Yes, yes, yes... We'll get to Oyster Fest. But let's begin with the most promising press release of the week — as in, it promises you an amazing time.
We'll start with a few questions.
Do you like to dance?
Do you like dancing among kind, accepting people?
Do you like dancing your ass off?
Do you prefer a non-homophobic environment? (Obv.)
If you are a straight person, do you wonder if the awesome-sounding gay event participants would welcome you?
Does that make you gay?
No, but does it matter?
I mean, you like to dance, right?
And you're not going to get all weirded out because boys are dancing with boys and girls are dancing with girls?
(And you're not going to get a skeevy hard-on because you think girls dancing with girls is about you, right?)
(Speaking of you, you're going to this thing because you like a great time, yes? Not because you're looking to be the piñata in a room full of people waiting to hit on you?)
Great. So we're cool?
Because this Saturday, Where's Queer Bill presents "Life's a Beach," a big ol' dance party at Nocturnum Nightclub. If the above list of questions didn't make it clear, please note, this is an LGBTQ event. A portion of the cover charge benefits Humboldt Pride's 2013 Parade/Festival, "The Year of the Ally." So be an ally! Cover's $5, doors open at 9 p.m., the party is for those 21 and over. Other things to note about the night: the wearer of the skimpiest beach outfit wins a prize, as does the winner of the dance contest. DJ Razorburn spins.
If you wax nostalgic for the days of lo-fi DIY post-everything indie band experimentation, the days before the Internet made everything easy and you had to actually go to shows and search for records, the days of passing cassette tapes among friends because the concept of sending YouTube videos hadn't burst into existence yet, the days when knowing about an obscure band meant you had to really, really, really love them because being a fan was so much work, well, save your Saturday night, because TIGERBOMB! is coming to town.
Who is TIGERBOMB!? Only Humboldt's best ever Guided by Voices tribute band. Who is Guided by Voices? Glad you asked! GBV was an indie band that formed in the late 1980s, continued until the mid-1990s and popularized (as much as it could be said to have been popularized) a certain lo-fi aesthetic that also embraced post-British Invasion garage rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, punk rock and post-punk. The band, masterminded by Robert Pollard, delivered a steady and seemingly endless stream of short songs throughout its existence. Catchy, odd, fantastic. TIGERBOMB! is made up of former members of Arcata/Eureka/L.A. bands The Cutters, Sin Men, Crimewave!, The Letdown, Sad Wings of Destiny, Foster Kids, Johnny Render, Natural Lights, The Perverts, Lowlights, The Craze, The Beatles and Hasselhoff — if you don't recognize those names, you're probably under 40 and/or missed one of Humboldt's more golden eras of happening rock bands. All you need to know is, these musicians are good! Also, excited to return to the Alibi. Press release says, "This show promises to be a doozie! Expect the Alibi to be packed with new and old familiar smiling faces from current/former Humboldt garage/indie/rock scenes!"
The gig's at the Alibi, so 21 and over, and also music doesn't start till 11 p.m. or so. The good news is, you'll have time for a nap beforehand. Finally, if you've been wondering what ever happened to MySpace (I have no idea why you would wonder that, but hey, perhaps you've already solved all life's other mysteries), TIGERBOMB invites you to visit www.myspace.com/tigerbombhumboldt.
Oyster Fest blows up the Arcata Plaza this Saturday. For the politics behind the bivalve scene, check your recent copies of the Journal (or, more efficiently, look online at www.northcoastjournal.com). Veterans know what to expect, which includes a new $10 entrance fee this year. First-timers will want to know that the general game plan for those excited about slurping variously sauced oysters down their gullets is to go as early as possible. The lines only get longer, the drunks only get drunker, the crowd (at least in the pre-$10 charge days) only grows more unruly. It'll be interesting to see how the fee affects attendance and how the presence of hip hop artist Lyrics Born at the fest affects the vibe. If you've spent any time listening to KSLG 94.1 FM, you've heard "Calling Out," a tiny sample of the awesome that is Lyrics Born (aka Tom Shimura). He's played Humboldt a bunch of times, both solo and as part of Latyrx with Lateef the Truthspeaker. If you're unfamiliar, start at the beginning with his album Later That Day, work your way through to As You Were and show up to the plaza ready to have an amazing time. (Please, Oyster Fest crowd, be a good one.) If you're too short on time for all that, here's the key word defining a Lyrics Born show: exuberance. He takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. Full Oyster Fest schedule at www.oysterfestival.net.
Meanwhile, over at the Arcata Playhouse, Saturday night brings "An Evening of Music & Storytelling with Brett McFarland and Spectacular Guests Berel Alexander and BangGarang" (did the Humboldt County Supervisors name this show?). All proceeds from this gig, which'll cost you $5 to $15 depending on your generosity and means, benefit CASA of Humboldt County. According to the press release, Brett McFarland moved to Humboldt about 10 years ago and has been "growing organic vegetables, raising cattle and making Arcata more beautiful each day. His music is passionate and humorous, emotional and funky, while weaving stories of love, travel and heartache in Spanish, French and English."
Rounding things out, Arcata's BangGarang knocks out "musically diverse electric folk-rock" and formerly local boy Berel Alexander brings his soulful sounds back home for what sounds like a perfectly lovely night. Everything starts at 8 p.m. and the Playhouse is all-ages.
The annual free summer Eureka live music series, Concerts on the Boardwalk, kicks off Thursday, June 13 at the foot of C Street with Freak Clinic covering rock'n'roll standards from 6 to 8 p.m. The series runs weekly through Aug. 15. Listings at www.redwoodinfo.com. Also in Eureka and also free, Ruby Pins, Space Biscuit and Monster Women bring a triple blast of fun to the Palm Lounge, Wednesday, June 19.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online.