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The Hum by Bob Doran

Nov. 11, 2004

Photo and headline -- The Waifs

WE HAVE A VERY BUSY, VERY INTERNATIONAL WEEK IN STORE, WITH five shows in eight days at Humboldt State featuring performers from five different continents. It begins Thursday, Nov. 11, with the Russian chamber music ensemble Moscow Virtuosi at the Van Duzer under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov.

Then at the Van Duzer Friday, Nov. 12, CenterArts presents Angelique Kidjo , a fireball from Benin on Africa's west coast, touring in support of her latest release, Oyaya! (which BTW is the Yoruba word for "joy"). Produced by Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, the record continues Kidjo's examination of the African roots of music in the Americas. Where Oremi explored the roots of American soul and Black Ivory Soul traced connections with Brazil, Oyaya draws on musical traditions of the Caribbean Diaspora including salsa, calypso, meringue and ska.

Coming Sunday, Nov. 14, to the East Gym, all-American girl Margaret Cho (with Korean roots) spitting out improvisational rants on her State of Emergency tour. (See the interview on page 8 in this week's Journal.)

Then on Tuesday, Nov. 16, it's folk-rock from the land down under with The Waifs, [photo at left] who are celebrating the release this week (in Australia anyway) of The Waifs A Brief History, a double disc live thing documenting the rise of the band since they began recording their shows in 1997. It follows on the heels of their latest studio disc, Up All Night, an appropriate title considering the fact that Vikki Simpson recently took a break from the road to have a new baby. A cryptic note from Vikki on the band's Web site says, "Being in a band is a marriage. Three is an odd number. Independent means hard work. But to have the freedom to go where you want, with your closest friends and play music to anyone who chooses to listen, it's just the best thing" Opening the show, Erin McKeown , a songwriter from Virginia who is supposedly a cross between Randy Newman and Bjork.

The fifth continent, South America, is covered next Thursday, Nov. 18, when the world music label Putumayo presents Latinas: Women of Latin America, again at the Van Duzer. Read about one of the Latin divas elsewhere in this issue.

The new improved Six Rivers Brewery has done some work on the music room, raising the stage a bit and taking out some of the overhang above it. The stage will see a very busy week with music every single night starting off with a bang Friday, Nov. 12, with the bluesman with the tight black T: Tommy Castro , with Humboldt's own rockin' bluesmen the Clint Warner Band opening.

Saturday at Six Rivers, Vinyl , up from Marin for more of their always-tasty mélange of rock, ska, salsa and jazz, toting a new disc, All the Way Live. Sunday it's The Motet , a Colorado-based combo led by drummer Dave Watts, and yes, they have a new live disc too, Music for Life, showing their move towards Fela-inspired Afrobeat sounds. The eco-groovy band is touring in a bio-diesel bus, and has some sort of deal with a wind-power company that's supplying energy for all their shows, helping to save the ozone.

Tuesday at Six Rivers Brewery, roots reggae from the Virgin Islands with Bambu Station from St. Thomas and special guest vocalist Iba , from St. Croix. And Six Rivers has more reggae next Thursday, Nov. 18, a Jamaican vocalist Daddigon who started out in a group called Dutty Cup with his childhood friend Sean Paul, then went on to perform with Damian Marley and the Ghetto Youth Crew.

More reggae? Thursday, Nov. 18, at Mazzotti's, catch the return of Rocker T and the More-Luv Band with DJ Irie Dole and Mystic1 .

For some reason there's no reggae at Saturday's Humboldt Hemp Fest at the Mateel, but there is music by Terrapin Tony and Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles , plus the All Shook Up Belly Dancers, and speeches by Jack Herer (author of the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes) and David Bronner (son of Dr. Bronner of minty soap fame).

Can you rap? Check the Female Fun MC Battle at Humboldt Brews Friday night hosted by Z-Man with special guest Dooley O, and DJ Thanksgiving Brown on the tables. If your flow is best, you could take home $100.

Dooley O , Z-Man and DJ Thanksgiving Brown take it over to Mazzotti's Saturday night where they're joined by Arcane and Time Machine plus dancehall spinners Jah Warrior Shelter Hi-Fi with DJs Jah Yzer and Irie Dole .

Looking for some place to take the kids? Try Circo Stupendo , Saturday afternoon at the Arcata Community Center. The circus benefit for the Dell'Arte Youth Academy is hosted by quasi-Spaniards Los Payasos Mendigos and includes world renowned Italian acrobats Milo and Olivia , plus sideshows, food, games and fun, fun, fun.

The Westhaven Center for the Arts rocks Saturday night to the music of Spudgun, who promise to tone it down so as not to scare the neighbors. Ask them to play some Chinese music.

Sunday at Humboldt Brews, a benefit for the yet-to-be-built McKinleyville Skate Park with a cool mix of hip hop, funk and rock including sets by Lyckitty Split , Old Man Clemins , DJ State of Mind and MC Martinez plus Breakdance Perfection . (Kids are welcome until 10 p.m.)

Something heavy? Tuesday, Nov. 16, drop by the Alibi for stoner rock by Drunk Horse and hillbilly metal by The Hitch. Bring earplugs.

At Muddy Waters Wednesday, Nov. 17, it's a CD release party for all typez of ill shit, the latest from Arcata-based one-man-synth-band Stereoprimer , aka Matt Kennedy, aka Kenny D, who slipped me the Monosyllabic disc after I caught his set at the Placebo Monday night. Matt pumps out a fun collection of blip pop ditties on the CD with voice samples he describes as "silly." Wednesday's show also includes the return of JPG and the ubiquitous Thanksgiving Brown.

Speaking of record release parties, The Buffy Swayze celebrates the completion of their first disc, Karate Pop, with a pop rock show at the 330 Club Thursday, Nov. 11, where they will be joined by S.F.-based duo Shellshag (most of Kung Fu USA) and infamous trash-popsters Eureka Garbage Co .

At 535 Nightclub Wednesday night, the first fund-raiser for Camp Betty, an all-woman festival coming next year. This all-female show includes those sweet rockers The Ian Fayes , and the Electronic Legion of Feminist Sounds DJs.

In a classical vein: the Eureka Chamber Music Series continues Friday, Nov. 12, at Calvary Lutheran Church with Anton Nel, an internationally known pianist who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sunday, Nov. 14, at HSU's Fulkerson Hall, Gil Cline offers another brassy evening with the Humboldt Bay Brass Band, a community brass band in the British tradition, performing a variety of music.

Classic jazz? Mike McClimon of the Humboldt Ragtime Band etc. assembles some friends as The Dixie Dandies to offer "A Tribute to Louis Armstrong" at the Fortuna Monday Club on Saturday night.

CORRECTION: This Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Red Radish, is the correct day for a show I erroneously listed here last week with a wrong date featuring the amazing Czech mandolin master Radim Zenkl and semi-local guitarist Rex Richardson . I offer my sincere apology to anyone who drove to Blue Lake to find a dark restaurant due to the fact that I picked up some bad information on the Web. I will take it as a reminder to maintain a healthy air of skepticism, which incidentally, is something we should all do over the course of the next few years regarding our recently reelected fearless leader.

Bob Doran



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