It's almost guaranteed that if you show up to the Mad River Brewery Tap Room during the evening, you'll recognize someone you know either at the bar or out under a heater checking out the live music. This will be true tonight but you'll doubly recognize MRB employees taking a break from serving you beer while they serve you some free tunes. The Crop Dusters are a band comprised solely of employees of the brewery and although I'm sure they get hooked up with free beer, it can't hurt to offer them some from your tab. They're on at 6 p.m. and will be playing for free. Up from San Francisco, new age alternative rockers The New Up are supporting their upcoming release of Tiny Mirrors, which should be out next month and chronicles a tale of rebellion and loneliness (who said rebellion was fun?). Expect to hear songs from this new album around 9 p.m. at Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville. This one's free as well, so leave a tip. One of Humboldt's longest running rock bands, The Monster Women, are on tonight at the Siren's Song Tavern in Eureka. Courtney tells me that they're joined at 10 p.m. by The Johnny Freelance Experience, which contains Nicholas Talvola, a former local who headed out to Poland and then Spain some time ago. He's out on the road with some jazzy and soulful funk destined to get you to move. With a similar goal of getting you to dance is Austin's Tele Novella, bringing the "spooky and poppy" tunes to your ears. Sliding scale of $3-5 for this show.
It's already the second Friday of the month, which means that it's time for Arts! Arcata. Starting around 6 p.m. you can brave the cold and check out local art and music around the plaza for your free enjoyment (unless you want to take the art home). I have fond memories of shows we used to play at Plaza Design back in the day for free wine and gift certificates during Arts! Arcata. I also remember having a woman put a knife up to my face — before or after she removed her top — while we played. She informed me that she was Taj Mahal's wife. Before the police hauled her off, I thought she must have liked us (enough to take her shirt off and dance) but then realized she probably didn't (the knife). So I didn't bother asking her to give her "husband" one of our albums. Good to get some kind of emotional reaction right? Well I digress ... stop by Heart Bead to hear Pure Mongrel do some rock covers along with some Middle Eastern Folk with marimba, violin, mandolin, cello and guitar. Please leave the knives at home and your shirts on (it's cold). Around the same time you'll find the country tunes of Cadillac Ranch up at the Mad River Brewery and Tap Room for free. A few blocks away from the Arts Arcata action you can hear some Eastern European music from locals Chubritza starting at 8 p.m. at Cafe Mokka and also free. Speaking of free, Kingfoot returns to The Logger Bar tonight at 9 p.m. and I recall fellow Blue Laker Jeff DeMark singing the band's praises — and Jimmy's guitar playing — last time he and I spoke. Jeff may be torn, as another one of his favorite bands The Trouble will be playing at the Blue Lake Casino in the Wave Lounge at the same time and equally as free. Maybe he'll catch the final sets from said Trouble, as they'll be playing until 1 a.m. I always thought the word "theatre" described the art form in general, and the word "theater" described the physical space where said art could be found. Then again, I graduated summa cum nada from HSU, so what do I know. Regardless, head over to the Minor Theatre to see a screening of stop-motion film Torrey Pines created by Clyde Petersen of Seattle and the short film Office in the Clouds by local Violet Crabtree. You'll also witness the live score of Torrey Pines performed by punk band Your Heart Breaks with special guests Kimya Dawson, Lori Goldston, The Beaconettes — a choir from Seattle — Corey J. Brewer, Chris Looney and Art Petersen. This all starts around 9:30 p.m. and is $7. I know heavy rock band Mos Generator has been coming through our neck of the woods for a long time now and I know I've seen them at least once at The Alibi — the details are a bit hazy however — with former members of The Hitch and Que La Chinga in attendance I'm almost certain. Anyway, they're returning to said Alibi tonight, joined by some "Seattle doom" courtesy of Year of the Cobra. Show time is around 11 p.m. and it's $7 for this rare Friday night Alibi show.
If French-Canadian music is your jam, head in the direction of the enchanted frog ponds of Cafe Mokka so you can hear from Mon Petit Chou at 8 p.m. This one's free but feel free to share your appreciation in any way you see fit. Dan "Beardy Bear" Davis was kind enough to not only inform me that Wild Otis would be performing at The Logger Bar tonight at 9 p.m., but also that the Otis would be opening with a special acoustic set followed up by two full-on rockin' electric sets after that. They'll be rockin' it late, and if you beg, maybe they'll pull off a Shakey song or two for you. Free show here in Blue Lake.
If you find yourself wanting to get out on this Sunday evening, head to the Lighthouse Grill in Trinidad at 5 p.m. to catch the vocal powerhouse that is Dee Hemingway. She performs there once a month, and tonight's the night. She's kind enough to make this a free show, so take advantage of this opportunity.
David Gilmour fanatic Piet Dalmolen will be playing solo guitar — all solos? — tonight at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room at 6 p.m. You've probably seen him in many of the local bands he's been in or heard his production work on many of the albums he's recorded and produced for local bands. He also likes beer, which is how I think they get him over to Blue Lake. If I was a good friend, I'd walk the few blocks down and check him out. It's a free show, and while you're there, do me a solid and make up a good excuse for why I'm not there.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to email@example.com.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. He left his oven on.