Did you notice the date on this paper? It's Thursday the 12th of June, which makes Friday June 13th. That's right, Friday the Thirteenth. I guess it's no coincidence that M. Night Shyamalan's latest scary movie, The Happening, opens that night.
What's the big deal that makes it an unlucky day? Hard to say. Those who look at folklore point to the cultural importance of 12, supposedly a "complete" number. The Norse trickster Loki was the 13th to show at some party for a dozen in Valhalla: bad luck for Balder the Beautiful, the God of Happiness, who ended up shot with a mistletoe-poisoned arrow by Hoder, the blind God of Darkness. Then there was Judas, the 13th guest at the Last Supper: bad luck for Jesus, who was executed on a Friday.
Chas "South Side" Lewis writes to say, "Don't succumb to paraskavedekatriaphobia [fear of Friday the 13th]. ShinBone is nothing to be ascared of, my people!" Lest you've forgotten, Chas plays harp in that blues/B&B combo. They're one of the bands playing around town Friday evening for Arts! Arcata, specifically at Arcata Exchange, where you can kick back on a comfy couch and take in the tunes.
Other usual suspects around Arcata for Arts! night: Duncan Burgess singing and strumming at Libation, and Clean Livin' pickin' bluegrass tunes at Bubbles. And you'll find a new band, Cadillac Ranch, at Umpqua Bank (along with cool photo collages by Ellen Land-Weber). The Easton Pablo Shao Way Jazz Trio (as in Stuard, keys, Rotter, drums, and Wu, bass) will be jazzin' outside at Café Brio. Joanne Rand sings at Plaza Design.Arcata Photo Studios marks its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting that night in Jacoby's Storehouse. There you'll find pix by Sheldon Sabbatini, Martin Swett and Eye man-about-town Terrence McNally. Terrence swears I'm in one of his photos, and I guess I am, but I'm pretty blurry. (It was New Year's Eve; I was a bit blurry.)
The 31st Annual Redwood Run starts Friday the Thirteenth, bringing motorcycle aficionados and classic rock fans to Piercy for "the ultimate biker party." The line-up sounds impressive, but ... Well, top-billed Creedence Clearwater Revisited is not quite the Revival — no Fogertys are involved. Instead it's Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford, the old band's rhythm section, with new guys out front. Lead singer Doug Gray marshals on as the only original member in the current Marshall Tucker Band lineup. (The Caldwell brothers and guitarist George McCorkle have all passed away.) Ten Years After will undoubtedly play familiar hits like "I'm Going Home," but shredding lead guitarist Alvin Lee left the group in '75. Eighties glam-rockers Ratt are currently into their second reunion with three members from their classic line-up. (Do bikers actually like hair-bands?) After fierce internal battles, the members of post-industrial art-rock band Spudgun have set aside their creative differences to reunite "for the glory" of rock. They will be rolling down to the Run on custom pentacycles. Delbert McClinton may be the exception to the rule here: The Texas bluesman is the real deal.
A while back I had a spirited e-mail exchange with a member of a local Dead tribute band, touching on whether or not JGB is the real deal without Jerry. I'm not a Deadhead, so I'll reserve judgment. For the uninformed: JGB stand for Jerry Garcia Band. After Jerry died, bluesy organist Melvin Seals, a JGB member for 15 years, continued with the initialized name. David Kemper, on again off again JGB drummer from 1983-'93, is part of the current incarnation. Dylan followers may recognize the name: Kemper was drummer in Bob's touring band from 1996-2001. JGB offers a two-night "tribute to Jerry Garcia," Friday (the 13th) and Saturday at Humboldt Brews.
The 18th Annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival takes place Saturday on the Arcata Plaza. Along with mollusks — raw, barbequed, fried etc. — they'll have a wide range of music, from swing jazz and rock by Magnolia (11 a.m.) to hip hoppity worldbeat by WoMamma (1:15) old timey jams by The Bucky Walters (2:45) and funky funk by Bump Foundation (4:15).
The Devil Makes Three are back in town Thursday, June 12, for what will surely be a sold-out show at the Jambalaya. Absynth Quintetopens, joined by special guest fiddler Zebulon Bowles, a cool cat from Georgia who has a band called Stop Drop and Roll. Advance tix recommended, get 'em soon.
Norm from Bad Kitty keeps the rockabilly, etc., rolling with two shows at the Jambalaya this week: Friday it's guitarist Wayne "The Train" Hancock playing twisted Americana. "I'm like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville," says Wayne. "See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That's me." Local boys, Side Iron, open the show. Then on Monday, June 16, it's L.A. psychobilly vets Three Bad Jacks. "Frontman Elvis is a phenomenal performer and songwriter," says Norm, "kinda like Richie Valens meets John Doe; maybe throw in a little Motorhead and Ramones, and there you have it." Sharing the bill: Eugene country punks Sid & Fancy (friends of Clay's) and local punk/ska band The Fortyhands, who recently replaced departing singer Becka Fortyhands (gone to S.F.) with Mary Fortyhands.
In between those two comes a non-Bad Kitty rockabilly show at the Pearl with Hillbilly Hellcats from Colorado with guitarist Chuck Hughes, Lance Bakemeyer on bass, plus ex- Rev. Horton Heat drummer Taz Bentley.
The Red Fox Tavern has back-to-back hip hop bashes: First, Friday (the 13th) The "Expand Your Roots" Tour with The Resonators, Himp C, LCA, Republican Duck Hunters, One Up The Acoustic DJ and DJ BluntMastarr. Then Saturday, a birthday bash for Franco of Fortuna's Dirty Rats crew.
Sunday at the Fox, it's wild jamming with Skerik's Maelstrom Trio. Have you been watching those tornados hit Middle America? Sax assassin Skerik sounds like that: He's the eye of the maelstrom, joined by Brian Coogan from Harry Apes BMX on Hammond B-3 and drummer Simon Lott, formerly of the Charlie Hunter Trio. They're touring with STEBMO, an equally wild "jazz/dub/gospel" combo out of Seattle, led by trombonist/keys/etc. player Steve Moore, once a member of Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet.
Humboldt Folklife presents its monthly Southern Square Dance Saturday night the Arcata Veteran's Hall. The Striped Pig Stringband provides the old timey music. Caller Tara Stetz will tell you when to doe-see-doh.
Fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger is a long way from home. She's a Downeaster, which is to say she's from the upper corner of Maine ("down" as in downwind). The music of that region is her passion, something she's exploring on a couple of albums, the recently released Songs, with musical tales of loggers and seas captains, and has an upcoming collection of fiddle tunes to be titled, Dance.
"There is currently a lot of focus on traditional American music from the South", Lissa notes, "and many bands are exploring and recording that repertoire, but no one is getting to hear the amazing repertoire of traditional music from the North. This is my first attempt at getting some of that music out there for people to enjoy."
Right now she's traveling with a trio; they'll be in town Wednesday, June 18, for a Humboldt Folklife Society concert and a fiddle workshop in the Humboldt Baykeeper's "listening room" in Old Town Eureka. It's not a big place so you might want to get tickets ahead.
Ran into Li'l Red Lion booker Amy Mayville, at Arts Alive! Saturday, out putting up fliers. Word spreads quickly in the alt. music world and the new venue at 5th and P sts. in U-freaka is going full-bore. Get this: She has six shows coming up in the next seven days, starting Thursday with Good on Paper, a coed alt. pop trio from L.A., along with local up-and-comers Svelte Velvet.
Friday Li'l has Singer, out of Chicago, touring behind a new release, Unhistories, on Drag City Records. The four-piece includes two U.S. Maple members, Todd Rittmann and Adam Vida, plus Rob Lowe (from Lichens, 90 Day Men) and Ben Vida (Bird Show, Town and Country, presumably Adam's bro), all of them singing, sometimes together in harmony, sometimes in disharmony. The music is dark and often twisted alt. who-knows-what. (The Drag City publicist dropped Captain Beefheart's name, not knowing he's a local.) When they finish this tour, Singer heads out with Battles. Also on the Friday (the 13th) bill, Shearing Pinx, a clamorous noise rock band from Vancouver B.C. and local decadents The Common Vice.
Saturday Li'l bring in two SoCal bands: SeaOne, aka The Seamonster, an "East County dub" hip hop outfit from L.A. and thundering Latin ska-punks Double Agent Brass Band, from Huntington Park. After taking Sunday off, Li'l keeps things going Monday with wild San Fran alt. disco/electro punks Sugar & Gold, touring with their friends from Oakland, Hot Tub, "comprised of three Spandex-clad fly-girl MCs (Co-Co Machete, Loli Pop and Ambreezy) with Jay-Sonic and Funky Finger Mark on the electronics." Added bonus: DJ Omar.
Tuesday it's Nurses, with Aaron Chapman and John Bowers, who originally are from Idaho, but currently call Portland home (thus fulfilling our weekly Portland quota). Again, we're looking at a tres cool hard-to-define alt. something band; Chapman's vocals remind me a bit of Jonathan Richmond, but less cynical. James Harkins' space/surf combo, The Invasions opens.
That brings us to Wednesday. Amy has Seattle hardcore punk/metal headbanger power trio Akimbo, fresh from the Alt. Tentacles Biafra 5-O Birthday bash in the city. As of Saturday, the local opener was TBA (too many shows, too few local bands). Fair warning, Li'l Red Lion has five more shows the following week. This just in: Music at Toby and Jack's on the Plaza starting Saturday with Weepel's Weezer covers and 33 1/3. Rock on!