November 24, 2005
by BOB DORAN
Above: Green Milk From The Planet Orange guitarist dead k.
The latest wave in the Japanese invasion of Humboldt County comes to the Alibi this Saturday, Nov. 26, in the form of Green Milk From the Planet Orange, a wild and crazy rock `n' roll band somewhat along the lines of DMBQ (if that's possible). On their latest American release, City Calls Revolution, GMFTPO spins out extended soundscapes like "A Day in the Planet Orange," an epic journey (over 39 minutes long) that slides from ambient to neo-prog into dark metal and post-Hendrix rock. Headbangers, 20-something nihilists, dreadlocked jambandites and aging hippies can all find something to relate to along the way.
Perhaps you were wondering what flavor is Green Milk? "The real," said "a person who is called 'dead k,'" from Tokyo -- "the concrete city!" -- when I sent the band an e-mail.
What is it you do? "I'm making a song, playing my guitar and screaming in the band called Green Milk From the Planet Orange," was his response.
Does your name, dead k, come from the famous punk band Dead Kennedys? "No -- though I like Dead Kennedys, k is my real name and I was into Death Metal so much in my hi school age, and so my friends said to me, `You are dead k!' But I think it's funny because it's a little existential."
Further discussion touched on experiences on their last U.S. tour, in which the band "drove through the fire in the mountain in California, and saw many so dirty toilets, etc." The previous tour also brought them to the Alibi. "We must say Arcata is the best hippie town! We had a lot of fun meeting many good people there!" said dead k, adding "C'mon to check us!"
Local alt.folkies Strix Vega open. I've heard good things about them, and will finally get to see them.
Incidentally, the GMFTPO tour is one of several arranged by Michelle Cable. On Monday I heard from Tom, manager for Blowfly (coming to Arcata Dec. 12, on another Panache tour), who wrote from back East, "I'm pleased to report that Michelle is well and about to go home to SF," which means by the time you read this she will be back in Cali. Welcome home, and get well soon!
Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Alibi, catch The Circle Course, who describe their work as "folk rock/punk/soul" and/or "four guys. eight instruments (give or take). piss, vinegar, time, space." One of the four is Stephen Kirkham, an early member of The Polyphonic Spree. I dug the tunes posted on their myspace page (does every indie band in the world have a myspace page?) especially the folk-rocky "Sidewalk Chalk."
Choose from a tasty array of post-Thanksgiving blues and soul shows starting Friday, Nov. 25, when Buddy Reed stomps, shouts and plays his guitar at Six Rivers Brewery.
A note from reggae/blues/funk/soul man Madi Simmons informs me that he is "still in wedded bliss, and getting ready to wear my soul hat, with a band called Soul Express," which is playing at Bear River Casino "the Saturday after Thanksgiving." That's Madi on vocals, Mike Kapitan on keys, Dan Perez on guitar, Ken Lawrence on bass and Bill Moehnke on drums -- all of them fine players who know the funk/soul/blues territory well.
A note came last week from Loreen at the Riverwood about a show down there Saturday night. She had originally booked Jimi Jeff and the Gypsy Band and was thrilled to learn that Earl Thomas has been singing with them lately. She also sent along a couple of photos showing what seem to be some seriously tough looking hombres (See Music & More). I recognized Jimi and Earl, but not the third man, so a wrote to Earl asking who the guy is and what music the band is playing, adding, "Have you learned `All Along the Watchtower'?" Earl wrote back to say that other guy is bass player Warlock (Angelo, the drummer, was not at the photo shoot). "Some of the tunes are, of course, my own, from Intersection and Soul'd," he told me. "We do a cover of `LaGrange' by ZZ Top, `If You Want Me To Stay' (Sly Stone) and an assortment of good old-fashioned blues rock. I haven't learned `All Along the Watchtower' yet ... but I'm going to." He concluded by noting that it's not just a look: "We are some seriously tough hombres."
Lots of good music at the Blue Lake Casino in the coming week:
Friday and Saturday there's blues by the Clint Warner Band; on Monday, Nov. 28, it's The New Mastersounds, a four-piece New Orleans-style funk band in the Meters mold led by British guitarist Eddie Roberts.
Then on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Garaj Mahal is back in town, bringing along their latest disc, Blueberry Cave. The all-star jazz fusion/funk/jam line-up still includes Eric Levy on keys, Fareed Haque on guitar and Kai Eckhardt and Alan Hertz laying down the rhythm on bass and drums, respectively. I caught some amazing shows by these guys five years ago when they were playing Café Tomo as a brand new band. Like fine wine, they have grown even better with time.
Things get stringy in the lounge Wednesday, Nov. 30, where The Drew Emmitt Band is joined by special guest guitarist Billy Nershi from String Cheese Incident. Those who know their crazy Colorado bluegrass-jam-fusion history will remember that Emmitt showed up in Boulder in the mid-'80s and founded the something-grass outfit, The Left Hand String Band, which eventually merged with Vince Herman's band, Salmon Heads, to become Leftover Salmon. Since Leftover hung up their instruments, various members have moved on to new endeavors. Mando-man/multi-instrumentalist Emmitt reunited with Leftover bassist Greg Garrison and brought in drummer Jeff Sipe from Aquarium Rescue Unit and ace flatpicker Tyler Grant to form The Drew Emmitt Band. You could catch them in Berkeley the night before, where the tickets are $17.50 -- at the Steelhead Lounge, admission is free, as are all of the BLC shows above.
You can also hear Emmitt and company live on KHUM that day at 5 p.m., when the station broadcasts the band's sound check from the casino.
The following day, Thursday, Dec. 1, KHUM welcomes Seattle-based eco-minded singer/songwriter Jim Page into their Ferndale studios at 1 p.m. for a little preview of Page's show that night at the Red Radish. (Check back for more on Mr. Page next week.)
For afternoon fun on Friday and/or Saturday, Nov. 25 & 26, check out Craftsman's Days at Blue Ox Millworks. I went to the event the last time it was held, which was supposed to be the last time it was held at their place at the foot of X St., since they were (theoretically, at least) about to move. Well, the move is still on hold while they look for just the right spot, so they're doing it one more time. Experience the old time ways of blacksmithing, bookbinding, spinning, boat building, etc. and enjoy storytelling, puppet shows and old timey, folk and or cowboy music by Huckleberry Flint, Wild Iris, The Tumbleweeds plus the barbershop quartet Mirth First!, which counts Blue Ox founder Eric Hollenbeck among its members. Proceeds go to Blue Ox's soon-to-come low-power youth radio station, KKDS-FM.
A correction of sorts: I stated in last week's Hum that I had "never heard Bishop Norman Williams play saxophone." It turns out that is probably not true. Former Jambalaya owner Joyce Hough reminds me (via Ric, our mutual hair stylist) that poet/journalist/jazz lover John Ross brought The Bishop to the Jam in 1975. I was a regular at the club around that time, and I'm sure John would not have let me miss the show. It made me feel a little bit less forgetful when I reminded The Bishop he had played here. His response: "Man, that was 30 years ago; how'm I supposed to remember that?" Well put.
Hey, thanks for reading.
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