Friday, August 1, 2014

Pretty Crafty

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna

In this era of big box stores and assembly required furniture, it's sadly too easy to forget the importance of quality over quantity. Why make your own beeswax candles at home, when you can buy a gross of them at Costco? The folks at Eureka Main Street and Origin Design Lab want you to put down that 12-pack of machine-woven baskets and head on over to the Humboldt Makers Street Fair at Second Street in Old Town on Saturday, Aug. 2 from noon to 9 p.m. (free). As usual, the fair shares the evening with Eureka's Arts Alive, providing even more exposure to local talent and flair.

It's the fourth year of this craft-filled, artist-drenched street fair, and it's bigger than ever. Second Street will be flush with live music, dancers and performers. You'll see the artists and crafters make their wares, with live demonstrations and lessons from local artisans, educators, musicians, hobbyists, enthusiasts and dabblers. Your handmade purchases will help fund the Crafty Kids Enrichment program at Origin Design Labs, nurturing the crafters of the future. More of a consumer than a creator? You can always enter the Mac Daddy eating contest at Wolf Dawg at noon and stuff down as many mac-and-cheese and bacon dogs as you can in 10 minutes for prizes and glory. With any luck, someone will have artisanal antacid on hand.

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Down by the River

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Photo courtesy of the artist

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the drum circles forming down in Piercy. Southern Humboldt will soon be swarming with reggae fans from all over the country. Reggae on the River ($250, $190) has drawn thousands of people to French's Camp in Piercy for 30 years now (ignoring the years it moved around all willy-nilly). The three-day festival technically runs from Friday, Aug. 1 to Sunday, Aug. 3, but if you have a special four-day ticket, then the show starts on Thursday, July 31.

The festival kicks off for regular ticket holders at noon on Friday, with the opening ceremony. The details on the ceremony are fittingly hazy, but it's safe to assume that it has something to do with reggae music or drums. At 12:30 p.m., Thicker Than Thieves takes the stage, followed by Fishbone, Sly & Robbie, The Taxi Gang and more. The live music keeps going until 1 a.m.

On Saturday the music starts early at 10:30 a.m. including John Trudell & Bad Dog, and Indubious. Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff closes out the day with a performance at 11:30 p.m. On Sunday, performances run from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., with music from Ras Marcus Benjamin, Israel Vibration, Zili Misik and more.

The price of camping is included with the purchase of a festival ticket, but be sure to get there early for a good site. You can park onsite for the entire weekend for $40, or take one of the many shuttles from surrounding towns. In addition to the non-stop reggae beats, you can enjoy food from multiple vendors and shop for souvenirs at the craft booths. All in all, you're in for a Jah-dropping good time.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Avant-Garde, Twangy and Influential Options

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 12:49 PM

A-town #1
To a certain group of avant-garde rock fans — do you count yourself among them? — Dead Rider and Free Salamander Exhibit are legend.

Dead Rider pulls off loopy time signatures, seemingly random distortion and oddball bits of sound here and there, all while maintaining a sound hypnotic enough you can't turn away. Reminds me of driving down a highway late at night, so tired the familiar becomes unrecognizable — trees branches melting into waving arms, etc. — and you wonder if you're tripping or the world is, so you open your eyes wide and sit up straighter, but the weirdness never stops. This is much safer.

Free Salamander Exhibit brings a harder, more proggy edge and ups the art factor visually, at least judging by the videos I watched. Experience the experimental at the Jambalaya, 9 p.m., $8 cover, 21-and-over. Humboldt's Neighbors open. 


A-town #2
Ask Sophie brings the folk punk down from Washington state to the Alibi but you know what? Although they are labeled "folk punk," that's just a fancy name for "Kinda old-style like say, perhaps, Devil Makes Three, with a certain amount of twang and an endearing attitude." The band's new album is titled Drinkin', Cussin', Dyin' and the tour is determined to "Taint the Wild West," so I think we can all agree on what's going on here, yes? Featuring Humboldt native William Coleman, the music gets going at 10 p.m. or so.

Cover's $5, show is 21-and-over.


Blue Lake
In other names of influence, David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights play the Logger Bar starting at 9 p.m. Mmmmm, the opening bars of the band's "Christopher Columbus" sold me. Gentle and enticing, I immediately wanted more. Unsurprising given Kilgour's lineage — he founded The Clean, one of New Zealand's most lauded bands and typically regarded as making the music that turned NZ on to homegrown indie rock. Fellow NZers The Shifting Sands open the show.

Free, 21-and-over.


As for the rest of the weekend... here!
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge The country rock band Firesign plays in front OF the Arcata Playhouse for the monthly Creamery District Art Market on the last Saturday of the month, July 26. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN.
  • Photo by Bob Doran.
  • The country rock band Firesign plays in front OF the Arcata Playhouse for the monthly Creamery District Art Market on the last Saturday of the month, July 26.
click to enlarge Azuanny and Cynthia guzman sample cool water flavored with fruit comparing it with sugary beverages in a booth for the WIC nutrition program at the Arcata Farmers' Market, Saturday, July 26. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN.
  • Photo by Bob Doran.
  • Azuanny and Cynthia guzman sample cool water flavored with fruit comparing it with sugary beverages in a booth for the WIC nutrition program at the Arcata Farmers' Market, Saturday, July 26.
click to enlarge Lead vocalist Travis B. and drummer Tanasa Daniel of the Arcata reggae band Woven Roots, closing out the Blue Lake Music Festival Saturday evening, July 26. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN.
  • Photo by Bob Doran.
  • Lead vocalist Travis B. and drummer Tanasa Daniel of the Arcata reggae band Woven Roots, closing out the Blue Lake Music Festival Saturday evening, July 26.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: The Siren Calls

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Mmmmmmmonday. It's not always a bad thing!

Tonight for example, the Siren's Song Tavern is the site once again of a fun, fun show, this time with Ruby Pins, all quiet vocals and louder sounds that wander the pop gamut, Silver Shadows, described as "Veruca Salt meets Lush," and our very own Monster Women. All ages and free at 8 p.m.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Remembering Tina, Festive Festivals, Burlesque, Dreamy Pop and Sludge

Posted By on Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

click to enlarge 1545974_10202815530453501_806361431_n.jpg
Tina Fraser
Photo by Bob Doran

On a serious note — although I sense the event will be as much celebration as memorial — a bunch of former/current denizens of the Humboldt County punk scene are hosting Tina Bina Boob Ops Wake, a gig/remembrance for Tina Fraser, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Tina was the sister of Tyce Fraser, who sang in Eggly Bagelface and other bands in the '80s, and photographed and made flyers for several shows. In honor of her role in the music scene, the memorial begins with a flyer/art show at T's Café North (formerly Crosswinds) at 6 p.m. Then The Buffy Swayze and Guns & Barrels will play at Humboldt Brew from 8 to 10 p.m. The entire event is open to the public, no cover, but donations will be accepted to cover expenses. At press time, organizers were hoping to make it all ages.

Meanwhile, more summer festival fun continues out Lost Coast way with Roll on the Mattole, the annual Honeydew Volunteer Fire Co. fundraiser. This year's lineup features Absynth Quintet, Moonshine Mountain Band, Ishi Dube, DJ Marjo Lak, Asleep in a Creek, F-Holes on the Hill and Lost Coast Marimbas, plus the firefighter's challenge, an oyster bar, Rex Bohn auctioneer excitement and so much more. The event runs from noon 'til midnight. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 students and seniors, children under 12 free with adult.

Back in the northerly region of Humboldt, The Blue Lake Music Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. in Perigot Park with Woven Roots, Motherlode, Silver Hammer, Jimi Jeff and the Gypsy Band, Crossbones, Mojo Brown, Doug Fir and the 2x4s, The Movers and the Shakers and Abstract. Entry free is $10 "if you can afford it."

The Caravan of GLAM, Portland's queer cabaret troupe, brings a night full of debauchery, raffles and off-the-wall performances to the Jambalaya with DJs Pressure Anya providing the evening's soundtrack. The troupe consists of all genres of performers: drag, burlesque (male and female), S&M, acrobats, comedians, singers, gymnasts and sideshow performers. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 10 p.m., tickets are $10 general and $20 VIP. Do I need to tell you it's 21-and-over?

click to enlarge technicolor_hearts.jpg

Over in E-town, you can sway and smile to the dreamy psych pop of Austin's Technicolor Hearts, above, at the Palm Lounge. Also performing, locals The Fairy Rings and a special solo performance by guitar slinger Erin Cearley. Free, 9 p.m., 21-and-over.

But wait, that's not all! See what I mean about this week? You'd think it was October. At the Alibi, Conneticut's Sea of Bones delivers heavy atmospheric sludge joined by trippy Golden Staters Mystics in Bali. Music starts around 11 p.m., cover's $5, 21-and-over.

Get more Setlist for your upcoming live music needs!
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Rock Beats Fire

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Poptart2.jpg

It's easy to forget just how far the county line extends. Once you make it out to the Mattole Valley, though, you're immediately happy to claim it as part of Humboldt's beautiful landscape. Protecting it, particularly during dry seasons like this one, requires a top-notch fire service. The 25th annual Roll on the Mattole is all about keeping the Honeydew Fire Company shipshape ($25, $20).

On Saturday, July 26, from noon until midnight, the Mattole Grange will be vibrating from the beats of a slew of eclectic bands, including the Absynth Quintet, MoonshineMountain Band, DJ Marjo Lak, the F-Holes on the Hill and others.

The musical showcase could stand alone, but it doesn't need to. The grange will be full of local vendor booths, food and drink, kids' games and more. The highlight of the day, though, is the Wildland Firefighters' Challenge. Watch as members of the Honeydew Fire Department compete to see who will reign supreme in games of physical strength, agility and good old fun.

Bring the whole family and make a day of it, but leave your dog at home. You can always bring Fido some barbecue.

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Tonight's Setlist: Dig Deep, Dance Hard, Goth Out (VIDEO)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM


When's the last time you went to the Digger? Exactly. What a perfect opportunity to head out to the Clam Beach Inn — with your designated driver, natch — and witness Humboldt skate rockers Imperial Destructo, the punk-blues (emphasis on punk) stylings of Nebraska's Saint Christopher and the dirty folk of Montana's Whiskey Hooves (see video above). I'm guessing the show's got a $3 cover and a 9 p.m.-ish start time, and am positive it's 21-and-over.

Maybe loud, dirty punk rock is not your thing. Maybe you'd like to shake your booty, which is just another way to stick it to the man, amirite? (For a long time, I thought the line was, "Free your mind and your ass will follow.") The Jambalaya hosts a free dance throwdown with Humboldt Roller Derby DJ King Maxwell and Soul Night vet Jay Morg emphasizing 1970s breakbeats, degenerate disco stunners and bass-heavy boogie tunes. You may start looking for some hot love around 9:30 p.m.

What if you want more temperate than revolutionary punk, but more somber than disco madness? The Alibi's offering the Shrouds & Shadows Tour 2014, a sweet lineup of post-punk cover bands. To wit: Dead Souls (a tribute to Joy Division), plus The Reptile House (a tribute to The Sisters of Mercy), plus Spellbound (a tribute to Siouxsie and the Banshees). Cover is $7, music starts around 11 p.m., 21-and-over.

Plan the rest of your weekend and beyond with the full Setlist!
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vroom! Vroom!

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Poptart1.jpg

You've likely noticed the influx of super shiny, classic cars on the highway lately. They just ooze nostalgia, and it's nearly impossible to take your eyes off of them. If you're driving, this can be a dangerous distraction. Luckily for you, most of these vintage American cars are headed to the same place: the Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 25 to 27, Fortuna's Main Street and Rohner Park become a mecca for lovers of chrome, detail and the sound of revving engines.

It all starts with cruising on Friday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Think of it as a parade without horses. Find a seat somewhere along Main Street or Fortuna Boulevard and soak up the view of the classic cars. Keep the theme going at the Sock Hop at the River Lodge from 8 p.m. to midnight ($5).

There's more to the AutoXpo than the cars, though. Check out the Artisans Fair at Rohner Park on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. If you're looking for something more vintage, you'll enjoy the antique show at the Veteran's Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Need a new fender for that '57 Chevy? Haggle at the swap meet at Rohner Park on Saturday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Judges score the cars on Main Street on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and announce the winners on Sunday at Fortuna High School at 10 a.m. Should be pretty classic.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge The Absynth Quintet closes out the Humboldt Folklife All Day Festival on Saturday, July 19, with an encore featuring guitarist Clay Smith, who returned to Blue Lake to sing his Rubberneckers hit, "Another Sunny Day." - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN.
  • Photo by Bob Doran.
  • The Absynth Quintet closes out the Humboldt Folklife All Day Festival on Saturday, July 19, with an encore featuring guitarist Clay Smith, who returned to Blue Lake to sing his Rubberneckers hit, "Another Sunny Day."
click to enlarge Cliff Dallas & The Death Valley Troubadours play some kick-ass tunes for Outlaw Country Night on Wednesday, July 16, in Dell'Arte's amphitheater during the Humboldt Folklife Festival. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN.
  • Photo by Bob Doran.
  • Cliff Dallas & The Death Valley Troubadours play some kick-ass tunes for Outlaw Country Night on Wednesday, July 16, in Dell'Arte's amphitheater during the Humboldt Folklife Festival.
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