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Lawyers, Guns and Money vs. Us 

click to enlarge Brett the Truck plays Logger Bar tonight at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Brett the Truck plays Logger Bar tonight at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10.

It was a rough weekend for anybody who has a negative opinion about mass gun violence in America. I'd like to address this issue but I don't want to do so broadly, so I will only speak to those who want to see change in the current trajectory of our country, and by the time I am done it will become clear why. It would be easy to just watch the president sniff his way through a poorly read and still fucked-up performative statement (Toledo?), fume about his oafishness on Facebook and call it done. But like protest music, literature or art, alone it does nothing to change our material reality. The New York Times tells us in its opinion page that we are suffering from an epidemic of white terrorism, empowered by Trump and the GOP. Other countries skip the pretense and simply report this as news, largely because it happens to be true.

So what do we do if we are bothered by this? It's often pointed out by left-wing luminaries that there are more of us than there are atavistic and reactionary racists, but that means nothing if we don't act. And what can we do if we are hamstrung by the realities of a failing democracy? If the laws don't change, we must change the lawmakers. Let's start with the Democratic Party. We didn't mobilize for a historic midterm blue wave election to watch Nancy Pelosi sarcastically clap and then give Trump billions for his detention camps, did we? Shahid Buttar is trying to primary her next year — maybe help him out. Are we really going to pretend that Joe Biden is the best that we can do in 2020? A man whose eight years as the vice president and president of the Senate oversaw an unprecedented gains and deceptions by the GOP, leading to our current state of affairs under sentient skidmark Mitch McConnell? No, thanks.

Get more progressive, demand a better opposition party from the Democrats and tell your friends. Stop trying to build bridges with the GOP; they're lost. Instead focus on beating them and marginalizing their votes as they have marginalized the votes of the majority of Americans. Organize, contribute time and money to progressive candidates and, if all else fails, call a general strike. Be like Puerto Rico or Hong Kong. It's late but it isn't too late. The other side is full of buffoons. (I mean really, Toledo? How hard is it not to fuck up saying Dayton?) They will fold under our numbers. And we have those numbers. If you really believe in progress, start practicing solidarity because you have nothing but allies across this beautiful country.

Be safe, have a busy week.

Thursday

PD3 is a local trio made up of drummer Paul DeMark and Fred Neighbor and Bruce Johnson on guitar and vocals and bass and vocals respectively. You can catch the guys this evening at 6 p.m. over at the Mad River Brewery for some jazz by the river (free).

Friday

San Francisco's SunQ is a drum and bass duo that plays in a sort of whacky and technical instrumental, which is fun and comically endearing. Blondies is the place to catch this act tonight at 8 p.m., followed up by a new local bluesy jam rock band called Big Mama Acid & the Cosmic Argonauts (price TBA). Far out.

Saturday

Brett the Truck is playing a rare live show at the Logger Bar tonight at 8 p.m. Who is/are Brett the Truck? Well, let me tell you. It's a weirdo folk rock monster quartet formed in San Francisco many years ago and fronted by local caterer and music-scene stalwart Brett Shuler as a means to showcase his interesting and oddball songwriting. Shuler gave me a CD of one of his live shows from 15 years ago and I have to admit I have enjoyed it, particularly the tracks "Milk Fart" and "Mr. Poison." Don't you dare call yourself a connoisseur of Humboldt culture if you miss this show because this is who we are, distilled and wetly imbibed (free).

Sunday

There's a 2 p.m. matinee show today at the Trinidad Town Hall as a part of the ongoing Trinidad Art and Music Festival, and this one looks mighty good. Quattro Celli is a quartet made up of — what else? — cellists Carol Jacobson, Anthony Polcari, Garrick Woods and Peter Kibbe. Today's program promises pieces by the magnificent mind of the baroque era, Mr. J.S. Bach, as well as other tunes by his contemporaries ($20).

Monday

Crickets. Tumbleweeds. A distant animal howling. A small but determined beetle makes its way across the two-lane blacktop with excruciating slowness. It is ultimately successful; there is no traffic today.

Tuesday

Haitiian-born musician, rapper, producer and one-third of perennially adored '90s act The Fugees, Wyclef Jean is an international household name. Tonight he returns to our county — the southern part anyway — to raise the roof of the Mateel Community Center with songs from his long career. If you have a fondness for the music of Mr. Jean and the embattled Mateel, this would be a great night to show up at 9 p.m. and show some support ($40 general, $99 VIP package with an artist meet and greet).

Wednesday

For 15 years and running, England's Action Beat has been a percussion-heavy noise band with a touring roster of at least nine members and three drumkits. This is a big sound experience, something akin to a more anarchic version of Glen Branca's guitar orchestras of the early No Wave 1980s. Tonight the Beat takes over the Miniplex at 8:30 p.m. ($10). Along for the fun is New York City's post-industrial punk band Opening Bell and Fortuna's own answer to the sound of silence, Car Made of Glass. Wear earplugs.

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.

Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, Collin Yeo has tried, in his way, to avoid being the lyrical metaphor of a larger truth. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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