Sunday, April 30, 2017

Music Tonight - Sunday, April 30

Posted on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  • Submitted
  • E40

The Absynth Quartet was probably lucky enough to leave all their gear set up on The Jam's stage last night, as Tofu tells me that they're back this afternoon for a special all ages show at 1 p.m. Not sure if there's a cover for this show, but you can finally share with your kids the reason why you occasionally need babysitters for Saturday nights. Later this evening, Jo'burg-born — and now Colorado resident — musician Gregory Alan Isakov is at Humboldt Brews at 8 p.m. Songs that tell the story of travels, long roads, and penetrating landscapes, Gregory is joined by Sera Cahoone who will be opening up this $25 show. Around the same time, The Mateel in Redway hosts rapper E-40, who brings his "streetwise lyrical storytelling" with hints of humor to SoHum. This all-ages show gains support from fellow rapper Kool John. There will be Mexican-inspired fare for purchase and $40 will get you in for this show.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Music Tonight - Saturday, April 29

Posted on Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Fort Humboldt Brass Band - COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS
  • Courtesy of the Artists
  • Fort Humboldt Brass Band

For those who want to keep it old school, today's your day. The HSU Fort Humboldt Brass Band will be kicking out the 1850-1880s brass music jams at noon at the coincidentally named Fort Humboldt in Eureka. The band will be in period piece outfits and it's a free show and all ages so bring the kiddos. Filling in for the night, the String Chickens are at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room at 6 p.m. doing their string thing for free. Jeff DeMark reminds me that there's a benefit for the Arcata High School's Safe and Sober graduation party for seniors tonight. If you're going to do anything sober, I say, graduating from high school should be one of them. The LaPatina Band will be headlining this benefit at The Miniplex in Arcata at 7 p.m. and $10 will get you in the door and will contribute to this good cause. There will be songs and stories and a full bar, so you don't necessarily have to be sober to help the kids stay off the hooch. I was glad to hear a few weeks ago that there was a Paul Simon tribute night happening tonight at the Arcata Playhouse. We've had tributes to Bob Dylan, Neil Young, James Brown, Joni Mitchell and others that I'm probably forgetting, but I can't think of anyone more deserving of a tribute night than Paul Simon. So you'll hear locals paying their respects to Paul's early writing with Simon and Garfunkel, to his solo work of the '70s and beyond. You'll hear from Joel Sonenshein, Marcia Mendels, Morgan Corviday, Chris Manspeaker, Jeff Kelley, Marla Joy, Leslie Quinn, Jan Bramlett, Kate Juliana, Mango, Mark Weston, Julie Froblom, Russ Cole, Tofu Mike Schwartz, Violet Dinning, Jesse Jonathan, and Robert Keiber all for only $15 at 8 p.m. I've heard good reviews of live performances of Claire Bent and Citizen Funk who will be at Six Rivers Brewery at 9 p.m. It'll be a free show of funk, soul and touches of R&B. Local alt-somethings (myself among them) Strix Vega return to the Logger Bar in Blue Lake with "special guests" at 9:30 p.m. I should probably know who the special guests are but apparently it's a secret or something. It's a free show, so stumble over for some dark alpine jams. Local jamgrassers the Absynth Quartet are at The Jam in Arcata around 10 p.m. and joined by vocal-harmony experts Belles of the Levee. Ticket price is TBA now but I'd expect something in the $5-10 range.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

First Contact: Steven Paul Judd's Moving Pictures

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:47 PM

  • From Steven Paul Judd's "First Contact."
When Kiowa-Choctaw artist Steven Paul Judd was a child, growing up on Indian reservations in Oklahoma and Mississippi, he contracted polio and had to go to the hospital. There, by his own account, he “saw TV for the first time.” It made a big impression.

As luck would have it, the TV movie that was playing happened to be The Wizard of Oz. Specifically, it was the scene where Dorothy steps out of monochrome Kansas and into the technicolor splendor of Oz. To hear Judd tell it, having this be your first-ever experience of television was a hyper-accelerated transition from black-and-white moving images into color that basically recapitulated the whole 20th century development of the moving-picture medium in a matter of dizzying minutes. This was an epiphanic exposure — a baptism into TV by fire that left the artist’s world view illuminated and rearranged.

Judd told this story to a packed house at Humboldt State University on Wednesday during a talk he gave as part of HSU’s Native Pathways speaker series. Judd, who lives in Oklahoma and Los Angeles, is a screenwriter, artist and independent filmmaker; he has also recently co-written a novel. His videos tell short, funny stories set in native families and communities, both on and off the reservation. The stories he wants to tell have the simplicity and clarity of folktales, with the reference points updated for contemporary audiences.
  • From Steven Paul Judd's "Shhh."

The rapid initiation into TV described above seems to have prompted a series of questions: What did it mean to be Indian and be immersed in pop culture? What did it mean to be Kiowa and Choctaw and also be a diehard fan of all things having to do with superheroes and science fiction? These queries continue to propel the artist’s investigations.

In his talk, Judd explained that he hadn’t seen a lot of Indians on TV while he was growing up. In fact, he recalled exactly three. There was Iron Eyes Cody, famous from a 1971 anti-littering PSA, who let a single tear fall from his eye when he gazed upon the white man’s litterbug ways (and who was actually Sicilian). There was Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto in The Lone Ranger. And then there was Erik Estrada, from the 1977-83 series CHiPs. While Estrada is not actually Native either, Judd said he was willing to accord the actor who played Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncharello honorary status: “He’s not a Native person, but I thought he looked like one of my uncles, who watched CHiPs too.”

All of these Indian role models, Judd explained, had their merits, but when it came to authenticity they lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. He decided to start shooting videos, making photo collages and writing screenplays in order to make the Native characters he wanted to see appear onscreen.
His photo collages feature mash-up images created by juxtaposing historical photographs of Indians from the late 19th and early 20th century with anachronistic characters from late 20th century movies and TV. In one still, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man looms alarmingly behind a row of teepees decorated with traditional paintings. A replica “ledger drawing” made in homage to the narrative line drawings created by Plains Indians from the 1860s through the 1920s features warrior figures whose regalia owes more to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than it does to traditional indigenous forms.

Many of the videos involve stop-action animation. In “Round Dance” an artist’s articulated wooden model and a robot call forth assorted action figures that drum and form a moving circle, each toy prompting separate pangs of pop culture deja vu. Ewoks and Storm Troopers stomp through the frame. The command to “be a good Indian” echoes through space, followed by a polite request to turn your phone off.

You can see more of Judd’s videos, including “First Contact,” “Neil Discovers the Moon” and “Search for the World’s Best Indian Taco,” here.

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Music Tonight - Friday, April 28

Posted on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  • Courtesy of the Artists

Local guitar-slingin' troubadour Chuck Mayville returns to Gallagher's Irish Pub in Eureka tonight around 6 p.m. He'll play a variety of rock standards and may even take a few requests if you throw some tips into the mix. Just don't request any REO Speedwagon or Supertramp. Or do. Just tip big. Orick-based classic-country band the Redwood Ramblers are at the Mad River Brewery Tap room at the same time and also for free. The Arcata Playhouse tonight hosts a benefit for, well, the Arcata Playhouse, as holding it anywhere else would be kind of weird. The press release states that it's a "hybrid sit-down and dance concert with an open floor and cabaret seating." Starting off this benefit are The Yokels, with Steve Irwin, Glen Nagy and Bill Kerker. These fellas have all been playing together in one form or another since 1977 so they're locked in the groove. They'll take the stage around 8 p.m. Following them up will be fellow supergroup, The Detours doing their Americana gig. You've probably seen all these musicians in other groups as well, but their current lineup is Paul DeMark, Marc Jeffares, Rick Levin, Ron Sharp and Jake Wiegandt. No word at the moment on the ticket price but these two bands can command a lot, so whatever it turns out to be, consider it a deal and a steal. Dead heads can rejoice that Melvin Seals and JGB return to Humboldt for another two-night stand at Humboldt Brews in Arcata. Catch the first gig at 9:30 p.m. — $30 will get you in the door for these jams. I got word that local rock band the Sleepwalkerz will be playing at Blondie's in Arcata tonight. Without an official statement, I'm going to guess that music will start somewhere around 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. and probably for free with a slight chance of a $5 cover charge.

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April Flowers

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 7:00 AM

  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

It's springtime in Humboldt and everything's coming up rhodies.

This year, there's a big hoopla happening in the world of the brightly colored flora as Eureka hosts the International Convention of the American Rhododendron Society, "Rhododendrons in the Redwoods," April 27-30 with activities centered at The Red Lion Hotel and the Sequoia Conference Center (prices vary for events, see for details/registration). The conference features local speakers and those from as far away as France — presentations, tours, a photography show and plant sale, as well as a free presentation on soils on Sunday, April 30 at 11 a.m. in the plant sale tent in the hotel parking lot.

The convention coincides with another annual rhododendron event, the Rhododendron Festival and Parade, a Humboldt county tradition that sees flowered floats, horses, kids on bikes, vintage cars, school bands and local dignitaries waving to the crowds as the procession winds its way through Eureka. The parade is on Saturday, April 29 starting at 10 a.m. in Henderson Center, traveling east on Seventh Street, south on H Street, west on Henderson and concluding near the Eureka Mall (free). After the parade, step back in time at Fort Humboldt during the annual Dolbeer Steam Donkey Days, when the Timber Heritage Association cranks up the historic Falk shay locomotive, offers speeder train rides and gives logging and equipment demos until 4:30 p.m. (free).

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Spamley Cup Cook-Off

Posted on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 4:00 AM

  • Photo by Mark McKenna

Get piggy with it Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Redwood Fields at the Spamley Cup Cook-Off, the culinary competition that pits processed pork recipes against each other to raise money for CASA of Humboldt ($10, kids under 12 free). There's live music, games for the kids, raffles and silent auctions. Nibble to your heart's content and vote for your favorite SPAM dish

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Music Tonight - Thursday, April 27

Posted on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  • Shutterstock

You can start your weekend a little early up at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room around 6 p.m. with some swingin' jazz courtesy of locals Fred & Jr. (no relation) and all for free. In Arcata you'll find the Fickle Hill Band at the Redwood Curtain Brewery at 8 p.m. also playing for free. Comprised of talented and long-time local rock musicians, you'll hear some rock standards you know and love, and some great rock/jams from these fellas.

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Cryptozoological Footprint

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 4:00 AM

  • Finding Bigfoot. Submitted

There's something big afoot in Willow Creek. On Saturday, April 29, the Finding Bigfoot Festival at Veteran's Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (free) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the world-famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film (that grainy footage shot in Orleans of a lumbering dark creature looking over its shoulder as it hurries across a creek bed) and there are some big names in town to commemorate. Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot reality series — about the four researchers and explorers (including homegrown James "Bobo" Fay) who investigate potential evidence of Mr. Tall, Dark and Pungent — will be in town filming a special two-hour episode. It's kind of a big, hairy deal.

The festival starts with a parade through town at 10 a.m. from the China Flat Museum, followed by an all-day party with a large Kid's Zone, music performances by Jimi Jeff & The Gypsy Band, Crooked Trees, Ju Drum and others, vendors and a live broadcast by KSLG. The cast of Finding Bigfoot will judge a round of Bigfoot Competitions, so gargle some warm salt water and try your Best Bigfoot Call, or offer up your Best Bigfoot Knocking or Most Authentic Footprint. (Heads up, there's also a logging and ax-throw competition.) And Bigfoot legend Bob Gimlin hosts a showing of his famous footage. Bring your camera to snap a selfie with Bobo and his Animal Planet cohorts or ... to capture the best evidence of the elusive ape yet.

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Humboldt Pie #10

Posted on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 4:00 AM

  • Shutterstock

If you'd like to stuff your face with something a little less salty, head over to Eureka First Presbyterian Church from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 for Humboldt Pie #10 (free admission), Tri-County Independent Living's pie-baking/eating fundraiser. There you can win cash for shoveling it in faster than anyone else or just take your sweet time and indulge.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Peninsula Drive

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 2:31 PM

Heavy rains — this roadside puddle
becomes a small lake,
a few days' wonder that
   must be driven 'round

But look! A trio of ducks,
drawn as though to a fixture
   on the map,
paddling happily across it!
For them, I'd stock it with minnows —
(where do you get minnows?)

   (And is my life like that, but a 
   momentary failure in the drainage
   of some life force?)

But now, see, too soon, too soon,
the lake is but a rising mist, over a dry bed,
a low cloud through which ducks weave
   (the fickle things),
      seeking a stabler pool. 

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