Thursday, June 22, 2017

Music Tonight: Thursday, June 22

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 12:30 PM

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Not that you ever need an excuse to catch some sunshine and sea air up at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room in Blue Lake, but you've got plenty of good options this weekend. Start off by catching locals Blase Bonpane and the Stellar Jays who'll be starting around 6 p.m. and playing for free. Help 'em out if their pint glasses are looking dry.

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Ants on Fire

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:30 AM


What better time than summer to watch a horror movie about invading ants? They're here. You're already pissed at them. You want to see them wiped off the face of the earth. We go to the movies for entertainment and catharsis, so get ready to feel good. Grab your bug spray and march to the Eureka Theater on Friday, June 23 to catch the Sci-Fi classic THEM! (1954) playing at 7:30 p.m. for a mere $5.

The theater's Fourth Friday Flix series brings the first of the 1950s "nuclear monster" films to its big screen. Get ready to shrink in terror at the gigantic, marauding ants looming large in what was the first (and considered best) of the 'big bug' subgenre, and then cheer as flame-throwing militia wipe them out. Yass, queen.

In a picked-over nutshell, a nest of irradiated ants is discovered in the New Mexico desert after state troopers encounter a catatonic girl and her torn apart trailer ... with an ominous sack of sugar that's been ripped into. Things get sticky when the responsible parties, a gargantuan queen ant and her cunning consorts, escape the desert to establish a nest in the dark, dripping storm drains under the city of Los Angeles. A nationwide hunt to kill the man-eating beasts ensues, complete with wonderful non-CGI, mechanical ant special effects. The film ends with a warning (as many of the atomic Sci-Fi films did):

"When man entered the atomic age, he opened the door to a new world. What we may eventually find in that new world, no one can predict."

Bonus, Sci-Fi fans: Catch a young Leonard Nimoy in a small (uncredited) role as an Army sergeant in the communications room poking fun at Texas and the state's propensity for exalting the "bigness" of things. Illogical.

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Brio Breadworks' Bakery Open House

Posted on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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Check out mo' dough risin' at Brio Breadworks' Bakery Open House Saturday, June 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. (free). Stop by for production demonstrations and bread tasting as the makers of everybody's favorite companion to butter and balsamic vinegar take part in the Bread Bakers Guild of America's Guild-Wide Bakery Open House.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fair Share

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  • Photo by Mark Boyd

The Best of Humboldt Fair is back June 22-25 at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds ($12, $5 senior and youth admission, free for military and kids under 6; carnival tickets sold separately).

Enjoy the "best of" local local arts, crafts, food and more at the fairgrounds in four buildings and on the racetrack. This year's fair includes all your favorites: the carnival, livestock shows, Nature Joe, a wild animal exhibit, truck pulls, the Kidz Science Safari, A & L Feed's Petting Zoo, the variety stage with all kinds of performances including live music from Jeffery Smoller, Kendra Cook and Brad Wilson and the Rollin' Thunder Blues Thunder Band, plus cowgirl tricks with Karen Quest and magic shows with Steve, the Pretty Good Magician. And, of course, all the delicious fair food you've come to know, love and regret: curly fries, corn dogs, cotton candy, kettle corn, funnel cakes, fried bread, nachos and just about anything deep fried they can throw in the pot: asparagus, Oreos and Snickers.

New this year is the Haai Shark Encounter where you can see live sharks swimmin' and grinnin'. Also, the Pirate's Parrot Ship with a pirate and his gorgeous, colorful birds.

Gates open at 8 a.m. for the livestock shows (piggies, goats, cows and chickens and other barnyard friends) and the buildings on the fairgrounds with flower and art shows, Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ride the Ferris wheel and try your luck at winning your date a stuffed poop emoji at the carnival from noon to midnight, Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday ($35 all ride pass). Take advantage of free admission all day Thursday, June 22; seniors 60+ get in free on Friday, June 23.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Bivalve Bacchanal

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 9:56 AM

Tens of thousands of locally produced oysters met their fate at the 27th annual Oyster Festival. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Tens of thousands of locally produced oysters met their fate at the 27th annual Oyster Festival.

You could get just about any creative approach to raw or barbecued oysters on Saturday at the 27th annual Oyster Festival in Arcata – except oyster-flavored ice cream. Staff from Humboldt Creamery, who were passing out free ice cream in the Family Fun Zone, said they might work on that for next year.

The Arcata Plaza was a packed house for the annual celebration of all things related to oysters, including an Oyster-Calling contest, a Shuck-n-Swallow contest, live music and many other food and beer options. In addition to the family-oriented fun, side streets off the plaza held an art market, a “green” zone (electric vehicles and environmental information booths), as well as the usual Farmers’ Market.
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Music Tonight: Monday, June 19

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Brian Post and Friends - SUBMITTED
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New York Jazz is on tap tonight at the Palm Lounge in the Eureka Inn starting at 7 p.m. and for free. I'm told that Brian Post & Friends are playing standards and "Blue Note" which I'm assuming has something to do with Blue Note records. This talented quartet is made up of HSU professor Brian Post on the piano, Val Leone on guitar, Tom Lopes on bass and Don Baraka on woodwind instruments.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Best of the Oyster Fest

Posted By on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 5:19 PM

Savory Grill and Cafe's winning oysters. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Savory Grill and Cafe's winning oysters.
Upsets and new blood (brine?) marked this year' Arcata Bay Oyster Festival. As crowds swarmed the plaza, lining up for paper trays of oysters, judges (myself among them) sampled entrants in the Best Raw, Best Cooked, Best Non-oyster and, for the first time this year, Best in Show. The new Best in Show category, according to head Oystress Rachel Marella, keeps high-scoring entrants — sometimes a mere half point behind the winner — across categories.

While previous years have have left many wondering whether the Sushi Spot juggernaut could be stopped from another sweep, some new entrants nabbed top honors. The coveted Best Raw went to newcomer Savory Grill and Cafe for its oysters served in a molcajete cauldron and topped with carmelized onions, pineapple, red wine vinegar, cilantro, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, olive oil, cherry tomatoes and chives. And there's your recipe for Fourth of July, folks.

Sushi Spot keeps the cooked crown for this creamy-spicy entry. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Sushi Spot keeps the cooked crown for this creamy-spicy entry.
Sushi Spot stayed in the game for Best Cooked, serving up a showstopper of a barbecued Goose Point with a creamy, spicy-sweet topping of garlic-jalapeño aioli, honey sriracha, crunchy toasted  garlic and green onions.
A luxe lobster and Oyster dish from Five Eleven. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A luxe lobster and Oyster dish from Five Eleven.
Five Eleven won Best in Show with a grilled Humboldt Bay oyster served with lobster sauce and roasted corn salsa, and a raw Humboldt Bay oyster with honeydew melon and cucumber gazpacho and golden trout caviar. (Its cooked oyster score was a mere .1 points behind Sushi Spot and the raw was .5 behind Savory's entry.)  
Cucumber gazpacho on an Oyster from Five Eleven. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Cucumber gazpacho on an Oyster from Five Eleven.
Salt Fish House, in its first year at the festival, took Best Non-oyster with a skewer of grilled octopus, cherry tomatoes and olives, with lemon vinaigrette and mint.

Skewered octopus won Salt Fish House its first prize. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Skewered octopus won Salt Fish House its first prize.

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Music Tonight: Saturday, June 17

Posted By on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The Humboldt Highlanders in Old Town on 4th of July, 2016. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The Humboldt Highlanders in Old Town on 4th of July, 2016.

It's Oyster Fest today, so come up with a game plan in your head before getting silly day-drunk and making a total ass of yourself. If you want to frontload it pretty hard while the sun's out, who am I to judge? Just have a plan to get home safely and try not to be that person keeping the party/drinking going when the non-daylight shows kick off. Belligerent drunks with sunburns and bellies full of raw oysters at 6 p.m. isn't most bands' target audience. Let's be fair and just pick two out of the three. With those warnings issued, there's nothing like bagpipe music to make you think you can throw a few more down the hatch. The Humboldt Highlanders make a rare appearance at the Mad River Brewery at 6 p.m. and for free. If a piper goes down, it's probably due to dehydration. Buy a John Barleycorn to help him or her back up on their feet. I'm surprised more of these shows haven't been billed "Oyster Fest After-party," and as we know, every void needs to be filled. So with that, let's call this the official unofficial Oyster Fest After-party (as there is no elevation change from the Plaza): Diggin' Dirt and fellow locals Object Heavy are throwing the grooves down at Humboldt Brews tonight at 9 p.m. and for only $10. A little out of walking distance from the fest, local rockers the Sleepwalkerz are having a CD release show at Six Rivers Brewery at the top of the hill in McKinleyville at 9 p.m. It's a free show, but grab a copy of their new album if you like their tunes.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Sea You There!

At the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

  • Photo by Mark McKenna

Humboldt's bounty of seafood gets its day in the sun times two this weekend.

We love our oysters (and so does the rest of the state — oysters from Humboldt Bay make up about 70 percent of those eaten). We grill 'em, shoot 'em raw, spice 'em up and eat 'em pretty much any way we can. And we can't get enough, judging by the throngs that turn out each year for the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, happening this Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Arcata Plaza (free admission). It's one of Humboldt's biggest parties, drawing thousands who are happy as clams to sample Pacific and Kumamoto delicacies and other food options, plus beer, wine and cider, and live music by Diggin' Dirt, the Bayou Swamis, Timbata, Motherlode, Ghost Train, Dynasty One, Anna Hamilton, the A.T.F. Trio, and the Lost Coasters Hawaiian Island Band.

Save room for more, though. The Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce hosts the 60th annual Trinidad Fish Festival Sunday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Trinity Street, where you can enjoy hearty plates of traditional fish and chips or grilled salmon, and party all day with music from Doug Fir & the 2x4s, Lizzy and the Moonbeams, Blue Rhythm Revue and Rosewater: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead. There's also a street fair with arts and crafts vendors, community organizations, a cake sale, food vendors and beverages, and an "ultimate Kid Zone" at Town Hall featuring characters Peg + Cat. Bonus: HSU's Marine Lab and the working lighthouse will be open for tours. It's a sweet, sweet life living by the salty sea.

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Music Tonight: Friday, June 16

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Seabury Gould - SUBMITTED
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  • Seabury Gould

Sticking with Mad River Brewery here for a minute, local country lovers Cadillac Ranch are making the blocks-long trip to the Tap Room to get you up and swaying the night away. As you guessed, it's a free show starting around 6 p.m. Kids are welcome and so are dogs as long they're on leash, but feel free to leave both at home if possible. The Westhaven Center for the Arts is hosting an Open Blues Jam with Seabury Gould & Friends at 7 p.m. tonight. Players of acoustic or electric blues are asked to bring their instrument along to participate in the community jam. Should that be your jam, you'll be able to get in for free. If you'd rather be a spectator — nothing wrong with that — you'll be asked for a $5-10 cover charge to get in. Up from the lovely armpit of California, Fresno's roots-rock duo Cloudship is stopping by Six Rivers Brewery at 9 p.m. for a free show influenced by alternative rock, grunge rock and progressive rock. Welcome the band to our strange land with trees and water.

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