Friday, July 26, 2013


Reggae is coming soon to a river near you

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM

The standoff between Reggae on the River and Reggae Rising is finally over. Reggae on the River is returning to French's Camp from Aug. 1-4. With any luck, folks can let go all those negative vibes and get back to enjoying some music.

The bill boasts 25 featured acts and a smattering of other vocalists and DJs. Among the headliners, The Meditations are back for the first time since 1984, the very first year of the festival. The band brings tons of cred from way back, having worked with Marley and Cliff, and they're kind of a big deal in their own right. Speaking of Marleys, Julian Marley and the Uprising Band are on the bill, too, along with Les Nubians and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars.

Les Nubians
  • Les Nubians

If you're camping out, be sure to bring plenty of your own water and don't count on Jah providing. Not up for four days in a tent? The Mateel Community Center is also selling one-day passes so you can stir it up all day and then go home to your comfy bed.

Granted, much of Reggae on the River's appeal is the long, long weekend of sparking up and partying in the mellow haze that surrounds the music. But reggae is also the voice of political struggle and religious revival, born in the slums of Jamaica and adopted by anti-Apartheid protestors in South Africa and revolution-minded punks in the United Kingdom. Consider, as you revel on the riverbank, reggae's enduring power as an anthem of the oppressed. And say hi to the guy in the ill-fitting Borat swimsuit who won our video contest.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013


Auto Xpo rolls through Fortuna

Posted By on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Polish it up, pop the hood and show it off. Auto Xpo is pulling into Fortuna. The rodeo dust has barely settled, and as the horse trailers and bull riders ride into the sunset, a fleet of classic cars rolls into town.

This is a weekend of vintage obsession, so it's only fitting there's an antique show in the Veteran's Building from Thursday at 3 p.m. until Saturday at 5 p.m. If that's not enough shopping for you, the Artisan's Faire is open in the Pavilion from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The traffic on Main Street, Fortuna.
  • The traffic on Main Street, Fortuna.

Friday at 6 p.m. is when things really get started with the cruise, a slo-mo drive down the main drag for all the cars showing over the weekend. Get a good spot on the sidewalk and try not to feel bad about your own ride. When the last tailfin passes you by, keep the retro vibe going and pony over to the sock hop at the River Lodge at 8 p.m. You can play it cool, Daddy-o, but you know you want to grease your hair and win that costume contest.

It's not about winning, it's about trophies. Big, shiny trophies. The best of the best are getting theirs in Rohner Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Judged Car Show. Get up close and personal with all those fine machines you saw cruising Main Street. Fortuna High will be looking very Rydell High with the Show and Shine/Vintage and Exotic Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Once your car lust has been stoked, hang around Rohner Park for the swap meet and Car Corral, where you can actually buy a car (Friday noon-5 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m.-4 p.m.). Elsewhere in the park, hardcore antique engine buffs can geek out at the Hit and Miss Engine Gas Up all weekend, featuring old school flywheel industrial engines. Antique farm equipment will be on display, too, with a tractor pull from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday and from noon-2 p.m. on Sunday.

Burnt out on cars? Not until you get a whiff of the Burn Out Contest in the park at 2 p.m. Contestants will be judged on smoke, duration and crowd reaction, with bonus points for popping a tire. The weekend winds up with a poker run from Strongs Creek Plaza at 5 p.m. Sorry, the big barbecue in Rohner is for participants only, but you can always console yourself with pulled pork or kettle corn from the vendors set up all over town.

Then go home and start taking better care of your car. Who knows? That Hyundai could be a classic one day.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Made in Humboldt: 'Weed the Game'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Who says stoners are lazy? Jim Gray, a resident of McKinleyville, has launched a company called Stoner Brothers Games, and his first product, set to launch next month, is WEED the Game. 

We got a press release describing the board game thusly:

Players buy seeds and plants and try to grow pounds of weed for cash. Players try to avoid going to jail, getting ripped off and loosing [sic] pounds and plants. The player with the most cash WiNS!

In other words, it's exactly like real life for certain segments of our community. Does the game celebrate this lifestyle? Well, the box does say "Live the Dream," with a cartoony American Gothic homage that shows a farm couple hip-deep in ganja. The blurb delights:

You can even win from jail if you are sitting on a pile of cash.

Totally, bro.

The company has another product already in the works -- a marijuana trivia game called Legalize It in 50 States. "We plan to release a new board game every year – created right here in Humboldt County," says the press release. WEED the Game costs $42 -- or 420 dimes. Heh heh. 
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Right Over the Plate

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The Collins boys in team colors. - COURTESY OF GREG COLLINS.
  • Courtesy of Greg Collins.
  • The Collins boys in team colors.

Watching the Giants is too painful these days. Instead, tune into the Oakland A's game on Thursday at 7 p.m. and see hometown boy Greg Collins toss out the first pitch!

Collins, an associate archaeologist for California State Parks at Fort Humboldt, won the honor this past December in a Twitter contest sponsored by the A's. He was with his family at a wildlife sanctuary in Loleta when he won the grand prize of four tickets and the opening pitch. Apparently they were giving him a hard time for tweeting on their walk.

Originally a Dodgers fan (judge not, Humboldt), Collins converted to the A's when he moved north. And who can resist rooting for the A's since they signed McKinleyville High alum John Jaso? Collins will bring his mother, wife and son to the game on Thursday, four days shy of his 40th birthday. Until then, he'll be practicing and playing catch on breaks. "I'm no pitcher, but I'll make it," he says.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Craigslist Ad Targets Scantily-Clad Video Winner

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 12:16 PM

It seems our Reggae on the River video contest from last week has inspired affections aimed at the subject of the winning video

This post appeared in the "Missed Connections" section of Humboldt County Craigslist yesterday:

Reggae On River Winner - w4m - 35 (arcata jah)
I can't stop watching your video
You're a shinning star!
Those hip thrusts and swaying pelvis are magical
Hope I run into you there (ill be wearing an orange onesy version)
-Your Admirer

Can we take credit for playing matchmaker for this budding romance/creepfest at the river? Maybe. All we know is that there will be at least one, maybe two, Reggae-goers donning a Borat-style swimsuit at this year's festival. You're welcome. 
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Psst. Check This Out.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

  • 199NVRLND

Suddenly we're all feeling a little cooler at the Journal. One of our own, graphic designer Alana Chenevert, a.k.a. The Last Artful Dodger, has just released her rap mixtape online. 199NVRLND is available to download for free — free! She's like Lady Gaga with pants!

Give a listen to "Mushroom Kingdom" for starters, then get up for "Holiblaze." And we totally know her.

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And the Winning Video Is ...

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 7:07 PM

We had some great entries in our video contest, but it's time to give away four four-day passes to this year's Reggae on the River festival. Thank you to everyone who took the time to record and upload your Rasta-flavored eye-and-ear candy.

If we'd been judging on cuteness alone, then the pug or the baby might have taken the crown. If it was about heartwarming-ness, then Colette or Leishara might have been the winner.

But as the rules said, we were looking for creativity and originality. And in that department we had a runaway winner. The following video defies description, and it got the most votes from both our online commenters and our staff (with a few vocal objections).

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ...

Brew of Babylon!

Congratulations to Ricky Harvey of Arcata. Call us up on Monday to claim your four tickets, and when you're down there at Reggae, watch out for sharp twigs in that Borat suit.
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Back on Their Feet

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM

In May, when Jessicurl founder/world music DJ Jessica McGuinty underwent heart surgery and our own lovable Arts and Entertainment Editor/Music Guru Bob Doran had a stroke, many people asked if there was anything they could do. After all, recovery can be tough, and medical bills ain't cheap.

The good news is that both lovely people are bouncing back, and there is something you can do. You can get down to good music, laugh and bid on things for yourself at the "Back on Their Feet" benefit concert for Jessica and Bob. The show, brought to you by The Arcata Eye and the Journal, is at HumBrews on Thursday, July 25 at 8 p.m. Go ahead and write it down; we'll wait.

Stomp your boots and whoop it up with The Trouble and Gunsafe, both fresh from the stages of the Humboldt Folklife Festival. Don't sit down, though, because Missing Link DJs Matt & Adam will have lots of vinyl with them. And it will be funky. Or dope. Do people still say dope? Either way, it's a lot for $10 at the door.

Hope it doesn't hurt when Bob and Jessica laugh. Local comedy diva Sherae O'Shaughnessy is hosting the evening, and our own Kim Hodges, also of the Ba-Dum-Chh comedy troupe, will be encouraging us all to chuckle inappropriately. That's plenty of funny. Then there's the silent auction with all kinds of tickets, goodies, services and even artwork from Center Arts, Baroni, 3 Foods, Renata's Creperie, Darius Brotman, Robert Goodman Winery, Garden Gate and more. Rex Bohn will also be calling a live auction. Check out the growing list on our A&E Blog. You're such a giver — treat yourself to something pretty. Interested in donating? Give Debi Farber Bush a call at 845-3873.

Should be quite a party ... see you there!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yee Ha!

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The Fortuna Rodeo is on, so saddle up for some ropin', wranglin' and ridin'.

For those of us not quite ready to climb onto a bronco, the carnival is going all week long with rides and a midway right in Rohner Park ($25 for all-day wrist bands). On Thursday, the Junior Rodeo continues with young cowpokes competing at the Rodeo Grounds in Rohner Park, along with barrel racing afterward ($3, $1 children 6-12, free for kids under 6). At 6:30 you have full permission to stare at firefighters during the Fireman's Games on Main Street (free). That means lots of sloshing buckets and speed drills as crews from all over the county test their skills.

  • Carol Niles Photography

Friday revs up with Motorsports Night at the rodeo grounds at 6 p.m. ($5). Motocross jumper Julian D'usseau will be soaring, spinning and otherwise defying gravity on his bike. ATV racing and the infamous Quadiators should provide plenty of thrills and spills. In the Quadiator competition, passengers on each quad have balloons on their helmets and foam-covered bats — the goal is to whack other riders' balloons, and it goes pretty much how you would think.

Wake up for pancakes with the Fortuna Kiwanis Club on Saturday (7 a.m., $6, $4 for kids under 12) and carbo-load for the 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. All proceeds go to Relay for Life, and you can always rest while you watch the "Ridin' with the Red, White and Blue" parade go by on Main Street at noon. The rodeo kicks up again at the rodeo grounds at 2 p.m. ($7, $3 for kids under 12), followed by the new Bands, Bulls and Brews event at 8 p.m. The Roadmasters and The Delta Nationals play in between bouts of bull ridin' and a round of "Cowboy Poker," in which fellas sit down to a game of cards in a ring with an angry bull. Last one to leave the table takes the pot.

Sunday's barbecue in Rohner Park at 11 a.m. promises to be full of live music and red meat. For $12, get a heap of deep pit barbecued beef and a pile of sides — what? You did a 5K yesterday. Chow down. Then head back to the rodeo grounds for one last day of spur-jangling rodeo fun. Happy trails.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Where's Waldo?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Guys in Arcata with chunky glasses and knit caps are a dime a dozen, but finding this guy pays off. This month in Arcata, 24 paper Waldo figures from Martin Handford's Where's Waldo? illustrated hide-and-seek books have been stashed all over local shops. Hunt them down and you could end up with a cache of prizes.

There's Waldo!
  • There's Waldo!

Remember how fun it was to pore over those crowd pictures — both engrossing and claustrophobic — searching for the skinny guy in the red and white stripes? Go ahead and crack open a copy or look for an image online. You can't resist looking for him. Waldo, the lanky world traveler who actually learned to blend in with the natives and taught a generation how to obsess, is back. But where?

Pick up a "passport" at any participating store (Northtown Books has a bunch) and get a stamp for every Waldo you find. When you bring your passport back to Northtown, 10 stamps get you a sticker and a coupon, and 20 get you in on a drawing for the grand prize on July 31, which includes, among other things, a big, fat box set of Where's Waldo? Naturally.

The manhunt is on in independent bookstores all over the country to promote shopping locally, and both children and adults in Arcata have already started filling their passports up with stamps. So grab the kids and start looking.

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