Friday, August 15, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Friday: Jams, Punks, Finncore

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM

If you want to get out of town — end-of-summer fling? — the Trinity River Jamboree offers three days of music with more than 35 bands, plus a Silent Disco Dance DJ Party and tons of other festival fun. See for the full line-up and all the info you could want.

Speaking of not-Humboldt, a couple bands have come all the way from Finland to play at the Placebo's Ink Annex. You've got post-punk Kuudes Silma with hardcore Maailmanloppu, plus Washington's punk Kohosh and the venerable Shit Rag. This show is all-ages, $8 general/$6 members. No drugs, no alcohol.

From not quite as far away, Milwaukee's S.S. Web offers folk punk and Seattle's Ando Ehlers some death polka, with locals The Smashed Glass delivering speedy Irish folk, all at the Jambalaya starting at 9 p.m. Cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.

If you're in McKinleyville and you like to go out, you'll probably be at Six Rivers Brewery anyway, so please know local faves Kingfoot will be there to entertain you starting around 9 p.m. No cover, but you'll probably need to buy a beer or some wings.

Full Setlist here for your reading pleasure.
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Eatin', Drinkin' & Learnin'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM


Kids are like tiny sponges, soaking in all the info, knowledge and knock-knock jokes they can get their wee hands on. Sure, when they're at school they're learning all sorts of useful stuff: geography, reading, cursive. (Can you believe they still teach cursive?!) But their afternoons and weekends are wide open for brain soakage and two Humboldt institutions — the Discovery Museum and the Sequoia Park Zoo — have done a fine job of feeding those adorably curious minds. These venues, like so many good things in this world, get a bulk of their funding from local donors and fundraisers. Now is your chance to contribute to their cause. But don't worry; there's booze.

The third annual Local Food Expo ($10) is at Mad River Brewery and Tap Room on Sunday, Aug. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. Your ticket gets you entry into a magical world of live music from the Ultra Secret Good Guys Organization, delicious samples of locally made foods, activities to distract your kids and so much more. Proceeds from ticket sale and beverage purchases go directly to the Discovery Musuem.

The eighth annual Zootini Gala ($100, $85 advanced) is Saturday, Aug. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. A nighttime visit to the zoo, with its new and updated exhibits, might be enough to spark your curiosity, but wait; there's more. The Jim Lahman Band provides the serenade while Cassaro's Catering brings the sustenance. Quench your thirst at the Monkey Bar with a "Hero-tini" or any of their delicious concoctions. All proceeds from ticket sales and beverage purchases benefit the zoo. Your weekend could be the most booze-filled act of altruism you've ever performed; just be sure to secure a sober driver.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Eagles, Bats, Italian Goth

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Starting right now, you've got your Boys of Summer Eagles tribute band, part of the Eureka Summer Concert Series happening at the C Street Market Square. It's free!

Then at 7 p.m., this week's Italian-bands-in-Humboldt experience begins with The Spiritual Bat, a goth-rock band from Frosinone, Italy, at the Ink Annex. Joining them, Portland's psychedelic doom act, Megaton Leviathan, plus local industrialites IDTAL and deathrockers The Disaffectionate.

Please note, the Placebo, host of this evening's event, says to watch for poster prints of the flyer on black paper with purple ink and also says the person who brings out the most people will win a much coveted, one-of-a-kind Siouxsie and the Banshees T-shirt from the Tinderbox years. This show is all-ages, $8 general/$6 members. No drugs, no alcohol.

Around the corner, in another all-ages moment, The Works hosts dark hardcore from Portland in the form of Raw Nerves, plus heavy instrumental rockers Fort Dick, both for a $5 cover. Music starts at 9 p.m.

  • Seshen
Your all-ages options are further expanded with SF-based, seven-piece electronic hip-hop jazz fusion band The Seshen, playing at the Siren's Song along with producers ONHELL and Taeo. Expect beat-driven compositions with a strong emotional core, along with West African R&B influences. Starts at 9 p.m., $5.

The Mostest
  • The Mostest

Finally, in Arcata, power-folk-trio The Mostest provides extemporaneous jamming and guitar-driven rock at the Jambalaya. Show is 21-and-over, starts at 9 p.m. and has a $5 cover at the door.

Plan ahead via the full Setlist here.

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To Bridgeville and Beyond!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM


It's time to scrape that rust off your flinging skills, alien cosplay-style. Saturday, Aug. 16 is BridgeFest (free) in Bridgeville and the combo street fair and UFO-inspired competition runs all day, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The inland hamlet will be a cacophony of local bands, vendors, food and ridiculous contests of "skill" and silliness: skilliness.

The Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Co. will be running the grill all day, serving up barbecue infused with the spirit of civic altruism. We're talking burgers, dogs, all sorts of meaty, yummy goodness. You're gonna need the protein if you're competing in either of the two physical contests: the Flying Saucer Trials or the Dirt Bag Muster. Form a team of costumed aliens or space folk, build your saucer and vie for prizes in distance, style and performance. If embarrassing costumes aren't your cup of tea, you can show off your strength by lugging your bag of dirt through the treacherous obstacle course and take home the prize of Biggest Dirt Bag.

A street fair would be nothing without bands and vendors. Knights of the Van Duzen, Melange and Jenni & David and the Sweet Soul Band are just a few of the local bands serenading the public. Enjoy the tunes while you taste locally made desserts, cuisine and nibblettes. Bring the whole family to Bridgeville for the day and leave the event feeling satiated, entertained and just a bit bridgier.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fair is Fair

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM


Listen carefully: Can you hear the '80s metal, the children's laughter, the PA from the horse track? Combined, these sounds can only mean one thing: It's time for the Humboldt County Fair ($8, $6, $4). The fair retakes its throne at the Humboldt County Fair Grounds from Thursday, Aug. 14 to Sunday, Aug. 24. That's 11 days of horse races, carnival rides, local bands, livestock auctions, exhibits and guest emcees.

The fair opens with a parade (free) on Thursday, Aug. 14, featuring Supervisor Rex Bohn atop a camel. Yes, a civic leader riding a dromedary; who could ask for anything more?! There are a slew of days with free entry, including Senior Day on Friday, Aug. 15, Free Day on Monday, Aug. 18 and Kids Free Day (12 and under) on Wednesday, Aug. 20. The races ($3), which run at 2 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, also have a couple of free days: Friday, Aug. 22 is free thanks to Pierson Building Center and ladies with hats will get in free Saturday, Aug. 23.

Let's not forget the special guests! Legendary racer Mario Andretti will be on the Midway Stage on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. and local-boy-turned-superstar-chef Guy Fieri will emcee the races on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Every fair day features live, local music at 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., except for Wednesday, which has performances at 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Between sets you can hit the carnival, fill your gut with cotton candy and peruse the exhibits in Belotti and Hindley halls. Wear comfortable shoes, bring the fam and take in everything the fair has to offer.

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Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Rastafarian singer Winston van Ewijk, aka Winstrong, from Surinam, prepares for his set at Something for Everyone, C Baker's Showcase at the Jambalaya Friday night, Aug. 8. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Rastafarian singer Winston van Ewijk, aka Winstrong, from Surinam, prepares for his set at Something for Everyone, C Baker's Showcase at the Jambalaya Friday night, Aug. 8.
Masked guitarist Goodshield Aguilar and flautist Mignon Geli back singer Linda Faye Carson as the trio busks on the Plaza during Arts! Arcata, Friday, Aug. 8. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Masked guitarist Goodshield Aguilar and flautist Mignon Geli back singer Linda Faye Carson as the trio busks on the Plaza during Arts! Arcata, Friday, Aug. 8.
Rappers of Freestyle Fellowship, (right to left) Self Jupiter (aka Burgundy Fats), Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E., Aceyalone, and The Driver, stop by the Jambalaya in Arcata for a Monday night show Aug. 11, backed by The Getdown. - PHOTO BY BOB DORAN
  • Photo by Bob Doran
  • Rappers of Freestyle Fellowship, (right to left) Self Jupiter (aka Burgundy Fats), Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E., Aceyalone, and The Driver, stop by the Jambalaya in Arcata for a Monday night show Aug. 11, backed by The Getdown.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Outside Lands 2014: Sexy, Sweet, Solo

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM


Avocados, yogurt, Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper I’d found, at all places, at Grocery Outlet. Half a tomato. A box of organic dried plums, also from the GO. I’d had this grand plan to pack enough food to last all weekend, even roasted some eggplant slices, but one thing and then another and I was already leaving too late to catch Phosphorescent

I first attended the Golden Gate Park fest in 2009 with my two younger children, 13 and 15 at the time, and came away full of vicarious thrill. Watching Silversun Pickups and Atmosphere through their eyes reminded me how music shapes your life at that age. At the end of one day, Nick wanted to see Pearl Jam up close, but Kaylee had wearied of the crowds. I ended up sending him into the throng of thousands alone while K and I watched from the press tent.

Would he get squished? I worried. What if his blood sugar dropped and he passed out? Would anyone notice? Would help come in time? Legitimate concerns, but what happened is, he used his skinniness and youth to squeeze to the front, where he ended up being crowd-surfed and caught Mike McCready’s guitar pick at the end of the show. Pretty sure he still has it in some small box of treasures.

The next year, the kids preferred to hang out with friends, so Bobby and I meandered between bands, debating the benefits of being smushed up close to the stage where you can actually see the people you’re there to see (me) vs. being comfortably in back, where the sound is better and the view more comprehensive (him).

The kids continued going every year after that, courtesy of press passes through the Journal (blogging through the ages), but Bobby and I skipped out, opting to watch Giants’ games at Underdog over cocktails and Nick’s Crispy instead. Also, the DeYoung.

But this year, my heart skipped at the line-up. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?! I’ve loved Tom Petty since I was an adolescent singing along to “Refugee” in my poster-slathered bedroom. At the time, Petty was considered new wave and played alongside Blondie and Joy Division on KROQ and 91X, the stations that shaped my youth.

Also, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the first Outside Lands in 2008, which I had a ticket to, but ended up unable to attend. I sent my little brother instead. He had a grand time, wrote about it for the Arcata Eye and that was that. But now, history could be rectified. Only trouble was, Nick had already scored one of the two press passes through the Journal, so while I could go with the other, I’d be going alone.

So here I was, random foods in the mini-Igloo, reasonable clothes in my travel bag, some sunscreen for my face, a toothbrush, not much else. I meant to bring my wetsuit in case I could squeeze in a surf. I also intended to bring a hoodie – San Francisco weather requires layers – the lack of which would prove more of a problem.

The ongoing wildfires sidetracked me, first because the sight of helicopters circling from pond to over the hills captivated, then because the base camps sprawled alongside the highway impressed. I stopped to take photos and video.

Once that thrill subsided, the realization that I still had hours to go had me regretting my stops, especially when traffic in Willits slowed to a crawl due to roadwork. I let my breath out when I rounded the curve and the Golden Gate Bridge came into view. Minutes later I was double-parked in front of my friends’ home in the Inner Richmond, dropping off my stuff in advance so I could begin the parking nightmare – except parking opened up right across the street.

I paused to consider the thrill that one experiences when landing upon perfect parking in San Francisco. As if everything in the universe unexpectedly and suddenly has aligned in your favor. Buoyed, I hoofed it to the park.

After navigating the maze of entry, I picked up my press pass – a magical wristband allowing me to bypass the unwashed masses and also access VIP areas – proceeded into the festival. As I trod west, rhythm pulsed through the air: Chromeo. I walked faster.

And there they were. Legged keyboard in all its glory. Beats bumping, people screaming – because the band demanded, “Let me hear you scream!” – and ecstasy winning the hour.
Chromeo from the press tent. Shoulder-rider on the big screen.
  • Chromeo from the press tent. Shoulder-rider on the big screen.
Minor annoyance: David Macklovitch praised all the ladies riding high on men’s shoulders. As an averagely-heighted person who prefers to see the band over staring at the back of someone’s head for an hour, any increased impediment to line of vision is an affront. If I were to design a concert space, I’d reserve a front zone for those under, oh, maybe five-foot-four? And anyone over six-foot-two would have to be in the back. We could have a special side area for mixed groups. (Yes, I know some tall people are considerate. You should talk to your brethren who are ruining it for all of you.)

Checked out the press tent, decided the “free” part of the free beer was reason enough to set aside my general preference for almost any other type of booze-related beverage, and then set about exploring – after using one of the VIP restrooms, which are glorified porta-potties, multi-units in trailers with running water. Sort of like if you had a bunch of airplane restrooms packed together on wheels. Definitely a step up from the nastiness of a regular porta-potty, but ladies, if you still pee on the seat, you’re making it gross for all of us. Why is it so impossible to figure out that, if we all sit down, the seat stays pee-free?

Being able to see the band, being able to relieve yourself comfortably. It’s amazing what people will pay to attend a festival with neither of these issues guaranteed. (Suckers.)

I wanna.
  • I wanna.
My magic wristband and I strolled through the grounds. Esquire’s “Sip and Shave” booth made me wish I were a man, or at least able to temporarily grow a beard so that I could sit down and be pampered for a minute, but alas. I noticed Oakland clothing line fiftyseven-thirtythree once again in attendance and bought a long-sleeved, hooded T-shirt with a gorilla and giraffe on the front because I was a.) worried about getting cold (see “things I forgot” paragraph earlier), b.) pleased to see that fiftyseven-thirtythree was thriving. They do cool hand-screened art designs on non-sweatshop clothing right across the bay in Oakland. I’d bought Kaylee a T-shirt when we’d attended in 2009, so nostalgia propelled my purpose as well.

Land of dreams. Of chocolate.
  • Land of dreams. Of chocolate.
I wandered into Choco Lands. Oh, the choices. The smell of pot emanates through the fest at all times and here I was in stoner nirvana. A Guittard “liquid” chocolate bar? A chocolate French macaron? Chocolate ice cream? I opted for an Epic chocolate crackle cookie and it was. Oh, it was.

“I just want back in your head” echoed across the park. Tegan and Sara! A few minutes later, I was brushing the last of the powdered sugar from my lips and standing in front of the Twin Peaks stage among the most adorable fans I’ve ever been standing among. Twenty-somethings everywhere, boys and girls, singing, kissing, swooning every time Tegan or Sara joked between songs. Best of all, this crowd was a polite one, which enabled me to squeeze through to a decent vantage point for the next act, Arctic Monkeys.

Whose fans were not as polite. The moment Tegan and Sara wrapped up, a swarm of people united in their passion for sexy Brit-rock pressed forward. Hard. I held on to my bag and my position and soon we were as packed in as packed in could be. We would be like this for the forty minutes between sets.

Tegan and Sara fans.
  • Tegan and Sara fans.
In 2009, Nick, Kaylee and I had managed to get all the way up front for TV on the Radio, Atmosphere and the Dead Weather, all in a row. (Nick left to see Modest Mouse at some point.) I revere that experience as one of my all-time favorites. Being in such close proximity to greatness with my children, sharing it together – we parents live for that. For a few hours, all the family squabbling and failed attempts at perfect mothering fall away. I sighed and looked around. This wait was lonely.

Next to me, a twenty-something pulled sunscreen out of her backpack and handed it to her boyfriend. I admired their sense of safety, but was a bit confused as we were only a half hour from sunset. Then he unscrewed the lid and squeezed wine into her waiting cup. Oh. Nicely played.

The Arctic Monkeys!
  • The Arctic Monkeys!
At last, the stage lights dimmed, the opening chords of “Do I Wanna Know?” launched and Alex Turner emerged forth in all his greased-hair, leather-jacketed, tight-jeaned glory. Tipper Gore was right. Rock’n’roll sure does equal sex. (To each their own, of course. The case could be made that some of us fall for a bad boy persona that’s been cliché since Elvis first gyrated and that Turner’s get-up is as much Bowser as it is Brando, but whatever. It worked in this context just fine.)

My infatuation lasted half the set before giving in to fatigue. I needed to get out, get to my home for the night, a place where I could take off my shoes, brush my teeth and stretch out on a couch. Horizontal, that would be a good way to be.

Traversing through the mob required channeling Newton’s first law of motion: stay in it. I murmured, “Sorry,” a few times, but mostly I just shouldered through, eyes downward searching for places to land my feet and then my body would follow. Plastic cups crunched beneath every step – the litter generated amazes me. Who just throws stuff on the ground? Righteous indignation propelled me harder – and I should point out that the Outside Lands organizers provide well-marked containers every few yards to enable proper trash, recyclables and compostables disposal. They reward people for turning in such items to a special tent full of treats. They try. Perhaps if every attendee had their own personal trash valet?

Free at last, I ducked through the festival exit, winced at the blisters blooming across my toes, then grinned as “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” rolled through the trees.

Check out parts two and three of Jennifer Savage's Outside Lands recap at her blog, early morning fog, partial clearing.
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Tonight's Setlist: Two Kinds of Love

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You need some goddamn good honky-tonk on a Monday night, yes, you do. Which is why you're going to suck it up and go out and see Flint, Mich. native Whitey Morgan and the 78's at Humboldt Brews. Tickets are $10, the outlaw twang starts at 9 p.m. and yes, 21-and-over. Check it:

Wait. What? Two serious shows on a Monday night? Oh, Humboldt. The way things work out.

All right, here we go. Over at the Shanty, you've got Memphis' Ex-Cult riffing some punk like it's 1982 and they're in the garage next door, plus Zig Zags, similarly inclined but out of El Lay, local trippers White Manna and A-town's superchill TxExDx. Show starts at 9 p.m. and cover's $5. It's the Shanty — be of legal drinking age.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Saturday: Dance for fun, funk for a cause, 'snot rock'

Posted By on Sat, Aug 9, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I saw a movie once in which dancing was outlawed because it was, essentially, a sin. Inspired lust and stuff. But the killjoy adults were no match for teenage desire, especially once bad boy Ren McCormack came to town. Arcata has a lot of rules, but, thankfully, the powers-that-be will allow you to salsa, cha-cha, merengue and otherwise get your sexy on via coordinated hand, foot and, most importantly, hip movements.

Where can you experience this sensory-heightening fun, you ask? At Mazzotti's, where a new monthly Baile'N Mazzotti's Latin dancing night allows an opportunity to make the most of the joint's rather fabulous wooden dance floor. Five dollars and an ID stating you are at least 18 years old will get you in. The dancing starts at 9 p.m.

Up the same way, another event that includes shaking your groove thing — for a cause other than just getting your juices flowing, you hedonist, you. Instrumental Flight is throwing a benefit for the O'Brien School for the Maasai (in Tanzania, natch!) in what is aptly named Funk Night for the Maasai.

Your donations — $10 minimum to get in — will help Dave Klawitter get the school's new music department off the ground. Live music from the Get Down Crew and DJ Rickshaw with The Klaw and a light show by Marmalade Sky at the Jambalaya. Doors at 9:30 p.m., 21-and-over. Tons more info at

And then you've got your Pittsburgh "snot rock." In the form of The Lopez. At the Alibi. You know the drill. (The drill: $5, 11 p.m., 21-and-over.)

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer of Woof

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Have you been spending the summer sniffing around the same old places and running with your usual pack? Get out and see some other dogs. Take your people to Halvorsen Park for Woofstock on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. ($12). Make puppy eyes and get them to spring for the Mutt Strut parade at 11 a.m. if you want to see and be seen around Old Town while raising some more cash for Sequoia Humane Society ($25, includes Woofstock admission).

Show off in the Doggie Fun Zone with a little obstacle course action, then put your nose to the ground for the treasure hunt and splash around the pirate lagoon (no algae!). Of course there will be plenty of food vendors and live music to keep those on two legs happy, too.

Competitive? Start practicing for the best trick contest at 2 p.m., because your tired roll-over-and-play-dead move won't cut it here. Bring your swagger for the tail wagging contest, plant some sloppy ones to win best kiss or twin up with your person for the look-alike competition. And protest all you want in the name of dignity, but deep down you want to win that costume contest. It's OK. What happens at Woofstock stays at Woofstock.

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