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Call Your (or Somebody's) Mother 

click to enlarge Chuang Li plays the Fortuna Monday Club at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.

Courtesy of the artist

Chuang Li plays the Fortuna Monday Club at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.

I will make this short and sweet, like these fragrant May nights we are lucky to share. Your life started with a womb — unless you were hatched like my friend Walt the bearded dragon — and if you are lucky enough to still have its owner as a positive part of your life, you owe her a call Sunday. Forget all that crap about Hallmark holidays — if you have a good or at least passably decent and living mother, give her a call. And if she lives nearby, do something nice with her. And if none of the above applies, go find some other mom or motherless person to dote on for an afternoon. Affection is the coin of the realm in a healthy society. Go spend some.

Enjoy your week. Thursday

Ezra Furman comes to the Miniplex tonight at 9 p.m. ($10). His latest release on the Bella Union label is called Transangelic Exodus and it revolves around a runaway love that dare not speak its name — specifically, the love between a human and an angel. His songs sound like heart-worn road songs on an electro nighttime blacktop between here and eternity. He is very good and worth your time. Along for the ride is breathy, frenetic folkster Shannon Lay. Arcata's delightful Venus Milk opens.

Friday

The YAMS booking collective is putting on an end to the semester party at The Jam tonight at 9 p.m. ($10). With local funk and soul powerhouses The Velvet Touch and The Apiary presiding, it should be a good dance-o-matic time for students and everyday people alike.

Saturday

The Creamery District Night Market is on tonight, with puppets, art and fire dancing. Shop for sartorial splendor at Bang! Bang! Vintage, check out art by MK Studios, Birdman Ceramics and Seapod Studios, quaff some cider from Wrangletown Cider Co., enjoy a bilingual puppet show and enjoy the musical stylings of The Monster Women. What a fine, fulsome feast, and free, no less. It's at 6 p.m., so you crepuscular sunset worshippers have no excuse to hide your pretty selves away.

Meanwhile in Fortuna, pianist Chuang Li will tempt wonders out of the 88 keys at the Fortuna Monday Club at 7:30 p.m. with an exciting program for solo piano featuring works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Bach and that proto-rockstar Franz Liszt ($10).

Sunday (Mother's Day)

The Westhaven Center for the Arts puts on a free spring fling from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring barbecue, wine, beer and virgin drinks, a silent auction, a raffle and music by The Compost Mountain Boys and songwriter March Adstrum — which sounds like a neat alias procured by a quick glance at a calendar from a wholesale musical instrument company. Bring your favorite diurnal mom.

There's a special show over at the Siren's Song when Cleveland no-wave legends X__X (pronounced ex blank ex, for the uninitiated) rolls through Eureka to share its special blend of art punk noise at 8 p.m. (price TBA). Local legends The Tweeners share the support gig with the always thunderous Blackplate.

Monday

Music-wise, it's a quiet night on the far-western front but since I have pumped everything from dance to puppetry to burlesque here, let me suggest another medium that's all about the timing and the rhythm: I speak of the boozy and lurid world of the professional truthteller, the stand-up comic. Kyle Kinane is very funny and has been here on the North Coast before, so he should pull a fun crowd. Providing support will be comics Jessica Grant and Dave Stone, and the whole shebang fires off at Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($22). I've never tried comedy myself but I have often imagined taking some cues from the ancient Catskill comedians from the bygone Borscht Belt and punctuating my obnoxious bon mots with a spinning bowtie or a button that makes my pants fall down. It's one of those ideas that (barely) looks good on paper and would probably suck in execution, but a man can dream, can't he?

Tuesday

Los Angeles songsmith Bella Porter plays solo guitar to accompany a voice that is truly big and beautiful, and her clear and plaintive howls sound like birdsong from the fields of paradise. Her songs are pretty great, too. She plays the Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. ($5). Providing support will be the excellent noir country act Moon Pine and Arcata High School student Ruby Langdon will serenade us with pop covers on her ukulele. Yay, Ruby!

Wednesday

Local folk trio No Pardon plays a free show at the Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. this evening at 7 p.m.

And over in Blue Lake there is another free show as the talented players in Dell'Arte's M2 Ensemble crack the sawblade bedecked boards of the Logger Bar at 9 p.m. for what is sure to be a fine spring evening of fun.

Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to music@northcoastjournal.com.

Collin Yeo is eternally grateful for all of the women in his life who have helped make him feel nothing at all like a motherless child. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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