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Dec. 16, 2004


The Hum


Photo and headline -- Jimi Jeff and Earl Thomas
Jimi Jeff and Earl Thomas


'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT before, and all through the house not much was stirring -- but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on this weekend.

Let's start with Thursday, Dec. 23: The recently ubiquitous blues/retro-rock power trio Jimi Jeff and the Gypsy Band is at Six Rivers Brewery with a very special, very soulful guest: Earl Thomas. The hard-working Jimi and Co. (who lately have been running two open mike nights every week), also play Christmas Eve and nighttime Christmas Day at the Playroom in Fortuna. (You can also catch them at the Playroom on New Year's Eve.)

You say you just gotta dance, even if it is Christmas? Well, DJ Hal will be spinning both Friday, Dec. 24, and Saturday, Dec. 25, in the Steelhead Lounge at the Blue Lake Casino, a place that apparently never closes.

'Twas the night after Christmas, aka Boxing Day (Sunday, Dec. 26), and at the Alibi `twas (`twill-be?) a reunion of Eureka's own kings of garage rock, The Jacksons, featuring members of The Weary Boys.

Coming to Six Rivers Brewery Thursday, Dec. 30, the night before the last day of the year (what is that New Year's Eve Eve?) the Steve Kimock Band, led by the amazing guitarist, play liquid jams until midnight. Note: Due to the early curfew for Six Rivers the show starts promptly at 9, doors open at 8.

Ever wonder how Mr. Kimock does what he does? You can ask him at "The Official Steve Kimock Discussion Group" at A recent example: Someone wondered, what does motion by a half step mean? Steve's reply: "First of all when we are talking about tritones reversing as they move in half steps we are talking about dominant 7 chords moving in the cycle of 4ths (C7, F7, Bb7, Eb7, Ab7, Db7, Gb7, Cb7 (B7), A7, G7, C7). This is common harmonic movement in blues, jazz and popular music. The tritones are the 3rd and 7th of each chord: C7 = E and Bb; F7 = A and Eb; Bb7 = D and Ab, etc..." I'll admit, that's all gibberish to me. All I know is those "tritones reversing as they move in half steps" sound smooth as hell.

I promised a rundown on New Year's Eve happenings for those who want to make plans at least a little bit in advance. As always there's lots going on, and this year with the end of the year falling on a Friday, you don't even have to think about dealing with 2005 until Monday, so as they say in that song, "forget your troubles, c'mon get happy." (But that doesn't mean you should get stupid. If you're partying hard, have a designated driver with you.)

OK, now, figure out which crowd you want to spend the eve with:

Nucleus wraps up an eventful year playing their maniacal dub rock at Mazzotti's with the funky Bump Foundation opening.

Bling in the New Year with the "2005: Good to Be Alive" New Year's Eve party at 535 Nightclub with Dub Cowboy mixing hip-hop, R&B, and dancehall in the big room alongside DJ Muziq Lement from Accurate Sound DJ Productions, while DJ Solo , Christian Clark and DJ Receiver spin "funkydiscohouse" in the MVP Lounge.

The cool alt. insiders will be at the Eureka Vets Hall's basement lounge where Trash and Roll , The Buffy Swayze and The Young Lovers (augmented by EKA Garbage) play various forms of alt. garage/psychedelia/street lounge music -- and it's also (allegedly) the final performance by noir rockers Walking Bicycles .

Humboldt Brews has a hip-hop/rock combo with Lyckitty Split , Humboldt Hip Hop Organization and Dirty Rats offering much more than sex and drugs.

Then there's Kulica grooving the year away at Rumours, where they offer breakfast after the show.

Earlier in the evening, Joshua Scott plays folk rock at Old Town Coffee and Chocolates.

Slew Foot String Band rings in the New with jammy bluegrass at the Ocean Grove in Trinidad.

Rock? How about Dr. Squid at the Red Lion? (No need to drive, you can spend the night.)

Or if you're in SoHum, Loreen is throwing another of her infamous New Year's parties at the Riverwood Inn with Night Hawk rockin', and don't forget the now-classic midnight buffet.

Elsewhere down south, the Benbow Inn has Matthew Cook at the piano early on, then it's jazz by the Pretty Big Band, with the usual suspects: Jimmy Durchslag on trombone, Michael Curran drums, Geoff Daugherty bass, Jim Wilde guitar, Mike McClimon trumpet, Julie Froblom sax, and that sultry vocalist Mary Jo Casasanta. Reservations are suggested.

What else? The Checkered Demons play blues at Sal's Myrtlewood, and last, but far from least, the Clint Warner Band plays the blues out at Blue Lake Casino's Steelhead Lounge, while Merv George inaugurates the casino's new Sapphire Palace, where $25 buys you hors d'oeuvres, a champagne toast, and the opportunity to win cash prizes (without even dropping quarters in the slots). The Sapphire Palace is a 6,800-square-foot space that they say will hold 1,000 people standing, 800 sitting. I'm figuring it will be a great space for big events in the future, although all they have booked so far is Thunder From Down Under on Jan. 27, a night for the ladies with scantily dressed Aussie hunks.

Something I noticed on Pollstar: Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 535 Nightclub (still listed on Pollstar as Club West), it's the very funky Fishbone along with a band I've never heard of, New Blood Revival .

After the discussion of a glut of fine shows coming in January in last week's column I got a call from Lincoln Wachtel (who is, in part, responsible for giving us too many options). While verifying that the first of two Ozomatli shows at Mazzotti's, Wednesday, Jan. 26, is on the same night as his Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men / Los Straightjackets show at Six Rivers, he pointed out something I had overlooked: DJ Logic is at HSU that very same night, with "special guests," specifically, Vinyl, the Marin-based instrumental combo that draws on old-school funk, Latin percussion, reggae and R&B creating a blend should prove a perfect match for Logic's turntable magic.

I also failed to note that the next night, Thursday, Jan. 27, is when fiddler extraordinaire Natalie MacMaster returns to the Van Duzer (that one's probably sold out).

And as the weekend progresses, they keep coming at the Van Duzer: Keller Williams Saturday, Jan. 29, and Leo Kottke Sunday, Jan. 30.

In between all that, on Friday, Jan. 28, Mr. Polyester himself, master multi-instrumentalist David Lindley, hits Humboldt to play sans percussionist at the Garberville Theater, a Backwoods Jazz/People Productions co-promo.

Speaking of People Productions, I heard through the grapevine that the Garberville-based company signed on to handle booking for this year's Blues by the Bay (July 9 and 10) after Deborah Lazio opted out. Deborah put eight (great) years into the festival, establishing it as a vibrant, vital event, and she will be a hard act to follow, but I'm sure the people at People Productions are up to the task.

One last thing: even if you think you're too old for Santa to come around, be good. And have a cool Yule.


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