Let's look ahead to the end of the month for a moment: The 39th annual Summer Arts and Music Festival takes place May 30 and 31 at Benbow and features headliners JJ Grey & Mofro — think blues, funk, soul, rock and gospel — and Blackalicious, a Sacramento hip-hop duo consisting of rapper Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Chief Xcel. Either one is alone worth the price of admission ($20 per day, $30 for the weekend pass, kids 12 and under free). Add in the fact that they are only two of more than 100 acts and, clearly, you would be remiss to not get your tickets from the Mateel Community Center today.
Naughty and nasty
Let's begin with the story of Mickey Avalon: A tough childhood, a musical salvation and a return with a brand new album, Loaded, which takes listeners on a journey through the seedy streets of Hollyweird via sleek electro-synth beats, playful rhymes and straight-up rock. Do you enjoy excess and explosive sexual energy? Avalon provides. You've also got Dirt Nasty, former MTV VJ and dialed-in rap artist. This gig happens at the Mateel Community Center. Advance tickets are $28, show starts at 8 p.m., all ages.
Here's a thing happening at the Jambalaya: the Mudshow, a monthly revue of "the absolute finest in local circus performance and smokin' hot live blues and surf rock from the Bonky Bonky Band." If you like a main dish consisting of feats of strength, dexterity and "sheer stupidity" with a side of live music, this seems like a fine option. The poster says, "Absolutely no laptops. Guaranteed." Cover is $10, doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m., 21-and-over.
Sacramento's Achilles's Wheel and Arcata's Liquid Kactus — who has a notable fan base — keep the "jam" in Jambalaya, doors at 9:30 p.m., music at 10 p.m., $7 cover, 21-and-over.
Possibly Humboldt's best venue
From our friends at Arcata Playhouse: "String quartet, string band, vocal quartet, jaw-dropping improvising world-music collective. ... Pick a box and Real Vocal String Quartet will think outside it — with style." RVSQ embraces influences from classical, jazz and, rock with songs and styles from West Africa, Brazil and rural America. Simply put, they're amazing. This sort of experience doesn't come around every day. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $18 general, $15 for Playhouse members and $20 at the door.
Our favorite dark corner
As is the case with most Saturday nights, you can count on the Alibi to provide a taste of true independent touring goodness. This one is no exception. Please check out Seattle-based cosmic country band Evening Bell with A-town's own dream poppers Float Forward. Music at 11 p.m., $5, 21-and-over.
Last week, post-Arts Alive, I found myself at, of all places, the Pearl, which is not so much my scene — all the glass block and reflective surfaces give me flashbacks to '80s El Lay except with an aggressive hip hop soundtrack instead of The Bangles. But, in fact, I had an excellent time. Partly because the Blanton's, but mostly because my girlfriends and I decided to get our dance on. Man, dancing is the best!
Back to the point
All this to say that you can shed your own stress and inhibitions with real, live DJs at Richards' Goat when Soul Night team Matt n' Adam partners with DJ Pandemonium Jones for a night of off-the-cuff vinyl selections and serious determination to pull you off your barstool and onto the dance floor. Music starts at 9 p.m., for free.
They might be Humboldt's best bar band
Americana rockers The Trouble return to the Palm Lounge with local synth act Companion Animal. Cover is a suggested donation of $5, show is 21-and-over, and starts around 9 p.m.
The experimental noise band Linear Downfall is, perhaps, best known for the side project Electric Würms, a collaboration with Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips. If the Flaming Lips guys were inspired to team up with them, you will likely be keen to see them as well, yes? Expect the live show to be intense and jarring, captivating and unique. The free show's happening at Siren's Song. Eureka Garbage Co. opens, starting at 9 p.m. Cover TBA.
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.