Friday, March 27, 2015

Critters and Creepy-crawlies

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 4:00 AM


Willow Creek is known as Bigfoot country. But what other furry critters creep around in Sasquatch's neck of the woods? Physical evidence of snakes, lizards, owls and hawks is a bit easier to find than bipedal impressions, and you've got an opportunity to behold some of those creatures live and in the flesh/feather (as well as captured on print and canvas) at the Willow Creek Wildlife Festival.

On Saturday, March 28 from noon to 4 p.m., Studio 299 Center for the Arts, in conjunction with Creekside Arts and Education, hosts this free, family-friendly event that has a little something for everyone. Kids can "ooh" and "eww!" with Nature Joe and his bird, reptile and creepy-crawly exhibits, while adults peruse the wilds from the cultured safety of the Studio. The gallery show of wildlife art from local artists features photography, drawing, candles and woodworking. You can also chat up the artists and enjoy complementary refreshments during the all-day gallery reception. Lunch is available for purchase, as well.

So grab your cameras and head out to the land of big trees and the Trinity. And keep your eyes peeled for hairy hitchhikers. You never know.

— Kali Cozyris

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

River Dance

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 4:00 AM


There are two kinds of people: Those who dump trash thoughtlessly, and those who come along and clean up after them. To quote a familiar bumper sticker, "We all live downstream." So party with those who respect our local waterways and the species they nourish — being good stewards can be a good time.

The Eel River Clean-up Project hosts an all-day benefit/party at the Mateel Community Center on Saturday, March 28 from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring music from local favorites on two stages. In addition to a musical line-up that includes Cold Blue Water, Asha Nan, NPK, Samb A More, Berel Alexander, the Funnicators and more, there will be kids' crafts and education, a barbecue catered by Smokin' Moses, beer and wine, and a raffle of gifts donated by local businesses.

Do your part to keep Humboldt beautiful and healthy for generations to come. You don't have to spend your weekend picking up discarded fishing line and rusty hooks from the banks of the Eel (although that would be nice!), but you can definitely make a donation, down a beer and shake your booty to Ishi Dube for the cause.

— Kali Cozyris

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Go for the Juggler

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Those dudes on the plaza with the hacky sack are going to have to step it up. All kinds of weirdly nimble people are coming out of the woodwork for the Humboldt Juggling Festival. It's a topsy-turvy weekend of free workshops, fun and games in the West Gym from 10 a.m. to midnight from Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22. Workshops with titles like "Scissors, Legos and Traps," "Hoop Isolation with Poki" and "Adventures in Unicycling" should keep you on your toes. The Humboldt Juggling Society has brought in a crew of ringers, so you won't be able to throw a rubber nose without hitting a circus pro who's ready to teach you throw your balls in the air like you just don't care.

Things get spinning at the Van Duzer Theater on Saturday, March 21 at 7 p.m. with Juggle-icious ($15, free for kids 12 and under). Acrobatic duo Something Ridiculous, the glowing Nate Hughes, Doctor Bonkers & Circus Luminescence, contortionist Jennifer Deacon, poi spinner Chris Kelly, Jpeace Love Circus, the Juggling Johnstons, rope wrangler Bri Crabtree, aerialist Sarah Lee, "hat trickster" Justin Credible, German juggler Anni Kupper and MC Steven Weven are all on the bill. Heads up, butter fingers.

  • photo courtesy of Something Ridiculous.
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Hard Liner

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Kay Ryan
  • Kay Ryan

In Kay Ryan's poem "Spiderweb," the speaker marvels at the labor of web building from a spider's point of view: "hauling coarse/ ropes, hitching/ lines ..." And we might look at Ryan's work the same way — on the page the poems are typically brief, narrow shafts of type that belie the strength of their thinking and the complexity of their structures. She frames her whippet-lean images to lead us to some epiphany — always true and seldom easy. As she writes in the end of the poem, "It/ isn't ever/ delicate/ to live."

Hear the two-term Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of MacArthur, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts grants read her work at Humboldt State University's Kate Buchanan Room on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. (free). Expect wit and wonder (one of her books is inspired by Ripley's Believe It or Not!) and not a whit of preciousness in poems about how life marks us and the marks we leave upon the world and each other.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Swing, Baby

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 3:00 PM

The Redwood Coast Music Festival swings into Eureka for its 25th year on Thursday, March 26. It is one of Humboldt's biggest gigs — known throughout the nation as a must-attend event for jazz musicians and fans alike. Whatever your pleasure, you're bound to find it in venues scattered throughout the city. From blues and jazz to swing and zydeco, somebody's got your jam.

Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns
  • Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns

Once you've binged at Taste of Main Street, waddle down to the Adorni Center at 7 p.m. for the Kick-off Dance ($8 with an all-event ticket or Taste of Main Street pass, $10 without). There you can move your feet and everything else to Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns. The tattooed lady and her band hail from New Orleans, and have played on four continents and counting with their retro-sassy jazz and lazy wah-wah horns.

Charlie Parker said, "Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." Can you dig it? Yes, you can.

Prices vary from event, many shows are free, and there are weekend and day passes available. For ticket information and a schedule of events, visit

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

UPDATED: Drunk/Social Historian

Posted By on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 1:02 PM

UPDATE: Due to transportation problems, Kyle Kinane's show at Humboldt Brews has been canceled. 

Kyle Kinane would fit right in at any of Humboldt County's dive bars. Saunter into the Alibi or the Shanty any afternoon and pick out a soft spoken, bearded, tattooed guy in a T-shirt and his 30s.

It's precisely that — his relatability, his aggressive averageness, his humility — which makes the Los Angeles-based comedian so hilarious.

Kinane has cultivated a style of self-deprecating storytelling that has no equal in modern stand-up. He spins long, rambling tales about drunken encounters, pants-shitting episodes and embarrassing food choices, punctuated with wit and a wise-beyond-his-years beat sensibility.

In a recent Grantland article, Kinane was described by a friend as a folk hero, a seemingly fitting honorific for the hard-working, self-made everyman who offers so much of himself in his sets.

But Kinane, talking on the phone as he sped down a Myrtle Beach highway recently, balked at the title.

"I would say that's a bit indulgent," he said, his voice a calm antithesis to his loud and guttural onstage delivery. "I'm more of a social historian."

In the years and years of touring that his stand-up comedy success both requires and perpetuates, Kinane's observations have fueled his work. "That's what a lot of comics do: travel, collect stories and report back on the human condition," he said. "I'm a culturally investigative journalist."

He's also self-reflective and not afraid to shame himself or people close to him. In his most recent album, I Liked His Old Stuff Better, Kinane painfully describes his awkward and unsettling early sexual encounters in the Chicago suburbs and paints a fantastic scene of his parents driving from store to store trying to find a copy of a recent interview he did with Hustler. [Mr. and Mrs. Kinane, if you're reading this, we'll send you a copy.]

It's uniquely cringe-inducing and sympathetic — and uproarious.

Kinane's star is rising — his first hour-long Comedy Central special recently aired and he's touring in support of his third album, but he's not resting on his laurels.

"I'm always hesitant to acknowledge any 'you've made it' moments," he said. "It's not like I got elected into a position. I could disappear from this whole scene in a year."

Kinane beautifully wrangled an inattentive and occasionally boisterous crowd at a set in Arcata two years ago. But generally, he says, his audiences are less rowdy than some. They drink, sure. He does too.

And while he's well aware of our county's agricultural reputation ("I know what you're about, Humboldt County" he rumbled), it's not as much of a draw as Arcata's mountain biking trails.

Kinane's "not particularly a pot guy." Sure, he's got a 215 card — "If you live in California you're gonna have a weed card," he said. "You don't live on a lake and not own a boat."

Catch Kinane live at Humboldt Brews on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 and, sorry kids, you gotta be 21.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mr. Spock to the Bridge

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 3:50 PM

Too soon?
  • Too soon?

Need more Nimoy? Beam yourself to the Eureka Theater on Sunday, March 15 from 3-9:30 p.m. for Spock Day ($5). Doors open at 2:30 for Spocktails (yup, they went there) in the lobby and raise a glass and a razor sharp eyebrow to the half-Vulcan legend. At 5 p.m. prepare to go where, well, many of us have gone before: back to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). That's the original Spock and Kirk, for all you kiddies, and it would be illogical not to yell "Khaaaaaan!" when the moment comes. Then at 7 p.m. Leonard Nimoy is back as Spock in the 2009 reboot Star Trek alongside Zachary Quinto as ... um, Spock. It's actually kind of Spocked up.  

But wait, why are you showing up early, two hours before the first movie? Because like a routine scouting mission, anything can happen. Tribbles or Pon farr-mad Vulcans or Romulans or some radical Trekkie splinter group could take over the projection booth and do something awesome. Just be there. You are wondering whether to wear the ears — the answer is yes. And the uniform? If not now, when? But maybe not the red shirt if you want to make it to the sequel. 
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Middle of Everything

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM

A little history: The art of using masks in theater dates back to ancient Greece and the worship of Dionysus (you know, the fun one). Followers would don crude coverings to embody gods in rituals. (The Greek term for mask is persona; masks were worn to "personify.") Playwrights Thespis, Aeschylus and Euripides used masks to portray multiple personalities or to illustrate both tragedy and comedy. Blue Lake's own Dell'Arte School teaches the Italian form of commedia dell'arte, which became popular in the 15th century and leans on masks heavily.

Especially for children, wordless, visual storytelling with masks is magical and speaks directly to their emotions. And so, the Arcata Playhouse begins the ninth season of its Family Fun Series with The Middle of Everywhere, by Portland-based theater troupe, Wonderheads (co-founded by three graduates of Dell'Arte), on Friday, Mar. 13 at 7 p.m. and continuing Saturday, Mar. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. ($12, $10). It's the story of a girl and a man and their fantastical journey through time and space. The cast performs in full-face mask, using movement and craft to engage the audience and ignite imaginations. This timeless art form with larger-than-life characters makes for a perfect evening for families and kids of all ages.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

So Long, Sewell Gallery

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 5:42 PM

Jack Sewell with his plum twig sculpture "Transplantation." - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Jack Sewell with his plum twig sculpture "Transplantation."

Take a good look around Sewell Gallery Fine Art during Arts Alive! this Saturday. The gallery, opened in June of 2011, will be shutting its glass doors at the end of April. Owner Jack Sewell said the gallery simply isn't selling enough work to pay for its overhead.

The large space on F Street is often thronged for openings and has featured many heavy hitters in the local art scene. Elizabeth Berrien, George Bucquet, Duane Flatmo, Micki Dyson-Flatmo, Orr Marshall, Jim McVicker, Curtis Otto and Rachel and Stock Schlueter are among the long list of artists the gallery has featured. 

Sewell says that he's enjoyed working with the artists, many of whom are friends, and he hopes someone else will have better luck with the space. He'll return to making art himself, which running the gallery has kept him from for the most part. "I miss doing my own artwork," he says. One of his pieces is a gently moving, silvery outdoor sculpture at the foot of C Street. And with a wry laugh, "I'll go hunting around California for representation, too, 'cause now I don't have a place to show anymore." 

Elizabeth Berrien's horse bows its head in the gallery. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Elizabeth Berrien's horse bows its head in the gallery.
For right now, Sewell is preparing for this month's show, featuring paintings by Georgia Long and Gary Bloomfield, and calling artists to cancel scheduled shows. The final show, opening in April, will showcase the wood fired ceramics of Conrad Calimpong and surrealist paintings by Catherine Brooks. 
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Frankly, My Dear

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Check your pockets. Got a little loose change? On Saturday, March 7, 35 cents gets you into the all-day big-screen binge at the Eureka Theater's 76th birthday celebration. A dime buys a ticket for a kid, just like it did in 1939, when the joint opened. Actually, it's even cheaper since a ticket gets you nearly nine hours of 1939 Hollywood classics. Oh, you can hack nine hours. Look what you did with House of Cards last weekend.

Doors open at 12:30 for the 1 p.m. showing of The Wizard of Oz. Witches be trippin' as pig-tailed Judy Garland sings and skips her way down the Yellow Brick Road in shoes worth dropping a house on somebody for. If you missed last year's big-screen showing, this is your chance for a do-over. Bring the kids — video games and 3-D Disney have rendered them immune to the flying monkeys anyway.

At 3 p.m., escape the real political landscape with Frank Capra's wholesome Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Jimmy Stewart takes boy-scout ethics to the corrupt Capitol and stands up for the little guy while fighting off a smear campaign. (Thanks, Roosevelt.)


At 5:30 p.m., brace yourself on the bedpost for Gone with the Wind. The Technicolor epic chronicling Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler's Civil War romance is both gorgeous and totally nuts. Sit in thrall to Vivien Leigh's timeless bitchface as fortunes are lost and gained, the South falls, gowns are made from drapes and people get slapped. And Clark Gable and Hattie McDaniel aren't too shabby, either. Fiddledee-dee.

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