There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who cringe and clutch their artisanal loaves when they hear about a Spam cook-off, and those who start imagining what hammy delights they might whip up.
For the latter, behold the Spamley Cup Cook-off on Sunday, April 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Redwood Fields ($10 entry and tasting tickets, free for kids under 12). Pros and amateurs alike enter the arena and do battle can-o a can-o for the coveted cup.
That bald guy who eats poison cane toads on Bizarre Foods can't handle the Spam. But it's good enough for the Monty Python blokes, and it's a staple of that healthy Hawaiian diet you're always hearing about. (Umm ...) Spam sushi? Spam flambé? Why not? The Smashed Glass, the Monster Women, Cliff Dallas and the Death Valley Troubadours and Jimi Jeff and the Gypsy Band will all serenade you as you sample the Spamenstein creations and cast your vote for the People's Choice Award. The kids can play games while you mull over your decisions, and the whole thing benefits Humboldt CASA, a noble cause for a Spam throw-down. For these spatula-wielding men and women will enter the arena cooks and chefs, but they're going out processed-meat warriors.
We who are about to fry salute you.
"Art has been raped under the idea that we need to sell and profit, instead of challenge and inspire the person consuming the product. ... We value conformity and comfort, not heart and uniqueness. ... They have the wealth: the oil companies, the media, the bullshit music that they play on trashy commercial radio."
With the legion of esoteric, fancy-pants beers on tap at our local bars and restaurants, why would you brew your own? Why go through the hassle and sacrifice garage space just to bottle some beer?
Well, because while you can probably find a Belgian cucumber ale if you look hard enough, it won't be your Belgian cucumber ale. And, like Dr. Frankenstein, you have been seduced by the exotic ingredients, the gadgetry, the bubbling cauldrons and the thrill of creation. (Insert evil laugh, lightning flash.)
Those of you ready to toy with forces beyond your comprehension can meet like-minded home brewers and taste their concoctions at the Humboldt Homebrew Festival on Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center ($35, $30 online advance). Yours for the tasting are some 100 brews with names like Good Times and Bad Choices, Humboldt Honey Wheat, Hoppiness is a Warm Gun, Stacy's Mom, Death Star IPA and Breakfast. Save a little room in your tummy for chili-lime chicken wings, caramelized onion dip, local cheeses and beer-braised chicken by chef Galen O'Toole. All that and music by Motherlode, Old Dog, Lyndsey Battle and MeSKAlito. The day's loot goes to brainy international do-gooders Engineers Without Borders. Even money says those folks have something crazy brewing in the garage.
Sometimes the thought of a multi-day music festival involving some sort of camping seems like a far-off idea for people with much more expensive and comfortable sleeping bags. And how family friendly is Coachella, really? Let's try the low-key option happening right in Ferndale instead.
The Old Hart Theater building, where Ferndale Repertory Theatre hangs its hat, is hosting Music from the Hart, a two weekend music festival ($10 each night, $5 children 12 and under). On Friday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m., it's Guitars and More Guitars, with locals strumming and plucking out classical and Hawaiian slack key. Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. is Noche Latino, with Ana and Jaime on vocals and guitar, and some music and dancing by Mariachi Herencia Mexicana. You can catch the highlights from those nights on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m.
On Friday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m., catch a wave with Paul Beatie and the North Coast surf rock of Guns 'n Barrels. Things get more intimate after that on Saturday, May 3 with Singer/Songwriter Night, featuring Lyndsey Battle, Boomsauii, Hugh Gallagher, Paul Demant and Nola Sharp. Once again, if you missed either show or you just can't get enough, you can sample the offerings again on Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m.
No hassle, no scene, no taking out a small loan for tickets. Just music in a place you already dig.