The biggest deal in Humboldt this weekend is, of course, the North Country Fair. Be sure to check out the full fair schedule in the calendar. Now, look at your feet. What's on them shoe-wise? Let's use that information to figure out what you're doing Saturday night.
Boots caked with farm dirt? Then it's John Craigie at the Arcata Playhouse for you. Excellent choice. Craigie has shared various stages over the past decade with folk luminaries including Todd Snider, Paul Thorn, Zach Gill, Brett Dennen, Shook Twins and Trampled by Turtles. According to the press release, he's best known for his storytelling, but even the most cursory listen reveals how his songs exist as stories on their own. Craigie's eighth and most recent album, The Apocalypse is Over, combines the music and spirit of New Orleans with a Woody Guthrie sensibility in such a way as to transport listeners from life in the French Quarter with "Preservation Hall" to Van Gogh's descent into madness in the south of France with "Rachel" to the lonely life of a musician on the road in "We Ain't Leavin' this Bar, Patrick (Till We Find You Some Love)."
He also happens to have some rather foxy press photos.
To tout a bit more talent-by-association cred, Craigie's collaborators on The Apocalypse is Over include Steve Adams, co-founder of Animal Liberation Orchestra, on bass and Randy Schwartz, formerly with Brett Dennen, on drums. Craigie would work his way into your heart on his own, but the Playhouse gig has the added bonus of some of Humboldt's own stars, including members of River Valley Mud, Motherlode, The Trouble and Moon Pine.
Playhouse doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $12 general, $10 Arcata Playhouse/Humboldt Folklife Society members, $7 students and available at Wildberries Marketplace and through BrownPaperTickets.com.
Back to the shoes. Are they stylish, shined up and ready for the dance floor? Then we know the place for you. Soul Night! Despite rumors to the contrary, the soul has not left the body and will be shaking it all Saturday night starting at 9 p.m. at Hum Brews for $5. In fact, DJs Matt and Adam plan to squeeze into their respective tights for an evening of Superpowered Soul. Dress as your favorite hero or villain for a night of caped — or uncaped per The Incredibles — craziness.
Docs? Chucks? Then it's off to the Alibi, where Humboldt Free Radio presents beloved Humboldt Weezer tribute band Wepeel in their one-and-only 2013 show, along with Arcata indie-poppers Dolphin Star Temple Mystery School. DSTMS's Facebook page lacks shine, but the band's sound rollicks along with suitable aggressiveness. Music starts around 11:15 p.m., the door guy'll start hitting you up for $5 around 10:30 p.m. and you'll have to be 21 or over to be there.
Are your shoes expensive? Did you consider the ease of slipping them on and off at the airport when you tried them on? Do they imply that you're a professional? Someone people would be unsurprised to hear donates regularly to KHSU? You cultured person, you. What a lovely evening awaits when Chinese musician and teacher Zhu De-Hai and HSU pianist Daniela Mineva explore contrasts and common ground in western and traditional Chinese music at the Van Duzer Theatre. De-Hai, a Bejing native, attended the Xi'an Music Conservatory College and has taught and performed regularly in China. He's also director of art and performance for a Chinese regional university's music college. His program at HSU includes Chinese songs as well as familiar western melodies. The show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $10 general, $5 students and seniors, and available from the HSU Box Office at 826-3928, as well as at the door. More info at HSUMusic.blogspot.com.
And, hey, a show that is not on Saturday night
Birkenstocks? Cowboy boots? Hope you're ready for some midweek action because The Bills are coming to the Arcata Playhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Wednesday, Sept. 25. This brilliant quintet hails from the West Coast of Canada, where they've won multiple music awards and fans devoted to what's described as "innovative interpretations of traditional tunes." Think instrumental expertise, opulent vocal arrangements, boisterous live performances and memorable songwriting. Claiming musical inspiration from a range of North American traditions, European stylings, rhythms of Latin America and melodies of the wandering Romany peoples, The Bills transcend easy definition. Should be a fantastic show. Aspiring musicians take note — The Bills also teach a workshop Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with show time at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $10 members and are available at Wildwood Music, Wildberries Market, The Works or online at brownpapertickets.com. For more info, visit arcataplayhouse.org or call 822-1575 for reservations.
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. •