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June 16, 2005

The Hum


THE RULES [photo of Make Believe]

AS MENTIONED HERE LAST WEEK, THE PLACEBO KIDS ARE giving up their digs in Manila before the end of this month, packing everything in storage until they find a new space either in Arcata or Eureka. But in the meantime they have a few killer shows planned.

Friday June 17, it's a mix of punk and ska with Acts of Sedition, San Serac, The Disappointments and Sputnik Monroe, a band that includes Kevin from the old ska-punk band Norton's Imperial Guard.

Saturday June 18, enjoy "a night of joyful noise, loops, samples, and lots of cool gadgets" with Chicago-based Make Believe, a post-punk combo that includes all of the members of Tim Kinsella's seminal band Joan of Arc playing louder, harder music.

The band has a strict set of Dogma-esque rules: "No. 1: All songs will be written as a band playing. No. 2: No members unless they are devoted to the `long haul.' No. 3: Practice every day. No. 4: No effects pedals. No. 5: No over-dubs. No. 6: All songs speak for the collective and not the individual. No. 7: Sound palette limited to classic rock band lineup to force new approaches to clichéd shapes."

Joining Make Believe, their post-rock Flameshovel label mates, The Narrator, two solo looping/effects-laden acts, Swimming (Devon and his laptop) and Level Anchorage, a local guitarist who recently moved to Portland, plus, possibly, Daytime Minutes, an awesome noise band. (Nepotism alert: my son is the drummer.) The D. Minutes have come up with their own set of rules as follows: Rule A: Practice at least once every three months. B: No more than two Kaos pads at one time. C: Never be sure whether or not you're actually going to play a show until the last minute.

Coming up next Thursday, June 23, at the Placebo, a wild collection of Chicago musicians including Rotten Milk Vs. Bubblegum Shitface (with Bubblegum Shitface on drum machines and vocals and Rotten Milk on CD player, radio, effects, cymbal, contact mike and vocals) Carpet of Sexy and Brotman and Short, featuring Arcata expat Max Brotman, who is home briefly.

The final Placebo show in Manila is June 25, featuring pogo rockers The Mormons and the robot Nintendo rap band 8 Bit plus many other as-yet-unnamed bands, but surely Pubic Zirconium.

Nucleus kicks off a hot summer of touring with a show Friday, June 17, at Humboldt Brews with special guest Brian Swislow aka B. Swizlo, a former local who was a member of a series of funk and hip hop outfits including Spank, and the Hip Hop Lounge.

When I hit Swizlo on his cell this morning he was standing outside the Knitting Factory, a music club on Hollywood Blvd. where he is working with a crew on a remodel. Another job he and his crew are working on: fixing up a RV for rock legend Phil Spector to use while he's on trial.

He reports that he's living in Hollywood, "working my ass off and playing as much music as possible." As far as music goes, Swizlo notes, "I put out Garth Vader's album last year. Since then I worked with Eli Fowler, a SoHum kid who you might remember from when he rapped with Humboldt Freestyle Kings at Reggae. He goes under the name Elision, which is a French term for when you drop a letter in between two words."

In addition he's been doing session work, playing behind Tasha Taylor, daughter of the late great soul man Johnny Taylor, playing funkified classic spirituals in a 10-piece band called Elijah Rock and the New Funk Soul, and leading an evolution of the Hip Hop Lounge called The Mystery Lounge. "It's me and a drummer and different bass players, guitarists and horn players. We try to do one show a month. It's always improv, the same sort of thing I did with Pete Ciotti [from Nucleus] in the Hip Hop Lounge."

After playing with Nucleus Friday, with a reunited Spank opening the show, Ciotti and Swizlo plan a Mystery Lounge night at Muddy Waters, pulling much of the old crew back together again.

It's seafood fest weekend with the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival on the Plaza Saturday, and the Trinidad Fish Fest Sunday. Both events are packed with music.

The O. Fest lineup begins with the recently ubiquitous Pan Dulce Steel Orchestra at 10 a.m. followed by the Cajun sounds of The Bayou Swamis at 11, folk-rocker Eileen Hemphill-Haley and her band at 12:15, Ponche! pumping AfroCuban salsa at 1:30, then a break for the oyster-calling contest, which will undoubtedly include a number by Russian soul man Sergei (he won last year). At 3:45 it's good ol' rock `n' roll from The Delta Nationals followed at 5 by those Blue Lake country punks with attitude to spare, The Rubberneckers.

The closings sets also serve as a preview of a show later this summer at Dell'Arte where The 'Nats and The 'Neckers share the outdoor Rooney Amphitheatre stage on July 8, for the first of two "Bands Out Back" shows. The second: a resurrection of The Joyce Hough Band on July 9.

Sunday's 48th annual Trinidad Fish Festival includes sets by Vintage Soul, The Chris Mayther Band, The Blue Jayz, highland tunes from the North Coast Pipe Band and classics by the All Seasons Orchestra.

Vintage Soul also offers classic Southern soul and Motown covers at Six Rivers Brewery Friday night, one of many shades of rhythm and blues to choose from that night. Clint Warner Band is out at the Blue Lake Casino, again playing electric blues from their new Bad Weather CD, a collection of originals in a range of styles. (Clint and Co. also play Sal's Myrtlewood Lounge Saturday.) Deltron 9 hits Rumours Friday, playing music that touches on blues but is closer to funk. Don Haupt is at the Beachcomber Café in Trinidad Friday night playing his slip-sliding Delta blues sharing the bill with Devon Alves, another young bluesman exploring similar territory. Devon and Don do the same next week in Arcata, playing Friday, June 24, at Redwood Yogurt.

More blues? Karen Dumont returns to the Jambalaya's "Chill Zone" Saturday, June 18. That night at Six Rivers Brewery it's The Chris Mayther Band, warming up for their Sunday fishiness. Mayther is a soulful vocalist based in Portland Ore. playing hard-hitting R&B with a back-up band that includes organist Dave Fleschner, who grew up in Trinidad.

On Sunday, June 19, catch Czechoslovakian mandolin master Radim Zenkl at the Red Radish, joined by Eastern Humboldt guitar wizard Rex Richardson. Same night at Rumours, it's the return of the amazing acoustic bluesman Doug MacLeod with our own ShinBone opening.

Coming up next Thursday, June 23, at the Alibi, frenetic Japanese girl punk band Bleach03 plus local zombie surf kings, Los Banditos Muertos. And earlier that evening at Muddy Waters, Oregonian folksinger Alice DiMicele, who hasn't been heard locally for some time because as I understand it, she was on sabbatical spending her time white water rafting.

This Thursday, June 15, is the beginning of the Eureka Summer Concerts, a series of evening shows at the F St. Plaza on Eureka's boardwalk. First up: Paradise Theatre, "the ultimate Styx tribute" band, formerly known as Renegade. The name change must be recent; the p.r. one-sheet I received had the old name crossed out with the new one scratched next to it. Coming up next Thursday: Bay Area roots rock Americana band Frankie's Dream. Later this summer catch Mendo reggae band Rootstock (June 30), the excellent fiddler Tom Rigney and his Cajun band, Flambeau, (July 7) and a Lynryd Skynyrd cover band called Second Helping (July 14).




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