June 29, 2006
Last time Imaad Wasif came to Eureka it was as part of a Lou Barlow show with The New Folk Implosion and alaska! (Imaad played in both). Lately he's been on the road as a member of the ultra-hip indie band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He has also produced an eponymous solo album for Kill Rock Stars. Friday, June 30, he's back in town for a show at The Pearl with something called two part beast. I sent him a note asking what it is.
"The two part beast is one part Adam Garcia and one part Bob Bruno. We will be supporting my new solo record, but I wanted to [offer something] with the live show other than what I captured on the record," he wrote.
He invited more questions. I complied.
Where are you from? "Born in Vancouver, B.C., educated in the desert in California, India, Los Angeles and San Francisco, now residing in Echo Park, Calif."
What do you do? "Sing, play guitar, write songs. Also currently playing guitar, bass and keyboards as a touring member of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs."
Why do you do what you do? Love, necessity, creation, growth, change, intimacy, to perpetuate and divine chaos, maintain semblances of sanity, exorcise old ghosts and demons."
Anything else you want to add? "Can't wait to come back to Eureka."
We're coming to the end of June, and with it the end of "Jazz in June at Benbow Inn." It seems they've saved the best for last. Thursday, June 29, the sundown show in the glade features Mimi Fox, a fluid electric guitarist from the Bay Area who, among other things, holds the guitar chair at The Jazz School in Berkeley. On her latest release, a double-disc, Perpetually Hip, she shows her solo chops on one disc, playing originals and standards, then works with a combo on the other. Especially hip: Her deconstruction of "When the Saints Go Marching In." At Benbow she'll play with a trio including Hammond B-3 organist Wayne De La Cruz.
Closing the Benbow series Friday, June 30, Brazilian-born vocalist Claudia Villela, whose five-octave range will take you from deep in the river to the tops of the sheltering redwoods. She'll be here with a quartet that includes Brazilian-born guitarist Ricardo Peixoto, who, like Villela, is from Rio de Janeiro. He's her musical partner on the recently released album, Inverse Universe. "I don't go for the premeditated, calculated thing when I'm performing," says Villela in a note on her website. "I like an aspect of losing myself, of going into the unknown. I'll just take the conditions of the moment and make something of it. It can be magical, and people really get it." What with the setting at Benbow and the weather we've been having, this show should prove magical indeed.
A call from Salmon Creek cleared up a small calendar mystery. I'd left a message with SoHum guitar player/songwriter Kent Stephenson, who is scheduled to play Friday, June 30, at Old Town Coffee and Chocolates. I'd noticed that his country/rock band Lokoyokol was also playing this Friday and Saturday at The Playroom. Seemed like a glitch. No, Kent explained, the gigs are at different times and Eureka and Fortuna aren't that far apart. Plus he invited some friends with an as-yet-unnamed band to open the Playroom show. For his solo gig he says he'll be joined by his girlfriend Lyne Einwechter, playing "country western rock sort of things, some of her songs, some of my originals, some stuff I don't do with Lokoyokol."
Saturday marks another Arts Alive! in Eureka, and with the late summer sunshine there should be lots of music in the streets along with the officially sanctioned indoor shows: ShinBone plays R&B at Plaza Design. There's more blues at the Opera Alley Bistro, where Buddy Reed rips it up with his guitar. Somewhere North is up from Fortuna to play around the corner at Ramone's. Trumpet player/vocalist Brad Werren plays jazz at Avalon backed by Duncan Burgess on guitar and Baron Wolfe on upright bass. Karie Hillery plays new agey rock at Shorelines Gallery. Rian Schmidt lays down some driving bluegrass at Old Town Coffee, presumably not all on his own. Funky guitar slinger Tamaras is joined by drummer Nate Kaplan playing at 321 Coffee, where Tamaras' personal photographer H.R. LoBue has a photo show.
Expect some of the usual suspects busking on the sidewalks and some new ones: The Professional Superheroes, costumed rockers who specialize in obscure covers, have a full-on in-the-street rock show planned for somewhere on E St. between 2nd and 3rd, with Pacific Radio and Dustin Aaron joining them. They note, "The bands will be BBQing some food for themselves and the best fans in the crowd, so come hungry."
BTW, The Pro-Supes also play Friday night at Ramone's with Hey Eleanor, which is actually the Ian Fays twins saying one more goodbye.
Want a hint at what's in store at the upcoming Humboldt Folklife Festival later in July? Stop by the Morris Graves Museum during Arts Alive! Saturday for a preview including a set by solo guitarist Todd Krider, who plays the fest as part of the Flying Fingers Exhibition on July 20, and one by the luscious Lila Nelson, who is part of the Songwriter Showcase July 19. In between it's Shoshanna and her Middle Eastern Ya Habibi Dance Troupe. (I'm not sure why, since they don't seem to be part of the Folklife Fest.)
In an e-mail exchange with Lila I asked what she had planned. "Morris Graves ... yes," she replied. "Some new stuff ... some old stuff ... some sweet-but-not-too-precious folk songs not for the faint of heart or hard of hearing. (I have to follow the belly dancers, so I'll try to do something exciting.)" She also mentioned that she'll be filling in afternoons on KHUM for a week while Larry takes a vacation starting Thursday, June 29, so if you don't get enough of her deejaying on Sunday mornings, here's your chance.
For something much heavier, stop by the Alibi later on Saturday for some Northwestern darkness: Lozen, "2-chick metal from Tacoma," and Under Mountains, an "experimental sludge metal" band from Portland.
Sunday at the Alibi it's solo alt. folk from Jay Dirt and Mississippi-style roots blues by Moreland, Arbuckle & Floyd from Wichita, Kansas. "We honor those greats before us who paved the way: Muddy Waters, RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and many others," says guitarist Aaron Mooreland.
No one in the California Guitar Trio is actually from Cali -- the only American, Paul Richards, hails Salt Lake City; Bert Lams is from Brussels, Belgium; Hideyo Moriya is straight outta Tokyo. They did not even meet in Cali -- they first came together as students of Robert Fripp when taking his Guitar Craft course in England. They then traveled with the former guitar prince of King Crimson as members of his League of Crafty Guitarists. When that was done the three decided to continue their six-string explorations and, in 1991, assembled in L.A. -- thus the name. They pay their respect to the Sunshine State by mixing in an occasional surf cover with their versions of Beethoven and Bach tunes, along with unique arrangements of songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody." Sound interesting? The trio hits Arcata next week playing Wednesday, July 5, at Humboldt Brews.
Got a call this week from Ron Alexander, manager of Mosgo's, the new café/music venue in Westwood Center out Alliance Road in Arcata. He had sent an announcement of a grand opening and upcoming music and had an important correction to make. The Gala Opening, complete with ribbon-cutting by the Chamber of Commerce is at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, June 29. They'll have free samples of their coffee and snacks, plus bluegrass by that fine local outfit, Huckleberry Flint. The next evening it's Deadhead time with assorted past and present members of Ripple Effect playing as Tie Dye Steve and Friends. (I'm sure Steve's amazing t-shirts will be hanging here and there.) That was the typo Ron wanted to be sure to correct: He'd spelled the dye in Tie Dye with and "i," which definitely changes the meaning. Music at Mosgo's continues Saturday with This Hospital Earth Memorial Brass Band, who are "just a bunch of guys who play music," said Ron in a non-too-descriptive description. I did a Google search for "This Hospital Earth" and the top hit was "The Hum," from one year ago when the band, which included members of Datura Blues, was playing a Manila Placebo show, the last one at the old digs after they got kicked out because of complaining neighbors. I'm guessing this "Memorial" band is a reunion, perhaps with horns.
BTW, Mosgo's is an all-ages venue, something we need more of in Arcata. It's too bad Placebo never found a home here. They seem to be doing all right working with the young artists of Empire Squared and Synapse in Eureka, but I still wish they'd received a more cordial reception in Arcata, where the attitude toward youth drinking seems to be more gotcha than here's something else to do.
A word of warning: Tix for Reggae on the River are 80 percent sold. Get 'em while you still can. Check www.reggaeontheriver.com for particulars. And don't forget Blues by the Bay is next weekend. Should be a good one. (More details next week.)
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