Friday, May 30, 2014

Breaking the Mold

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Hot stuff in the workshop. - COURTESY OF GEORGE BUCQUET
  • Courtesy of George Bucquet
  • Hot stuff in the workshop.
Are  you hitting the Open Studios circuit this weekend? Like the Magic Kingdom, it's nigh impossible to see it all (peruse the guide in this week's Journal — it's daunting). Put glass artist George Bucquet's workspace at 1485 L St. in Arcata at the top of your list. For one thing, he'll be demonstrating the glass casting method he's been using to create his beautiful sculptures for 20 years. And after this weekend's tours, he's boxing up his tried and true molds and going in a whole new direction. The golden fish at the bottom of that thick, blue bowl? Done. The milky platters dotted with Buddhas and the glowing Art Deco vases? Finito. Bucquet is starting fresh with natural forms, like the dreamy, lit-from-within glass shell he modeled after a real one from Japan. The glass, the molds, the equipment — it's all changing. Get a last look at the old and a sneak peek at the new during the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios Saturday, May 31 to Sunday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Opal Shell, a signature piece from the new collection. - COURTESY OF GEORGE BUCQUET
  • Courtesy of George Bucquet
  • Opal Shell, a signature piece from the new collection.

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Art Immersion

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 9:00 AM

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Break out your cargo shorts — festival season is here. On May 31 and June 1, the Mateel Community Center will transform the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area into a four-staged, vendor-filled celebration of all things cultural and crafty. The 38th annual Summer Arts and Music Festival ($15 per day, $25 for the weekend, free for kids under 12) features over 100 performers, including The Pimps of Joytime, Berel Alexander, The Lyndsey Battle Trio and more. There's a genre for everybody, from jazz to funk. There's even a youth stage featuring clowns and circus acts for the kids in attendance.

The music should be enough to draw you to SoHum, but the festivities go farther with more than 150 vendors selling their wares and sharing their skills, including art, jewelry and chair massages. There's a zone dedicated to kids with a bouncy house, activity tent and circus lessons. If you're jealous of the bouncy house (sometimes being an adult is the worst), take comfort in the multiple booze stands and food booths. The gates open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on both days, so you'll have plenty of time to absorb the art and music.

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Tonight's Setlist: Blackberry Bushes in Blue Lake

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Tonight brings an opportunity to hang out in Blue Lake's finest drinking establishment – not that an excuse is needed to enjoy The Logger Bar's beauty and local vibe. It's wonderful on its own, so when a good band is added to the mix, the lure is only greater.

The Blackberry Bushes are really, really good and I'm not just saying that because they're crashing at my house. Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach met in the rainy bottom of the Puget Sound, but their music channels the sweetest and most haunting aspects of American traditional.

Joined by Bay Area native Julian Stocking on the upright bass, The Blackberry Bushes are playful and sophisticated virtuosos. Last time they played the Logger, the other musicians in the audience were overheard murmuring things like, "Wow." Show starts at 9 p.m. and is 21-and-over.

Chuck Johnson captured some of the magic last year in one of his Humboldt Live Sessions videos:


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Faces of Humboldt Photo Contest!

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 1:55 PM

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Humboldt County is chock full of both character and characters, and the Journal wants to see them.

From now through June 20, use your camera, tablet, phone or any other snazzy device you may to capture the faces of Humboldt County. Photos should be submitted as high-resolution JPEGs via email to photocontest@northcoastjournal.com by the end of June 20. Pictures must be the real thing — save those photoshop skills for another project, please — and taken within the entry period.

In your email, please include the time, date and place the picture was taken, the names of those appearing in the photo and your name and daytime phone number (your number won’t be published, but we want to know how to get ahold of you to tell you that you’ve won!).

The contest sponsor, Eureka Art and Frame, has offered to frame the winning entry (up to size 20 inches by 16 inches) and we’ll throw in a $50 gift card to Plaza Grill, as well.

In need of some inspiration? Click here. Now, go out and capture the essence of Humboldtians, or at least one of them.


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Up in Smoke

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

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Close your eyes and breathe deeply — can you smell the smoldering briquettes, sizzling meat and fervent competition? You're catching a whiff of the Up in Smoke Beer and BBQ Competition (free entry, $5 for 5 taster tickets, $50 for competitors), a suds-soaked grilling contest.

The contest kicks off at noon on Saturday, May 31 at the new garden at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. While the contestants vie to grill-up the best chicken, pork and beef ribs, you can revel in their culinary efforts. Tastings are only available for the first 200 attendees, so make sure to get there before the grills cool down. Eel River Brewery, Lagunitas, Mad River Brewing and Redwood Curtain Brewing will all be on site with tap beers to quench your thirst. KWPT will be blasting classic rock throughout the day for the grown-ups, and there's a free kid's area for the little ones. You can walk off your full bellies on a tour of the new garden, complete with green-thumb demonstrations.

At 4 p.m., the winners will be announced, crowds will cheer and the day will wrap up. Pig out guilt-free, because all proceeds for the event benefit the Clarke Historical Museum and the Redwood Acres Friends of the Fair. You're eating for a good cause.

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Tonight's Setlist: Four Ways to Spend Your Night

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 8:48 AM

#1: Poetry
San Francisco's Brian Laidlaw returns to the Siren's Song. You may remember Laidlaw from his last visit – he's a poet who fell into the wayward musician life via creative writing courses at Stanford University. Over the years he's acquired an MFA at the University of Minnesota and won buckets of awards and honors for his ability to put words together in a most pleasing way. The show is free, starts at 8 p.m. and is all ages.


#2: Metal
The show happening down the way at the Ink Annex is also all ages – it's a Placebo gig – and that's where the similarity ends. Think metal, metal, doom, metal. The heaviness is represented by two Australian bands, Whitehorse and potential band-name-of-the-year nominees Pneumatic Slaughter, plus two from SF, Sutekh Hexen and Common Eider, along with Houston's From Beyond. Five bands for $10. The madness begins early, 6:30 p.m. No drugs or booze, please.


#3: Disco
Over in A-town, Humboldt Roller Derby DJ King Maxwell invites you to the Jambalaya to experience musical, sexual and political liberation via a 1970s dance party showcasing the best "funky degenerate good dancing songs." Disco, funk and soul will be the order of the night, which begins at 9:30 p.m. and is a mere $3 or, if you have a friend, two for $5. Also, 21-and-over.


#4: Death
We've come full round to the Songwriter Circle of Death IV, featuring TheBoredAgain, Gabe Rose Hell, Keil la Chinga and DiZee-C at The Logger Bar. If you're unfamiliar with the SCOD events, they work like this: "Four individuals on one stage, four mics, four guitars, beers, songs, turns taken. Like a live playlist of awesomeness." (Description from the event's Facebook page, where you can also get in on some vanpooling action. Check it out, Eurekans.) Show's 21-and-over, starts at 10 p.m. and is brought to you by the letter "F" for fun, fine and free.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Jerri Wagner joyously crosses the finish line of the 46th annual Kinetic Grand Championship on the rolling, spinning sculpture "Up!" The 42-mile Memorial Day weekend trek concluded on Ferndale's Main Street on Monday, May 27. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Jerri Wagner joyously crosses the finish line of the 46th annual Kinetic Grand Championship on the rolling, spinning sculpture "Up!" The 42-mile Memorial Day weekend trek concluded on Ferndale's Main Street on Monday, May 27.
Nicaragua-born guitarist Angel Fargas plays for diners at Carmela's Mexican Restaurant in McKinleyville every Friday evening. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Nicaragua-born guitarist Angel Fargas plays for diners at Carmela's Mexican Restaurant in McKinleyville every Friday evening.
Vietnam vet "Digital" Dan Lawrence (right) prepares to lead the honor guard in Ferndale's Memorial Day Parade. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Vietnam vet "Digital" Dan Lawrence (right) prepares to lead the honor guard in Ferndale's Memorial Day Parade.
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: A dilemma!

Posted By on Sun, May 25, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Did you get enough sun and fun this weekend, Humboldt? If you're on the traditional 9-to-5 schedule, you're looking at being able to sleep in tomorrow, yes? So no reason to stay home...

Beloved soul man and local Trinidadian Earl Thomas reunites with The Rhumboogies, the band he started with 25 years ago in San Diego. Thomas left The Rhumboogies, the story goes, to pursue his dream to be a songwriter, which came true quickly when Etta James recorded his song, "I Sing the Blues." The reunion gig has a higher purpose as a benefit for a team of Humboldt cyclists raising funds in the upcoming AIDS/Lifecycle Ride To End AIDS from San Francisco to Los Angeles. (The local portion of the team is made up of Daniel Baer, Bob Ornelas, Michael Weiss, Dylan Ruiz and Debi Farber Bush.) The gig happens at Hum Brews with doors at 8:30 p.m. and local young indie rock trio UFO8 opening. Tickets are $15 advance, $18 at the door, and the show is 21-and-over.

Portland's The Suicide Notes (featuring former Humboldtian Patrick Foss) return to the Shanty with tourmates Sex Crime, along with Oakland's Major Powers and the Lo-Fi Symphony and Humboldt's own Blood Gnome. Now, "punk" was a convenient label, but the bands play, respectively, girl-pop-meets-the-Ramones, synth rock, adventure rock and synth pop. What does all the mean? It means the outpour of radness will leave your eardrums blistered and your face styled into a permagrin. Show up at the Shanty at 8 p.m. — early show! — with ID and $2.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Kinetic Alternatives

Posted By on Sat, May 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Kinetics is happening (yay!) with the requisite "secret" Halvorsen Park party. But what else to do on a Saturday night?

First, as noted yesterday, the Bob Dylan Birthday Bash continues out in Blue Lake.

Second, the Jambalaya puts forth an interesting lineup: bassist Bobby Vega, whose credits include playing with Sly & The Family Stone and Etta James; with drummer Prairie Prince, a founding member of Journey, and member of The Tubes and Todd Rundgren's band; plus guitarist Chris Rossbach, who played with Zigaboo Modeliste. SuperHelix joins the trio. Cover is $15, show is 21-and-over.

Third, on the other side of the bay, as well as the gender and musical spectrum, Seattle's dancey modern rock act (and self-declared Yeah Yeah Yeahs fanatics) Mrs. Howl plays at the Palm Lounge with local dark punk disco queens Space Biscuit and the bluesier Plumb Uglies. The show promoters promise Mrs. Howl will start at 9 p.m., so arrive on time. A $3-to-$5 donation is asked and the show is for adults of legal drinking age and up.


Finally, that show has some stiff competition over in A-town, where cute-moody-rockers-from-the-Bay-Area Finish Ticket celebrate the Atlantic Records re-release of their album Tears You Apart. Finish Ticket is spending most of the summer hitting big festivals and large venues, so this is a rare chance to not only catch an alt/rock/indie/etc. band like this in Humboldt, but to do so in the sweet embrace of the Arcata Playhouse. Show time is 8 p.m., tickets are $10 and the show is 21-and-over.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: A Bash For Bob

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Yes, the smell of Kinetics is in the air. Ah, sweat! Ah, grease! Ah, bribery! But that is not all the fair city of Arcata offers you this weekend.

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The fourth annual Bob Dylan's Birthday Bash channels the iconic songwriter's elegant and oft-obscure lyrics through a dozen-ish of your favorite local folk-flavored bands for not just one, but two nights (and an afternoon), because you need that kind of time and this many people to do justice to a catalog as big as Bob's.

The magic begins Friday at 9 p.m. at Humboldt Brews with The Rezonators (Chris Parreira and Marc Jeffares from The Trouble, Jimi Hawk from Graffiti), The Subterranean Homesick Boozers (Parreira, Jeff Kelley and Norm Bradford from the Miracle Show and Vanishing Pints, Jay Forbes of Strix Vega and Full Moon Fever and Issa Stemler), plus The Birdhouse Band (Siena Nelson and Sky McKinley). Cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.

The Dylan festivities spill over to Saturday the 24th (the man's actual date of birth) with an all-day free event beginning at Mad River Brewing Co. The music starts at 3 p.m. and includes The Rezonators, Morgan Corviday and Jan Bramlett, and more songsters a'plenty.
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