Music

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentuned In

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 6:23 PM

The wandering Valentunes minstrels serenade our own Jonathan Webster. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The wandering Valentunes minstrels serenade our own Jonathan Webster.
Contrary to popular belief, not all of us here at the Journal are hardened, loveless cynics. Some of us work in production and graphic design, like Jonathan Webster. Witness his Valentunes serenading by fresh-faced members of the ArMack Orchestra/Arcata High Madrigal Choir at the behest (and paid order) of his girlfriend, Kira Weiss. The singers and musicians, on their annual fundraising mission, harmonized on "You Can Count on Me," which Webster actually arranged a couple of years ago while he was working at Arcata High School. Watch the video and give yourself a cavity from the genuine sweetness.


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Jewels of Wisdom

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 7:33 PM

Run the Jewels at the Van Duzer Theater on Feb. 5. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Run the Jewels at the Van Duzer Theater on Feb. 5.

A sold-out crowd packed Humboldt State University’s Van Duzer Theater last night, with hip-hop supergroup Run the Jewels headlining. (View the slideshow at the bottom of the post.) The crowd was young, jubilant and wreathed in smoke. Outside the venue, a line stretched across the plaza as people waited to be patted down by security. One very high young man tried to trade steaks for extra tickets.

“I got prime rib, prime rib,” he said, waving a large plastic bag of meat as people waited patiently in the rain.
Inside, students elbowed their way through the packed aisles to stand next to the stage, where the group’s security team stood behind ropes, looking bored.
DJ Nick Hook. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • DJ Nick Hook.
DJ Nick Hook started the evening with some unique beats and an unsubtle but popular chant of “Fuck Donald Trump,” setting the tone for the evening — fierce, politically proactive and boisterous. Hook, a producer and collaborator on Run the Jewels albums, spun for two other artists, Cuz Lightyear and Gangsta Boo. Cuz, formerly known as SL Jones, was a torch of energy, spitting rhymes quickly as he stood on top of the speakers. But even his dynamism couldn’t overcome the awkwardness of the largely white crowd when he tried to initiate a call and response using the N-word. But he finished his set to an enthusiastic crowd and was followed quickly by Gangsta Boo, a filthy-mouthed, fun breakout star from the Memphis, Tennessee group Three 6 Mafia. Boo’s lyrics spoke to the nasty women in the audience as she unleashed fast-flowing raps about financial autonomy, Cookie Monster kush and the importance of cunnilingus.
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia fame. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia fame.
The air was already thick with smoke when DJ and producer the Gaslamp Killer took the stage, dialing down the vibe with a slow jam mix before working the audience back into a jumping, lighter-waving frenzy. William Benjamin Bensussen — who takes his stage name from San Diego’s Gaslamp District, where he grew up — is tall, intense and bearded, with a narrow ascetic face: Rasputin with a bouncing afro. He danced like an electrocution victim, occasionally lifting his T-shirt to wipe sweat from his face, flashing a pale belly. He rarely spoke during his set, leaning into the mic only occasionally to say, “I am the Gaslamp Killer,” and to announce, “My grandfather is from Istanbul, Turkey,” before introducing a beat using traditional Turkish music. The audience didn’t need to be led to the message, responding with a loud cheer as the tempo increased and forming a mosh pit in front of the stage. They cheered even louder when he announced, “My grandmother is from Syria. Some Syrian music for my Syrian grandmother.”
“Remember,” he said before ending his 45-minute set with a Super Mario Bros. sound-infused mix, “We create the culture. Just because he rules the country doesn’t mean he’s in charge. We’re going to create the best art.”
The Gaslamp Killer. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • The Gaslamp Killer.

The Gaslamp Killer ended his set to an enthused and anticipatory crowd, who used the interval when the houselights came on to push even closer to the stage, chanting “RTJ” and clutching blunts. The duo is made up of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike. Killer Mike, whose offstage name is Mike Render, has gained a reputation in recent years as an activist speaking out against police brutality and campaigning for Bernie Sanders. He and El-P (Jaime Meline) entered to a remix of Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” as the audience screamed and held up their hands in the signature gun and fist gestures that are Run the Jewel’s logo. Lighters flicked across the theater and the venue filled with smoke. The rappers launched into “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” with the crowd waving their hands in the air and singing along to Killer Mike’s lyrics, “This Run the Jewels is/ Murder, mayhem, melodic music.”
Killer Mike and El-P. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • Killer Mike and El-P.

“This is what I live for,” said El-P to the screaming crowd. He asked if they should turn up the bass, noting that as they were testing the sound system before the show their normal bass levels had caused the ceiling to flake. The crowd shouted yes, and RTJ launched into a series of songs off their latest two albums, including “Nobody Speak” (produced with DJ Shadow) and “Stay Gold.” The ceiling stayed intact but was put in further danger when Gangsta Boo returned to the stage to join the duo. El-P led the crowd in chanting “Pussy is power,” before delivering an impassioned and well-received speech about the current political administration.
“It just boggles my mind that we haven’t replaced all of these goddammned pieces of shit men with women,” he said, drawing screams of approval.

“It’s mostly white men, I got to say,” added Killer Mike, drawing more applause.

“You know these motherfuckers are only doing five things,” said El-P, leading the crowd into the 2014 hit, “Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill, Win.”

"Go outside of your white liberal, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant circle,” said Killer Mike in a recent Huffington Post interview. “Go find other people and become a part of movements that you don’t lead. Go become a part of movements in which you have to learn from the people who have endured this ― since Reagan, since Nixon ― and you will start to see what they have had to do to thrive and survive. And you guys will learn and you guys will devise strategies together.”

Once the smoke cleared, there’s a chance some in the audience had found that movement on the dance floor.

Slideshow
Run the Jewels 2017
Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017 Run the Jewels 2017

Run the Jewels 2017

By Sam Armanino

Click to View 18 slides



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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dreaming of a Brass Christmas

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Jude Carter, 6, of Eureka, played in his fourth TubaChristmas performance, along with his father and grandmother, in front of a crowd of 100 or more at the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka on Saturday, Dec. 3 - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Jude Carter, 6, of Eureka, played in his fourth TubaChristmas performance, along with his father and grandmother, in front of a crowd of 100 or more at the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka on Saturday, Dec. 3

For many, it's not officially Christmas in Humboldt County until you've attended one of the all-brass Tuba Christmas performances, which have been led locally by Fred Tempas since 1988. Santa also showed up for Saturday's 1 p.m. performance at the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka, along with board members of the Redwood Coast Music Festival, who unveiled this year’s poster. The local all-tuba performances are part of an international Tuba Christmas movement started in 1974.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

All Species, All the Time

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 12:38 PM

Local puppet master James Hildebrandt, of Arcata, led the All Species Parade with an avian creation. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Local puppet master James Hildebrandt, of Arcata, led the All Species Parade with an avian creation.
The Same Old People's 43rd annual North Country Fair continued on Sunday with a large crowd gathered to watch the All Species Parade. It featured the Arcata Playhouse’s large and small creatures and a wide mix of puppets and other life forms marching twice around the plaza. Attendees also checked out performances by local bands and dancers, along with a large array of food, jewelry and clothing vendors.
Two new additions to the festival this year included a zero-waste kids’ craft zone sponsored by SCRAP Humboldt and a Wellness Row of information tents featuring community health information, tea samples, massage and yoga.

Slideshow
North Country Fair 2016 Day 2
North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2 North Country Fair 2016 Day 2

North Country Fair 2016 Day 2


By Mark Larson

Click to View 16 slides


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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Samba and Sunshine

Posted By on Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Belly dancers performed in the Samba Parade and the Ya Habibi Dance Company danced later on the plaza lawn at the North Country Fair on Saturday. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Belly dancers performed in the Samba Parade and the Ya Habibi Dance Company danced later on the plaza lawn at the North Country Fair on Saturday.

The two-day 43rd annual North Country Fair got off to a bright start on a warm, sunny Saturday on the Arcata Plaza. Organized by the Same Old People since 1974, the zero-waste, family-friendly festival features 170 art and craft vendors, three music and entertainment stages, local food booths and activities for children. Members of Trillium Dance and Samba da Alegria led a lively Samba Parade in the afternoon. Add a little rhythm and shine to your day with the slideshow below.
Slideshow
North Country Fair 2016 Day One
New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow New Slideshow

North Country Fair 2016 Day One

By Mark Larson

Click to View 18 slides


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dancing in the Streets

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 4:14 PM

A large crowd filled the space between Los Bagels and Wildwood Music to listen to SambAmore at the I Block party on Monday. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • A large crowd filled the space between Los Bagels and Wildwood Music to listen to SambAmore at the I Block party on Monday.
Featuring good barbecue, local microbrews and live music from The Latin Peppers, SambAmore, Lizzy and the Moonbeams, and Timbata, the 31st annual I Block party attracted a large crowd in Arcata on Monday. The family-friendly event had face painting, pastel chalk supplies and a popular water-pump demo from Engineers Without Borders for the children. The goal of the event is to raise money for the Arcata-Camoapa Sister City Project.
Slideshow
I Block Party 2016
I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016 I Block Party 2016

I Block Party 2016


By Mark Larson

Click to View 12 slides


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Folklife Does 'Send me Back Home' for Merle

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Rick Levin and Steve Irwin helped close the Merle Haggard tribute with "Okie from Muskogee."  "Everything I love about playing music was all there yesterday, and I will long remember it," said Levin. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Rick Levin and Steve Irwin helped close the Merle Haggard tribute with "Okie from Muskogee." "Everything I love about playing music was all there yesterday, and I will long remember it," said Levin.

A full house experienced a magical “Sing Me Back Home” tribute to Merle Haggard at Saturday’s closing performance of the Humboldt Folklife Festival in the Dell’Arte Amphitheatre in Blue Lake. The “Merle choir,” which performed the tribute, was put together with members of different local bands who shared a common bond in that they all knew and loved to sing Merle Haggard songs.

“The day Merle died, Ken Jorgenson (of The Mighty Rovers) called me up, knowing I was a big Merle fan, and suggested the idea of doing a tribute show at the Folklife Festival,” said Steve Irwin of the Delta Nationals and The Yokels. “I was thrilled with the idea and got to thinking that I knew lots of local musicians who were fans of Merle. Then it snowballed into kind of a ‘Merle choir.’”

The musicians on Saturday included, among others, Steve Irwin, Ken and Maria Jorgenson, Paul DeMark, Dave Ryan, Hal Krohn, Jake Wiegandt, Doug and Libbey Eastteam, Rick Levin, Bruce Johnson, Fred Neighbor, Joyce Hough, Gary Davidson and Marc Jeffares.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two Parties on the Fourth

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:52 AM

The Yoyo was in full swing down by the water in Eureka on the Fourth of July. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • The Yoyo was in full swing down by the water in Eureka on the Fourth of July.

A large crowd of all ages enjoyed the warm afternoon sunshine and the family fun at the Fourth of July Festival in Eureka along five city blocks in Old Town. Informational and food booths lined Second Street, along with classic cars and electric vehicles. A children's petting zoo, face painting and a bevy of rides offered fun for children, along with the carnival at the foot of D Street. Live music from two sound stages played all day and a fireworks show sparked over Humboldt Bay after sunset.

Meanwhile in Arcata, "Bubbles Promenade" led off the festivities, as children and adults circled the plaza two times blowing soapy spheres. The parade started — where else? — in front of Bubbles, which donated bubble-making supplies to the first 100 families. Vendors and info booths lined the streets and live music, aerial dancers and other performances entertained the large crowd.

Check out the slideshow below for sun-filled highlights from both parties.

Slideshow
Fourth of July 2016
Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016 Fourth of July 2016

Fourth of July 2016


By Mark Larson

Click to View 22 slides


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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Swing, Baby

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Davina Sowers, frontwoman for Davina in the Vagabonds, plays the keyboards during the dance party at the municipal auditorium on Saturday night. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Davina Sowers, frontwoman for Davina in the Vagabonds, plays the keyboards during the dance party at the municipal auditorium on Saturday night.
By now the musicians who played the Redwood Coast Music Festival this past weekend have packed up their instruments and are back on the road, and the dancers who spent the weekend swinging and spinning have soaked their feet and swapped their festival finery for their regular duds. Seems like a good time to peruse a few shots from the weekend by photographer Mark McKenna.
 
Slideshow
Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016
Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016 Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016

Redwood Coast Music Festival 2016


By Mark McKenna

Click to View 15 slides


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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Meow, Baby

Posted By and on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Sugar Cane Jane cats around the Arcata Theatre Lounge. - ALEXANDER WOODARD
  • Alexander Woodard
  • Sugar Cane Jane cats around the Arcata Theatre Lounge.
Rowr. On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Arcata Theatre Lounge turned into a bit of a cat house as the Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque slinked onstage to raise money for the Companion Animal Foundation. Photographer Alexander Woodard was on hand (paw?) to capture the feline frivolity. The evening featured more kittenish kitsch from locals Blue Angel Burlesque, Beat Vixens Burlesque, Bada Bling! Burlesque and Va Va Voom Burlesque Vixens, and Bay Area headliners Sugar Cane Jane, Ophelia Coeur de Noir and Laika Fox. Sassafrass and Laura Lopez-Ayllon brought the hip-shaking belly dance, while Lizzy Moonbeam, Luna Eclipse and Mr. Humboldt himself provided a little mood music. Take a peek at all the pussyfooting around in the slideshow below. And remember: Spay and neuter your pets.
Slideshow
Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015
Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015 Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015

Alley Cat Cabaret & Purrlesque 2015


By Alexander Woodard

Click to View 15 slides


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