They call it the Fall Crawl. It's another in what's become a seasonal series of benefits highlighting the local music scene. Scott Carlson of Humboldt Brews serves as spearhead -- he started with Mad River Summerfest in 2009, followed by Winterfest, a multi-venue bash in Arcata. Now after a second successful Summerfest, he's taking on Autumn.
Friday's Crawl is basically a fine-tuned version of Winterfest, a music marathon with what just seemed to be too many bands stretched over too many hours.
This time out it's spread out more beginning at the Jambalaya at the reasonable hour of 7:45 p.m. (while Arts! Arcata is still underway). And it starts on a high note with a revised Huckleberry Flint, different, but not totally: Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick are still out front on guitar and banjo/mando respectively, but Kevin Porter has shifted to drums, and with Marybeth Taylor on hiatus (in full motherhood mode) Lauren Pilger is now on vocals (and melodica) with Lauren's husband Brian on electric guitar. Add in bass player Ray Robinson and it's a changed sound. The result when they tried it out on KEET's Lost Coast Sessions proved less bluegrassy and more alt. country/rock a la Wilco etc. I thought it sounded great.
The Jam is the most eclectic venue of the night with Huck Flint followed by ex-Rubbernecker Greg Lojko with some punky folk, The Smashed Glass, supplying folky punk with a splash of Irish whiskey, then synergistic roots reggae band Synrgy closing things out with the one drop.
The Crawl over at HumBrews starts around 9 -- a night of electronica and electro-funk with Moo-Got-2, plus electronica artist/DJ Zanapod and visuals by the World Famous lightshow.
For the rawkus crowd the night is all about crawling into the Alibi 11-ish where Iowan transplants Radio Moscow lay down psychedelic stoner rock as they launch a national tour. Then, last but never least, the Journal editorial squad's favorite band Magnum gets heavy and teary-eyed playing what they're claiming is their "final" show. They've even changed their FB image to a graphic that says, "over & out, alibi ~ friday." (Who needs caps?) Could it really be over? We'll see. Remember that Magnum rose from the ashes of Sad Wings of Destiny, a band that has had more "last show ever" announcements than Steve the Alchemist can count on his allegedly-webbed fingers. One thing for sure: Terrence will milk the drama until the teats are sucked dry.
One price for all three venues -- extra added bonus: All Fall Crawl proceeds go to campus radio station KHSU, which is celebrating 50 years in action and deserves an unsolicited benefit. BTW, if you happen to read this on Wednesday when the paper hits the street, tune in to KHSU at around 2:30 for Fogou (90.5 FM) to hear a blast of Radio Moscow live on the air. (Full disclosure: I "co-produce" Fogou with Vinny Devaney.)
It might be hard after all that crawling, but there are a lot more music fests the next day. The second annual North Town Block Party on Saturday is another exercise in eclecticism with the ubiquitous SambAmore drummers and dancers, jammy rock by The Fickle Hillbillies, funkiness from Bump Foundation, hard rock by The Rezonators and several relatively new bands: Wet Fez, Ashes and Children of the Sun, who tell me "experimental soul" is a good way to describe them. That's all day in the parking lot by Big Pete's Pizza.
Later on (10-sh) Children of the Sun play at HumBrews with their friends Northtown Dub opening with some reggification. You'll also find CotS at Six Rivers Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Also on Saturday, the Kneeland Music Festival, a benefit for the Kneeland Fire Protection Dist., with a barbeque, a kid zone and scads of great music, mostly on the stringy side: Subject to Change (a teen band), Old Dog, Kenny Ray and the Mighty Rovers, Absynth Quintet and The Delta Nationals.
Ready for another one? Boogie and BBQ out at Beginnings Octagon is a fundraiser for the Briceland VFD with music by Twango McCallum, NPK, Spring Canyon Band and Ambush, plus sensual desserts served by the ladies of Blushing Barefoot Burlesque.
Let's keep this rolling: Create Arcata Summer Final Extravaganza! is also on Saturday in the parking lot of Angels of Hope in Arcata. They'll have arts and crafts, games for kids, The Knee High Puppet Company, Unsane World Theater and yes, music, more or less on the folk side with Lindsey Battle, Joe Garceau, Tori Hays, Bill Holmes, Kara Lesca, Adam Wolter and Stella.
Wait, we're not done yet. It's also Blue Lake Ride weekend with motorcycle-related stuff at Blue Lake Casino, including a visit by "The World's Greatest Daredevil" Kaptain Robbie Knievel (son of Evel), and music in the Sapphire Palace: Friday they have motorcycle fan Amanda Overmyer, whose claim to fame is taking 11th place on American Idol. Saturday night it's rocker Eddie Money. (Remember "Two Tickets to Paradise"?) His connection to biker biz? Ya got me.
Did I mention that it's Humboldt Pride weekend? The LGBT peeps have it going on: a Queer Movie Night Thursday at the ATL, Friday's Bat 'n' Rouge ball game (see the Calendar) and Saturday's Pride Parade in Eureka with associated festival at Halvorsen Park. I'm sure there's music, but no one told us who's playing.
AS Presents has a loosely associated show Saturday night at the Depot with Coyote Grace, a queer duo with bassist Ingrid Elizabeth and guitarist Joe Stevens, a transman (the "T" in LGBT).
Also on the HSU campus Saturday, a "Welcoming Concert" in the classical vein at Fulkerson Recital Hall with a whole bunch of players from the HSU Music Dept. faculty.
Around the time that (5 p.m.) show ends, Les Conversations Galantes plays more classical music at Westhaven Center for the Arts. "The Light Within the Pines" has violin duo Rob Diggins and Jolianne Einem playing tunes by Mozart, Johann Christian Bach and Jean Marie LeClaire among others.
Did the Zano/Moo show whet your appetite for electro? Still dusty from Burning Man? World Famous Productions has more for you Saturday at the Arcata Theatre Lounge: a bass-heavy blast with Lazer Sword, R/D, Machinedrum and Cacoa.
That's enough for Friday and Saturday. What about Thursday? Hip hop heads will be at Nocturnum for Dead Prez with Woes, Hip Hop Lounge and Boss Levelz. Reggae people must choose between locals Woven Roots at the Jambalaya and a show at the Red Fox with JahDan Blakka backed by Million 7 Crew with Binghi Ghost and Luv Fyah.
And, this just in from the fine folks at Northtown Books: "'Here I was, doing 90 on the Santa Monica Freeway with a quart of whiskey shoved into my crotch and my dead neighbor in the trunk. It had come time to leave Los Angeles.' Thus begins Joseph Mattson's post-apocalyptic whiskey-drenched novel, which culminates in a shotgun battle with God. Thursday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. Northtown Books welcomes Joseph Mattson to read from the novel with soundtrack, Empty the Sun." Why are you reading this here? The book's "soundtrack" is by Ben Chasny, a former local (aka Six Organs of Admittance). Unfortunately Ben won't be here in person.
And what's the haps at your favorite store (according to our poll anyway), Missing Link? Brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, aka JEFF The Brotherhood, stop by on Monday around 4, fresh from Bumbershoot for an instore showing off of what their agent, Peter "Thanksgiving Brown" Agoston, describes as "explosive 1970s-inspired heavy post-punk-riff-rock." Will some neighbor call the cops? No way. Not on the "Best Store" in Humboldt.