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Expression of Freedom 

Red lights, white noise and bluegrass

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Hey, baby, it's the Fourth of July. What's on your celebration agenda? Debating whether Americans are truly free given the shackles of income inequality, lack of adequate health care and steep decline in quality education? Getting ripped along the river, burning pallets and blasting fireworks until the night sky is as lit as your buddy whooping and shooting down the beach? Throwing a backyard barbecue with friends playing guitar and your homebrew come to fruition? Crossing your fingers that your city's fireworks display doesn't get mired in fog and the kids don't hit a wall of exhaustion before it's all over? Stretching out along the couch with your herbally sedated critters, happy for the day off, but looking forward to the end of the noise, noise, noise?! It's your choice, people! Ain't that America, something to see, baby.

Whatever your expression of freedom, a little live music goes a long way. This week's highlights should spark something.


Ain't no party like my Nana's tea party

Gotta love a band whose tagline is "Party like your grandparents did." Buddy Reed & th' Rip It Ups apparently plan to positively destroy Plaza Grill Thursday night. The good times roll at 8 p.m., no cover.


In which we celebrate the freedom to describe oneself

Siren's Song boasts an "exotic dancer in full effect" for the tavern's July Fourth party. What constitutes "full effect" remains to be seen, but hopefully the offering is more original than it sounds. Speaking of sounds, those will be in attendance as well, specifically the "synthesized, rhythmic bass poetry" of Hypha, Wu Wei (a 21-year-old Los-Angeles-to-Humboldt-County transplant who "strives to combine the soul reaching sounds of ambient IDM together with the earthy bass of futuristic world hip-hop") and audio/visual underground techno artist Wrye. Freedom might not be free, but this celebration of the birth of our nation is. Starts at 9 p.m. Also, all ages.


Fecundity! In broad daylight!

The Arcata's Farmers' Market will play out with a soundtrack by Absynth Quintet this go-round. The band's blend of gypsy jazz and bluegrass is sure to add juiciness to your fruits, vitamins to your veggies and magic to your starts. Listen for tunes off the band's marvelous new album, Telepathy with Glowbugs, and marvel at the nine-fingered drummer. (We love you, Tofu!) Indoctrinate your children. Bask in the delight beginning at 10 a.m.


Warm fuzzies

Oh, Nipplepotamus! Why would you play a show at the Alibi when I am out of town? Fans of the band are already ramping up for the trio's Alien Scene album release show. For those inexperienced with the band's hypnotic twist on surfy-psychedelic-indie-rock — go get yourself some. (If Alien Scene were subject to old-school record promotion, the label on the cover would read "RIYL: BRMC.") I'm super bummed to miss this free, 21-and-over gig and would have happily stayed up late waiting for the music to start around 11 p.m. or so. Joining the Nips is Fort Dick, which features members of 33 1/3 and Indianola.


A splash of this, a dash of that

Let's say you wanted to create a band perfectly suited to play at Humboldt Brews. Its members would be from Colorado. They'd inspire dancing. They'd have instrumental chops to showcase an understanding of folk music ranging from "gypsy" to "full-on mountain stomps." They'd probably be produced by Dan Rodriguez of Elephant Revival. They would definitely have a clawhammer banjo. What luck! A band fitting that exact description will appear in the pub's excellent music room Tuesday night! Gipsy Moon is the name and Appalachia-meets-New-Orleans is the game. Tickets are $10, show is 21-and-over, things start happening around 9 p.m.

Planning ahead:

Rock show of note and more

Please make a note on your calendar — ready? Get to Friday, July 11. Okay? Write this down: "Qui, Alibi." Qui is one of those interesting bands that Alibi talent booker Ian Hiler manages to get even though technically the noise rock duo is "too big" for lil' ol' A-town. More on that next week.

Fans of gypsy tunes rarely go a full seven days without some band or another showing up to scratch that itch and next week is no exception. The always joyous Diego's Umbrella plays Humboldt Brews on Saturday, July 12 — advance tickets are $15 and advised. More at


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


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Jennifer Savage

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