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August 24, 2006

The Bottom Dwellers don't really live on the bottom of anything, except perhaps the music food chain, and even that's arguable since they've had their twangy music played on the National Public Radio show Car Talk.

While the band lives over in Yolo County, Woodland to be exact, guitarist Ivan Sohrakoff is a Humboldt native straight outta Fortuna. He explains that the B-Dwellers are "four young boys who live on I-5 and sing about trucks, drinking and George-fucking-Bush. We bring honky tonk to where honky tonk is needed. We live, breath and eat pickin', strummin' and stickin'. We drink lots of high-quality beer."

The band might be considered kind of country-ish: They "landed on the `twang' genre, with some swamp thrown in," says Ivan (who also happens to be the step-son of Spumoni, a picker from the Compost Mountain Boys, playing this Thursday at Humboldt Brews).

"I really detested country music while growing up in Fortuna," admitted Ivan, "and in fact, was a bit infamous for my opinions on the subject. I wrote articles for the Fortuna High paper voicing my opinion on the awful commercial country music played during on-campus lunch. I later discovered that country music doesn't have to sound bad. Thanks to musicians such as Wayne Hancock, Neil Young, Junior Brown, Buck Owens and Willie Nelson, I gained an appreciation for twang." (BTW, Wayne "The Train" is coming to McKinleyville Sept. 5.)

Car Talk? "It's a fact. A song from our debut album called `Company Truck' was featured on an episode of Car Talk. We submitted it, and they played it. I guess people who like cars like the Bottom Dwellers."

Catch the Bottom Dwellers "trying to do our part to take country music back from its ugly mainstream state" when they hit Six Rivers Brewery Friday, August 25, or on Saturday, August 26, at Blue Lake Casino. Extra bonus: "We'll be featuring a great pedal steel player, Dave Zirbel, those nights as well. Dave is from Sebastopol and regularly plays with Johnny Dilks, The Mother Truckers and just finished recording some steel tracks on (believe it or not) Sammy Hagar's new record.

"We'll be cramming as much blistering twang into the sets as we can muster," says Ivan. "Be ready to dance, and wear your shit-kickers."

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There's a free show earlier Saturday evening in Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Palace, a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne (you know, the star from that reality TV show who used to play in and some old metal band) with Izzy Ozborne, a demented looking cat from Red Bluff, who describes himself as a "cartoon version" of Ozzy.

Speaking of tributes: Miles Ahead: A Tribute To The Music Of Miles Davis returns for what could be one of its final shows Saturday at the Pearl. Meanwhile, at the Accident Gallery it's The Monster Women and Henpecker plus The Horsethieves, which includes a former member of Couch of Eureka (drummer Chris Cunningham) and le Matt of Romanteek.

Hard choice for reggae fans Thursday, August 24: Sister Carol is up at Six Rivers; same time, same night, Toots Jr. (son of Toots Hibbert of Maytals fame) gets irie at Mazzotti's.

Friday night at the Jambalaya, it's the ever-funky Bump Foundation, followed on Saturday by their friends, Nucleus, jamming at the Jam.

It's hip hop party time at Mazzotti's Friday night as the folks from That's How We Roll present "Keep the feel 707" featuring Abstract Rude with/ DJ Drez and DJ Artistic, in an event "much like a house party where the DJs keep you dancing all night ... bringing back that feelgood roots & kulcha vibe with a b-boy twist."

More hip hop? Check Indigo Saturday night where they have DJ Rick Lee, a leader of the crunky hyphy movement out of the "Yay Area" spinning the latest with special guests Dem Hoodstarz, a duo also up from the Bay. Sunday at Indigo: The return of Club Triangle, with DJ music for the alt. lifestylish.

Cuckoo's Nest is once again "Celebrating Bird" Sunday evening at the Westhaven Center for the Arts, playing music by Charlie Parker in honor of the late jazzman's b-day. This follows pianist Darius Brotman's ongoing Sunday afternoon jazz sessions at the Center.

Australian folk wonders The Waifs are back in HumCo Monday, August 28, for what's sure to be a thrilling show at the Van Duzer. Waifs drummer David Ross MacDonald returns (with his guitar) on his own Sept. 1 for a solo thing at the Red Radish.

Also on Monday, at Humboldt Brews, the psychedelic gypsy string stylings of Taarka. Same night at Six Rivers in McKinleyville, the mad saxophonist Skerik, blowing wildly with his Syncopated Taint Septet, which includes four other horn players.

Norm from Bad Kitty has been getting beaucoup calls from bands since he started booking psychobilly and ska/punk shows at the Boiler Room. The latest: a ska punk thing Sunday night with Skaladdin from Switzerland, on tour with The Right Aways from Colorado Springs.

Saturday, August 26, at The Alibi, it's that new local rock combo, Uncle Albert's Rock Shop -- now with a longer name referencing what exactly? Could it be that sappy apologetic Paul McCartney song? "We're so sorry Uncle Albert, but we haven't done a bloody thing all day ... " They share the bill with Ride the Blinds, a "heavy blues" outfit from SF.

Also heavy and bluesy and playing at the Alibi (Wednesday, August 30), Scott H. Biram, on the road from Texas with his new Bloodshot album, Graveyard Shift. Scott's latest claim to fame: a track-played on a recent episode of Dog The Bounty Hunter.

On that same Wednesday, at Placebo/E-2, show featuring Neptune from Boston (not to be confused with The Neptunes, the hip hop producers). The trippy, trashy noise rock trio actually began as a sculpture project, making music on homemade instruments crafted from bicycle parts, bed springs and other scrap metal, all amplified and weirded out with electronics. Joining them, The Pipe o' the Doctor of Witchcraft, which is another incarnation of Long Beach noisesters mini-bastardo, plus a new duo, RV Paintings. Nepotism alert: RV Painting is a summer project of Spencer Doran of Cloaks fame (currently living in our garage) and Brian Pyle, of the internationally famous Starving Weirdoes. Expect "total radness" says Brian, further explaining, "It's psychedelic drone music, which is such a wide open thing it's hard to describe." I like the little bit I've heard, but I'm admittedly prejudiced.

And last but not least next Wednesday, a show in HSU's Kate Buchanan Room featuring the "funktronic" electro-jammy sounds of Particle, who just released a double disc CD/DVD, Transformations Live, For the People featuring guest shots from the likes of Robbie Kreiger, Joe Satriani, Blackalicious and DJ Logic (none of whom will be at the KBR). Computer nerds/jamrockers The Flying Other Brothers open the show.

That's the first of many AS Presents shows on campus. The next night, Thursday, August 30, it's a one/two punch with a free show downstairs in the Depot featuring local faves The Monster Women and The Buffy Swayze, followed by a killer alt. rock blast upstairs with Deerhoof, xbxrx and The Husbands. More on that one next week.

Ran into Brisa Roche at the (extremely funky) James Brown show Monday night. Her EMI/Metro Blue disc The Chase, recorded mostly in Paris, officially hit the streets of the USA last week. She's in town for a while hanging with the folks and working on her next album. The Chase might not be what you'd expect from the jazzy singer who once called herself Valentine. You still get a hint of jazziness in her voice, but the music is more alt. rock on the retro/modern side, full of unexpected textures, a string section here, a celeste there and lots of electric guitar. Very cool overall. She said she's not really planning any local shows, but you can catch her chatting with (the recently trimmed) Mike Dronkers on KHUM this Thursday at 12:45 p.m. "I'll bring my guitar and sing a couple of songs," she promised.

This just in: KKDS Radio, the long-awaited low-power radio station from the kids at Blue Ox School is on the air at 97.7 on your FM dial, broadcasting with 100 watts of power. Launch party Saturday at 1 p.m. in the studio at Blue Ox (2nd and Y streets in Eureka). They note: "The station is actively seeking youth and community members interested in creating programming." Training available for those interested. Check or call 444-3437 for details.

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