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Junior Toots plays the Mateel's 4/20 event at 4 p.m. on April 20.

Courtesy of the artist

Junior Toots plays the Mateel's 4/20 event at 4 p.m. on April 20.

Well friends, it's the beginning of flower season again and I could not be more pleased. I'm talking calendulas, daffodils, trilliums, California poppies (not the band, but they are fine, too). I have an abstract relationship with flowers, in that I encounter them as a cheerful addition to my daily life without choosing to become too educated on their taxonomies and cultivation. I enjoy the flashes of color and scent that spring out of the landscape, and prefer to let the mystery be regarding the deeper knowledge behind their nature. Music can be enjoyable this way, too, just going in blindfolded to an album or track without any foreknowledge. I recently got to experience that at the Arcata Main Street block party on Arts Arcata, when I heard (for the first time) local trio Northern Blight, who played good covers at a deliberately low volume, creating a sort of rock ASMR that I found pleasing to the point of being nearly hallucinogenic. Their cover of Thin Lizzy's "Dancing in the Moonlight" was spartan and lovely, although played a step up (in G Major) from my preferred F. At least that's what I heard, anyway. I probably would have benefitted from a little of the ignorance I apply to flowers. And cars, for that matter — I am no motorhead and whenever people talk about classic cars around me, I just say that I like the ones that go "vroom" and look like metal sharks. If you were to ask me what I do know about, I'd probably say "not much, certain aspects of literature and philosophy (boring!), and a lot of trivial minutiae about bands and music (nerd!)." A small but strong part of me has always wanted to experience my existence like a calm, directionless jellyfish (which is neither jelly, nor fish, but a secret, brainless third thing), and just drift through my assigned breathing years as a placid observer. Let the Book of Life record that I have, at times, been a faithful and joyous viewer in a landscape full of people who are frankly a little too motivated by the lust for eternal fame (impossible) and conquest (silly, grow up). I will never be Shelley's Ozymandius, no crumbling monuments with hubristic inscriptions for me — no, when I'm gone, you can remember me with flowers. Have a lovely week.


Well, it's 4/20, so cheers to those who celebrate. If you are among that crowd, you should consider going to the Mateel today at 4 p.m., where a great smoke out is being staged with a proper soundtrack of reggae music. Junior Toots is the son of the late, great Toots Hibbert of the Maytals fame, and he will be joined by other Jamaican musicians, including Kulcha Knox, Kurrency King and Kava Jah. Music begins after 7 p.m., but DJ Irie Adina will be spinning music before then, and beer, wine and food (including barbecue) will be vended. This is a good time to spend some coin in SoHum and $25 for this lineup seems quite reasonable. If you'd prefer to hang out up north, the Arcata Theatre Lounge is a good party destination, especially if you are looking to move your body. Queer dance groove master and rising star Wreckno is making a stop on their tour to pump the jams and bring the chaotic stage show to our sleepy county. The show's at 9 p.m. but I'd come early because those $20 tickets are going to go fast.


Two good shows tonight, so let's not dawdle. At 7:30 p.m. at the Trinidad Town Hall, you can listen to the exotic-yet-distinctly-comforting tunes of Canary and the Vamp, as the band whirls and twirls through the various Tin Pan Alleys of the Naked City in the geography of the Great American Songbook ($10-$20 sliding scale). Did I say sliding scale? Because a very reasonable $10-$15 sliding scale will get you into the Arcata Veterans Hall tonight, where, at 8 p.m., you can enjoy a double barrelled blast of sheer rock power with Portland's Bubble-glam doomsters Fox Medicine teaming up with our most righteous local heavy metal power trio The Sturgeons. This one is going to be a banger.

Saturday, Earth Day

If you didn't get a chance to scope out last night's presentation by the Eureka Symphony, "Dramatic Fantasies," then tonight is your last chance. Croatian-American guest violinist Ivo Bokulic brings his prowess to Bohuslav Martinu's "Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra," followed by a program that is filled with enticing gems, including Dame Ethel Smyth's ebullient piece "The Wreckers: Overture." It all goes down at the usual spot, the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts. Doors at 7 p.m. with rush tickets available then, masks required ($19-$49)


If you haven't seen Sister Act at Ferndale Repertory yet, today's 2 p.m. matinee show is your last chance ($20). Personally, I'm holding out for the musical version of another Whoopi Goldberg vehicle from the '90s, the execrable Theodore Rex. Five hours later, and up in Arcata, the Outer Space is hosting a punk-ish show with Heart Eyes, Aeysha and Vegan Slaughterhouse (what would that be, a compost pile?) holding court. It's $5-$20 sliding scale and while no one will be turned away due to lack of funds, you will need a mask.


Here we go again, another Metal Monday over at Savage Henry Comedy Club at 7 p.m. Los Angeles grind band Cancer Christ joins forces with a squad of local acts, including Dead Drift, Mystery Meat and Human Soup Hot Tub, the latter of which wins the ignoble distinction of making me gag every time I find myself typing out the name. Way to go, folks ($10).


Garage rock trio L.A. Witch plays a free one at the Cal Poly Humboldt quad at noon today. I hope those in charge let the band play loud, as they are very good at that.


The Exit Theatre in Arcata presents its monthly Something Different variety show with performances by local folk-els A'Okay the Clown, Jesse Jonathan, Jamie Bandage and Jay Brown at 7 p.m. ($8). I like this venue, and I'd like to see it continue its existence above the plaza.

Collin Yeo (he/him) thinks that the current media hype about AI gaining sentience sure smells a lot like the media hype about crypto before it crashed. He lives in Arcata, where that smell can be enjoyed for free when the farmers are fertilizing the fields.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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