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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Third Thursday…a Musilicious Night on Cal Ave

Uploaded: May 14, 2023

“I made up a silly word,” says Carol Garsten, event producer of Palo Alto’s newest outdoor experience. Hot off an amazing 10-year run as co-chair of Los Altos oh-so-popular First Friday, Garsten is onto a new adventure with the City of Palo Alto. “Musilicious – it’s the combination of great food and live music.”

Why does Friday get all the attention, and only the first one to boot? Third Thursday catapults another day of the week into shindig service with a new monthly music festival focused on gathering community together through the joy of live music.

The inaugural event kicks off Thursday, May 18 with the theme

Peace, Love, Community

Enjoy dinner at one of California Avenues 20 + restaurants, then wander the wide-open streets (closed to cars since Covid) listening to the sounds of 6 different bands. Make sure to vote for your favorite artwork from the Peace, Love Community Student Art Contest, posted at shops and eateries. Participating restaurants and businesses will offer Third Thursday specials that evening; learn more on the website.

Bringing the entire community into the planning process, especially youth, was a goal throughout the planning process. Third Thursday logo was designed by Justen Cho, a Gunn high senior who was awarded $500 for his effort from the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. Elizabeth Soedarmono, a 7th grader from JLS, designed the organizations website.



Before focusing her attention on Palo Alto, Carol Garsten owned the Nature Gallery, in Los Altos, a unique home furnishing and design store. She recently closed the doors after 35 successful years. “In Los Altos, First Friday is hands down the busiest night of the month for all the downtown restaurants because of the vibe that the live music creates.” Garten expects the same to be true for Cal Ave.

Fans will see a return of favorite groups from Los Altos First Friday, including funky, bluesy Tebo’s Experience, and classic rock band The Wandering Acoustics. “Be sure to let the bands know you’re loving their music, by dancing, singing along or tossing a few bucks in the tip jar,” says Tom DuBois, Third Thursday committee member. Click here for information about the bands here.

Attendees are encouraged to take photos of the fun and email them for possible posting on the website to [email protected]


Third Thursday team members Garsten with Maico Campilonga, owner of Italico and Ternun, restaurants on California Ave.


Third Thursday
6 pm – 9pm
Monthly
California Avenue, Palo Alto

Community.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 14, 2023 at 8:24 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

I am donating two bands " of Leon Timbo, of Josh Thurston Milgrom" to the third Third Thursday event " July 20, 2023, but I actually doubt you will see much results from this effort without $100,000 in seed money. The City and Chamber put up $6,000" but are asking Carol to earmark part of that to port-a-potty's.
What about getting a lease on Fine Arts Theatre and using that for live music?
PS In a related move, I am donating four shows in June to Lytton Plaza downtown" there is talk of renaming the plaza for Earth Day or for Stanford A3M anti-war movement.
PPS in Menlo Park $35m was donated to create The Guild Theatre.


Posted by Bruce Barker, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on May 15, 2023 at 8:27 am

Bruce Barker is a registered user.

If California Avenue business and restaurant owners really want to attract larger crowds, Ms. Garsten should consider booking Metallica or Bob Weir and the Dead.


Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 15, 2023 at 10:09 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

...I have five free shows at Lytton Plaza, four free shows at Mitchell Park Bowl, one at Johnson Park and the two bands donated to Third Thursday...


Posted by Jeff Zhiang, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on May 16, 2023 at 10:35 am

Jeff Zhiang is a registered user.

The music and age of the participating musicians is more reflective of an older generation (aka aging baby boomers).

I assume this is the targeted audience as there are no DJs and hip-hoppers invited to perform.


Posted by Rosalyn Decker, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 17, 2023 at 9:25 am

Rosalyn Decker is a registered user.

"The music and age of the participating musicians is more reflective of an older generation (aka aging baby boomers)."

^ Which explains why all one ever hears from these street-fair cover bands are tiresome regurgitations of Eagles, Steely Dan, and Fleetwood Mac music.


Posted by Beryl Phillips, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on May 17, 2023 at 11:33 am

Beryl Phillips is a registered user.

The elderly Baby Boomer male population can be easily identified...older men (60+) with gray goatees wearing cargo shorts, a tropical shirt or tie-dyed tee-shirt, and an outdoor-themed fedora.

Most of them do not dig rap or DJ themed music.


Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 18, 2023 at 9:52 am

Annette is a registered user.

OMG! Stop with the snark and give this a chance! There are 9 more Third Thursdays in 2023. If your preferred music type isn't performing tonight, maybe it will be next month. And you can always contact the organizers and make a suggestion or request. I think it is great that Palo Alto is finally doing something like this. Kudos to Garsten and her team!


Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 18, 2023 at 9:35 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Editor: please let this 2nd post stand. Tonight on Cal Ave was terrific! My son came to town and we strolled up and down and ultimately dined at Pro Bono. It was a lovely evening. We ate outside and could hear the music from the corner band. Perfection!

THANK YOU to all who made this happen.


Posted by Taylor Kendricks, a resident of Stanford,
on May 19, 2023 at 7:39 am

Taylor Kendricks is a registered user.

"The music and age of the participating musicians is more reflective of an older generation (aka aging baby boomers)."

"...all one ever hears from these street-fair cover bands are tiresome regurgitations of Eagles, Steely Dan, and Fleetwood Mac music."

^ Every generation has its preferred genre of music. The aforementioned bands are the Lawrence Welk of the Baby Boomer generation.

What I don't understand is why there are so many 'farewell tours' and then these bands keep coming back at a later date.

Talk about sell-outs.


Posted by Wei Zhao, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 19, 2023 at 9:03 am

Wei Zhao is a registered user.

Since Palo Alto prides itself as a community of diversity, it would also be appropriate to enlist Mandarin musicians and dancers as part of the Thursday festivities.

The promoter should also include various West African and Middle Eastern musicians, not just cover music for older white audiences.

Think inclusion and expansive cultural representation.


Posted by Vinob Singh, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on May 19, 2023 at 9:46 am

Vinob Singh is a registered user.

East Indian/Hindu music should also be included to accommodate the emerging Indian demographic.

The tabla and sitar are East Indian equivalents of a standard drum kit and electric guitar.

Worse case scenario and to pacify everyone, maybe have one of the cover bands play Norwegian Wood but with authentic East Indian musicians sitting in.


Posted by hastern, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards,
on May 19, 2023 at 10:03 am

hastern is a registered user.

there were too many bands playing at the same time.Maybe 3 at a time and 30-45 minutes sets so they all get a turn. and no one has mentioned it, latin/salsa music.

I would have liked to see more "portable" food and drinks for strolling. It seems like a missed opportunity for restaurants to entice new customers with bites. also a dessert truck would have been nice.

The is also a good opportunity for local craft vendors.


Posted by Derek Johnson, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 19, 2023 at 3:45 pm

Derek Johnson is a registered user.

The solution to 3 bands playing at once would be for them to simply turn up their PA volume levels as I assume most of the musicians and vocalists use some form of amplification.


Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on May 19, 2023 at 4:15 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I totally agree that enough with the snark. Be grateful that this FINALLY happened in Palo Alto after the success this has enjoyed in Los Altos and similar events have enjoyed elsewhere.

Congratulations to Carol for doing this; she did a superb job of organizing First Fridays in Los Altos and she was proud of the free rein given her by the city, often saying how it cost taxpayers nothing.

Shame on Palo Alto and the Chamber of Commerce If they're trying to ding Carol for the cost of the Port-a-Potties when they couldn't even find an active member with a PA business willing and able to organize this event!

Re too many bands playing at once, it was never a problem in Los Altos because you had musicians of all different types, including violin soloists. It was the MIX of musicians that made it work in Los Altos and should here as well.

Also the Nature Gallery wasn't really "a unique home furnishing and design store" but one selling lots of jewelry, minerals and a very few gorgeous slab tables and pedestals. It used to be in Town & Country before moving to Los Altos.

Thank you, Carol.

Re the local music scene, note the long lines at The Guild in Menlo Park and The Fox in Redwood City ans check out the demographics and you'll see lots of baby boomers.


Posted by Teresa Benson, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 20, 2023 at 9:07 am

Teresa Benson is a registered user.

"Shame on Palo Alto and the Chamber of Commerce If they're trying to ding Carol for the cost of the Port-a-Potties when they couldn't even find an active member with a PA business willing and able to organize this event!"

^ Since the CA Avenue merchants and restaurants are directly benefitting from this free entertainment that draws in customers, why don't they simply open-up their restrooms to the public at large?

No need for banks of porta-potties.


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