The Bayonics

… we think. At least that was our impression compared to last year’s Stroll; there seemed to be more musical acts per block than the last few years the Clog has been to the Stroll. Up top you have local Bay Area group the Bayonics (a pun on bionics?), who played at the easternmost side of Solano Avenue for as long as we were at the street festival.

Unfortunately, we didn’t catch the name of this lively group of musicians, but they caught our eye ear after a clean cover of Mack the Knife. Plus the crowd gathered around to listen was large enough to force us to pay much-deserved attention.

Professor Gizmo, the one-man band

Ahh, Professor Gizmo. Definitely our favorite act in the entire festival. What can we say, the man knows how to play music and have a sense of humor. We managed to catch the St. Louis Blues, a mix of blues and tango—two harmonicas, one used as a regular blues harmonica and the other to mimic a bandoneón. Sharing a story of dubious origins but of certain entertainment, the prof explained the world record for playing Flight of the Bumblebee was 37 seconds, set by some Russian woman with an unfortunately NSFW name, unprintable on the Clog mostly because we forgot the joke’s setup (Sorry!). The professor’s time for playing Flight of the Bumblebee? Thirty-four seconds as timed by an audience member.

Nima & Merge

The last act of interest we caught was Nima & Merge, a “fusion of jazz, world music, and progressive rock” according to their site. They, too, managed to draw a fairly sizable crowd.

But the music wasn’t the only highlight of the festival. Points of interest:

*Along the 26 or so blocks that the Stroll encompassed, we managed to see the New York Times at three different booths.
*There was a Scientology booth with a lone protester. We figured he was just a normal guy until we saw his face was covered with a bandanna and his eyes by sunglasses. On the back of his head, a Guy Fawkes mask. Probably a member of Anonymous.
*Across from the National Science Foundation booth was a booth promoting research into psychic powers. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a camera angle from which to capture both.
*Tons of food. Some places merely ran business as usual, others had a Stroll-only menu, while at least one restaurant (forgot the name; looked like Italian food) appeared to have expanded its premises onto the street to capitalize on the increased traffic.

If you missed the stroll this year and truly wanted to go, you’ll have to wait until future years. Next year it will be on Sunday, Sept. 12—always the second Sunday in September.

Images’ Source: Evante Garza-Licudine
Solano Avenue Stroll [Site]
Bayonics [Site]
Professor Gizmo [YouTube]
Nima & Merge [Site]



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