Aug. 25, 2005
by BOB DORAN
DESPITE HIS NICKNAME, "THE PRINCE OF Polyester," David "Mr. Dave" Lindley [photo at left] is an organic kind of guy, a master of many musical instruments who includes links to stories on sustainability, corporate agriculture and the dangers of GMOs on his official website www.davidlindley.com.
That being the case, Lindley seemed a natural choice to headline the first Organic Planet Festival in Eureka on Saturday, an event presented by Californians for Alternatives to Toxics that will include, among other things, the creation of the world's largest organic salad and information booths on all things organic.
Why organics? "I eat," was Lindley's initial response, "You gotta eat," he continued, "and there's a lot of stuff that's genetically engineered, and we don't know what it is because there's no labels on it.
"We try to get organic stuff whenever possible, the real thing. There are some good farmers' markets here [in Claremont, east of Los Angeles] and even the Von's stores have serious organic sections. There's enough natural food around to feed everybody. They shouldn't be messing with it."
Discussion of the wide range of many-hued heirloom tomatoes currently available at the markets led into a cogent diatribe against the dangers of biotech crops.
Lindley noted that he sees part his role as a musician as "stirring up trouble," something he does with tunes like "Sport Utility Suck," a song about a cell phone-wielding SUV driver who ran him off the road. "It's not good to do that to Mr. Dave," he noted. "Mr. Dave gets very, very angry."
While recent Lindley tours have paired him with one percussionist or another, this time he's on the road playing solo. "I just like it playing by myself," he said. "I used to go see people do it, play solo all the time: Lightnin' Hopkins, Leo Kottke; Shawn Colvin plays by herself; Jackson [Browne] goes on the road by himself. It puts more emphasis on the song itself, and you also have to play better and play more stuff. You can use your own dynamics, add extra bar lengths; you can play in seven or five and it really works."
Lindley has been assembling recordings of his solo shows for an upcoming album, another in his series of "official bootlegs." For years he has eschewed the music business' major labels in favor of his own DIY releases. "It's so much better. It really is. A lot of people are doing what I'm doing now. I used Ani DiFranco's kind of model for it. She was the most successful at doing this sort of thing so I emulated her and got this whole thing going. My wife Joannie is basically the record company: She fills out orders and mails things out. It works out really well. You get the money yourself instead of it going to executives and lawyers."
David Lindley headlines the Organic Planet Festival at Halvorsen Park in Eureka Saturday, August 27, with a set at 6:30 p.m. Other entertainment includes the rhythmic Samba Da at noon, 7th Generation Rise's "indigenous soul" at 1:30 p.m.; cumbia by Magia Musical at 3 p.m. and Sonoma's roots reggae band, Groundation at 4:30.
Presentations include a 1 p.m. CCAT talk on "The non-toxic home"; organics pioneer Els Cooperrider on local control over GMO's at 2 p.m.; Sheila Daar on "Getting past pesticides: The history and `how-to' of alternatives" at 3 p.m. and Richard "The Bug Man" Fagerlund on "Managing pests without poisons" at 4 p.m.
Festival admission is $8, $6 in advance. Those who arrive before 1 p.m. will be admitted free, but will not be able to leave and return. For further details, go to www.organicplanetfestival.org.
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