You can tell by the photo that Humboldt County will love Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. She's adorable, like the girl you had a crush on in grade school. The guys are attractive and sincere-looking in that way that only young people wearing natural fibers can be. The beards probably do not keep them from being carded when they're trying to buy a post-gig beer. Stringed instruments. Also, they're playing at Hum Brews, a venue with a well-deserved reputation for booking only excellent acts. Sound-wise, as expected, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys serve up traditional American music that brings forth such adjectives as "distinct, tight, expert and creative." Lindsay Lou Rilko's tunes include true-life tales of bank-robbing aunties and moonshinin' grandpas, plus references to dancing in the kitchen, daffodils and dreams. Tickets are $10 at the door, which opens around 9 p.m. Show's 21-and-over.
Quick note for reggae (and music history) fans — Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend screens at Arcata Theatre Lounge. See elsewhere in the Journal for more details.
We get emails. Sometimes they look like this: "Hi, I'm Trey from Secret Chiefs 3. ... It's not the most famous band in the world, but we do sell out the Great American Music Hall in SF and similar venues across the USA, Europe, Australia and Latin America. We've never played Humboldt, but I grew up there. There's actually a long, deep history of the roots there (I was in a band called Mr. Bungle that began life in Eureka). Anyway, SC3 tours internationally a LOT, in a lot of off-the-beaten-track places — it's a very unusual niche, but works across many borders. I visit Eureka often and it occurred to me that that's a border we've never crossed! Well, it's happening. ... Maybe it could be something. Thanks!"
Mr. Bungle ... Mr. Bungle ... Oh, right! I think I've heard of them. Ahem. For those who haven't followed Trey Spruance's post-Bungle career, Secret Chiefs 3 is an instrumental concept project that has earned rave reviews in Pitchfork, among others, and prompted descriptions such as "goes into uncharted musical territory." In their photo, the all-male, seven-member band is dressed all in black and boasting a variety of facial hair styles. The presumed leader sports a black beanie. Only his eyes are visible, all furrowed-brow and looking into the distance — into those uncharted territories, we imagine. The image screams experimental. Gig starts at Hum Brews around 9:30 p.m., tickets are $15.
Meanwhile, the Mateel Community Center presents an evening of African folk by Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits. A member of the Kore Kore tribe, Mtukudzi sings in the nation's dominant Shona language in addition to Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions resulting in a personal style known as "Tuku Music." In the press photo, he's seated, a look on his face like he's listening, but his posture clearly indicates he's willing to tell you a story. Friendly. You can tell he's a man who smiles a lot and whom you should take seriously. To illustrate that point, Mtudkudzi not only sings about social issues, but his own social activism has earned him many awards at home and internationally. One highlight occurred when, in 2010, the University of Zimbabwe and The International Council of Africana Womanism recognized him for his luminary role in uplifting African women through his artistic work. Bonnie Raitt fans may have heard her cover "Hear me Lord." Raitt also credits Mtukudzi as the inspiration for the song "One Belief Away" on her album Fundamental. Tickets are available at the usual outlets and online, and are $22 in advance and $25 at the door. Show at 7 p.m.
Oh, Strix Vega. One of Humboldt County's most enduring bands and for good reasons. They're talented, they're attractive and the trio's repertoire has grown to contain both long-form instrumental intricacies for music nerds and lush sing-alongables for those of us more hook-inclined. Joining them is Oakland's Muncie, who comes advertised as purveyors of "soul twang." They look real nice in the stunningly smiley photo adorning the top of their Soundcloud page and the songs served up do have some twang, that is true. This gig is at the Alibi, so it'll start after 11 p.m. Cover's $5 and yes, you must be of legal drinking age or older.
One more highlight before we leave you: Corinne West with Jeri Jones and Pam Delgado of Blame Sally land in the Arcata Playhouse. Known as "The Siren of the Sierras," West's voice invokes angels, if angels had a dangerous side. With her long, dark tresses and unsmiling visage, you know she's serious about taking you somewhere — it's not a surprise to learn she started her career tearing it up in hard rock bands before finding her niche in the global acoustic scene. Music's at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general and $13 members. Pick them up at Wildberries, Wildwood Music or through brownpapertickets.com.
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.