festival in June 2022. (It’s also the farewell festival.)

The owner of Northtown Coffee, Serge Mihaylo, exchanged some stuff he had and we got to talking about the potential of putting up a photo show.

Of course I am always looking for places to share my work, and I again I had a bunch of stuff in my storage unit or in my attic. I pulled it together a couple of boxes full, framed some of the glossies, (not fancy frames, just thrift store finds), and there you have it. “Bob’s your uncle” as they say in England.

Some of Bob’s photos from 2000 forward

The show is mostly in back in the stage area, and will be up through December and January and maybe beyond. Northtown Coffee is at 1603 G St, Arcata, CA, open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and occasionally evenings for special events.

Holly, the manager, wants me to tell stories about some of the photos at an event at some point, since as Rod Stewart said, “every picture tells a story.” I could probably write an essay of some of the pics and in some cases I already have. And there’s also a January Arts Arcata next year. Details pending on both.

So, stop by. Take a look. Have a coffee, and/or some food, currently they feature Cuban dishes from Mother’s Cooking. Check out the pics and maybe buy a couple or even a few. Everything is responsibly priced. Enjoy!

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