Saturday, April 30, 2016

Can It

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • Photo by Mark McKenna

It has its own museum, it spawned an infamous Monty Python sketch/song (and subsequent musical), and has been added to tech vernacular to mean an unwanted abundance of junk email. You know what we're talking about: SPAM, of course. SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! It's preserved so well in the annals of history (and in its tin can), that it'll remain a staple of kitchen cupboards everywhere for eons. So why shouldn't it have a cook-off in its honor? Exactly. The processed pork product beloved in Hawaii and Guam (and stateside in bomb shelters and beyond) has its day at the Spamley Cup Cook-off at Redwood Fields on Sunday, May 1 from 1 to 4p.m. ($10, free for kids under 12).

You mean there's more to eating SPAM than just frying it up and laying it between two pieces of white bread? Oh yeah. Get ready for sushi, "spalamari," tamales, enchiladas, pizza and more. Local Joes and top chefs roll up their sleeves to compete for best dish using the salty slab of meat. Dishes are judged on amount of SPAM used, presentation, creativity and taste, with the winner receiving accolades, a cash prize and the regal Perpetual Spamley Cup Trophy. In addition to creative and tasty eats, the event features a raffle, silent auction, live music and kid-friendly games, all benefitting Humboldt CASA.

So get out there, rain or shine, and get piggy with it.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Dig, If You Will, the Picture

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • Purple Rain

Before their time, it seems, the purveyors of the soundtracks of our lives are parting ways with us, leaving legions of broken hearts. This past week, we lost another great: The Purple One. His Royal Badness. Prince. Like Bowie, Prince leaves behind a few celluloid impressions, including 1984's Purple Rain, showing Saturday, April 30 at the Eureka Theater at 7:30 p.m. ($5). As a film for film's sake it's pretty bad (skinny-dipping Apollonia notwithstanding), but as a showcase of its star's charisma and musical genius — "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "I Would Die 4 U" and the title track, "Purple Rain" — it is solid gold.

Sporting the original puffy shirt and a flowing purple coat, the 5-foot-2-inch Prince cuts an impressive figure as The Kid, a rising musician trying to make his mark amid personal and professional struggles, and win the heart of a beautiful singer. With curly black hair, sideburns and eyes so pretty you forget all notion of gender, Prince sings, squeals and sexes his way through 111 minutes of semi-autobiographical spectacle. Purple Rain, at its well-tailored heart, is quintessential rock 'n' roll: ambitious, angry, wounded and seeking redemption. 

Hop onto the back of his bike and go riding down memory lane. If you miss it this time, catch it at the Arcata Theater Lounge on Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ($5).

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Party Animals

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • File Photo

Looking for fresh air and a little Earth Day education? Celebrate with the kids at Party for the Planet on Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sequoia Park Zoo (free).

Do your usual zoo stroll — check in with the goats in the petting zoo, pour one out for the late Bill, chill in the aviary, squee over the red panda family (maybe do a head count because you never know) and make it look like the kids are dragging you through the otter tank tunnel. Then at noon you can meet Super Salmon, the watershed mascot who gives Crusty Crab a run for his money (don't play cool — you totally want to shake his fin). See if you can get him into the photo booth with you.

There will be crafts for the kids, short movies (psst, they're educational) and special exhibits, all to teach us about our water systems and how we can get in on both local and global protection and conservation.

And if your herd gets hungry, you can always set an example for the kids by downing a shake straw-less at the zoo café.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Creeps

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  • Creepshow

One cannot live on Kubrick alone. Now and then horror fans need a dose of glossy fake blood, a wiggling rubber mask and late show plotting. And for that we turn to director George Romero, he of the collective Night, Dawn, Day and Land of the Dead. These days you can't swing a chainsaw arm without hitting a zombie, but Romero's cult appeal is built on finding the sweet spot between scary and funny, a giddy mix for those of us who came of age before CG effects. We leaned in for spooky exposition, jumped at corpses lurching from graves and howled at his endless catalogue of decapitation methods.

Revel in the twin geniuses of Romero and author/movie machine Stephen King when their gory, comic-book-themed 1982 collaboration Creepshow plays at the Eureka Theater on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. ($5). The campy, cartoonish dark comedy tells five sleepover-worthy stories and boasts names like Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, Adrienne Barbeau and even King himself hamming it up. And if that's not throwback enough, this Robo-Cat presentation is hosted by caped local legend The Great Razooly. Yes, that one.

Horror nostalgia, cheap popcorn and the proceeds go toward restoring the Art Deco theater. Just don't touch any meteor shit.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Reel Love

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Humboldt International Film Festival, the world's oldest student-run film festival, returns to the Minor Theater (reopening for this event) April 20-23 with screenings nightly at 7 p.m. ($5 each night). Humboldt State University students invited independent filmmakers from around the world and whittled 225 submitted shorts from more than 25 countries down to 37 finalists, including Mourn, an experimental film by local filmmaker Camile Carpenter.

Audiences and judges, including Humboldt State University alums George Nelson and Michelle Cartier, and Emmy-winning director Howard L. Ritter, will see animation, experimental, documentary and narrative entries.

On Wednesday, April 20 it's Animation and Experimental movies, featuring Switch Man by Hsun-Chun Chuang, in which a city is under siege by the Evil Dr. Mantis, and a pair of movies by Xstine Cook about an orange monster named Lily.

Thursday, April 21 gets real with Documentary night. No need to wonder what Andrew Sobey's We Are Fucked: An Environmental Film is about, but A Drag Queen for Kids by Byron Karabatsos and Last Tear by Christopher H.K. Lee have us curious. Come back on Friday, April 22 for narrative shorts including Javi Navarro's I've Just Had a Dream and Total Awesome Viking Power by Morten Forland. Come on, you have to see that last one. Finally, wind it up with Best of the Fest, a playback of the winners on Saturday, April 23.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

They See You Rollin'

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 8:00 AM

When was the last time you laced up a pair of skates and chased your equilibrium around a rink with disco lights swirling, the beat of your favorite song and a sturdy wall helping you along? If it was back when you parted your hair down the middle, flipped the sides back and tucked a comb in your back pocket, get ready to feel cool again with Groovin' with the Giants: An AIDS/Lifecycle Fundraiser. This disco-themed, drag-queen-hosted roller skating party gets all kinds of fabulous on Saturday, April 16 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Eureka Municipal Auditorium ($8, $5, free for kids under 5).

The all ages, family fun fundraiser, organized and hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Fuscia Rae, features performances by local drag performers, a silent auction, a kiddy korner with fun activities for kids who aren't into skating (we call them artists), and tunes to grease your wheels courtesy of DJ Joe-E.

Groovin' is made possible entirely by volunteers and donations from the community, including Humboldt Pride. All proceeds go to the Redwood Giants, a local group riding in this year's AIDS/Lifecycle, an organization that rides from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. For more information about the team, the ride and how you can donate, visit and search for "Redwood Giants."

See you at the rink!

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Monday, April 11, 2016

For the Birds

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Godwits, dowitchers and sandpipers. Oh, my. - PHOTO BY DREW HYLAND
  • Photo by Drew Hyland
  • Godwits, dowitchers and sandpipers. Oh, my.

The 21st annual Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival takes place April 13 through April 19, countywide. Fans of the long-beaked, long-legged, flying, black-tailed mollusk eaters will flock to fields, marshes and other habitats to see thousands of the shorebirds and others during this celebration of the myriad bird species in the area. The week-long event features hikes, kayak tours, birding trips and more. While most of the activities take place out in the trenches, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do at the Arcata Community Center, open Friday, April 15 from 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (free admission). Highlights include the Opening Reception on Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. (free), and the Bird of the Year Award presented at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, April 16, the main hall bustles with vendor booths, an art show, live raptors from Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, kids' art and writing awards, a silent auction, food, family activities, a song circle and more. And you might learn something — keynote speaker David Allen Sibley (The Sibley Guide to Birds) is presenting "The Psychology of Bird Identification," at 7 p.m. ($10, or free with basic registration).

Godwitting and the creek don't rise, those out in the field will observe a bounty of birds this season. Don't miss your chance. Registration is required for all outdoor events and spots are going fast. Visit for a full schedule and to register.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Blue Man Group

Posted on Sat, Apr 9, 2016 at 4:00 AM

  • Courtesy of the artists
  • Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group brings its wide-eyed stares and blue grease-paint to the Van Duzer Theatre on April 11 at 8 p.m. ($66, $35). The performance art group is known for percussive and innovative shows that break the fourth wall and get messy. Take heed, brave patrons in the first few rows.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Body and Soul

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 4:00 AM

  • Courtesy of HSU Theatre and Dance

Dance can appear solitary from your seat in the audience, but even a solo is a group project; there are performers, choreographers, composers, musicians and all their respective teachers. But the spring dance concert at Humboldt State University brings those hidden forces to the foreground, with students and faculty on the Van Duzer Theatre stage, just a toe shoe's throw from where they practice and plan.


As the Latin name suggests, this year's show, Soma Spiritu, explores the connection of body and spirit. The pieces, by eight student choreographers and a pair of faculty, run the gamut from the playful to the sacred. Sharon Butcher, who heads the dance program, presents "Root and Tubers," a hoe-down tribute to her Appalachian potato-farming roots and her late mother's square dancing. Meanwhile, student choreographer Jonny Wisan's "Gratia Incarnare," danced by Ambar Cuevas, follows the Virgin Mary from the annunciation to raising Jesus, ending with the crucifixion.

You've got two weeks. Soma Spiritu runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. from April 7 through April 16, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 17 ($10, $8 HSU students and seniors, limited free student tickets). It'll be good for your soul.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Movies' Greatest Hits

Posted on Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Eureka Symphony

Can you imagine 2001: A Space Odyssey without Strauss' dramatic score? The Eureka Symphony pays homage to music in film with its Film Greats concert April 8 and 9 at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. ($19-$44) performing soundtrack pieces by Debussy, Handel and John Williams.

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