I had just parked in Arcata when my phone buzzed. "The band canceled!" my husband alerted me, referring to our plans to see Warm Soda at The Shanty later that night. "Where'd you hear that?" I responded. "KHSU. The DJ just said." Mindful of my mission to keep folks updated on local music happenings, I called up the host of "How to Breathe Underwater" (Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and asked if it was true. It was, he confirmed, but White Manna and some other bands would be playing instead, so I should still go out and also a gig was happening at one of the houses known for that sort of thing — his enthusiasm and encouragement for me to soak in some live music charmed me.
It also reminded me that one of the benefits of our vibrant, if limited, local radio scene is the attention to live music shows. Both KHUM (104.7 FM) and KHSU (90.5 FM) host touring and local bands in their respective studios on a regular basis, and keep listeners apprised of who to see where and when. Down in Redway, your people-powered KMUD 88.1 FM also serves up samples of bands able to be experienced live and in-person at a venue near you. Like KHSU, what you hear on KMUD varies greatly hour by hour and includes gobs of national news shows, commentary and other talk-based programming, but if you peruse our public radio stations' schedules, you'll find excellent local people playing all kinds of music for your edification. And now that KRFH, HSU's student-run station, is switching to a new frequency (105.1 FM) you'll be able to hear what the kids are up to these days — and even more live-in-studio broadcasts of your soon-to-be-favorite local bands. As someone who loves music, loves live music and loves radio, the goodness we have here in our little town is happymaking, indeed.
With that, let us launch into the magnificence that is Saturday, April 12.
No one will accuse the folks at RampArt of being slackers. Establishing an indoor skate-art park with a focus on providing something cool for kids sounds like the kind of idea some well-intentioned post-college kids brainstorm about one afternoon, only to bail out when the reality of fundraising and permitting sets in. But the RampArt people made it happen — and after a year of success, the next step is raising funds for a new bowl. This is happening through a party that incorporates both beginner and advanced skate contests, a chili cookoff, live painting by Matt Beard and — relevant to this column — live music by Imperial Destructo, (who are is celebrating the releaset of their its new album, Earth Equality,), The Rough Cuts and Adult Crash, who play Minor Threat covers. I love that there's a band doing Minor Threat covers. Imperial Destructo describes the band's sound itself as "a skateboard inspired punk rock band with the motivation to dissolve the empires that control our lives such as corporations and greed." I'd call it old-school skatepunk that leaves a slight, familiar tang of metal in your mouth. Think Bad Brains or Suicidal Tendencies. Music starts at 8 p.m., cover is sliding-scale and, hey, all ages! Go to www.rampartskatepark.org for full details.
Also happening on Saturday — well, everything. Ready, set, go ...
Did you realize that Tuesday was the 20-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide? That explains all the Nirvana retrospectives coloring supermarket checkout stands and local bookseller shelves. In his Pitchfork column, Stephen Deusner wondered what could possibly be left to say about Cobain and Nirvana, and whether or not the millennials who "never knew the band in the present tense" feel the influence. One could ask this of The Wild Lungs, a young band whose raw punky sound is rife with pop hooks and who can be experienced live at the Alibi Saturday night, along with Portland's Lubec (insert "dream of the '90s" reference). Reminiscent of The Cure, Lubec's "Local Celebrity" track suggests the band's brand of pop is both more sophisticated and more retro. Should be a great show. Music starts around 11 p.m., cover is $5 and you must be 21-or-over.
World Famous Productions throws a 6-year anniversary soiree with VibeSquaD (bass), Clicks & Whistles (Southern rap, juke, DNB) and B. Bravo (synth groove) at the Arcata Theater Lounge. Doors at 9:30 p.m., tickets are $20, show is 21-and-over.
Oh, those wacky clowns! If you relate to rocking, boat pants and/or drunk uncles and share an interest in Scandinavian love, moustaches, pigeons and/or "butt stuff," you'll be thrilled to know about Flock of Foreigners, a band of vagabond artists from all over the world currently living in Blue Lake and studying at the, ahem, Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Logger Bar, 9 p.m., free, 21-and-over.
If you want to get dressed up and dance, PressureAnya's introducing Abruzzi After Dark. This party begins at 10 p.m. and is $10, but guests receive a $5 coupon toward a drink. Note: bar's open, kitchen's closed. Ages 21-and-over.
Back in Eureka, the Siren's Song Tavern hosts Junk Parlor, a gypsy funk rock band from San Francisco, with local support from Kaptain Kirk's Kosmic Koncoction, an eclectic mayhem of the third kind. Show starts at 9 p.m., is free and all ages.
Finally, the sexy and scandalous Cliff Dallas and the Death Valley Troubadors play Six Rivers Brewery. Also free! But requires you to be of legal drinking age. Music starts after 9 p.m.
The Redwood Jazz Alliance welcomes the Michael Moore Quartet on Tuesday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at the Morris Graves Museum of Art. Known for his virtuosity, his expressiveness and his beautiful tone on clarinet, the multi-reedist is also a prolific composer with more than two dozen albums to his name. Tickets are $15 general/$10 students and available online at Brown Paper Tickets or in person at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records and The Works.
Also Tuesday, the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers play the Van Duzer Theatre. Picture a stage filled with 80 fiddlers backed by piano, drums, cellos, guitars, harps, and even a harmonica, projecting a sound as lively as a dance band and as majestic as a symphony orchestra. Front this merry group of music-makers with Scottish master fiddler Alasdair Fraser, whose humor, passion and charismatic playing set the tone, and you'll have a rough idea what it's like to attend a concert with the Scottish Fiddlers, an evening packed with Celtic tunes, songs and dances.
On Wednesday, April 16, folk rocker Bruce Cockburn performs solo at the Mateel Community Center. Doors are at 7:30 p.m., music starts around 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to $35 depending on seating and timing. Advanced ticket purchase is strongly advised.
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.