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Greening Live Music in Big Sur, plus House Concerts in Monterey County

Take the Big Sur Pledge:

Big Sur River Inn restaurant patrons

These bicycling patrons of the Big Sur River Inn restaurant were pleased to know about the discounts there on Thursdays for people who bike, or bike-and-ride, to their location. (The restaurant is a participant in the countywide HER Helmet Thursdays project.)

Want to bike in Big Sur?

Please refer first to Big Sur: Bicycling tips for the Big Sur Coast on this site.
Thanks to Monterey County native Passport Voyager for her November 2011 photo below of Point Sur. Passport Voyager offers general information—including how to be a responsible tourist and help protect the beauty of Big Sur—in her post “A Local’s Guide to Big Sur Hiking & Things to Do.

Note: The info below was published in 2011 and 2009.

Check with sources referred to for updates. 

Got room for bikes?

In 2011, an effort to green up live music in Monterey County got underway.  Magnus Toren of the Henry Miller Library and Britt Govea of Folk Yeah have teamed up with Zimride so ridesharing can happen to the  Miller shows.

Support their eco-minded effort by participating!  Click here to offer a ride or look for a ride to the Henry Miller Library shows.

As of September 2011, in most cases, Zimride now requires Facebook for login. If you aren’t on Facebook, or if you have other questions or comments, call Zimride (650) 206-9145 or email

What would be an exception?  Here’s one in the Monterey Bay region.  The University of California at Santa Cruz Transportation and Parking Services has a private ridesharing network set up with Zimride, which does not require that you be a Facebook user to participate.  If you are a member of the UCSC community (have a email address), visit the UCSC/Zimride page.

Zimride a bike

Relatively few people bike from, say, San Francisco or even the Monterey Peninsula to Big Sur.  However, many like to bring a bicycle along—usually via the bike-and-ride option of a personal vehicle or the Monterey Salinas Transit bus racks—so they can get about by bike.

There’s not yet an option on the Zimride site to indicate if you have a bicycle you’d like to bring, or room to haul a bike on/in your vehicle.  So just note that in the comments window as you fill out your request.   (And let Zimride know if you’d like a “room for a bike” option added. They responded promptly to my request to add this, saying they are exploring it.)

The May 22, 2011 photos were taken en route to the S. Carey show at the Miller, and the May 29 photos were shot en route to the Miller’s Gillian Welch show.

* * * * *

The post below,

“Greening Up Live Music,”

was originally published August 13, 2009.

One of the best things about being a parent is when your kids get old enough to introduce you to terrific music you otherwise may have missed.  Yeah, I know I could have discovered some of these artists’ music on shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Knight Rider,” but I don’t watch TV.  So I rely on my daughter and others to make sure I catch these acts.

My daughter, now 20, has treated me to some great shows up in the City this past year.  Normally I don’t trek up to San Francisco for concerts often, mostly because I don’t enjoy big concert halls and traffic. But we’ve had business up there on numerous occasions, so my daughter has used those opportunities to turn me on to some smaller venues I’d not been to before—Bottom of the Hill, Great American Music Hall, Swedish American Hall/Cafe du Nord, and more.

Bringing it home

Now she’s responding to my encouragement that, ecologically speaking, of course it’s better to support live music locally than drive two hours to the City.  So she is hosting a Molly Jenson house concert on Sunday evening, August 23.

Molly is new to me, but knowing that Greg Laswell produced and co-wrote her first album caught my attention right away.  Molly has shared the stage with Laswell, Jon Foreman (of  Switchfoot and Fiction Family), Tristan Prettyman,  Ben Taylor, Schuyler Fisk, Anya Marina, Rhett Miller (of Old 97s), and Jonatha Brooke.

If you are a Molly fan, or think you might be, feel free to contact me to see if there’s still space available.

Mollie Jenson in Monterey, embraced by new friends.

Mollie Jenson in Monterey, embraced by new friends.

Tasty treats

Actually didn’t need the Greg Laswell connect to alert me that Jenson is noteworthy; my daughter’s own taste is a reliable indicator.  The shows my daughter has taken me to have all been great.  One of those was Newton Faulkner.

If the incredible Michael Hedges hadn’t died prematurely, I’ll bet he’d be a Faulkner  fan.  Seeing Faulkner at Great American Music Hall reminded me of seeing Hedges live, including the night Hedges wore a helmet and stood on his head at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz.  Of course, Hedges didn’t need to do headstands to attract attention; his writing and guitar playing were amazing.  And neither does Faulkner.  Not saying 23-year-old Faulkner has the guitar licks down that Hedges mastered over his 44 years on Earth.  But something about Faulkner’s presence really brought Hedges to mind, and that’s a very good thing.

Faulkner has a new album due out 9/21, “Rebuilt by Humans.”  Meanwhile, check out his debut album, “Hand Built by Robots,” which includes “Gone in the Morning.”

Sierra also hooked me on Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Greg Laswell by taking me to their live shows.

I know this may not last–once she hits 21 and doesn’t need me along to get into those 21+ clubs, I’ll likely be history.  Meanwhile, I’m loving it.

* * * * *

Update:  For other of Sierra’s house concerts,  including Lelia Broussard  and Bess Rogers [later, of Secret Someone’s], Greg Holden, Ian Axel [later, of A Great Big World], and others, see Bicycling Monterey’s “Live Music” section.

This post was published on 4 June 2011. One or more changes last made to this post on 5 June 2019.

  1. Michael Martines says:

    I read your Molly Jenson blog post, that sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to check that show out. Let me know the details if there is still space available.

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