Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sail Away

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Driving into work the other morning I was in no mood for the news on all the public radio stations, too much war and trouble. I pushed the button for some "radio without the rules" and found commercials. The pirate station was off the air, too early for pirates I guess. Button six on my radio is 97.7, which I think of as the Blue Ox station (officially it's KKDS-LP). It's almost always nonstop music. Sometimes it seems so fiercely eclectic that I assume it's some hard-drive full of MP3s set on random play.
When I tuned in, someone was playing a fine ukulele solo that grabbed my attention. As I continued listening I realized — I know that song! "Float Your Boat" is one of my favorites by the local band UKEsperience. I sang along as the song played on. It lasted almost until I reached my parking spot.
This afternoon I was done with the Hum, looking over the club listings and realized that I probably should have mentioned that UKEsperience is playing at Six Rivers this coming Saturday night. My Facebook page was open in the background and I heard that clink alert noise - a message.
It was Rick DeVol from UKEsperience. "Don't know if you have heard but Saturday will be Ukesperience's last gig for a long while. Jason is moving to the East Coast next month." He said a bit more in a post on his page: "We're sad for us, glad for him. Come out and hear Jason tear it up one more time and say bye to one of Humboldt's best."

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Blues Fest Fades on Stormy Monday

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

"They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad." So said blues great T-Bone Walker.

For local blues fans, Monday's news was definitely bad. It's off. No Blues by the Bay this coming Labor Day weekend.

click to enlarge St. John and the Sinners on Blues by the Bay's $10,000 stage. - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • St. John and the Sinners on Blues by the Bay's $10,000 stage.
When we put out the Summer of Fun Summer Festival Guide last week, we reported that the local festival board would be meeting this week to decide the fate of this year's blues fest.

A press release from the organization sent out yesterday sealed that fate: "The Board of Directors for Redwood Coast Music Festivals Inc. announced that the organization is suspending production of the annual Blues By The Bay outdoor concert for 2013."

A lot of factors went into the blues festival's decline. The demographics of the blues crowd tends toward baby boomers who don't go to festivals as much as younger people. Costs remained constant or rose. The blues fest's signature shark mouth tent alone costs $10,000 to rent.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paul Taylor’s Dancers Deliver, then Disappoint

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Despite Paul Taylor’s importance as a choreographer and the superhuman talent of his dancers, for some time he hadn’t been my favorite among 20th century modern dance masters. During Musical Offering, the ambitious opening dance at the Van Duzer on Tuesday evening, I became a born-again fan.
This contemporary tribal dance revolves around a clan’s relationship to a revered member. But the intricacies of Taylor’s endless groupings create an emotional energy greater than any narrative. Stiff-legged, straight-armed rows of dancers lean side to side in rhythm, while coveys of curving bodies move in and around the layered Bach score. Beyond the loin-clothed costuming, a tribal-ness is invoked through the attentiveness it takes to create and perform this type of ensemble work.

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Every Mom's Kinetic Dream

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

All children have asked themselves, "How do I show my mom how much I love her while simultaneously gaining a better knowledge of physics?" To the great relief of children and mothers everywhere, The Kinetic Universe and the Rutabaga Royal Family have supplied an answer. On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12, the Eureka Waterfront Amphitheater comes alive with the kid-centered, family themed, Kinetic Classic. The event combines racing, costumes and parades with the zany, kinetic energy Humboldt County loves so much.

click to enlarge The kid-friendly Kinetic Classic course.
  • The kid-friendly Kinetic Classic course.

Moms, whether your kids are newborns or preteens, the Kinetic Classic can accommodate them all. There are three contests, each for a different age or grade level. The day kicks off with registration at noon, followed by the first activity, The Rutababy Buggy Bouncers parade, starting at 1 p.m. The parade is open to infants and toddlers, from 9 months old to pre-kindergarten (with an accompanying parent, of course). You can choose to decorate your stroller(s), or costume the whole clan; either way it's guaranteed to be an adorable parade.

The Rutabaga Rally, starting at 1:30 p.m., is a kinetic vehicle race, open to kindergartners through third graders. Each team (including an "Offishul Grownup") will design, build and race a non-motorized vehicle of choice. Then every team has to complete the fun and challenging obstacle course, with each team member completing one section of the course. You know, like a rally.

The final event, starting at 2:30 p.m., is the Kinetic Push Kart Dash. The dash is open to fourth through sixth graders, and it's like a junior Kinetic Sculpture Race, but with a twist. Unlike the larger kinetic race of Kinetic Classic's namesake, these vehicles can't be driver-propelled; the race has to be completed by being pushed halfway through the course and coasting to the finish. Physics, huzzah!

In between scheduled events, there will be fun games, snacks, awards and activities. And, yes, that includes face painting. You can find more information on rules, requirements and registration at www.kineticclassic.org, or by calling The Kinetic Universe at (707) 786-3443. And, to all the participants, may the kinetic force be with you.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Get Primed for It

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 8:30 PM

click to enlarge Primus
  • Primus

Back in 1984 with a head full of the sounds of Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd bassist Les Claypool started fooling around with a drum machine and a few different band mates. He was trying to make a baby out of the musical DNA of James Brown and Eddie Van Halen with a focus on the bass line. No easy task. Eventually a musical genius popped out and they named it Primus.

The group quickly started selling out Berkeley Square with its freaky funk metal fusion. In 1989, Claypool recruited Larry LaLonde from the group Possessed and Tim Alexander from Major Lingo. The sound they made together strayed from anything out there at that time. And back then, a ton of music was really far out there. Today the sound is still so distinctive it has become its own musical category.

The San Francisco-based group will bring its bass-heavy, weird and experimental sound to the Eureka Municipal Theatre on Friday, May 10, with some additions that you might find, well, weird and experimental. Claypool, LaLonde and Alexander will use a special three-dimensional backdrop screen as well as a quadraphonic sound system to create what Claypool calls "a really trippy" experience. Tickets are available on the promoter's website, www.jmaxproductions.net, for $36.50.

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Photo Contest!

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

The North Coast Journal is looking for your best pictures of Humboldt at work.

click to enlarge camera.jpg

From now through May 15, use your phone, your tablet or even a real camera to capture images of Humboldt at work, whether it’s a rancher with his herd, a doctor in her scrubs or a grower tending his crop. Email up to three high resolution jpgs — the real thing only, no Photoshop please — to photocontest@northcoastjournal.com by 10 a.m. Thursday, May 16.

In your email, please include the time, date and place of each picture; the names of those photographed (from left to right); your name and a daytime phone number. Don’t worry — we won’t publish your phone number — but we will publish lots of winning entries and runners up. Grand prize is a working person’s feast: dinner for six at Porter Street Barbeque and a case of beer from Mad River Brewing.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Boeing, Boeing Bounced

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 10:56 AM

The summer season for Ferndale Rep just shrunk by a little as noted in a press release sent out this morning. A plan to alternate between two shows in July and August was shelved. Lost in the shuffle is the French farce Boeing, Boeing, a story about a swinging bachelor with a flat in Paris where he keeps three stewardess fiancés. Apparently the potential farce involved in running two shows simultaneously was looking like a daunting task.

Here's the press release:

Ferndale Repertory Theatre has decided to cancel Boeing, Boeing, one of its two summer shows for 2013.
Scheduled to run from July 12th through August 11th. Boeing, Boeing, was to have played in repertory with our summer musical, Victor/Victoria.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Yak Men and Their Yaks

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM

click to enlarge Yak Man with top hat - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • photo by Bob Doran
  • Yak Man with top hat

The Yak Men emerge from the woods around Arcata on a semi-regular basis, leading a pair of yaks into town. They tell us they prefer living among live trees to life in "dead wood houses." The yaks have no names, the Yak Men did not offer theirs.

click to enlarge Yak Men on the way to town - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • photo by Bob Doran
  • Yak Men on the way to town
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Loon

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

click to enlarge "Loon" - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WONDERHEADS
  • Photo courtesy of the Wonderheads
  • "Loon"

The Arcata Playhouse presents LOON, a peculiar, whimsical tale of love, loneliness and the moon performed by Wonderheads, a Portland-based mask/puppetry troupe formed by Dell’Arte graduates. The show runs Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.

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Spring Wildflower Show

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 5:57 PM

click to enlarge Trillium - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • photo by Bob Doran
  • Trillium
California Native Plant Society’s Spring Wildflower Show at the Manila Community Center starts Friday with an art and music night with an art workshop with Rick Tolley and Québécois music by Mon Petit Chou. The flower fest continues Saturday and Sunday with a native plant sale plus talks on topics including “Fire and Vegetation: the Yurok perspective” on Saturday, and “How to Photograph Flowers” on Sunday.
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