It's a 20 year tradition: Each fall, eco-conscious hippie rockers Clan Dyken head out from their homes in the Sierras on something they call the "Revive the Beauty Way Tour." The family band journeys through California and Oregon in a biodiesel bus gathering donations of cash and food along the way, then heads over to the Big Mountain/Black Mesa region in Arizona, home of the Navajo Dineh people. For decades the Dineh have been struggling to hold on as the infamous Peabody Coal Company (remember John Prine's "Paradise"?) strip-mined their ancestral land. Clan Dyken delivers organic turkeys, quilts, firewood and other gifts in time for an alt. Thanksgiving. The Beauty Way Tour lands in Humboldt on Thursday for a benefit dinner and concert at the Bayside Grange with Clan Dyken plus locals Julian Lang, Joanne Rand, Mo Hollis and Morgan Corviday and young rapper Abstract, who is rolling out a new CD that night.
Also on Thursday, another Missing Link Soul Night blast of spun vinyl at Humboldt Brews. This time Matt n' Adam, Mantea$e, King Maxwell, Jaymorg and special guest DJ Gary Vila from Gold Beach, Ore. say "Happy Birthday Ed Asner!" Why Ed Asner? "Why not?" says Matt Jackson. "The man has acted in everything from Mary Tyler Moore to Batman: The Animated Series." And let's not forget the MTM spin-off Lou Grant, where he was an opinionated newspaper editor.
Fans of bands like Afromassive and Motherlode will want to check out Seattle's Polyrhythmics, playing Thursday at Jambalaya. The eight-piece combo with chicken scratch guitar, a tight horn section and intricate polyrhythmic percussion mixes nu-funk with Afrobeat sounds. Very funky.
That's the same night The Royal Drummers of Burundi play at the Van Duzer (more details in the calendar). I caught a set by the primal drum ensemble at WOMAD in S.F. years ago. Seeing them take the stage dancing as they beat on huge wooden drums balanced on top of their heads was unforgettable.
Get your funny on that Thursday as BA-DUM-CHH Comedy takes over the Pearl Lounge. Careful, uncontrolled laughter while sipping high-end Martinis could be dangerous.
There's a battle for hip hop fans that Thursday. Nocturnum has a Dr. Green Thumb show with L.A. underground stars Sunspot Jonz (from Living Legends) and Pigeon John backed by DJ Kruse, plus special guests Riddlore?, CVE, Lord Zen R.el.z.m. of The Visionaries and Dr. Oop from Black Love Radiators. (Note: Bring a couple of cans of food for a food drive for the Mateel Meal, and you'll save a few bucks on your ticket.)
Meanwhile at the Red Fox, Big Daddy presents Smoov-E, a rapper whose album titles, Long Duck Dong, Sum Yung Girl, Simply Suggestive, El Joy Del Sexo, etc. give you an idea of the X-rated comedic vein he works. He's joined by Pat Rich and Humboldt's own Hiway.
Wait, that's not all. This week's Pressure Anya Dirty Thursday at the Alibi is a special "hip hop edition."
DJ Red pulled together an unusual crew for Saturday's "Old School Hip Hop Night" at the Jambalaya: Jsun from Deep Groove Society and Chocwon (aka Datablend) help spin the vinyl.
Still want more hip hop? Myka 9's Sovereign Soul tour with Factor, Paranoid Castle and Graves 33 hits the Red Fox Sunday.
Friday night at Humboldt Brews Reba of That's How We Roll presents her fifth annual Scorpio Stingdig. The mélange of hip hop and electronica is hosted by L.A. hip hop vet Abstract Rude from Abstract Tribe Unique. It features Rob Garza, half of Thievery Corporation, now working out of S.F. shaking up dancefloors worldwide. Special guests include Leningrad-born, L.A.-based rapper Ivan Ives, dancer Luna Moon and saxomaniac Chris Noonan.
World Famous has back-to-back EDM rave-ups at the Arcata Theatre Lounge this weekend starting with a Friday thing featuring Kraddy, one of the original masterminds behind The Glitch Mob, solo since 2009. Joining him, "The Reverend" Bleep Bloop from Healdsburg, ace remixer MiHKAL from Oakland and Aussie DJ Daneekah.
Saturday at the ATL, World Famous presents an evening of melodic dubstep and electrofunk featuring Love and Light, aka Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson, a dubby duo from the Reno/Tahoe area. Also on hand will be D.C. go-go funksters Fort Knox Five vs. electro-lounge producer Thunderball and another Fort Knox act, The All Good Funk Alliance. The party is a celebration of 10 years of operation for Northcoast Horticulture Supply.
In dancehall music, it's all about the "riddim," essentially a backing track (rhythm and music), a groove often used by a number of vocalists. For example the Diwali riddim was the basis for multiple hits with different lyrics done by different singers. Jamaica-born dancehall artist Demarco escaped from the mean streets of Kingston and moved to Baltimore when he was 16. Since then he has forged a career as a double threat: He crafts popular riddims for the dancehall marketplace, and also turns them into hits for himself, supplying vocals and music. Demarco rides da riddim Friday at Nocturnum with selectas Rude Lion and Second Nature Sound.
Self-described "stranger chamber music" ensemble SquarPeg plays Sewell Gallery Friday evening. Led by Gregg Moore on tuba and mandolin, the jazzy band includes Jill Petricca on sax and flute and Tina Garsen on sax and bass clarinet. As Moore explained, the arrangements are designed for a variable fourth member. When I heard them at the monthly Bayside Grange breakfast recently, that was tabla player Rahman Abdul, whose intricate rhythms fit perfectly. He'll be back for the gig at the Sewell.
The Red Fox has a double show day Friday starting with an afternoon Harvest Party Barbecue (5-ish) with non-trad dinner jazz by The Dead Kenny Gs, as in Skerik, Mike Dillon and Brad Houser. Later on it's crazy-ass country with Joe Buck Yourself from Hank3's band plus The Hooten Hallers duo and Ponykiller.
Friday's triple alt. show at the Shanty features Seattle's King Dude, aka TJ Cowgill from Teen Cthulhu and Book of Black Earth. According to the genre slot on his Facebook page, the Dude plays "Luciferian American folk" -- cold, dark, reverb-drenched stuff with shades of old murder ballads. Also on the bill, Warm Climate from L.A. with members of Sun Araw, and Brian Pyle, aka Ensemble Economique, who will be joined by David and Jonny from White Manna for the second half of his set. Weirdness guaranteed.
Chris Parreira has another busy week planned. Friday he plays with The Trouble at Six Rivers, Saturday he joins Trouble bandmate Marc Jeffares and Lindsey Battle at the Eureka Inn with each playing a solo set. Tuesday Parreira plays with The Lonesome Roses at Mad River Brewing. Sunday Chris shifts to presenter bringing Ashland indie folk trio Kites & Crows to Robert Goodman Wines. Frontman Mysha Caruso's finely crafted songs are accompanied by Jesse Baldwin on banjo and accordion with Nancy Martin on cello and vibraphone. Not your usual folk.
Tribute of the week: House of Floyd returning to Arkley Center Saturday for another round of psychedelic madness based on the oeuvre of Pink Floyd, complete with sweeping lasers, pulsating light show and an inflatable pig.
The monthly Moonstone Performance Outreach moves to Trinidad Town Hall Sunday with a full day of music including Jim Hubbard's Fire Sign (first up at 1 p.m.), songwriter Tony Roach, Jen and Dave Band, Brett McFarland, True Gospel Singers (also playing Friday at the Eureka Inn), Asha Nan and Eclectica. Sandy and Keith and The Lost Dogs close things out with a set (around 7 p.m.) followed by a blues jam.
SoHum's people-powered radio station KMUD follows its fall pledge drive with a benefit concert Sunday at the Mateel featuring The David Nelson Band, an all-star jammers congregation with Nelson (also leader of New Riders of the Purple Sage) on lead guitar, Barry Sless on pedal steel, Mookie Siegel on keyboards and accordion, Pete Sears on bass, and, for this tour, Wally Ingram on drums. Good band. Good cause. All good.