Jesse Goodman with Peter Hale, (((folkYEAH!))), and the Henry Miller Library present an evening with Father John Misty and poets Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, and Sara Goodman at the Henry Miller Memorial Library’s 10th Benefit Concert on Thursday, September 19th at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur.
Henry Miller once wrote that “Memorials defeat the purpose of a man’s life. Only by living your own life to the full can you honor the memory of someone.”
Big Sur’s preeminent nonprofit book store and arts organization may be in a perpetual crisis of identity, but the Henry Miller Memorial Library encourages visitors to follow their bliss by providing a cozy atmosphere to browse, look at what’s on the walls, listen to music, have a cup of coffee or tea, sit down by the fire, read for a while, or simply enjoy a place “where nothing happens”. The Library was founded in 1981 by Emil White, Miller’s longtime friend, occupying White’s former home and championing the late writer, artist, and Big Sur resident Henry Miller.
At the tail end of the semi-autobiographical novelist’s yearlong “Air-Conditioned Nightmare” journey for a place to settle, Henry Miller rooted in Big Sur in what he would call his “first real home in America”. Notorious for his fringe literary technique that blended character study, surrealist free association, philosophical and social reflections, and mystical deviations from the firsthand life experiences that underpinned most of work, Miller connected with White and a variety of artists, writers, and locals who would soon influence and collaborate with him on later works. His most characteristic works at this time were Tropic of Cancer (1934), Black Spring (1936), Tropic of Capricorn (1939) and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (1949-59), all of which were banned in the United States until 1961. While Miller was establishing his base in Big Sur, the Tropic books, still banned in the USA, were being published in France and steadily acquiring notoriety among both Europeans and the various enclaves of American cultural exiles. As a result, the books were frequently smuggled into the States, where they proved to be a major influence on the new Beat generation of American writers, most notably Jack Kerouac.
The Library hosts events throughout the summer months (May-October), including fashion shows, theater, open mics, lectures, book signings, art shows, and more. With a capacity of 300 and nestled in a towering redwood grove, it is also one of the most unique live music venues in the world.
Past performers include KZSC favorites Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Arcade Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Henry Rollins, Fleet Foxes, Ben Gibbard, Frank Black, Explosions in the Sky, Thee Oh Sees, Woods, Kurt Vile, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Animal Collective, Camper Van Beethoven, White Fence, Sic Alps… the list goes on.
The psych-folk flavors of Father John Misty, formerly of Fleet Foxes and solo project J. Tillman, will join the ranks of these historical performances with accompanying poets Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, and Sara Goodman, as well as DJ Britt Govea, for an intimate evening at the outdoor stage where there will be a meet-and-greet with Misty prior to the show, table service, and signed posters. Attendees will also be part of history: the Henry Miller Memorial Library has recently submitted plans with Monterey County to create a sustainable, ADA-compliant space that will serve visitors, artists, and musicians for years to come. Your support will help make these plans a reality, all while celebrating the 10th benefit curated by Jesse Goodman.
For ticket information, hit on http://fatherjohnmisty.eventbrite.com/ and join what will surely be a landmark evening in the history of this special venue.
For more encouragement, scope the minister of acid-tinged folk jams doin’ what he does in a zoot suit fit for big guns upstairs Himself.
And on KEXP making Henry Miller proud with a ballad about writing a novel the good old-fashioned way.