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The Hum by Bob Doran

Oct. 14, 2004

Photo--headline of TamarasTHIS IS ONE OF THOSE WEEKS WHERE I MARVEL AT THE range of entertainment opportunities we can choose from here in the cultural backwaters of Humboldt County. What's your pleasure?

Take Thursday night, Oct. 14, for example: HSU's Associated Students present "Quannum Project Vol. 2," an evening at the Kate Buchanan Room with conscious hip hop featuring Gift of Gab from Blackaliscous, plus our own DJ Thanksgiving Brown spinning discs.

On the other end of the spectrum there's Archiglass, a Russian a cappella quintet from St. Petersburg, singing at First United Methodist Church in Eureka.

At Muddy Waters Thursday, a five-piece called Sunfire Pleasure playing psychedelic rock. The band, who come from San Francisco (the home of psychedelic rock), is currently at work on a studio version of the Talking Heads song "What a Day That Was" for a compilation of Heads covers that will also include covers by Garaj Mahal (who just played here) and Umphrey's McGee (coming to the Arcata Community Center Oct. 27, for the finale of the "Jam the Vote" series). There's roots rock reggae at Mazzotti's that night with Groundation once again coming up from Sonoma to spread the irie vibe.

The following night at Mazzotti's (that would be Friday) it's Hip Hoptoberfest, a variation of the club's "Mixtape" assembled by Master of Ceremonies Pete Collins, aka Pistol Pete, aka Manifest, who recently picked up another moniker: "Humboldt's Most Hated." He'll be joined by two more MCs, Z-Man from Hieroglyphics and Bicasso from the Living Legends, plus DJ State of Mind, the very busy Thanksgiving Brown and Tribalesque (the bellydance troupe) and a "B-Boy, B-Girl breakdance contest starting promptly at 11," notes Manifest.

Manifest explains that the "Most Hated" thing comes from a series of posts on the forums regarding his work and character. "The things they were saying were so appalling, everything from accusing me of murder, to I've never made an original song, to I don't do shows, which is funny because I do do shows and I'd say I'm about as original as it gets." While he pleads "100 percent not guilty" on the murder charge, he embraces his notoriety.

Elsewhere on the Arcata Plaza, earlier that evening at the Metro, it's former agro-folky Tamaras [photo above] back from a long cross country tour, one that wore out her old van Zelda, but left Tamaras reinvigorated. She's there promoting a brand new album, Ordinary Super Girl, that finds her moving away from the agro toward something a bit funkier. In fact, I'd say her new sound is downright funky. On the album she's reinforced by a crew of funky friends who probably won't be with her Friday -- expect something more or less along the lines of what you may or may not have heard Monday afternoon when she paid a visit to "Jennifer's Garden," a fine radio show on KHSU hosted by Jennifer Savage, the A&E queen from the Arcata Eye. There it was just Tamaras and her guitar and her songs, and really that's all you need. She writes some darn good songs. What else do you need?

Friday night at Hank's Coffee House (out old Arcata Road across from Jacoby Creek School) Jeff DeMark presents his one man show, Hard as a Diamond, Soft as the Dirt, and what with the playoffs and the upcoming World Series, what better time for ruminations of America's favorite game?

Humboldt hardest working blues band, the Clint Warner Band, explores "new territory" as Clint put it, playing Rumours Friday night and BC's on Saturday.

Friday night at Six Rivers Brewery it's the latest incarnation of Groove 101 with our own guitar wizard Ruben Diaz joined by organist Melvin Seals with Bobby Vega on bass and Jimmy Sanchez on drums -- all stars, all good.

That night down at the 330 Club catch a couple of fine indie rock bands from Berkeley, 20 Minute Loop and The Monolith, joined by a new local combo, Baccus. Bring some extra cash to pick up the 20 Min./Monolith split 7 inch just out on Fortune Records.

Meanwhile down in Fortuna at the River Lodge, the Humboldt Harmonaires present their annual Beer and Peanuts Show, an evening of barbershop music performed by the Harmonaires Barbershop Chorus and the Redwood Country Women's Chorus, the Outstanding Bills Quartet, and the Mirth First Quartet. The show comes north next weekend for a show Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Arcata Community Center.

San Francisco Opera Center Singers offer another sort of vocal music Friday night at Calvary Lutheran Church in the second concert in the Eureka Chamber Music Series, with soprano Karen Slack and bass-baritone Ricardo Herrara singing Broadway tunes, spirituals, and (of course) some classic opera arias.

There's more classical music the following night, Saturday, Oct. 16, at HSU's Fulkerson Hall: "The Heart of Healing -- A Night of Music and Inspiration" with piano prodigy Ryan MacEvoy-McCullough, piano veteran Dr. Luther Cobb, cellist David Davis, Virginia Ayoob on clarinet, soprano Sue Mullen, and others performing music by Liszt, Brahms and Debussy to benefit the Humboldt Breast Health Project. Good cause, great music.

Speaking of good causes, the folks from KMUD are holding two separate benefits Saturday night to raise funds for something they call the Northern Transmitter Replacement Project. The goal is to put together $15,000 to replace an aging and ailing transmitter used for KMUE 88.3 FM (the northern arm of KMUD) that currently cannot broadcast at full power. This "upgrade" will help fill in some of the holes in the current signal area where the signal is weak.

The benefits? Better reception for many of us up north. The benefit shows? There's "Dinner at Eight" at the Marsh Commons in Arcata, an evening including a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Tom Frazier and students from the Mateel Community Center's summer intern program, plus salsa dancing to the Afro-Cuban music of Ponche! Same night, at Mazzotti's, KMUD presents San Francisco-based jam band Tea Leaf Green along with Humboldt's own groovemeisters Something Different.

Saturday night at the Alibi, it's the return of Texas hillbilly bluesman Scott H. Biram, stopping here on his "First Church of the Ultimate Fanaticism" tour and joined that evening by Que La Chinga.

Then Sunday night, Oct. 17, it's the return of Michelle Cable of Panache Magazine fame. She's bringing up issue No. 22 of Panache, which she notes, has a bigger printing than ever with 20,000 copies and features an interview with the 5,6,7,8s of Kill Bill fame. She's celebrating the new mag with a show at the Eureka Vet's Hall Lounge featuring a Nashville-based band, the Ex-Lovers, fronted by Hartwell Littlejohn, aka "Hart," formerly of the Aamerican Tentants (the Ex-Lovers are also featured in the new Panache), plus the return of the Ian Fayes after a summer hiatus for recuperation, and those surfcore-zombie rockers, Los Banditos Muertos, and wait, there's more, an extra added bonus: the inescapable Thanksgiving Brown on the turntables along with his girlfriend Kelly, formerly of The Rubberneckers, the notorious Blue Lake country rockers, who incidentally are playing that very same night at the Alibi. What more could you ask?

Bob Doran



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