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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

blurry jim owen
Purple Prose Haze: Acoustic guitar and songwriting whiz Jim Owen, the fuzziest man in the music biz, joins forces with free-jazz boy Bhob Rainey Saturday and Sunday at What Is Art? in a performance art­enhanced downtown Santa Cruz.

Blowing (and Howling) in the Wind:
Free-spirited music hurlers Jim Owen and Bhob Rainey throw melodic curve balls over the What Is Art? plate

SOME ALTERNATIVE BIRDS of a different color are welcomed into What Is Art?'s fold this Saturday and Sunday night. Aiming to expand the definitions of singers, songwriters and performers, Bhob Rainey and Jim Owen make their way to North Pacific for an eclectic outing in musical wonderland at downtown SC's one-stop-shopping arts emporium.

Rainey kicks things off Saturday with a solo show. Tooting his soprano sax like a good musical bookworm with a master's in composition should--seems like ol' Bhobby-boy's got one of those tucked under his belt--Rainey likes his jazz free-spirited and improvisational, yet still manages to make it melodic and structured.

Hmm, structured improv.

Guess those PR agents have to find a way to make everything sound palatable and musically fluffy. But enough of that. The Boston boy still manages to crank it out dissonant and wild.

Sunday sees Jim Owen teaming up with the sax man for a night of mostly Owen-penned tunes. Jimbo likes his music jazz-inflected with a few lashes with a folk noodle. While he's the boss for this night's show, he'll still graciously allow Rainey to bust out with a free-wheeling sax solo every now and then.

How the music gets played isn't really the point of this esoteric evening of local music. These cats just hope to spice up traditional songs with free interplay, variables and some good old-fashioned ingenuity. Such a concept.

The shows start at 8pm both nights and will set you back $3 to $5, if you can afford it. No one's ever turned away for lack of funds at What Is Art?

For answers to any other burning questions, call 458-9508.

The Zine Machine

The latest zine to hit the shelves of local bookstores, head shops and the like brings out the artistic talent in all the angst-ridden art students crawling the streets and coffeehouses of this town. But all poking fun aside, organizer Jeff Guzman's second pictorial baby, Iris, is a collection of poetry, photos and drawings by locals that explores anything and everything.

Guzman's first outing in the zine world, Rude, was just that--rude. Seemed all the Santa Cruz freaks saw it as the perfect outlet to express their anger and psychotic tendencies. Slightly fearful of not only the artistic apocalypse people were submitting but the folks sending in the stuff as well, Guzman decided to step out of the literary spotlight until he could come up with a kinder, gentler concept.

Now with more focus though still ready and willing for anything, Iris can be mean and spiteful if it wants to be but there's still room for anything--drugs, introspection, icky stuff they put in milk.

You can pick up debut copies of Iris for only a buck at Streetlight, Logo's, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Atlantis and Pipeline. Send submissions for future outings to Iris, P.O. Box 7656, Santa Cruz, 95061.


Dresden warms up the CabMuFest crowd on Saturday at the Civic. ... The Illumination Project hosts a benefit at Curiosa all day on Saturday. ... Tuesday sees the continuation of the female free-for-all Girls Town at the Red Room.

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From the August 6-13, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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