Taarka returns to the Saloon


Percussionist Jarrod Kaplan and Portland-based band, Taarka, will bring their mystical menagerie of music to the River City Saloon this Friday night at 10 p.m.

The seeds of Taarka were planted as early as fall of 2001, however, David Tiller and Enion Pelta were both playing in a bluegrass group in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. The group, Brooklyn Browngrass, was doing well, but not satisfying either of their creative desires to the fullest.

In late 2001, David called up his old friend Jarrod Kaplan (known locally with his percussion in Hanuman). They spoke of many worldly things before coming to the crux of the matter - Dave and his fiddlin' friend Enion were planning to move to the Northwest, had some material together, and wanted to play when they arrived. Jarrod, being his adventurous self, asked the two to send him a recording of their music. He did not receive anything until they had arrived in Portland and gone up to visit him in Seattle, where they burned him a disc of their latest creations while sitting on his living room floor.

From the first, the three loved playing together. They continue to do so, and since the addition of a new bass player Jason Flores, a great player well-educated in jazz and middle eastern music, Taarka's changing and growing in some new directions.

This Friday, Taarka and the amazing percussion of Kaplan returns to the River City Saloon for a 10 p.m. show. There will be a cover charge.

Up to this point, Taarka's creative venture has taken them to numerous festivals on the West Coast, where they've shared stages (sometimes at the same time) with David Grisman, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band and Garaj Mahal, among others. At this year's High Sierra Music Festival, no less than Col. Bruce Hampton of the Code Talkers and Aquarium Rescue Unit called Taarka his "favorite band of the festival." They've toured up and down the West Coast as well, and were met in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado with glowing response.

On Saturday, the Bachelors of Science brings its full seven-piece funk crew to the River City Saloon for a night of dance floor mayhem.

They love to bring back the old school with a full horn section and blazing Hammond Organ, but at the same time putting a modern spin on things. For more information, visit www.rivercitysaloon.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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