It has come to our attention that some folks need a little primer on how to make out at live music gigs. Yes, the sweet aphrodisiac of sound — whether it's slow caresses as the indie band twinkles dreamy songs or aggressive booty squeezing during the DJ's dance set — music often puts people in the mood for making sweet, sweet love. Which is great — except if you're leg-humping in the corner of the Alibi or sucking mad face in a booth at the Jambalaya, at some point, the people around you are going to get grossed out. Unrestrained lust is kind of like hair — luxurious when it belongs to you, but you don't want to find someone else's in your food. As members of society, we must agree on a few guidelines to ensure the greater public good.
Kissing: Yummy, isn't it? Brief bouts are adorable. But if you're drooling or your lipsmacking sounds are drowning out the bass, that's a sign to take a break.
Touching: If you can't keep your hands off the parts of your date's body designed for procreation, then take it elsewhere. You're not paying attention to the band at this point anyway.
Leg-humping/grinding: Don't. Just don't.
Actual sex: Let me tell you a story. One time this guy and this woman decided to get busy in the men's bathroom at the Alibi — eew — and then she passed out, which meant the staff had to get involved and, well, it was not a good scene for anyone. Also, small town. Very, very small town. This is why bedrooms and cars were invented.
Now that we've covered PDA etiquette, let's take a moment to talk about being prepared — if you're going out solo, chances are you might hook up with a fellow music lover, and if you're on a date, then hopefully you're going to wrap up the night on a good, good note, right? And who's got your back, married or single, straight or gay, monogamous or poly? Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, that's who! Start your Thursday socializing early at 4 p.m. with Roaring for Choice, featuring drinks, electro-swing jams and 1920s-themed festivities at the SpeakEasy. All proceeds go to support reproductive health care and education programs at Six Rivers Planned Parenthood. This is a 21-and-over event.
You'll need to hit Roaring For Choice early, because Thursday night, the only place to be is at Back on Their Feet, a fundraiser for the Journal's Bob Doran and Jessicurl founder Jess McGuinty at Humboldt Brews. That show of community appreciation for two of our best-known members kicks off at 8 p.m. and is sure to fill quickly. Get the whole scoop in last week's Journal or online at northcoastjournal.com.
Moving on to Friday night, I'm so pleased to announce the return of Be Brave Bold Robot to Humboldt County. Reviewers apply the "singer-songwriter" label so easily without much regard for lyrical quality, so when someone like Dean Haakenson, a writer who actually understands and excels at the craft, comes along, wordplay-loving hearts leap in appreciation. The easy comparison, soundwise, is Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers — Be Brave Bold Robot's music emanates from an ethereal place, interlaces strands of love, humor and slyness together into a folk pop delight.
Sample via bebraveboldrobot.com.
But wait! That's not all! BBBR graces us with not one, but two shows this weekend! The first happens at The Logger Bar in Blue Lake — props once again to Kate Martin and friends, who've done such a fine job elevating The Logger into a truly glorious establishment — and includes John Ludington, who employs similarly nimble word antics and impossible guitar playing, plus the ever-buzz-generating Lyndsey Battle. Start time is 8 p.m. and the show is 21-and-over. Can't make it? Then hit up the Palm Lounge on Saturday night when BBBR joins Portland's Trask River Redemption. That show starts at 9 p.m. and is also 21-and-over.
You're encouraged to hit the Friday BBBR show, however, because Saturday already forces you to choose between two parties. First, Roll on the Mattole runs from noon till midnight out in the rolling hills and golden meadows of the Mattole Valley with live music from Fruition, Moonshine Mountain Band, Giraffe Dodgers, Dedicated Maniacs, Lyndsey Battle, Fickle Hillbillies, Orphan in the Afterlife and Lost Coast Marimbas. In addition to the music, food, drinks, crafts and kid zone, ROTM highlights the skills rural firefighters must bring to the job with the Wildland Firefighters' Challenge, a very cool competition under some very hot conditions. Admission is $25, $20 students/seniors, and children 12-and-under are free with an adult. No dogs or glass bottles.
Everyone I know who's seen The Brothers Comatose raves about how great they are live. Two of the members, Alex and Ben Morrison, grew up together in a home that was apparently one long musical party. From the band's bio: "The Morrison house was a gathering place for local musicians — everyone would bring an instrument, call out tunes, call out changes, and just play for hours." Says Brothers Comatose bassist Gio Benedetti, "I learned more in that living room than in any class I ever took." The brothers, along with Beneditti, Philip Brezina and Ryan Avellone continue this bighearted, all-encompassing and boisterous philosophy by promoting the "sing-along, stomp-along" style of performance that shows off the string band's roots. They're anything but comatose. Give a listen at thebrotherscomatose.com then catch them at HumBrews on Saturday night. Tickets are $15, show is 21-and-over.
"Our country, like any other country is an imagined community ... with mutally agreed upon terms of geography, history and identity. If those could change ... just ask a ghost town. Or a river that's been diverted." So says William Tyler on the teaser video for his latest album Impossible Truth as guitar notes shimmer along the sonic landscape. The Nashville-based guitar player infuses his playing with poetry, a tricky thing to do when you write with melody, not words. The music is beautiful the way being at the river is beautiful, seemingly simple elements fusing into a calm that settles through your whole body. He's also not unknown — he's played with Lambchop, Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Charlie Louvin, and will be performing with Ty Segall next month — so the fact he's playing Monday night at the Palm Lounge feels like a big deal. Listen at williamtyler.net.
Joining him are Eureka's The Tweeners, purveyors of beatnik psychedelica meets gutterbucket noise, and Electro Saloon, an attractive side project between members of Strix Vega and Patronus.
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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.