Grateful Garcia Gathering
August 3 & 4, 2007 Camp NCN, Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Moonalice poster by Chris Shaw
(August 3) According to Moonalice legend, the ancient tribe consisted of two large groups, the farmers (known as hippies) and the nomads (known as bands). Less well known were many smaller groups scattered across the continent. The upper Midwest was home to a group whose existence has been hotly debated by Moonalice scholars everywhere. They were nudists (known as Badgers) and much controversy surrounds them. Drawn by reports of the mild winters and gentle summers of Wisconsin, the Badgers set up clothing optional communities across the state. Imagine their surprise when they saw what Wisconsin winters and summers were really like. It’s no surprise that the Badgers proved to be among the hardiest of the Moonalice groups. The modern Moonalice arrived in Wisconsin for the annual Grateful Garcia Gathering, a two-day festival that included such good friends at Melvin Seals & JGB, Donna Jean and the Tricksters, and Boris Garcia. The festival was at a resort called Camp NCN that is apparently owned by a local tribe of native Americans. We started unpacking gear under a big sign that said, “For Adults Only.” Another sign referred to Camp NCN as an “adult camp.” It was then that the band realized that Camp NCN stood for No Clothing Necessary and that it had once been home to our Moonalice forebears. To the dismay of the band, the Grateful Garcia Gathering had rented Camp NCN and suspended local custom in favor of a more traditional tie dye and jeans motif. Once the band recovered from its disappointment, the festival was a blast. Thanks to a two-hour set, the band debuted a couple songs and stretched out several others.
(August 4) According to Moonalice legend, tribe members traditionally engaged in two forms of commerce. The nomads (known as bands) played music. The farmers (known as hippies) grew hemp for ropes and other purposes. Over the centuries, these trades served the tribe very well. However, in modern times the music industry withered and the government stamped out hemp farming. As a result, the modern Moonalice tribe pales by comparison to more prosperous groups of native Americans, such as those in Cleveland, Ohio, whose focus on baseball supports that tribe well. Moonalice’s visit to Wisconsin reinforced the band’s appreciation of the wiser choices made by other tribes native to the region. Consider, for example, the Ho Chunk Nation, whose casino provided the band with an afternoon of entertainment before this gig. Consider also Wisconsin’s own Winnebago tribe, whose high quality RVs continue to be highly prized. At least Moonalice still has its health. The weather on this day was nasty, but the rain stopped just before the band started and stayed away for the entire set. The highlights included Hardwood’s monumental solo on Tell Me It’s Okay, Jesus H’s on Kick It Open, and a killer jam – led by Jesus H. and Sir Sinjin Moonalice – in the transition from Blink of an Eye to Nick of Time.
Listen to these shows now at Moonalice.com.