Sunday, September 29, 2013

'Tis But Rain

Posted By on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Haters gonna hate. Emerald Empire LARPers at the fair on Saturday. - TONY SMITHERS
  • Tony Smithers
  • Haters gonna hate. Emerald Empire LARPers at the fair on Saturday.
The mud is just making it more medieval. It's also making admission free. Over at the Excalibur Tournament and Medieval Market Fair next Mad River Hospital, LARPers, jousters, knights, ladies and wenches are still going on with the show.
Jousting on Saturday in fairer weather. - TONY SMITHERS
  • Tony Smithers
  • Jousting on Saturday in fairer weather.
Due to rain, admission is free. Also the jousters are "mud-skiing," a rare medieval practice about which much is written and little is known.
Ridin' dirty. A mud-skier hitches a ride behind a jouster. - TONY SMITHERS
  • Tony Smithers
  • Ridin' dirty. A mud-skier hitches a ride behind a jouster.
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From the Hum: Soul Vision Sunday (I Don't Know What That Means)

Posted By on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Now, perhaps all the bluegrass, alt country and punk rock happening all weekend long left you cold. “Where,” you ask, “Where is my genre-bending force of sound using vocal harmony, traditional instrumentation, roots music, lyrical prowess and diverse artistic collaborations to defy cultural clichés and ignite musical rebellion? Where?!” Don’t despair! Because tonight, Rising Appalachia and The Human Experience present Soul Visions with Saqi and DJ iWon plus VJ Dumps and June Jackson lighting at Arcata Theatre Lounge. Disclaimer: I have no idea what any of that means. But you might! Read more at Doors open at 9 p.m. Cost is $25 at the door with $20 advanced tickets available at People’s Records and This madness is 21-and-over. 
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

From The Hum: Boys Vs. Girls

Posted By on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM

The Lost Luvs

When I gave a listen to Portland’s The Good Sons’ “Stab in the Back,” I thought, Ramones. The track “Fuck it All Away” slows things down, as if a heroin-laden Jim Morrison had been added to the mix. I like this kinda stuff, especially when it’s happening in the corner of the Alibi, which is exactly where The Good Sons will be Saturday night with Humboldt’s Dead Man’s Tale. Sample The Good Sons for yourself at Usual Alibi details: Music starts around 11 p.m., cover’s $5 and if you’re under 21, you shouldn’t be there.

But meanwhile over at the Logger Bar... a night of all-girl bands awaits! You’ve got The Brendas with their all-lady Blue Lake alt country. You’ve got The Lost Luvs with their all-girl alt surf pop. And you’ve got Cliterate, the best-named group in the history of all-women Arcata punk bands. This one’s free and starts around 9 p.m., so maybe you can begin in Blue Lake and wend your way to the ’bi later on. 
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From The Hum: Humboldt Hills Hoedown Today (VIDEO)

Posted By on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM

The Dirt Floor Band

Today, the Mateel Community Center once again celebrates bluegrass, country and American roots music with the ninth annual Humboldt Hills Hoedown. Featuring the ever-popular Hot Buttered Rum along with country music icon Lacy J Dalton, plus the fantastically gritty Hillstomp, the always stimulating Rooster McClintock, the delightfully talented Striped Pig String Band and bunches more. The hoedown runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $28 advance, available at local outlets and or $30 at the door. 

Here's some Hillstomp for you:

HILLSTOMP, Live at the Filling Station in Bozeman, Montana. 4-20-13 from Jeff Rhyner on Vimeo.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Redwood Jazz Alliance Gigs

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 4:56 PM

  • Courtesy of the artist.
  • Regina Carter
The Redwood Jazz Alliance kicked off their season with Phronesis this week, and more is on the way. The lineup for the year features the Claudia Quintet, Fred Hersch Trio, Omer Atival Quintet, Linda Oh Sun Pictures, Michael Moore Quartet and Regina Carter's Southern Comfort. Check out their website for dates and venues.
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Goth Kids

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM

We like to think of the Brits as reserved and refined, and with their perky boy bands and chic princess, it's easy to forget how creepy they can be. The Humboldt County Library is here to remind us how weird it can get across the pond with its October film series, "Keep Calm: Paranormal England."

First up on Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. is The Innocents, hosted by Michael Logan. It stars Deborah Kerr and is based on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, a gothic novella in which the governess of two eerie little children starts to think they might be possessed. Fix that one, Super Nanny.

Somebody needs a timeout in The Innocents.
  • Somebody needs a timeout in The Innocents.

Next Michael Logan hosts Night of the Demon on Oct. 8. Adapted from "Casting the Runes" by M.R. James and directed by Jacques Tourneur, this one features a doubting Yank psychologist who's looking into a colleague's death and develops the heebie-jeebies from a local occultist.

On Oct. 15, it's the much lighter Blithe Spirit, which is based on a Noel Coward play and is directed by David Lean. Married Rex Harrison has a medium over and accidentally brings back his dead wife's ghost. Awkward. Hosted by the blithe Bob Doran.

Finally, on Oct. 29, Dorothy Macardle's Uneasy Freehold comes to the screen as The Uninvited, a spookier version of House Hunters International. Michelle Cartier hosts this film about a brother and sister who realize their real estate bargain needs work — like an exorcism.

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From the Hum: Jazz-Folk-Amazing Meklit Hadero

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Tonight at the Arcata Playhouse, a run of high quality shows continues with Bay Area jazz/folk singer and guitar player Meklit Hadero. The Ethiopian-born Hadero grew up in the U.S., attended Yale, then became a musical sensation with the release of her 2010 debut On a Day Like. Meklit has served as an artist-in-residence at New York University, the De Young Museum and the Red Poppy Art House, and completed musical commissions for the San Francisco Foundation and for theatrical productions staged by Brava! For Women in the Arts. Clearly a heavy hitter. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general, $13 members and available at Wildwood Music, Wildberries, The Works or 822-1575. More info at
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Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Pandas — giant, red, kung fu, Sandoval — own the Internet. Why? Because the furry, graphically colored pandas are adorable, exotic and endangered. (If you've never clicked on a panda picture online, you might be a serial killer. Get that checked out.)

The red panda is like a raccoon from out of town that doesn't want to get in your garbage cans. Very chill. And we have a whole family of them at our zoo. Sunday is a free day at Sequoia Park Zoo to celebrate International Red Panda Day. It's an actual thing set up by the Red Panda Network. Which is also a real thing. We looked it up. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., kids can do all sorts of activities with the folks from the zoo and PG&E, which is sponsoring the day. Kids can become official Red Panda Rangers, too (great band name — snap it up before someone else does).

Little Móhú, putting human babies everywhere to shame. - PHOTO BY JOSE QUEZADA, COURTESY OF THE ZOO.
  • photo by jose quezada, courtesy of the zoo.
  • Little Móhú, putting human babies everywhere to shame.

Enter the raffle for a chance to hand feed the pandas (squee!) or maybe take home conceptual art from Sumo the red panda, who walks through paint onto canvas (don't ask him about it or you'll be stuck for 20 minutes of him going on about his process). Pale, fluffy baby Móhú ("foggy" in Chinese) is starting to venture out with Mom, so there's even a chance of a cub sighting. Either way, there's a live feed you can watch for a little panda reality TV.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Free Music from Lila Nelson

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM


Few people in the world own my fanship like singer-songwriter Lila Nelson. Her songs tear at my soul in all the best ways, awash in poetry, insight and sheer artistry. The former Humboldt star remains well-loved locally despite relocating to Oakland a few years back. You may remember her fabulous, humor-filled live shows. You may remember her as the original host of KHUM's Meet Me In The Morning. You may have lived bereft of her wonderfulness until now, you poor thing. Whatever your knowledge of Lila's music, here's some excellent* news:

She's currently posting a free download from her album The Fret & The Frey each day. Today's, "Dance With A Stranger," is a beauty. Then again, so are they all. Don't delay. And once you get a taste, you'll want the whole album. And all her past ones. What a treat. 

(*There's a longer discussion about how we value music at hand, but I don't have time to get into it now. A particularly good, recent read from Esquire captures some of it.)
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From The Hum: All You Wanted to Know About String Thing 5 But Were Afraid to Ask

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Well, there went summer, Humboldt! And now we turn to fall, heralded by the rain’s return, balmy south winds quickening the pulse and the twang of stringed instruments calling to you like sirens to Odysseus’ sailors. Yes, it’s that time again. Time for String Thing 5, happening Friday night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge.

Here to tell you about ST5 is event inventor Ryan Roberts, best known for being one-fifth of Absynth Quintet (and four-fifths smartass wit).

NCJ: Why String Thing 5?
RR: This is one of those odd questions that music journalists think are so funny to ask. They are not. Instead of answering it, I will ask myself a more relevant question.

RR: After five years of doing the String Thing, what have you learned about the world of music production?
RR: Glad you asked! When we first started this, we had no idea what it would take to line up bands, schedule the night, take care of riders, insurance — it was a little bit of a learning curve! What I hoped to get out of it was some insight into how the other side of the business worked, the booking, the show production, the ticketing promotion side. And it really has done that — it has made the AQ a more professional band because we know what to expect and what should be expected from us when dealing with some of these bigger festivals and acts.
Also I think we can bring an artist’s perceptive to the promotion/production side of things and hopefully do some of the things for the artists and audience that we know sets the table for a enjoyable evening.

NCJ: Why should AQ fans come out to see this show if they've already seen you guys 100 times?
RR: Really, have they? I doubt that. What you’re asking, I think, is why go see us? Well, we practiced, that’s always a plus. Second, we’re playing all the material off our forthcoming album, which you can't hear anywhere else. We’re in love with the material and it’s incredibly fun to play. If you’re into what we do, it's worth checking out. Plus we will play last, so if you’re not into what we do, you can come to the show, see all these great artists and still be home in time to watch Matlock.

NCJ: Do you ever get tired of your fans being so, so drunk? Asking for a friend.
RR: Never underestimate your audience.

Dirt Floor Band

NCJ: What should people know about the other bands on the bill?
RR: Well, The Dirt Floor Band brings the “throw down” from Mendocino and always get the crowd stomping those snakes. Lyndsey Battle, with Cory Goldman and Brian Hennesy, just put out an amazing album that really shows what kind of talent we have here in Humboldt ... Caitlin Jemma and Our Weight in Gold are going to bring lovely vocals and good down-home country feeling to the night to get us all in the right mood for love ... And Chris Parreira, local troubadour, has a special line-up of guests for the “also a stage” stage.

NCJ: Where's AQ headed?
RR: I really have no idea. Every time I think I know where we are headed, it changes direction. I have never been right in the past and there is no indication that will change anytime soon. So, hopefully somewhere good, hopefully somewhere together. I know for sure we are headed somewhere, or maybe not.

Doors for String Thing 5 open at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 at the door with advanced tickets available at Wildwood Music, Wildberries and the ATL Box Office. The show is 21-and-over.
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