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To Pre, or Not to Pre 

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With summer almost/now upon us — depending when you read this — it's no surprise that we've got some busy musical weekends upon us. Oyster Festival (technically, Arcata Main Street's Oyster Festival) is also quickly approaching and we will be presented with loads of O-Fest "pre-parties" and significantly more "after parties." Whether or not any of these shows are officially sanctioned/blessed by Arcata Main Street is beyond the point.

There is the thinking that before/after any big event here in Humboldt the folks who attended said event are looking to keep the good times going. Made it to the Kinetic Sculpture Race? Then you want to check out the Unofficial Kinetic After Party in my garage! Still feeling pumped up post Godwit Days? Then keep the rage on at The Alibi 15 hours later! Haven't thrown up in public yet during Oyster Fest? You get the drill. I don't fault any of my fellow musicians for trying to market to crowds that are already in a social mood or who might associate the good times they just had with the mention of an "Oyster Festival After Party" on a show poster. It's marketing 101 — or 001 — and when local musicians barely scrape by financially and have nothing to lose trying to convince you that the temporal positioning of a show should be seen as synonymous with or attached to a large social event, we don't hold it against them. I'm not convinced it's effective but if there's no downside to advertising as such, go ahead and see what sticks. So with all that in mind, you are welcome to consider any and all of the shows before Saturday "Oyster Fest pre-parties" and any shows post bivalve fest as "after parties."


Eureka Main Street is hosting Boston Rocks at 6 p.m. at the C Street Market Square (foot of C Street in Old Town). Now I'm told that the band is a "tribute to the classic Boston bands" which I first read as a tribute to the band named Boston (to which all other evidence points) but upon second reading, it seems to be a tribute to well-known bands from Boston. Either way I'm happy; so expect to hear songs from aforementioned band and hope for songs from The Cars and Aerosmith (and any other "classic" Boston bands I'm unaware of). This outdoor show is completely free. Have a Beantown blast.


Speaking of classic bands, REO Speedwagon super fan Chuck Mayville will be at Gallagher's Irish Pub at 6 p.m. playing a wide range of songs for you free of charge. Don't expect to hear too much Supertramp, as I'm getting word Chuck's not a fan (my apologies, Chuck). Over in Arcata you can hear hard-working local band Kingfoot as it returns to Redwood Curtain Brewery on South G Street at 8 p.m. for this equally free show. Although I'm never quite sure why press people find it important to inform me which record labels their bands used to be on, former "K Records, etc." and Brooklynite indie musician Mirah will be at The Sanctuary in Arcata around 7:30 p.m. As I continue on in the press release, I feel it important to let you know that she also used to be on Kill Rock Stars Records. Also not currently on K Records — and rounding out this $10 show tonight — are both Vidagua and Wonderwench. What I'm calling the "unofficial official" Oyster Fest Pre-Party is going on at The Jam in Arcata, where at 10 p.m. you can catch two local bands, Dead Man's Tale and Ultramafic, who understand you need to save your money so you can get embarrassingly drunk by 1 p.m. the next day, and therefore aren't asking for a cover charge.


Ready to get wasted early today and stumble around in full view of your friends, exes and coworkers? Good, you won't be making it to any of the shows I'm about to tell you about but tell your sober friends that they can head down to Humboldt Brews at 9 p.m. for some electronic music provided by Tehranian ARDALAN, whose "remixes and dubs are known for their sass, energy and wickedly wry samples that snap like a wet towel to the face." This $18 show has supporting sets providing by local talents JSun, Touch and Marjo Lak. According to a local news source — that is far too afraid, timid and meek to commit to print — Money, "Humboldt's only out-of-garage Pink Floyd tribute band," will be at The Logger Bar in Blue Lake at 9 p.m. for free [full disclosure: the bass player thought it unwise and cliché to bill this as an Oyster Fest "after party"]. At the Alibi you'll find a one-man rock 'n' roll dance party. Sounding like "poolside film scores and early American work songs," Shake It Like a Caveman will get you boogieing [is that a word?] at 11 p.m. for only $5.


The Oyster Fest "after parties" continue on and your first stop can be at The Lighthouse Grill in Trinidad at 5 p.m., where Tony Roach may or may not consider this an after party. Nonetheless, it's a free show for you. Americana-rocker Jackie Greene returns to Humboldt (I think he's been here before) at Humboldt Brews. I seem to remember hearing quite a bit about Mr. Greene when he was still a teenager who either was a big Bob Dylan fan (but who isn't really?) or was being compared to Bob Dylan. My memory fails me but it sounds like he's been doing quite well in the years since then. He's pulling a $25 ticket price so that's something. Check it out yourself around 9 p.m.


It's a busier Tuesday than I would have imagined but you've got some good options for these after after parties. Buddy Reed will be doing his thing at Libation right off the Arcata Plaza at 7 p.m. for free. Half an hour later in Old Town at The Speakeasy, you can catch some jazz from The Opera Alley Cats, also for free. McKinleyville's offering some competition as Six Rivers Brewery also has some free jazz on the plate at the same time provided by the Sunny Brae Jazz Collective. I'm told that The Miniplex in Arcata tonight is hosting Boogarins who are some "psyche-pop" from Brazil who sound like the "reverb washed children of Tropicalismo legends like Caetano Veloso or Jorge Ben." Whether or not that's the case, I'm sure they'll be enjoying a break from Zika-infected mosquitos while in Humboldt. It's a 9 p.m. show and only $5 (local support will be added, but wasn't available at press time).

Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to

Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. He will miss Grant Scott-Goforth. But only for a reasonable amount of time.


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Andy Powell

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