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Bee Loud 

click to enlarge The Sturgeons play the Jam on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m.

Photo by Justin Andrew, courtesy of the artists

The Sturgeons play the Jam on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m.

June has arrived, which means summer is basically here. It certainly was for me last weekend but more on that later. Before industrial societies overtook the global paradigm, summer started when nature felt like it, which, for classical and middle period Europeans, usually meant sometime in May, and certainly well before the summer solstice. The French Republican Calendar of the revolutionary era was based on earthly and natural events, rather than gods and feasts. According to its edicts, we are in the Prairial, or meadow season of summer. The days are similarly seasonally named and I am writing this on the day of the Elderberry. Here in Humboldt, there are many growing attractions and monuments, courtesy of nature, you can go see and enjoy, even on the side of the road, where blackberries are blooming in places. Which brings me back to my weekend activities. On Sunday my partner and I (she did the real thinking work; I was the dumb labor) installed two colonies of apis mellifera ligustica, the Italian honey bee, in a peach orchard on our friends' farm. We also took our first river dip of 2023. Hopefully, the busy insects will get oriented quickly and establish their 2-mile scavenging range, which includes a lot of the previously mentioned blooming brambles. I saw poetry come to life this weekend and have experienced what Yeats meant when he wrote about living in a "bee-loud glade." It's lovely beyond words.

The back-end of all of this summer bliss is a quieter music scene, at least until the festivals hit their stride. But that's all rolling out according to plan, as well, as this weekend sees the return of Oyster Fest to the Arcata Plaza. So don't worry too much about filling in the blank days, the busy ones will do the heavy lifting for you. Bee well, bee seeing you.


I haven't written much about Blondie's lately, which is a shame: I like this place, it has serene vibes. I also haven't written about an open mic recently, so let's converge the two themes and I'll suggest that you head over here at 6 p.m. if you wish to engage in, or simply watch, the fun. Free.


With Oyster Fest looming on the horizon, it might seem premature to offer my trademarked "Show of the Week," especially this early on, but here we are. The date is 6/9 and The Sturgeons have decided to celebrate one of the most egalitarian and mutually beneficial bedroom maneuvers with a show at the Jam (insert your own preferred innuendo here). The band is also celebrating the release of its music video for the track "Maybe You Could," which should be up on YouTube as of print time. Along for the ride are veteran rockers War Möth and metalheads Midnight Mass. The hour of reckoning is 7 p.m. and an extremely reasonable $5 gets you inside.


Oyster Fest is back in its vintage form, and there will be beaucoup happy daytime spoils for any and all comers to the Arcata Plaza, fingers crossed. If you are looking for an afterparty, well, that's my beat. I suggest you head to the Miniplex at 9 p.m., where Black Humboldt is throwing a party. Performances by Miss Leading Burlesque, DJ Sovern-T and Soul from City Hippie will be on deck, so this looks like a dancestravaganza. One thing sticks out in the advertising and promotional material, though. The name Boogie Down Productions is attached to the PR gear I got and I have to say, this can't be KRS-One's '80s outfit, so what are we doing here? I guess there's only one way to find out and the price – $10 – is right.


Local traveler and world musical encyclopedia Oryan Peterson-Jones is gearing up to hit the road this summer and he will be playing some farewell gigs on the way out of the gate toward foreign destinations. Today is one such gig, and even better, it's free. Come to Humboldt Cider Co. at 3 p.m. to see what I am talking about.


While many other venues are quieting down for the summer off-season, Savage Henry Comedy Club still has the goods, and Metal Mondays is still alive and kicking. Tonight's offering at 7 p.m. trends toward the stoner metal/doom sound, with touring bands Gray Goo and Twin Void offering the former, while local(ish) Insomnia Syndrome offers the latter. Two other regional bands bring the noise as well, with The Cookers on the punk tip, while LASHR'D is more balls-to-the-wall rock. It's a $5-$10 cover, which is a small sacrifice to engage in this fine ritual.


Eh, I'm going to the river.


Growing up, most of my favorite summer memories oscillated between being weird and wild out in the coastal woods of North-Central Humboldt, where I created a vast and often chaotic fantasy world with my friends, and going to the library, where I got the tools (for free) to feed the engines of that world. This content could be anything from a VHS copy of John Boorman's neon-Medieval masterpiece Excalibur, to the mysterious and haunted works of authors like Alvin Schwartz, R.L. Stine, P.D. James or Edgar Allen Poe. In deference to those golden days, and with respect to the glorious institution of free public learning, I'd like to suggest an event for those of you with growing creatures in your family roster. The Blue Lake Library is hosting a family literacy party with North Coast Music Together at 5 p.m., with musical instruments to play and a free book for the younglings. Please attend. The event is free, as should all enriching community events be, if we lived in a better world.

Collin Yeo (he/him) suggests that everyone should engage in the sublime summer ritual of listening to the bossa nova splendor of the music of Astrud Gilberto. May she rest in peace.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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