Mylo Jenkins at The Mission Adobe

Dan Kocher of the Americana band Mylo Jenkins talks about the Mission Adobe, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and why so much is riding on Saturday night's concert.

by Hilltromper staff

May 26, 2015—Summer's here! If you don't believe us, just look outside at the morning mizzle. Above that damp, occasionally wet morning fog, the days are stretching out like yoginis before ashtanga class. Those gloriously extended days mean a lot of things around these parts, among them that the Summer Series at the Mission Adobe is on. This Saturday Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, which is keeping the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park open through innovative programming and partnerships, hosts its first Music @ The Mission with Americana band Mylo Jenkins. If you like Uncle Tupelo, accordions, mandolin and smart stories set to head-bobbing alt-folk-rock rhythms, you'll be happy you came. (You can listen to the music of Mylo Jenkins right here.)

We caught up with the band's lead guitarist and singer, Dan Kocher, and plied him with questions about the Mission, the band and one of our favorite topics, local state parks:

What's your favorite thing about the Mission State Park?  It's a gorgeous setting for any event, but I always feel a great sense of history there, and that’s most likely my favorite aspect. It’s peaceful, as if a bunch of amicable ghosts are sitting in (though, I’d venture to guess that the ghosts at most missions aren’t always so amicable).

Did you know it was there before you got this invitation? Be honest. We know it's well hidden.  Honestly, I did know about the Mission previously. I’m a big fan of the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and the many events they put on. Great, laidback family evening.
Did any of these important life events happen for you at a Santa Cruz area state beach or park? (Check all that apply)
__Loss of virginity No, but if PLAYING IN A BAND there Saturday doesn’t make that happen, I don’t know what will.
__Catching first wave I never surf at State Parks. Too many kooks. (Actually, I’ve never surfed a day in my life, though I am the co-founder of a body-surfing trio called “The Haole Body Whomping Crew” that originated on the North Shore of Kauai in 2008, which is probably why you asked.)
__Skipping first rock No. That would require water, which I think has been banned by the State Government.
__Highest tree climb (height, not intoxication) No. I’m terribly afraid of heights. No jokes on this one, I cling TIGHTLY to my well-being.
__Other  (please explain) We'll see what happens Saturday. Don’t miss it, folks.
We hear Mylo Jenkins was on hiatus for a couple of years. Is it true that state parks played an influential role in the band's getting back together, as persistent rumors inside the park-loving community have it?
You park-loving people are such drama and gossip queens. We actually break up routinely just to have “last shows” and “comebacks.” The rest of playing music is, frankly, pretty drab.
Tell us about a great tree or rock you've known. I remember from class field trips, that one tree at Henry Cowell where that Pioneer dude actually lived inside for a time. I was always in awe of that. It scared me just walking into it, let alone sleeping in it with all those deer and bugs and small rodents running around. I just remember thinking he was way more badass than I would ever be.
Please complete this sentence: The work Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is doing to keep the Mission Adobe open is: important and underappreciated.
Anything else you want to add about anything?  To our audience here: come out to the Mission, if not for my band, for any of the great things the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks do there, and remember to enjoy beautiful spaces like our State Parks. Sadly, that experience is becoming rarer every day.


MYLO JENKINS plays the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School St, Santa Cruz, on Saturday, May 30 at 4pm. Free. A pop-up market will offer handmade crafts. Learn more on the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Facebook event page.

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