Oh, Humboldt! I'm in love with live music all over again. We've had a long relationship, bands playing shows and I, but you know how it is — sometimes you feel like you've done everything there is to do, comfortable with what you like and sure about what you don't, quietly missing the spark of infatuation, the excitement of discovery. Then, on a whim, you happen to invite the smart and talented High Crimes drummer (Alyssa Jung, who is 20 years your junior, but hey, you're no ageist) to attend the Treasure Island Music Festival with you because you know that, like you, she's into TV on the Radio and alt-J, and you know being smushed in a crowd is more fun shared than alone. And on the drive down and the hours preceding, you talk music, so much music, and her passion amplifies your own and next thing you know, you're watching the new Dave Grohl project, Sonic Highways, explaining how it's still hard to hear Nirvana because you love the music so much, but with every song comes an attached sadness that this is all we get and you are still mad at Kurt Cobain even after all these years for taking all that yet-to-be-made music away. You subject her to stories about this band and that band, rant about how many good bands go unseen and unappreciated in Humboldt, bands that draw a hundred people or more in Seattle or PDX or SF — and then you change the topic to What Are You In Love With Right Now? Forty-eight hours and many bands later, the two of you are exalting how magical the alt-J set was, so rewarding that even if you hadn't seen any other bands, the trek to San Francisco would've been worth it, but you did see other bands, and wow, Bleached and The Growlers, those brought you back to that time when music saved your life and while you wouldn't ever, ever want to be a teenager again, you're ecstatic to know that the part of you that live music fulfills is still as hungry as ever and it's good to be satisfied.
On that note, go get yourself some.
I left out a critical component of I Am the Albatross' show last week, namely that it happens tonight, Thursday, Oct. 23. Let's have a do-over: Cruising in from Austin, I Am the Albatross combines the backwoods mysticism of old-time American folk songs with the savage spirit of rock, punk and psychedelic noise at the Siren's Song. Also playing, The Fairy Rings, local psych and garage fuzziness, plus West-Tripp, debuting a local spin on the drone-experimental sound. No cover! All ages! 9 p.m.
If your idea of a good time is a dance party love fest, head over to the Arcata Theatre Lounge for Pumpkin, David Starfire and Janover & ReSunator. Expect serious remixing, hip-hop, world, EDM and a general explosion of beats. Doors at 9:30 p.m., tickets are $20 ($15 in advance through World Famous Productions) and the show is 21-and-over.
Some funky, funky hip-hop fun at the Jambalaya shapes up in the form of Raashan Ahmad with the GetDown Crew starting at 10 p.m. and costing you $10. Also 21-and-over.
Around the corner at Humboldt Brews, the Scott Pemberton Trio arrives from Portland with blues-based electro-dance tunes so fine that they've been swooped into Nike, Coke, Jaguar and NASCAR ads. A Portland native, Pemberton is so revered that the city's famous Voodoo Donuts gifted him a custom guitar-shaped donut for his birthday — even more impressive than reaching number one on the PDX pop charts and number four on the Billboard Tastemaker charts, right? Experience the brilliance for yourself starting at 9:30 p.m. Cover's $12 and the show is 21-and-over.
What's this? Songwriter Circle of Death IX on a Friday night at Cher-Ae Heights? I triple-checked and sure enough, the Firewater Lounge is where you can find The Bored Again (The Smashed Glass), Uncle C (Strix Vega), Dizee-C (Pie in the Sky) and Lane Stinespring (The Wildcard), which is pretty cool, not only because SCOD events offer a chance to get intimate with some of Humboldt's more interesting rockers, but also because, hey! 9 p.m. start time and also free! Please do still be 21-and-over.
The happenings continue at the Firewater Lounge the following evening when Pressure Anya and KSLG's Sherae O'Shaughnessy transform the venue into a modern Saturday Night Fever at 9 p.m. Get your contest on via your sweet Electric Slide moves or swank retro costume — big prizes! Bonus: Call 1-800-684-2464 for shuttle transportation, which sounds like a fine idea for you and all your good-time-loving friends. This is a 21-and-over situation.
Did we say costume? With Halloween just around the bend, opportunities to indulge in your alter ego abound. Where's Queer Bill and The Red Carpet Girls would like you to bring it in your "creepiest, freakiest outfit," specifically to their Peep-Show Creep-Show Halloween party at Humboldt Brews. Targeted to the LGBT community, but always welcoming to everyone, the sexiness begins at 9 p.m. and will only set you back $5. Oh, 21-and-over, yes.
Here's something totally different! (You can likely still wear a costume and no one'll blink.) At the Alibi, Imperial Destructo brings the Humboldt skate rock and Saint Christopher delivers some Nebraskan country-punk. Five dollars, 11:15 p.m., 21-and-over.
Lovely, intimate songs of love, sadness and apparitions make up Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin's repertoire. See her at the Van Duzer Theatre for $35 adults and children, $10 HSU students. All ages! Show starts at 8 p.m. and includes special guest John Fullbright.
The Van Duzer is also the site of also-Grammy-winners Tinariwen's show. The band members hail from North Africa, but because of political instability in their homeland recorded the band's latest album Emmaar in another desert: Joshua Tree. Created over three weeks in the region known for spaced-out rock 'n' roll and psychedelic cowboy folk, Emmaar showcases rolling hand drums, meandering guitars and galloping beats. Tickets are $35 adults and children, $10 HSU students. All ages! Show starts at 8 p.m.
KSLG 93.1 FM brings you Halloween a day early with a double-dose Halloween Costume Contest and Zombie Ball Concert at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. There are two separate shows: The first is all-ages (Yay! Well done, you KSLG people, you!) at 7 p.m. (no alcohol served). The grown-up version (read: 21-and-over) starts at 10 p.m. (with "adult" beverages served). Tickets for either show are $10 advance via Brown Paper Tickets — be sure to select which show you'd like to attend from the dropdown menu.
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.