UNDERGROUND HIP HOP KEEPS ROLLING INTO Humboldt thanks to Levi's Allegory Presents, a labor of love that loses money as often as it turns a profit. This weekend, it's something called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Tour" coming Saturday, March 6, to Rumours. Featured are rappers Otherwize [photo left] from the Blak Forest crew, Omni from Gershwin BLX and Konfident from Dirty Circus. Which is which? I asked the L.A.-based rapper on the rise, Otherwize. "I'm the bad," he declared boldly. "Konfident grabbed `ugly' before anyone else could. I'm fine with bad. Omni isn't really the goodest, but he's better than us; he got his thing goin' on."
Otherwize is striving, working on rising to the top, but at the same time he sees those who have made it, who have sold millions of units, and he doesn't always like what he sees. "They just wasting it, they just brainwashing, putting thoughts in people's heads that are just garbage like `I'm'na kill you' and `I'm on drugs and I hate my mother' and all these images that get in people's heads so they're subconsciously thinking these thoughts without even knowing why."
So, Otherwize is turning towards the positive in his verses. "We could sit here all day talking about how bad things are," he said. "It gets boring after so long. It's time for a change; it's like listening to the same thing on the radio forever. Eventually you got to tune to something different, a change. I'm it. I'm that other station."
Locals Optimystic Populists and DJ State of Mind open the show.
Friday, March 5, at Saffire Rose: Mike Craghead and Sari Baker play early. A quick aside, there's a cut from Sari and Mike's album opening a new show posted this week on Humboldtmusic.com; it's an Internet radio feed, an all-Humboldt station on your computer with dozens of artists, in all sorts of genres, all of them local. Very cool. Go to Humboldtmusic.com and you'll find the link. Back to Friday at Saffire Rose, later on it's a triple shot of rock with the Fuse from L.A., friends of Jensen Rufe (he made a movie about them; check it out from Video Experience), plus local cover bands Sad Wings of Destiny and the neo-glam Cover Girls.
That night at E&O Bowl, a metal assault with Skitzo, infamous for lead singer's Lance's set-closing projectile vomiting, plus rap/metal quartet, Gweedo the Killer Pimp and our own P.H.I.S.T.
The long series of local Mardi Gras celebrations continues Saturday night at the Masonic Hall with the North Coast Rep's annual Masquerade Ball, a New Orleans-style dance party with music by the Bayou Swamis (who else?) bellydancing by Lailaa Chandani Ensemble, plus African dancers, magicians, tarot card readers, jugglers, an auction, raffle, prizes, food and drink. You know the drill.
And speaking of N'Arlins, Tuesday, March 9, the very funky, very cool Rebirth Brass Band plays another of those free shows at Blue Lake Casino where you can catch a free ride to and fro (from the HSU Library, the Arcata Plaza or the Red Lion).
Saturday night at the Fortuna Monday Club, SoHum's favorite jazz ensemble, Humboldt Time, plays music by Trane, Bird, Miles, Duke and others as part of the Fortuna Concert Series.
That night at Mazzotti's it's a McKinleyville skate park benefit with Lyckitty Split and Higher Funktion plus breakdancing by the B-Boys.
Across the way at the Arcata Yoga Center (above the Outdoor Store) Humboldt Folklife Society presents "Women in Word and Song," a celebration of International Women's Day featuring the best of Humboldt's female folk/spoken word artists, including Eileen Hemphill-Haley, Anna "Banana" Hamilton, Calleaghn Kinnamon, Karolyn Kinane, Jennifer Savage and Teresa McLaren.
Saturday night is also another Arts Alive! night in Eureka and the ambitious Eileen H.H. and Anna Banana will be both places, taking turns playing at Old Town Coffee after or before playing the Arcata show.
Arts Alive! at Six Rivers Old Town features the Empire Squared crew displaying and making art with DJs CJ and Receiver spinning house and dub followed by electronica duo Surrounded By Ninjas from Portland, Ore., providing jazzy soundscapes.
Down the street at Los Bagels, Slackjaw plays old timey tunes. Further down at Saffire Rose, it's jazz with John Raczka on keys, Blake Brown on guitar, and Susie Larraine on sax, followed by an Innerturmoil indie rock thing with Food Stamps recording artists, the Cushion Theory from Oakland playing dreamy alt. rock, plus Ned, another Food Stamps band whose Web site says flatly, "Ned is a band."
At the Morris Graves Museum Joe and Me play folky music from Turkey and Greece. Upstairs in the Tom Knight Gallery, Ton van Wageningen opens his photo show, "Jazz and Blues," showing some of his black and white photographs of legendary jazz and blues musicians shot in the Netherlands in the '60s and 70s.
Sunday, March 7, at Folie Douce, an evening with jazz poet Jerry Martien accompanied by bassist Shao Way Wu. This is the first of three poetry nights this month: Mark Shikuma reads March 21, again with Shao Way; on March 28, it's Celia Homesley and Amelia Raymond. Each night you have the option of a meal: soup, bread and wine, for a reasonable addition to the cover charge.
Soul man Earl Thomas returns to Arcata next week: Tuesday, March 9, he does a coffeehouse duo set of acoustic blues and such at Muddy Waters; Thursday, March 11, he's at Mazzotti's with the larger Earl Thomas Blues Band.
Tuesday night at Rumours it's acid-folk by Dan Stockwell and Zach Rouse, the guys who used to have JinRickjaw, now performing as Fusiq.
It's angst night at Saffire Rose Tuesday, with a cool emo-ish trio, the Velvet Teen, from the North Bay, whose latest disc for Slowdance, Out of the Fierce Parade, was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Christopher Walla. They're touring with another moody combo, Aveo, who are about to release their debut, Battery, on Barsuk, Death Cab's label. Also on the bill, Rescue, another Slowdance outfit, this one from Detroit, and a new local group, Hot Whiskey, with members of Quade and Pockmarked Fisherwomen.
Tuesday at Placebo, Holy Ghost Revival, an unusual alt. rock/chamber combo out of Seattle, near the beginning of a long tour for their debut, The Beast With Two Backs.
Austin-based singer-songwriter Libby Kirkpatrick is working her way up the coast after Folk Alliance; catch her set Wednesday, March 10, at Muddy Waters.
On the classical front, HSU's Symphonic Band plays a pre-tour concert at Fulkerson Hall Saturday night with works by Rudin, Ticheli, Franz and Richard Strauss and Texidor, a warm-up for a trip to San Jose and Santa Rosa.
At the Van Duzer Monday, March 8, the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra offers an all-Russian program including works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff under the baton of conductor Pavel Sorokin.
And the Eureka Chamber Music series marshals on next Thursday, March 11, with Orpheus Quartet playing something sublime at Calvary Lutheran Church in Eureka. The truly international chamber ensemble based in Germany includes members from France, Romania and the Netherlands.
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