I'm a little behind getting around to this, but between covering drive-by shootings in west Medford and more drive-by shootings in west Medford, I haven't had time to consider this year's Britt Festivals lineup.
So, I'll be right back.
(Takes five minutes to consider this year's Britt Festivals lineup.)
It seems that summer doesn't truly begin in Southern Oregon until Michael Franti appears at Britt. You can set your clock to it.
I'm starting to suspect Franti might live in Jacksonville, which gives him easier access to Britt and an endless supply of the country's best marijuana. Each year, when he decides to usher in summertime down here, he stamps a fat blunt of the Applegate's finest into an ashtray, pulls on his hemp pants and saunters to the Britt stage for his yearly appearance.
I'm going to start referring to his shows as the Southern Oregon Franti Equinox.
Regardless, I dig Franti, who appears July 6. He did some great work on "The Wire" soundtrack, and for that he and his skunky dreadlocks will always live in my heart.
Some other highlights I noticed:
Cyndi Lauper — June 15
I loved Cyndi Lauper as a kid for two reasons: She sang the song that played during "The Goonies" closing credits, and one of my favorite pro wrestlers, the legend Captain Lou Albano, was her father in the music videos for "She Bop" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
For these reasons alone, should anyone wish to buy me a ticket to Cyndi's show, I'd certainly take it. If not, I'll stay in that night and watch "The Goonies" for the 5,467th time.
By the way: RIP Captain Lou Albano.
Robert Plant Presents The Sensational Space Shifters — July 2
A late addition to this year's Britt, but an intriguing one. However, I'm not sure what to make of "Robert Plant Presents." Is the voice of Led Zeppelin doing the singing for The Sensational Space Shifters? Or is he taking the stage for 30 seconds to present the Shifters before heading backstage to do Robert Plant-like things such as riding a horse semi-naked in the woods and smoking a Sherlock pipe with an old druid who lives inside a tree in the Britt Gardens?
If this is true, it would give Zep-heads plenty of time to scream "Play 'Stairway'!" before he disappears into the Britt night.
Kenny Loggins — July 11
I've been thinking a lot about "Top Gun" recently. Not sure why. Maybe I read something about Tom Cruise's desire to make a sequel, to inhabit the skin of everyone's favorite sexually confused fighter pilot Maverick once again. But I'm not sure exactly what Maverick is going to do in "Top Gun 2." There's not much use for fighter pilots these days. The only thing I can think of is the sequel will be set in some dusty bunker in Libya and Maverick will spend the whole movie drunk and chirping at the manhood of a bunch of drone controllers.
Kenny Loggins will have to do the soundtrack for "Top Gun 2," yes? It'll be a tall order for him to top "Danger Zone" and "Playing With the Boys." Loggins and Michael McDonald are neck-and-neck for the title of most influential soundtrack artist for macho '80s movies. In fact, you could spend hours debating who truly was the King of the '80s Soundtrack.
Speaking of Michael McDonald ...
The Doobie Brothers — Sept. 5
McDonald no longer sings for the Doobies, but he stands tall in their storied past. I'm not much of a Doobies fan, but I do love '70s television on Hulu, including "What's Happening." The Doobies feature heavily in my favorite episode.
So Raj is sent to cover the Doobies for the Jefferson High Gazette. Come to find out, the Doobies have a connection to the school and are going to play at Jefferson High. Meanwhile, Rerun is duped into taping the show for bootlegging purposes by some shady dude intent on making money off illegal recordings. The Doobies, who look ridiculously high, launch into their set, but are caught off guard when Rerun gets too close to the stage and drops his recording equipment. The Doobies, Dwayne and Raj look on in horror. What follows is a stern lecture about the evils of illegal taping and artists' rights.
If you haven't seen it, the full episode is available on several Internet platforms for free.
Jeff Bridges & The Abiders — July 24
This is the one that I've scribbled onto the calendar. I have no clue how good of a performer Jeff "the Dude" Bridges is, and I don't care. He's been one of my favorite actors since I can remember, and I owe it to him to see his show.
You gotta love Bridges for wholeheartedly embracing the Dude role from "The Big Lebowski." Most actors tend to shy away from the cults they create, shrugging them off as work that just paid the bills.
Not Bridges. By naming his band after a seminal line from "Lebowski," he has chosen to bond with the Lebowski cult. And they should love him for it. I know I do.
The thing with Bridges and the Dude might be they don't embody an actor/role dynamic. Maybe Bridges really is the Dude and his work in "Lebowski" was a natural extension of his life. God, I hope that's true.