Friday, January 31, 2014

From the Hum: Zion I's heavy hip hop, Morning Ritual's haunting hooks

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Hip hop act Zion I celebrates the group's latest effort, Shadowboxing, with a stop at the Arcata Theatre Lounge as part of the Masters Of Ceremony winter tour. The new album contains the anticipated heavy beats as Zion I's past collections — all critically acclaimed — but delivers them in a grittier style, making this one something new.

Not only does the title track infect on first listen, but Zion I remains both legit and accessible. To illustrate, Shadowboxing features heavy hitters Bassnectar, Grouch and Eligh, Collie Buddz and Goapele. The group has been voted best Bay Area hip-hop group by the SF Weekly numerous times and received aforementioned tons of love from critics in The Source, Vibe, YRB, 944,, Popmatters, 7+7, SF Chronicle and SF Bay Guardian. Even if you think you're a person who doesn't typically enjoy hip-hop, odds are the sharp groove of Zion I will get to you.

Opening for Zion I is Sol, a hip-hop artist from Seattle best known for his understated lyrics, exuberant performances and diverse instrumentation. His album Yours Truly hit #1 on iTunes' U.S. hip-hop chart and he's played the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Doors opens at 9 p.m. tickets are $20 at the door.

Humboldt knows and loves Shook Twins. Now the sisters are touring as Morning Ritual, a new collaboration with Portland-based composer Ben Darwish in support of the project's first effort, The Clear Blue Pearl. The concept album follows a couple suffering in a drought-plagued land (sound familiar?) as they search for a mythical underground aquifer — the "pearl" of the title.

While the tracks are as lovely as what we're used to with Shook Twins, Morning Ritual's songs hang on more haunting hooks and tease in tastes of jazz and R&B.

Catch them at Robert Goodman Wines. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m., tickets are $15. (I'll see you there!)

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Increase the Peace

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Unless you are made of stone, the news of late has gotten you down. Now would be a good time to get together with your neighbors and get down the right way.

Increase the Peace is happening on Saturday, Feb. 1 both at the Jambalaya and Humboldt Brews (donations accepted). The anti-violence fundraiser is a showcase of local talent and a chance for some community bonding. Poetry, spoken word and guest speakers get going at 6 p.m., along with a silent auction.

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The list of musical acts starting in both locations at 9:30 p.m. is still growing, but so far the bill includes: Liquid Kactus, Wownd Humboldt, Farmhouse Odyssey, the Getdown regulars (Pete Ciotti, Brian Swizlo and Drew Mohr), The Resonators, Berel Alexander, Splinter Cell, Scuber Mountian, Ashanan, Electric Gravy, Space Biscuit, the Hip Hop Lounge, Mo and Morgan Hollis, Samba Parade, Michael Kavanaugh and Ben Allen. Even if this weren't for a great cause, it's a tough lineup to pass up.

Not to mention the Humboldt Area Foundation is sliding all the proceeds over to the Stop the Violence campaign. Who can't get behind that?

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Dressed in a slightly-too-clean robe for The Dude, Michael Colburn waits in line for the Arcata Theatre Lounge's sold-out screening of The Big Lebowski.
  • Dressed in a slightly-too-clean robe for The Dude, Michael Colburn waits in line for the Arcata Theatre Lounge's sold-out screening of The Big Lebowski.
Drummer Pete Ciotti, owner of the Jambalaya and Big Pete's Pizza, celebrated his birthday Friday playing with the funk band Motherlode at Humboldt Brews. This weekend he's spearheading a benefit called Increase the Peace.
  • Drummer Pete Ciotti, owner of the Jambalaya and Big Pete's Pizza, celebrated his birthday Friday playing with the funk band Motherlode at Humboldt Brews. This weekend he's spearheading a benefit called Increase the Peace.
Dan Ehresman, executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center, gives a little speech welcoming Humboldt Baykeeper into the NEC fold at a new year reception at the offices shared by several eco-nonprofits.
  • Dan Ehresman, executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center, gives a little speech welcoming Humboldt Baykeeper into the NEC fold at a new year reception at the offices shared by several eco-nonprofits.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pray for Rain: Mike June and Jess Klein at Robert Goodman Tonight

Posted By on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 2:30 PM

The only thing keeping me from planning my night out with Mike June and Jess Klein tonight is this stupid cold inhabiting my face. But you, you without the snot and the coughing, you should not miss this chance to drink in the talent that is June and Klein. 

June's latest album, Talking Revolution Blues, kicks off with the rollicking "Pray for Rain." Ten seconds in, I was hooked. Foot-stompin' music with lyrics so sharp it's a wonder June doesn't cut his tongue on them. Admittedly, I've been marathoning Friday Night Lights while in bed with the sick, but I suspect even if I wasn't whiling away the hours in Dillon, Texas, I'd still swoon over the songs-for-the-working-class sound of this Austin-bred singer-songwriter. Think The Clash meets Johnny Cash. 

And then you've got Jess Klein, all haunting and beautiful, with the sort of voice that could lift you to the heavens while singing about the darkness. When she sings, "I need a lover to put my mind at ease," I expect everyone within earshot will fall to their knees in supplications.

Go ahead, listen.


Cover is $5, show starts at 8 p.m. Call (707) 826-9463 for more info, plus further details here.
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Blue Lake's Rise Continues

Arts, Music and Community Boosted through Dell'Arte Grants

Posted By on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 9:26 AM


Fantastic news from Blue Lake – Dell'Arte gave out 10 Blue Lake Rising grants last night following the inaugural Mad River Alliance Steelhead Days event. Blue Lake resident and musician Claire Reynolds shared an overview of the awards, including one bestowed on her band, Patronus.

"The projects ranged from the Old Crows' plan to put in a bench on the levee trail to an elementary student planning a percussion workshop for kids. Patronus got a grant to make a music video that represents the town, its people and places. All of the projects must be completed by July 2014, so things will be happening quickly."

More on Blue Lake Rising.

Patronus' Laurel Goldsmith, right.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

From the Hum: No excuses!

Posted By on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Wow, Saturday. Live music options as colorful and diverse as a box of Jelly Bellys. Here we go...

Bang for your buck
New wave darlings Space Biscuit headline at the Jambalaya with San Francisco's solid alternative rock power trio The Institution. Opening the night is local electronica artist — are you ready for it? — Knot They're. Space Biscuit's Tamaras Abrams pulls double duty as her other band Electric Gravy closes the night with a short set of hip-hop electronica improvisation. This four-band night of something different will set you back a mere $5. Things start around 9 p.m., show is 21-and-over.

Get happy
Humboldt's singer-songwriter darling Josephine Johnson has moved to Los Angeles, where she's the after school programs director at Citizens of the World Charter School in Mar Vista and a development and communications assistant at WorldSpeak language academy in Santa Monica — "I'm thankful to have solid jobs that allow me to play music all over LA. I have landed in a very good space. Finally! Amen," Johnson writes. Congrats, Josephine! She's not completely done with us yet, though, and is returning to town for a CD release party for her new album, Let It All Out at the Palm Lounge. The show gets going around 9 p.m. when members of a Reason to Listen poetry collective will perform 15-minutes of original compositions followed by Perry Brubaker (The Plumb Uglies, Hollow Down) in a solo set. Johnson's band consists of Brubaker on Bass and Jay Forbes (Strix Vega) on drums. This is a 21-and-over show.

Songs for all occasions
Hippies, rejoice! Festival favorite Hot Buttered Rum returns to the sweet, sweet music room of Humboldt Brews. For the ungreased, Hot Buttered Rum is a San Francisco band of five friends who perform what we shall refer to as "Americana fusion, a happy, sing-along mix of bluegrass hoe-down, high-art and roadhouse rock." They are serious about their mission. "Sing-along! Have fun! Hot Buttered Rum lives for songs. Songs to sing in the shower. Songs to crank through your ear buds at the DMV." Hot Buttered Rum boast three songwriters — Aaron Redner, Nat Keefe and Erik Yates — who spin tales about the good times, the bad times and the roads in between. If you're not sold yet, consider this: Last August, Hot Buttered Rum performed not only the "Star Spangled Banner" but "Bluegrass Fight Song" as part of the opening ceremony at a San Francisco Giants game, an achievement that covers them in oodles of cool in my book. (Is it baseball season, yet?) Doors open at 9 p.m., show is 21-and-over, tickets are $15 and recommended in advance.

Get dark
And in case all the above sounds too heartwarming and happy, never fear! Or perhaps ... fear. Because Chico doom metal masters Cold Blue Mountain are bringing their heavy sound to the Alibi for the first time. The band is touring an eponymous debut album, released last year on vinyl through Gogmagogical (!!!) Records and on cassette (!!!) through Vulture Print (as well as digitally through iTunes). Interesting tidbit from the band: "Over the summer/fall, the band took a break while our singer Brandon was a castmember of this season's The Amazing Race on CBS (unfortunately he didn't win)." We're talking the Alibi, so music won't start till 11 p.m. or so and you'll need $5 to check out the band. Another 21-and-over, obv.
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Tattoo Hue

Posted on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Ready yourselves Tuesday Jan. 28 at the Van Duzer, when the electrifying Grupo Corpo from Brazil takes the stage at 8 p.m. ($45, $25 kids). Building upon the rhythms of their Afro-Brazilian roots, these dancers are masterful technicians working with dance styles and influences layered one upon another: the expressive hips and staccato ribcages of Samba, the extensions and legs of ballet, and the sinuous torsos and fluid backs of modern dance, all on top of the speedy footwork of jazz dancers.


Founded by the Pederneiras brothers, choreographer Rodrigo, artistic director Paulo and technical director Pedro, Grupo Corpo is known for creating worlds for their dances with original musical and unique lighting, costumes and sets. The music for the first piece, "Sem Mim," is based on lyrics from "The Sea of Vigo" by medieval troubadour Martín Codax. Voluminous panels of fabric transform the stage into the sea, mountains, clouds, boats, fishing nets and dawns — a supple landscape for the push and pull of the dancers as they embody the motion of waves. Striking skin-tone unitards decorated with medieval symbols create the illusion that the stage is awash with naked, tattoed bodies.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

From the Hum: Happy Birthday, P.C.!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Look who's having a birthday! A-town all-star Pete Ciotti!

You know Pete from Big Pete's Pizza, the Jambalaya, Nucleus, Full Moon Fever and far too much more to list in this small space. Join him for P.C.'s Birthday Bash with funky Motherlode (he's also in this band), hot jammin' DJ Rickshaw and sexy Samba Da Alegria, all at Humboldt Brews.

Cover's $10, doors at 9 p.m. and yes, another 21-and-over good time.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Go Fish

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Stop talking about the one that got away and get one on record. Saturday Jan. 25 begins the Mad River Steelhead Days, two weeks of fishing-related competition and festivities that run through Feb. 8. Tickets ($35) get you into the whole kettle of fish and register you for the contests, and the proceeds go to the Mad River Alliance (of which you'll be a member). Troll Mad River Tackle in Arcata and Redwood Marine in Eureka to register.


From 1-4 p.m. in the Blue Lake Business Park, the whole family can learn to bait a hook and catch a big one at a fishing workshop taught by a ringer, then do a little face painting and cruise the arts and crafts booths. At 7 p.m., Dell'Arte presents Fish Tales at the Carlo Theatre with Jeff DeMark, Thomas Dunklin and Kit Mann, with Kingfoot providing the music. Donations are accepted, and reservations recommended.

The competition is daily, with a first catch of the day award, prizes for biggest fish and best photo. Every time you drop a line in the river you have a chance to pull out a hatchery steelhead and win a drift boat trip from North Coast Fishing, a fishing trip with Full Throttle Fishing and a boatload of rods, reels and tackle. Awards go out at the big dinner at Blue Lake Casino on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. with music from The Hip Joint.

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From the Hum: Soul Night, Thursday edition

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Photo courtesy Freak Photo

Well, hey — it's Soul Night at Humboldt Brews. On a Thursday.

"We figured, what better way to start off a new year fresh than try out a Friday morning hangover?" say the purveyors of aforementioned soul.

Hop aboard with Jaymorg, King Maxwell, Matt'n'Adam and more. You can never go wrong going dancing. Doors at 9 p.m., cover is $5 and you've got to be 21 or older to get your groove thing on.
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