Pin It

God's Eyes 

click to enlarge DJ Goldylocks spins at the Blue Lake Skate Rink on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m.

Photo by Chris Tuite, courtesy of the artist

DJ Goldylocks spins at the Blue Lake Skate Rink on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m.

"Every love story is a ghost story" was a favorite quote of the late author David Foster Wallace, which he attributed to the later author Virginia Woolf. This wasn't the case, however, as the quote has been traced to the Australian author Christina Stead, who was referring to writing after the death of her husband. It's a haunting sentiment and, like the relationship between squares and rectangles, not a two-way affair: Not every ghost story is necessarily a love story.

Take the haunting of visionary English poet William Blake, whose one documented run-in with a ghost so terrified him that he was unable to process it for decades, finally working out, during a seance in 1819, the image of this vulgar and terrifying apparition, the alleged inspiration behind his iconic illustration "The Ghost of a Flea." In Blake's mind, a flea is a criminal creature obsessed with violence to such a degree that it wants to feed on blood beyond death, a sort of proto-vampire. The flea in his piece is a massive and scaly brute, greedily lapping up its red meal with inhuman delight. It is insatiable and demanding. Blake so hated this brute that it took him years to realize its creation in his work. Go look it up and you will see what I am talking about.

An ascended, spiritual being like Blake desired liberation from such beasts and an end to the bitter violence of fallen human civilization. He pursued this end with his art, as we all do (we sensible and caring critters that is), with our own methods. Our ancestors across many cultures used to create homespun God's eyes to ward off the evil ones, as our contemporaries make art and music. We do so for the protection of ourselves, as well as those who will come after us, against the curses of those who came before. "Our revenge will be the laughter of our children," proclaimed Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands. Jazz composer Charles Mingus wanted to "Let my children hear music," as the title of his 1972 album proclaimed. We weave invocations to invite the righteous pomp of our better nature. Keep that in mind as the sunshine increases and the songs of the world curl out of the voices of the new spring.


It's Adult Skate Night at the Blue Lake Skate Rink tonight at 7 p.m. Here's the deal, you show up, toss down $15, and roll around in circles with a bunch of other folks while DJs Goldylocks and East One spin some hot jams. Seems pretty slick to me, but I am a child of the '80s who spent his first years within spitting distance of an ice rink in San Francisco in the days of early hip hop, metal and arcade games.


At the Miniplex tonight at 8 p.m., Black Humboldt presents Los Angeles spoken-word poet, rapper, music producer and activist Chris Siders, who will be performing a rap set alongside his opening act ANTIMATRR, before continuing the show with some work from the rest of his oeuvre. This is a developing show with more performers to be announced (as of press time), so this might turn into quite the Friday Night event ($5-$15, sliding scale).


Originally from Australia, Nattali Rize has made Jamaica her homebase for the better part of a decade, where she has developed her slinky, roots-folk reggae sound. She's bringing that sound to Humbrews tonight at 9 p.m., where she will be joined by like-minded Jamaican acts Kumar and Minori ($25, $20 advance).

If you're in the mood for something more cost-friendly and little noisier, the Shanty is hosting a free show a half hour earlier that is headlined by glam-folkster Scott Yoder. Also on board are the delightful Clean Girl & the Dirty Dishes as well as Think Tank.


With the Iris Dement show at the Old Steeple looking very sold out, I am going to suggest a more homegrown but no less charming raconteur-ish gig today. Local musician and storyteller Jeff DeMark is presenting his final 3 p.m. matinee performance at the EXIT Theatre of his one-man show Writing My Way Out of Adolescence. Tickets are available for $15 at the door but no one will be turned away because of a dearth of moolah.


It has become something of an emerging Setlist tradition to hand Monday's event over to the good folks at the Savage Henry Comedy Club, where they have kept the faith for the county's metal fans by throwing steady shows on this off-night. I'm told by more than a few friends in the service industry that the 7 p.m. shows are a blessing for those whose work schedule is dominated by early mornings on the weekends. Tonight's offering includes Portland grind band Father's Milk, local punk act Killing February and likely a few more TBAs to pad out the menu. $10 gets you in the door for this all-ages event.


Well, it's rather quiet today, but with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you could do a lot worse celebrating the Mexican Army's unlikely defeat of the invading French at the Battle of Puebla than by going to the Miniplex, where DJ Pachanguero is holding his regular Latin Music night at 9 p.m. Admission is, I believe, free, and there's a pretty nice and inexpensive Taco Tuesday beforehand.


If you are in the mood to see a big screen presentation of John Carpenter's classic Reagan-Era dystopian (I'm being redundant, I know) sci-fi masterpiece They Live, then head over to the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 6 p.m., where $5 will get you inside and $9 will let you leave with a poster. I can almost remember a time when the idea of invading alien overlords and their human collaborators forcing mindless consumption on the public, while killing the poor and dissenters alike, seemed far-fetched. Now all I can say is that I don't really believe that the world is run by effete, perverted, inhuman monsters, because if you look around, they clearly aren't really running anything with much success.

Anyway, if you'd rather vent your spleen with some loud music, head over to Siren's Song Tavern at 7 p.m., where $10 will get you a metal show featuring Arizona's Saintbreaker, along with locals Imperial Destructo and Gooseneck.

Collin Yeo (he/him) would like to wish Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth a very happy 70th birthday on the 28th. Her musical brilliance has been a central part of his life since he was a kid. Rock on, sister. He lives in Arcata.

Pin It



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

About The Author

Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

more from the author

Latest in The Setlist

Readers also liked…


Facebook | Twitter

© 2023 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation