Sure, Friday, March 17 is a fine time to revel in Irish history and culture. But for most, it's a reason to get filled to the Darby O'Gills with green beer. They say when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, everyone's got a little Irish in them. Here's where you can toast to that.
On Friday, help the good folks over at Six Rivers Brewery toast 13 years of serving food and slinging beer at their Anniversary and St. Pat's Celebration. Green beer will be flowing and music playing all day starting with DJ JDub at 1 p.m., The Gatehouse Well at 6:30 p.m. and The Pine Box Boys and Lester T. Raww's Graveside Quartet at 9 p.m. (free). Take advantage of free rides home courtesy of Humboldt Limo. The Siren's Song's got some Gaelic good times courtesy of the two high-energy Celtic bands, Good Company and Fingal, playing from 7 to 10 p.m., plus Irish dancing from the Academy of Irish Dance (Free). And Dublin your scares this St Patty's Day are spectral storyteller Carpathian and his musical friends spinning yarns at Ghosts in Gaelic Green – An Evening of Irish Music & Ghostly Tales at 7 p.m. at Old Town Coffee & Chocolates (free), and Warwick Davis in some super creepy makeup and shiny-buckled shoes terrorizing Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun at 8 p.m. at Arcata Theatre Lounge ($5.)
Where's the beef? Head north to O'rick on Sunday, March 19 for the Orick Chamber of Commerce's annual Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner and Live Auction from 1 to 4 p.m. at Orick Community Hall ($13, $25 for two, $5 for kids). The dinner and live auction with auctioneer Rex Bohn help support Orick's local events and community groups.
Watch performers catch and release at Humboldt Juggling Festival's annual benefit show Pot of Gold, featuring displays of skill, creativity and entertainment on Saturday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Van Duzer Theatre ($15, $13, free for kids 12 and under). The rest of the festival keeps spinning March 17-19 in HSU's West Gym (free).
Blue Lake has been getting hints of sun here and there through breaks in the fog and rain, so maybe today will be one of those days. Regardless of the weather, The Compost Mountain Boys will be doing their bluegrass thing at Mad River Brewery this evening at 6 p.m. and for free. Two-time Grammy winner and former member of Wings Laurence Juber stops by The Old Steeple in Ferndale around 7:30 p.m. to blow your mind with his famous fingers. If he's been tapped by Paul McCartney to jam, you know this guy's good. He plays a mix of blues, pop, folk and jazz, and is, not surprisingly, a Beatles fan. He's recently released the third album in his LJ Can't Stop Playing the Beatles! series, so expect some tunes from the Fab Four in his show. Twenty-five bucks will get you in for this gem of a show. Coming from the folk/gospel world, MaMuse returns to Humboldt tonight at The Sanctuary in Arcata at around 8 p.m. Catch their harmonies and acoustic-based music for only $20.
James Faulk and Neil Tarpey, local writers and fellow newsies, share stories from their collected works during Surviving the Times, Saturday, March 18 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Morris Graves Museum of Art ($5, $2, free for members, children under 17, and families with EBT cards).
James Faulk, former Times-Standard city editor and reporter, and current Lost Coast Outpost columnist, shares essays and stories that delve into personal topics relating to family, childhood, heroin addiction, love, mental illness and survival. The 41-year old father of four, husband of 20 years, musician and recovered addict, will share work from a manuscript he is preparing for publication, comprised mostly of material that first appeared in his column Dead Reckoning. "I'm happy to be reading with Neil, who has been a friend and role model for years," Faulk says. "I consider this reading a celebration. Life presents awful challenges, lots of them, yet we carry on for the sake of our loved ones, for sunny days like this one, and for whatever passions or arts we pursue. I happen to string words together."
Neil Tarpey, long-time Times-Standard sports writer, former college instructor and substance abuse counselor, and frequent contributor to the North Coast Journal's flash fiction contest, reads from his book, Flashes of Lighting, a collection of 52 stories (each 101 words or fewer), including "Handgun Wedding," the Journal's winner of Best Flash Fiction for 2009.
Admitting that he's constantly getting excited about the shows he's got at the Arcata Playhouse, David Ferney tells me that he's really glad to have Quebec Ensemble Le Vent du Nord — blowin' down from the North — who have racked up a pair of Juno Awards, two Canadian Folk Music Awards and numerous other accolades. Paying tribute to the traditional folk repertoire and throwing in their own originals for good measure, they're occasionally called progressive folk and you'll hear hints of R&B and soul sprinkled throughout. This $18 show starts around 8 p.m.
Head down to The Jam on Sunday for a bass heavy show around 9:30 p.m. A trio of bands brings the bass tonight with Shades along with North Londoners Ivy Lab and Onhell. This has a 9:30 p.m. start time and I'm guessing a ticket price in the range of $5-10.
Dance is a living, moving expression of culture, a way for artists to try on different identities, perform rituals, convey emotion and tell the important stories of their lives. It's cathartic for both the dancer and the audience, and an engaging way to learn about different peoples and traditions.
Bale Folclorico Da Bahia, one of Brazil's most electrifying dance companies, comes to the Van Duzer Theatre on Tuesday, March 14 at 8 p.m., bringing big movements, bright costumes, bounding athleticism and energy, telling the stories of Afro-Brazilian life through folk dance ($46). The 38-member troupe, featuring musicians and singers from the Northern state of Bahia, incorporates Capoeira martial arts and sensual samba rhythms into its performances, delivering lots of drumming, powerful singing and high-energy dance that will have audience members out of their seats and into the aisles.
On a slightly smaller scale, the sixth annual 1 Minute Dances, in which artists condense their choreography, theater, music and more to a mere 60-seconds apiece, takes place over two nights, March 10-11 at 8 p.m. at Redwood Raks World Dance Studio ($5). Described as an "eclectic, fast paced, bare-bones production featuring local and international dancers, actors, musicians and performance artists," the tiny dances are sure to move you. Part of the Zero to Fierce Festival in the Creamery District.
The artists formerly known as The Honky Tonk Detours are at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room at 6 p.m. and for free. Feel free to call them The Detours — one of the original names of The Who, for what it's worth — and welcome somewhat new member Marc Jeffares. Doctor of musical arts, and Humboldt State University professor Annika Bäckström stops by the Fortuna Monday Club at 7:30 p.m. for tonight's performance of "Songs of the Winds of the North," which is a selection of Scandinavian solo vocal music. A $10 ticket price for this presentation of the Fortuna Concert Series. It's hard not to get excited about the fact that the one-and-only Sir Mix-a-Lot will be in our fair neck of the redwoods this evening headlining KMUD's Animal Party at the Portuguese Hall in Arcata. Showtime is around 8 p.m. with many local DJs taking the stages for a party that goes until 4 a.m., I hear. So rest up so you can pace yourself and bring $30 for a ticket. Kudos to those who dress up animal style and/or stuff their backsides. At 9 p.m. for free at the Logger Bar in Blue Lake, you'll find Rob Heiliger and the Beautiful Losers who played the Logger a few months back. The Alibi in Arcata hosts Country Lips, who bring the honky-tonk from up Seattle way. They're joined by local "country crooner" Gabe Rozzell. It's $5 for this 11 p.m. show.
If you dig rock 'n' roll music, had a hammer, or ever wondered where have all the flowers gone, you're probably a fan of the two fellows set to grace the stage this weekend at the Van Duzer Theatre. Peter Yarrow & Noel Paul Stookey, purveyors of protest songs and two-thirds of the iconic folk-music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, take a stroll down memory lane on Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m., celebrating 50 years of their legacy as America's beloved folk heroes ($66).
One of the most popular groups of the 1960s, Peter, Paul and Mary were part of the folk revival taking place in American music — a time ripe for their message of political activism and hope. Making sweet three-part harmony with their rich-voiced counterpart, the late, great Mary Travers, the group charted a string of hits with covers of the Bob Dylan songs "Blowin in the Wind," "The Times They Are a-Changin" and "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." They also gave new life to other songs: "If I Had a Hammer," "500 Miles," "Michael (Row the Boat Ashore)," "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and, yes, "Kumbaya." Then there's Yarrow's original tale about childhood imagination and the loss of innocence as adulthood encroaches. You know you've cried to "Puff, the Magic Dragon." And you're not alone.
Make plans to sing along with Peter, Paul and the crowd, and reminisce about the autumn mist (and other fancy stuff). America could use a night with a couple of old friends right now.