Friday, May 29, 2015

Tonight's Setlist: Haunting, Funky, Fabulous, Fantastic Ways to Spend Your Friday

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 3:26 PM

Petunia and The Vipers perform at the Riverwood, Friday and Saturday.
  • Petunia and The Vipers perform at the Riverwood, Friday and Saturday.
Hie thee to Phillipsville

Get out your dancing shoes and prepare to swing because Petunia and The Vipers perform two evenings (tonight and tomorrow) at The Riverwood Inn — be ambitious and see if they have a room for the night. This fantastic band offers a piercing ballad one moment and manic rockabilly the next, and expands on country standards with unexpected twists — Latin rhythms, for example, which could go horribly awry but instead heighten the fun. Show starts at 9 p.m., 21-and-over. Price TBA.

High and lonesome

The Ky Burt Duo does a fine and invigorating take on old-time Americana. If you like haunting twang, get yourself to the Sanctuary. Cover is $5 to $20, sliding scale, all ages, 8 p.m.

Solo soulster

DJ Matt Jackson flies solo for a night of tunes taken from every corner of the Missing Link Records music collection. More than just the sounds of soul, Matt will spin funk, country, R&B and anything else his brain suggests to his fingers. At the Logger Bar, free, 9 p.m., 21-and-over.

Fab Four

Redwood Curtain is one of those places people don't just like, they love. Whether it's the beer or the vibe (or both), the addition of Humboldt's gypsy jamgrass favorites The Absynth Quartet promises to be a good thing. And yes, you read that correctly — the former Quintet is operating sans mandolinist Bird Jowais, who's currently residing in Ashland. The gig starts at 8 p.m., is free and 21-and-over.

Full Setlist here.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Now

Posted on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 11:01 AM


You can sit around waiting for the solstice on June 21, or you can start summer now. It must be summer if the Summer Arts and Music Festival is on, right? Follow the sun to the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the festival fun you've been dreaming of all winter and spring ($30 advance weekend pass, $20/day gate).

The stages and tents are many. Over the weekend, the Trees stage features JJ Grey & MoFro, Blackalicious, Feet First Dancers, Lost Coast Marimbas and Motherlode, among others.

Down on the Lawn stage, swivel your hips to Off the Chart's Latin jazz standards, the OLIO Music & Dance Collective's Latin and Congolese rhythms and SaltPetal's surf-dance-indie-rock sounds. From there, you can bounce around between the Summertronica tent, the Andean music tent, a world music jam tent and a belly dancing temple.

Elsewhere on the grounds, check out eco-centric displays and demos and browse artwork in a 1958 vintage-trailer-turned-gallery. Down to clown? Entertain the little ones at the Kids' Zone with ClownSnotBombs, Circus Nature's circus equipment and toys, Circus Emporium Roadshow and its Odditorium.

Already feels like summer.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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E.T. vs. Yoda

Posted on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM


On Saturday, May 30, you'll have to choose between your favorite locally filmed 1980s sci-fi movies starring an ugly/adorable alien puppet thingy.

On the one hand, the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission is putting on Movies in the Park with E.T., in which you can spot scenic Fort Dick, as well as a young Drew Barrymore (free). It's the heartwarming friendly-alien-innocent-kids Spielberg adventure you loved, and now you can throw on a hoodie and watch the bike take off over the trees while you're surrounded by redwoods in actual moonlight — practically in the movie. Show up at 7 p.m. at Sequoia Park for DJ music and groove in the woods as the sun sets. Film rolls at 9 p.m.

On the other hand, Movies Under the Mural is happening at Los Bagels in Arcata featuring Return of the Jedi at 9 p.m. (free). Episode VI, people — it's pre-Jar Jar Binks, Yoda's not CG and Stormtroopers are smashing into trees at Grizzly Creek Redwoods and Jedediah Smith state parks. Bring your own chair and cozy blankie (that metal bikini from Comic-Con is going to get chilly), grab some free popcorn and blow it up like Alderaan. Too soon?

Listen: It's the sound of sci-fi fans rending their garments in frustration. But choose you must.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Grill Seekers

Posted on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:59 AM


You do not need to spend the weekend hunched over coals and woodchips, gasping in the billowing smoke of a grill to enjoy a barbecue. Leave it to pros (or semi-pros, anyway) and eat your fill all weekend.

On Saturday, May 30 at Redwood Acres, the Clarke Historical Museum fires up the Redwood Coast Up in Smoke Barbecue Competition and Beer Tasting from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. A $15 entry fee gets you a commemorative glass and four drink samples. Toss in another $5 for five more trips to the tap. But leave room for the chicken and pork ribs at $10 for four tastes. Pros and amateurs will be going tong to tong to see who is master of the pit.

Head to the Moose Lodge on Sunday, May 31 for the Oyster Tri-tip Family Barbecue from 12:30 to 4 p.m. ($15 dinner, $5 hot dog dinner). Lick your fingers and tap your toes to the Redwood Dixie Gators, all to raise cash for the Cutten Ridgewood School District. Two barbecues in a row and you've still got your eyebrows. Nicely done.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Tonight's Setlist: Wrapped in Goodness

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 9:40 AM


Reviews of Eilen Jewell's music often contain words such as "honest" and "confident," which, while true, fail to convey the singer/songwriter's versatility, the way in which she invokes imagery and enraptures audiences with her storytelling. She's got a hell of a voice, too.

Immerse yourself at the Palm Lounge, 8 p.m. (no opening act), $15, 21-and-over.

You can always find the full Setlists here.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tonight's Setlist: Calling All 'Sweaty Freaks'

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 9:29 AM

From our friends at The Shanty:

"Those who've seen for themselves will agree there's no describing the pure batshit crazyness that happens at a live Quintron and Miss Pussycat show. Expect to see at least some of the following: Cars welded to organs. Light-powered percussion inventions. Puppets. Candles. Sweaty freaks."

In addition to Quinton and Miss Pussycat, the excellent Nots — think vintage all-girl punk — is playing, along with Humboldt's own ever-endearing Lost Luvs.

Cover is $5, show's at 9 p.m. Get there early!

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tonight's Setlist: Happily Destructive, Deliciously Dark. Also, Math.

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:06 AM

click image The Hip Joint via FB
  • The Hip Joint via FB

If sexy sells, then The Hip Joint should be among the 1 percent by now. The band is unleashing its epic boogieness at the Jambalaya along with the Bay Area's hard-swinging soulsters Royal Jelly Jive at the Jambalaya. Hip Jointster Tofu Schwartz suggests to attendees, "Let's tear up the floors!" and means it literally.

"Seriously," he continues, "this is the last night before they put in new floors at the Jam."

You heard the man. Cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.


The folks at Six Rivers Brewery have a lot to celebrate — the opening of a new heated patio, for one, and a special gig by The Pine Box Boys, for another. It's also the release party for Prester John's Six Feet Under Scotch Ale and it starts at 6 p.m., both good things.

If you're unsure if this is right for you, maybe refer to fan Scotty Appleford's comment on the event page: "Most events in Humboldt are either feel good fundraisers or hippie BS. This right here is for those of us who need a break from DJ so and so and white dudes with Jamaican accents." Personally, I enjoy a good DJ so-and-so, but totally agree on the Ja-fake-an front. Be warned, the Pine Box Boys, as the name implies, are practitioners — skilled ones — of the traditional murder ballad genre.

(This is not to be confused with "murder music," a term referring to the homophobic and violence-advocating lyrics found in the songs of certain Jamaican musicians, notably Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Capleton, all of whom were the subject of much controversy during their respective Humboldt appearances.)

For those unfamiliar with the "murder ballad" genre, the story-songs have been around at least since the Renaissance, according to music historians, emerging in Europe and traditionally relating true stories — longtime UK music journalist Paul Slade describes them as "tabloid newspapers set to music, carrying news of all the latest 'orrible murders to an insatiable public."

From the London "gallows ballads" of the 1700s to "Stagger Lee" — the first lyrics for which were written in 1903, the tune's been performed by Duke Ellington, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, The Clash, Bob Dylan and Nick Cave (and probably others!) — to modern day tracks such as The Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl," Gillian Welch's "Caleb Meyer" and, well, we could go on and even start to examine how hip-hop potentially revolutionized murder ballads — but look, just go to the show, then share your thoughts,

Cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.


Here's a practice problem: If x = rhythmically complex and y = guitar-based and a = experimental rock, then x/y*a = ? Answer: Macktown's math metal Super Demon! At the Alibi, along with the more psychedelic-flavored sounds of The Mother Vines.

Cover is $3, music at 11 p.m., 21-and-over.

Full Setlist here!
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Tonight's Setlist: Loss and Reconciliation

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 11:02 AM

Alejandro Rose-Garcia goes by the name of Shakey Graves when delivering the blues-country-rock that's brought him national acclaim and keeps his debut album, Roll the Bones, near the top of Bandcamp's digital bestseller chart.

"The first album was me wanting to burn down my life, cut my hair off and run screaming into the woods," he says, introducing his latest release, And the War Came.

"This album is the trials and tribulations of becoming domesticated, letting people into your world and letting go of selfishness — the story of becoming a pair, losing that, and reconciling with the loss and gain of love."

Shakey Graves performs at Humboldt Brews, 9:30 p.m., $15, 21-and-over.

Full Setlist here.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

On the Runway

Posted on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 4:00 AM

  • Photo by Brandi Easter

Grab some big sunglasses and a folding fan if you have one. Then put on your best Anna-Wintour-sphinx face and take a seat up front for Flow at the Arcata Theatre Lounge on Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ($30, $25, $20 students).

Eleven students, some in team and some solo, from the Arcata Arts Institute's Fashion Design program have been sketching, cutting, draping, pinning and stitching their designs for this runway moment. It's like Project Runway, but without all the crying. Well, unless you really nail that Anna Wintour face. Each designer has whipped up three to six ensembles, all of which will come down the catwalk on the backs of more than 40 fellow-students-turned-models. Expect everything from handmade to high-tech, including custom fabrics, laser cutting, masks and even some pieces aglow with LED lights.

The event is a fundraiser for the program within Arcata High School, and it's your chance to see what the young designers are up to over there. Once the models have made their last turns, they'll mingle with the audience so you can see the workmanship up close and make notes for your blog.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Great Race

Posted on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:10 AM

  • Photo by Mark Larson

The pleasures of the Grand Kinetic Championship are many. First, on Saturday, May 23, there is the carnival atmosphere on the Arcata Plaza as costumed racers prep their craft for the noon start of the race. Rutabaga Queens are shamelessly lobbied/bribed and spectators mill around, gawking at giant sharks, shoes, mollusks and spaceships. Stand back and admire the creativity, humor and sheer obsession, then step closer and wonder at the engineering: Each one of the 100-percent-human-powered contraptions has to hold up to the 42-mile race and a voyage in the waters of Humboldt Bay.

Once you follow the crowd to the Manila Dunes and the racers are barreling down Dead Man's Drop, it's all about rubbernecking. Somebody is taking a spill here, and it won't be pretty. Be sure to slather yourself in bug repellent so you don't miss any action swatting away mosquitos.

Likewise, not all will stay afloat after launching onto the bay from the marina by the Wharfinger Building on Sunday, May 24 starting at 9:30 a.m. Back on land, the drama picks up again with the uphill climb of Loleta Hill and the teeth-gritting downhill. After all the sweat and suffering, line up on Ferndale's Main Street from 1 p.m. on Monday, May 25 for the cathartic race across the finish line and the conferring of glory.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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