Music

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate the Life of Merv George Sr.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 4:11 PM

Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of Merv George Sr., a Hupa religious dance leader and frontman of The Merv George Band, which for decades kept local dance floors buzzing at venues big and small. George was remembered Sunday as a talented musician with an easy smile who was dedicated to the communities he was a part of.

Check out local photographer Mark McKenna's slideshow below of images from Sunday's celebration of George's life. To read more about George, see past Journal coverage here. Donation's in George's honor can be made to the Merv George Memorial Music Fund at the Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524.

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Popular Musician and Tribal Leader Merv George Sr. Dead at 74

Posted By on Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s. - PHOTO COURTESY MERV GEORGE JR.
  • Photo courtesy Merv George Jr.
  • L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s.
Merv George Sr. — Hoopa tribal member, religious dance leader and popular musician — died yesterday afternoon after suffering a severe stroke earlier in the week. He was 74.

According to a post on Merv George Jr.’s Facebook page, his father was being transported home from Redding Mercy Hospital when he died. “He had my mom by his side and he went peacefully,” George Jr. wrote, adding that “he waited until we got near Weaverville and could see the Trinity River before he left us.”


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Friday, June 15, 2018

Eureka High Gifted Strings and Things from Sara Bareilles

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Sara Bareilles chats with Eureka High School students on Skype. - VIA INSTAGRAM
  • Via Instagram
  • Sara Bareilles chats with Eureka High School students on Skype.

The music department at Eureka High School has a little more string in its step after a gift from a famous alum yesterday. Music, Broadway, TV and soon-to-be Apple TV star Sara Bareilles teamed up with Yamaha Entertainment Group and Eastman Strings to send her fellow Loggers some string instruments and audio equipment. Bareilles posted a video about the donation and her Skype chat with students on Instagram (watch below) in which you can hear the EHS band cranking out her hit "Love Song."     

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mateel, High Times Create Partnership to Save Reggae on the River

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Last year's Reggae on the River. - FILE
  • File
  • Last year's Reggae on the River.
The Mateel Community Center’s board of directors voted last night to approve a partnership with High Times Productions to put on Reggae on the River.

The deal was announced in a press release this morning with few details, other than that the production company, the event-management arm of High Times Media, will “assume responsibility for the upcoming festival’s talent lineup, marketing and monetization efforts.” In the release, Mateel Board President Garth Epling says the partnership will give the Mateel “the resources to continue growing and developing the festival.”

A story on www.kymkemp.com that posted last night notes that the deal has been in negotiations for six months.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

One Billion Rising and Rising

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza.
More than 100 Arcata Elementary School and Sunny Brae Middle School students sang and danced to "Home We'll Go" at the sixth annual One Billion Rising event on the Arcata Plaza on Friday afternoon. "We're making a statement through dance to rise, resist and unite to make change happen so our homes and workplaces are safer for all of us," said event organizer Jessie Hobba. See a slideshow of photos from the event below.

Hobba and others from the local V-Day Humboldt movement started the local One Billion Rising dance event in 2012 as part of their activities on ending violence against women and girls. In her introduction, Hobba explained the origins of the "One Billion Rising" term by citing the United Nations statistic that one out of three women worldwide will be beaten or raped. That works out to about 1 billion women worldwide.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Poor Reggae on the River Attendance Leaves Mateel Community Center's Future in Question

Posted By on Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 9:33 AM

This year's Reggae on the River. - FILE
  • File
  • This year's Reggae on the River.
Redway’s Mateel Community Center is in a state of crisis after its biggest annual fundraiser, Reggae on the River, not only failed to meet revenue projections but left the center with a “significant” debt.

“Very challenging times lie ahead, there are difficult decisions to make, and the future of both ROTR and the MCC is at stake,” Mateel General Manager Justin Crellin wrote in a letter to to the Southern Humboldt community, inviting it to a Sept. 19 meeting when he will share further detail of the Mateel’s financial state and what options are being considered.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Scenes from the Folklife Fest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:55 AM

Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival.
The week-long Humboldt Folklife Festival in its 39th year drew large crowds to its events this year, according to Patrick Cleary, one of the many Humboldt Folklife Society members who organized the event. Cleary said this year's festival was dedicated to the memory of Susan Anderson, one of the original members of the Humboldt Folklife Society back in 1978 who died this past year.

Personal highlights for me included Thurday's Bluegrass and Beyond show that included Clean Livin', Jenny Scheinman and The Compost Mountain Boys at the Dell'Arte Amphitheatre. Scheinman's virtuoso skills on the fiddle and singing of her creative and sometimes very personal lyrics were outstanding.

Scheinman first played solo on tunes from her latest release Here On Earth (a tribute to fiddle tunes). John Wood then accompanied her on his keyboard for songs that she has written that were very personal, funny, sad and a few based on her memories of growing up in Petrolia behind the "redwood curtain."

The Folklife Festival came to a close on Saturday in Blue Lake with its All Day Free Fest of workshops and18 bands performing on two stages. Check out the full slideshow below.


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

UPDATED: One Time at Band Camp

Posted By on Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 2:05 PM

None of this for a while. - FILE
  • FILE
  • None of this for a while.

UPDATE:
The Humboldt State Lumberjack's only learned the allegations that led to the band's suspension through a university press release, according to a statement issued Friday.

The Lumberjacks claim university "representatives" have failed to respond to requests from band leadership for details regarding the allegations facing the band, which include boozing it up, graffiti and "inappropriate printed materials and photographs" in the on-campus band room.

"The band is growing increasingly frustrated with the university's lack of official communication," the Lumberjacks say in the statement. See the full release copied below.

PREVIOUSLY:
Cue a sad trombone sound. The rollicking, helmeted Marching Lumberjacks have been benched. Humboldt State University sent out notice that it's investigating policy violations regarding booze, graffiti and "inappropriate printed materials and photographs" at the band's on-campus digs. For now, the band kids are on suspension. HSU reps had no further comment beyond the statement below.

From Humboldt State University:

Humboldt State University has placed the Marching Lumberjacks Band on suspension while it investigates possible violations of University policies. The investigation may extend well into the spring semester.

During the suspension, the band will not be allowed to represent the University locally or outside the region, and it will not have access to campus services that are available for recognized student organizations.

The suspension follows the discovery in the band’s on-campus space of inappropriate printed materials and photographs, graffiti, open containers of alcohol, and numerous safety and building code violations. The space has been locked and secured, and the University has begun the process of returning personal belongings to club members.

In the California State University system, if student organizations or individual students are found responsible for policy violations, they face disciplinary action ranging from a warning to expulsion. In order to protect the rights and privacy of both students and employees, the University will only be able to provide general information on the investigation.
From the band:

The Marching Lumberjacks are aware of the press release from Humboldt State University
on December 14, 2016, regarding our organization’s suspension.
To date, University representatives have not responded to requests from the band’s student
leadership for details regarding the specifics of the alleged violations.
The band is growing increasingly frustrated with the University’s lack of official
communication.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Into and Out of the Theater Business

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 12:07 PM

FROM THE MING TREE WEBSITE
  • From the Ming Tree website

Looking to manage a marquee? Here's your chance. The Arcata Theatre Lounge is on the market for a cool $1.85 million via Ming Tree Realtors. The revamped Art Deco venue has been listed for a week and includes shops rented by Bluegrass Barber and Smug's pizza. 

Over the phone last week, Lara Cox, who owns the theater with her husband Brian, said, "We've done this, we've devoted 11 years of our lives to the theater and it's been awesome … but we're just ready to do something different at this point." That something else may be a project in Humboldt but Cox is tight-lipped about what. There's "nothing we love so much as a project," she said. 

And the ATL's renovation has been that. Cox said that, over the course of five years of working with the city, the pipes, electricity, sound, lighting and kitchen, among other things, have all been updated and brought to code and ADA standards. Given the investment, as well as the business, equipment and liquor license, Cox said with a deep breath, "We feel good about the price. The hardest part of this decision is that we have so many loyal customers and the community has been awesome … it's bittersweet."

Don't panic over where to get your B-movie and pizza fix just yet. Until a buyer steps up, Cox said, it's business as usual. 
McKinlay and Neff in the Minor lobby during renovations. - FILE
  • File
  • McKinlay and Neff in the Minor lobby during renovations.

Meanwhile, a crumpled popcorn bag's throw away, the Minor Theater is on the cusp of opening its doors again. Business partners Josh Neff and Merrick McKinlay have set the date for a Sept. 16 red carpet premiere. (See the Journal's cover story on the purchase and renovation here.) 

After going back and forth with the city over whether the business should be considered a theater or a lounge, like the ATL, Neff and McKinlay have managed to secure permission for their set-up, including an expanded concessions stand stocked with Slice of Humboldt Pie, Smug's, beer and wine. Add to that an ADA-compliant automatic door and an upgraded fire safety system that includes alarms for each theater. 

Neff and McKinlay are finalizing the schedule for opening night and weekend but, so far, it's set to play like a local film fest with short films from the likes of Steven Vander Meer and Violet Crabtree, with locally filmed 1970s schlock homage The Love Witch scheduled later in the fall. 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': Sizzla Speaks at Reggae on the River

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:33 AM

Sizzla Kalonji addresses the media at a press conference after his show. Prior to the press conference, Kalonji's manager warned reporters not to ask any "homophobic questions." - ERICA BOTKIN
  • Erica Botkin
  • Sizzla Kalonji addresses the media at a press conference after his show. Prior to the press conference, Kalonji's manager warned reporters not to ask any "homophobic questions."
Reggae dancehall artist Sizzla Kalonji has given few interviews in recent years. So it was sort of a big deal when Kalonji’s camp confirmed at the last minute that the artist would be talking to the press at Reggae on the River immediately after his headlining show Saturday night.

The interview appeared to be part of a repositioning effort intended to introduce Sizzla to new listeners and put his work back in the mainstream public eye after a seven-year hiatus from the United States due to work visa issues. In 2008, Kalonji was one of a number of Jamaican dancehall and reggae musicians whose visa applications were declined, reportedly due to their shared propensity for speech acts inciting violence against gay men.

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