Friday, November 15, 2013

From the Hum: Dick Dale Destroys Winema Theatre while Matt Beard Busts Live Art

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Dick Dale and his band perform "Miserlou" aka "That song from Pulp Fiction"

Tonight offers an especially cool event. As if the eardrum-destroying, genre-defining-surf-guitar-master Dick Dale at Scotia's amazing Winema Theatre wasn't enough, Eureka's own AidCurrent artist Matt Beard will be live-arting the show. The artwork he creates that night will be available to the highest bidder once the music stops with 50 percent of the proceeds donated to the non-profit of the buyer’s choice.

Beard’s live art presents a rare opportunity to own one of his original works, as many of his studio paintings are purchased by collectors before they ever become publicly available. His live art is unpredictable, as he adheres to a philosophy that refuses to plan ahead for live performances. It’s an artistic outlet for him to let go of the results-based methodologies that can dominate studio work, and instead dive into the experiential process based methods that allow the art to take unexpected turns throughout the course of its creation.

The music, the vibe and the crowd all have their influence in the direction of the artwork, and with the solid driving sounds of Dick Dale finishing the night, we look forward to seeing the results of this one. 

Tickets are $30. Opening the show will be The Pyronauts and Humboldt County’s own surf rockers Guns N Barrels. Guitar fans of all ages can attend the gig, and the music starts at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. Go out and get affirmed.

More info via Ferndale Music Company at 786-7030.
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Big Talk

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 4:00 AM

You know that TED Talk you watched and live-tweeted and re-posted and how you wished we could do something like that here? Well, you might have magical powers, because on Sunday Nov. 17 at noon, 22 speakers are taking the stage at the Arcata Theatre Lounge for TEDxYouth@HumboldtBay ($50, $10 for people under 25).

  • Photo courtesy of TEDx Humboldt.

It's a locally organized TED-esque event with that same brainy grassroots approach to getting people thinking and talking. This one, titled "Imagine > Ignite," is geared toward the under-25 set, and speakers include local luminaries and some very bright young things. You'll get schooled by a handful of high school students, cool science teacher David Haller, digital marketer Jeff Pimentel, Samba drum lord Jesse Jonathon Franzen, author Ray Raphael, artist Katie Texas, breakdancing teacher "Reckless" Rex Atienza and our own advice mistress, Jessicurl founder Jessica McGuinty (hey, girl). Can't make it to the show? Watch it streaming live at

Now see what you can do about wishing up a Korean barbecue place.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mr. Humboldt

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 4:00 AM

When somebody puts on a Mr. Humboldt pageant, you go. Beauty pageants are passé (does anybody even protest those things anymore?), but consider the possibilities. Dreads? Flannel? Tattoos? Indie musician or burly lumberjack? Hipster or hip waders? Mountain biker or mountain man? Trim beard or trim job? Go ahead and peruse the candidates, who range in age from still-getting-carded to riding-the-bus-for-free, on the Mr. Humboldt Facebook page. Better yet, let some of their names give you an image: Mr. Trees of Mystery, Mr. Bicycle Pimp, Mr. Redwood, The Rabbit Ranger and Mr. Short Shorts.

  • Photo courtesy of the mr. Humboldt pageant
  • Mr. H. Ipster Pibr VII

Then there are their talents, like eating stacks of pancakes, yo-yo tricks and puppetry. Hot. But really, you'll have to see all that Humboldt grass-fed beefcake in the flesh on Saturday Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. The whole farce will raise funds for Women's Crisis Shelter in Southern Humboldt, the Humboldt Literacy Project and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast. It's ironic and it's for charity, which means it is totally OK to ogle, objectify, rank, rate and have impure, sexist, un-PC, non-recyclable and non-fair-trade thoughts about the contestants. Have at it, folks.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Story Time

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Nothing beats a good story, and the weekend is bursting with them. On Friday Nov. 15 at Crush, settle in for Jeff DeMark's annual one-man show Writing My Way Out of Adolescence at 8 p.m. ($10, $40 with dinner) and find out how he made it.

jeff demark. - PHOTO BY STILSON SNOW.
  • photo by stilson snow.
  • jeff demark.

On Saturday Nov. 16,, take a trip to the Emerald Isle for Blarney and Beer at 7 p.m. at the Arcata Playhouse ($10). For the unfamiliar, blarney is the Irish art of charming B.S., which will be used for good in this instance, since proceeds benefit Hospice House. Stick around the playhouse for the start of Tellabration at 8 p.m. when Paul Woodland and friends will be spinning yarns.

Again, for the unfamiliar, every November during the Tellabration weekend, people all over the world hold events where you can hear tales both true and imaginary from writers, performers and fabulists — and maybe tell a few of your own. The North Coast Storytellers will tellabrate at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka on Sunday Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., and if the spirit moves you, you've got five to eight minutes of stage time to get it off your chest (free).

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Monday, November 11, 2013

From the Hum: Monday's Must-See Show

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
is a big, twangy ride of a good time. With washboard! There's nothing not to like about this band. Make your Monday worthwhile by ensconcing yourself at Hum Brews for this show. Tickets are $15, music starts at 9 p.m.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

From the Hum: Americana vs. Country

Posted By on Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Americana laced with pedal steel and banjo is on the menu Sunday night with the Black Lillies at Humboldt Brews. Lovely and thoughtful, both invoking melancholy and keeping it at bay, like the last leg of a long, lonely road trip. Tickets are $10, show's 21-and-over, music starts around 9 p.m.

Making for a tough choice, over at the Arcata Playhouse, Brooklyn's Sweetback Sisters recall the best of country music from the Everlys to the Judds, with a spirited twist of Wanda Jackson. On tap, the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong. Brooklyn pal and performer Austin McCutchen opens. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m., tickets are $15 general, $13 students and members.
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

From the Hum: Saturday's Classical, Deep Bass and Psych Rock

Posted By on Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

As a former and sometimes current journalist, I appreciate efforts to keep ancient art forms alive, thus a shout-out to chamber music aficionados SquarPeg, appearing in concert at the Fortuna Monday Club on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. SquarPeg is dedicated to exploring chamber music for the 21st century. From the press release: "Considering the abundance of information from other musical cultures at our fingertips, it is not hard to imagine the idea of small acoustic ensembles assimilating some of those influences into a chamber music lexicon." Now, being unfamiliar with chamber music (evidence of my disadvantaged childhood), I actually can't imagine this, so here's some more from the release: "The group draws on the rhythms and melodic and harmonic structures of such diverse traditions as French musette, western popular song, Arabic maqam and American jazz, and presents the old wine of traditional themes in the new bottles of a decidedly nontraditional instrumentation." There ya go! Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors.

A different type of unconventional occurs at the ATL with the celebration of local producer and promoter ONHELL's first album, Use. ONHELL — Angel Rubio-Hale — has been a fixture on the Northern California party scene and comes equipped with vintage synthesizers, cutting edge production tools and, most notably, a drive for experimentation. Also being celebrated is the release of Eprom's new LP Halflife — yes, that's right, an LP — and its minimalist offering of low-slung rhythmic transformation, deep bass and dark melodies. Rounding out the night is San Francisco's Grenier. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. with happy hour food and beverage prices until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance and $15 limited advance. This show is 21-and-over.

Nipplepotamus at The Works

And now for your weekly rock fix! The talented Nipplepotamus sets the Alibi alight with a most entrancing version of psychedelic surf jams. SF's The Connies add old school punk to the night's scene. All for only $5! Typical late start — around 11 p.m. — and the show is 21-and-over.
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Friday, November 8, 2013


Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Humboldt Unbound, a grand, fanciful, poetic, theatrical biography of the Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, namesake of the county where we live, began a two weekend run last night at Humboldt State University. A gala champagne opening helped introduce the cast and crew.
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt - JOSEPH KARL STIELER (1781–1858)
  • Joseph Karl Stieler (1781–1858)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt

Dell'Arte Producing Artistic Director Michael Fields watched from the back with the play's Associate Scenic Designer Lynnie Horrigan (also Michael's wife).
Michael Fields and Lynnie Horrigan - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Michael Fields and Lynnie Horrigan

The role of the globe-trotting Humboldt, a geography "rock star" of his time, according to Fields, was shared by Steve Cunha, chair of HSU's Geography Department, playing "old" Alexander.

At the gala, Cunha was flanked by Mark Teeter, who played the young Humboldt, and Luke Tooker, who played Alex's travel companion Seifert.
Mark Teeter, Steve Cunha and Luke Tooker, - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Mark Teeter, Steve Cunha and Luke Tooker,

Dell'Arte's composer Tim Gray was responsible for a textured sound design.

Also note worthy among the cast, Samantha Herbert who played multiple roles, highlighted by an expressive dance as "A Parrot Who Speaks the Language of the Dead."
Samantha Herbert and a drawing of a parrot  by von Humboldt - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Samantha Herbert and a drawing of a parrot by von Humboldt

It should be noted that Cunha has a long history of impersonating 19th century gentlemen. In the latest HSU graduation ceremony he gave a speech to the class of 2013 dressed as Alexander von Humboldt.
click image Professor Steve Cunha becomes von Humboldt for the HSU graduation ceremony. - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Professor Steve Cunha becomes von Humboldt for the HSU graduation ceremony.

Humboldt Unbound continues its run at the Van Duzer Theatre this weekend with shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The play continues next weekend with shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14, 15 and 16, again at 7:30, concluding with a Sunday matinee Nov. 17, starting at 2 p.m. For more on the play, Fields and the life of von Humboldt check out Bill Kowinski's story on the play.

Spoiler alert: On a personal note, this writer was taken by surprise by the play. The opening scene of Humboldt Unbound has the older Humboldt punctuating a speech with him suffering a stroke. While shooting the photo above of Cunha as von Humboldt, my pictures of the graduation came to a halt as I suffered a stroke. I am still recovering though rehab.

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What the Fup

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The Humboldt writers Jerry Martien, and Jim Dodge about to read from his work - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • The Humboldt writers Jerry Martien, and Jim Dodge about to read from his work

The novelist/poet Jim Dodge launched a short Humboldt tour earlier this week at HSU, reading from his book Fup, to a crowded room. The readings continue with stops at College of the Redwoods Friday, Nov 15, at 10 a.m., at the CR Mendocino Coast Campus on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. concluding on his old stomping grounds, Arcata's Northtown Books, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. on Arts Arcata Friday.
Fup has been chosen as Book of the Year at both local colleges, an honor that Dodge did not actively campaign for. Jim explained that the book, about a grandfather, his grandson and a duck named Fup, was a sort an odd bird. It's often described as a novel, but length wise it doesn't fit the criteria. At around 99 pages it's also too short for the novella, and too long for a short story. He was proud to note that a publisher in one of many reprintings described it on the cover simply as "a story."
Dodge was introduced by the poet Jerry Martin who offered a tribute to his friend. Dodge then read the fast moving first chapter of his "story," followed by a handful of poems and a prose piece, "a true story." Of course there's plenty of truth in everything he read, and beauty, and comedy.
Jim Dodge outside his office in HSU's Founders Hall - BY BOB DORAN
  • by Bob Doran
  • Jim Dodge outside his office in HSU's Founders Hall

On a side note, the first draft of this post was created with a dictation program that did not recognize the title of the book, rendering it as "f*ck" (with asterisk included). Perhaps because of my poor pronunciation, the author's names were also misunderstood by the voice app, replacing Jerry Martien with "Jerry Martini" and Dodge with "God."

Extra bonus: Jerry Martien, Jim Dodge and my friend Laura Zerzan-Jones read work by the late, great semi-local poet/journalist John Ross at Northtown Books.
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From the Hum: Tonight's Bluegrass Fix

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 9:05 AM

It's a must-see show for bluegrass fans tonight when The Grascals perform at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. For those unfamiliar, the Grascals are among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on today's bluegrass scene — they've won a slew of awards and been nominated for a number of Grammys, plus they've appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, CBS's Early Show, Fox & Friends and The Tonight Show, and toured with both Dolly Parton and Hank Williams, Jr. Doors open at 8 p.m., cover is $18 at the door or $15 advance, and this show is 21-and-over.
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