Here is something I learned recently: Using your blow dryer to heat up your eyelash curler makes it work better, but you risk searing your eyelids if you go too long. This reminded me that sometimes one must suffer to be beautiful, although I imagine the French mean that in a more profound way when they intone "faut souffrir pour etre belle" into the ear of a despairing friend.
Certainly when Nahko and Medicine for The People perform at the Mateel Community Center Saturday night, the subject of transforming pain and healing into meaningful expression is to be taken seriously. Billed as "a universal message promoting personal, spiritual and communal healing," the music Nahko originally created to solve his own identity crisis is now aimed at the larger picture of cultural wounds, environmental wrongs and social injustices. Expect an "all-inclusive, healing vibration." This is a show for souls who've been wounded and seek recovery though peace, love and the opposite of cynicism. Doors open at 8 p.m., opening band TBA, tickets available at local outlets and are $15 advance, $18 at the door. For more info, visit mateel.org.
Over in a completely different world, one where irony, satire and mockery are the preferred means of communication, Cake plays the Van Duzer on Thursday. The band's sparse and catchy tracks have brought joy to listeners for decades. As expected, the show is sold out at the box office, so you'll have to get tickets through less official means.
Somewhere between sincerity and humor stands Arcata's Creamery District, an area currently transforming from one of the town's industrial hubs to a haven for creative types and nonprofit organizations ("Reviving a Neighborhood," Aug. 15). The desire to better the surrounding blocks exudes earnestness, but with Arcata Playhouse's Jackie Dandeneau and David Ferney leading the way, laughter and theatrical flair are a given. This Friday through Sunday the work and the fun culminate in a neighborhood arts festival with live music, pageantry, and arts and crafts. At 11 a.m., rock with the cool kids of 51 Cards on the Holly Yashi stage. And you can't go wrong with Corey and Lyndsey at 2 p.m. on the Playhouse stage. Look for a Creamery Fest preview in the calendar and see creameryfestival.com for even more details. (On a personal note, I have an office in the Greenway Building — aka "the old Yakima building" — and watching the neighborhood blossom buoys my belief that good people can make good things happen.)
Here's a way to feel beautiful without any suffering at all: hit up the Monophonics show at the Jambalaya Friday night. You know that feeling when you dance, the one where you're shaking your troubles off and all that exists is the music and the movement? The funky soul action of Monophonics will take you to that place. Go to monophonics.com and just try to resist the groove. Doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m., cover is $10 and the show is 21-and-over. Opening band Free Rain features Piet Dalmolen of The Nucleus, plus members of Moo-Got-2 and Bump Foundation.
Saturday night is about rock-and-roll and a chance to set aside whatever very real suffering you may be experiencing. Life can be a lot. Sometimes a person needs eardrum-rattling volume to drown out the worries or a heavy guitar to chase troubles out of the room for a while. Sometimes nothing brings peace like an avalanche of noise. Over at the Alibi, longtime Arcata psych-rockers Nipplepotamus make a rare showing with San Francisco's Wild Eyes. Wild Eyes features members of one-time KSLG 94.1 FM darlings Floating Goat, and while similarly serious about slinging body-blasting riffs your way, the band also infuses enough melody that you may find yourself hollering along to "Amnesia," Wild Eyes' current single. Find it via Soundcloud. Music starts around 11:15 p.m., cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.
Over at Humboldt Brews, you can relive and enhance your Led Zeppelin-drenched childhood with the badass chicks in Zepparella. They've been here. You know them. They slay. Show's at 9:30 p.m., cover is $17, 21-and-over, advance tickets recommended.
What to say about the Les Claypool Duo de Twang? For those unfamiliar with Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool, the simple biography is that he's a singer, lyricist, bassist, multi-instrumentalist and composer, best known for his work with the alternative rock band Primus. But that fails to convey the weird and wacky style Claypool has brought to the world of bass playing — and calling what he does "weird and wacky," accurate as it is, glosses over the very real talent that's earned Claypool a place as one of the world's most revered musicians. Well, if not the world, at least the part of it that concerns Generations X, Y and Millennial, plus chroniclers of rock and pop culture. The Les Claypool Duo de Twang plays Humboldt Brews on Monday. Tickets are $35, show starts at 8 p.m. and is 21-and-over. Advance tickets are recommended.
Let's get back to the beautiful by way of Flume. He's 21, Australian, dreamy and bringing lush, late-night ambient electronica to the Kate Buchanan Room on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The beginnings of Flume can be traced back to when Harley Streten found a music production program in a cereal box. Without the constraints of adulthood to hold him back, Streten mixed various inspirations into his own form of electronic music, one that's gained him invites to tour with the xx, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Chet Faker. (Chet Faker!!!) Put on your best headphones, go to soundcloud.com/flume-1 and let the world's weight dissipate with the beats. It's uncommon to find music that works equally well for a bout of housecleaning or a round of lovemaking, but Flume's has that kind of appeal.
While we here at the Journal strive to provide the most accurate information, every so often unforeseen circumstances mean a show will be canceled or changed. It's never a bad idea to double-check on websites, Facebook or with a phone call. Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.