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Free Parties and Spoken Words 

click to enlarge The Low Hums play the Miniplex at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.

Photo courtesy of the artists.

The Low Hums play the Miniplex at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.

The zaftig orb weaver, often called a pumpkin spider, near my front door is getting fatter on her buggy spoils by the day, preparing for her brief voyage into motherhood before she returns to her ancestors in the Land of Frosts. My night walks and bike rides are by default becoming sharper and creepier, with leaves crunching underfoot and animals scuttling around in preparation for the darker days ahead. This is all good news to me, as the fall presents a feeling unlike any other. Everything is exciting right now, transforming and buzzing. If you find yourself feeling a little sad about the onset, I recommend watching the movie M. Hulot's Holiday. It's a summer-to-fall ritual for me helping ease whatever reservations I have about leaving the high sunshine. Plus, it's hilarious. That's all, no more fancy words this week, nothing left beyond my regular sign-off hoping that you have a good week. So go get to it.

Thursday

It's the kick-off for the 11th annual Savage Henry Comedy Festival, which will see a crowd of comics perform in a fat smattering of local venues. What should we call a group of stand ups, anyway? We have a murder of crows, a superfluity of nuns and a parliament of owls already extant in our language. A desperation of comedians, perhaps? A spent baggie of jesters? A wet drink ticket of humorists? I'm sorry, I'm done. Maybe you can pony up the $20 required to get inside Savage Henry Comedy Club tonight at 11 p.m. and ask the pros: performers Ron Lynch, Eddie Pepitone, JT Habersaat, and Evan Vest, who will all be doing their thing for laughs.

Friday

Low Hums are a psychedelic rock band from Seattle, lately scaled down to a trio that trades in the kind of back to the beginning psychedelia that hit oh-so-right in the mid-1960s. The Miniplex hosts the group tonight at 9 p.m., with local mellow yellow submarines The California Poppies on board as well ($10, $5 advance). If this is of interest to you, don't be like Peter from David Bowie's "Memory of a Free Festival," who tried to climb aboard, "but the captain shook his head/ and away they soared/ climbing through the ivory vibrant cloud/ someone passed some bliss among the crowd/ and we walked back to the road, unchained."

Saturday

Cal Poly Humboldt is throwing a Homecoming Block Party on the corner of Harpst and Rossow streets at 11:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public, and will feature live music by semi-big groups (in order of descending fame): Portugal. The Man, Free Nationals (Anderson Paak's live backing band) and Sunsquabi.

Back when I was a young chap getting deep into punk rock, I was told by a great many purists that the era of Black Flag that I preferred, when the band was sludgy and creepy-crawled its riffs to buttress the hoarse screams of frontman Henry Rollins, wasn't real punk and I was a poser. Well, I've since learned that most people are posers and certainly everyone who loves a genre over style and innovation. Rollins himself has more or less made a career out of talking through his many life experiences since he was launched into infamy via that golden era of Flag's output. You can enjoy his spoken word storytelling excellence tonight at the Van Duzer Theatre. Having seen him a decade ago in New Orleans on my birthday, I can certainly recommend watching him do his thing at 8 p.m. ($35).

Sunday

Beetlejuice has always been an evolving cultural item for me. No, I'm not talking about the small, bug-eyed fella in Howard Stern's Wack Pack who has improbably outlived many of his comrades, nor am I talking about the original recipe for Campari before they changed it back in '05. I am, of course, talking about Tim Burton's second greatest film. When I was a small, horror-obsessed kid, I loved the dark, death-filled storyline and hideous special effects. When I reached the age of unreason (puberty), I saw an incredible potential with Winona Ryder's character, who is the Platonic Ideal of a goth girlfriend. Now, as a reasonably developed man of deeper experience to accompany my grays, I just really love listening to the sweet, shakin' sounds of Harry Belafonte. Whatever your motivating attractors might be, you can fulfill your big screen hankerings for this flick at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 5 p.m. ($8). Bonus burst of gothy energy available in the form of a full moon tonight.

Monday

Karaoke is something that one rarely associates with Monday night. However, with the way the world is careening right now, any dopamine-releasing distractions from the sickening akimbo tumble are welcome vistas and oases. Hit the Jam at 8 p.m. if you need your fix. DJ Dustin presides.

Tuesday

Kingston, Jamaica's Kabaka Pyramid are a modern reggae act full of the rhythmic goods, hip hop hybridization in the vocals, and lush arrangements that are contemporary hallmarks of the genre. The Arcata Theatre Lounge is the destination tonight if you want to get a little taste at 7 p.m. ($24, $20 advance).

Wednesday

Singer/songwriter Todd Snider is one of the most popular raconteurs in the modern folk scene (yes, I am certain that I must be the 1,000th music writer or so to call him some variation of that). But it's true, he's found his audience and is always well received in this part of the country. Tonight at 6:30 p.m., he'll be doing his thing at the Arcata Theater Lounge, with similarly aligned artist Ryan Montbleau in tow as the opener ($35 standing, $40 seated).

If that show ends up doing what it very likely will and sells out, then your best bet in the vicinity is to check out Humbrews tonight, where a Grateful Dead tribute band called Bearly Dead will be doing its thing at 9 p.m. ($12). I would hazard a guess that even without any consideration paid to the colloquial use of the term "bear," this act is likely full of hairy men, making music for (generally) the same.

Collin Yeo (he/him) is now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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