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Once Upon a Time on the Couch 

click to enlarge The Invisible Teardrops, an organ-led homage to '60s garage rock, will open for the familiar The Pine Hill Haints in a free Saturday show at the Shanty in Eureka.

Photo by Robert Ibarra

The Invisible Teardrops, an organ-led homage to '60s garage rock, will open for the familiar The Pine Hill Haints in a free Saturday show at the Shanty in Eureka.

Faced with a small amount of time to myself, I was doing the unthinkable the other day, sitting in my living room and watching a movie. I almost never watch films alone, as I prefer to read when I'm alone, and I like sharing television and movies with other people. Credit my late mother for this lingering habit from childhood, who was great at promoting both early literacy for me and family movie night. However, I saw that one of the streaming services I have access to features a film with, in my estimation, one of the greatest opening sequences of all time. The score by Ennio Morricone is a banger, too. I am of course referring to Sergio Leone's magnificent Once Upon a Time in the West.

Speaking of soundtracks, a byproduct of being a music writer — or perhaps more accurately, a music-obsessed writer — is that I can never ignore the score of a film or show, and often get a crazy yen to guess who the composer is. I was batting 1000 the other night, when, while watching the excellent HBO series Perry Mason with my favorite viewing partner, I was able to not only pick out the composer (New Orleans jazz great Terence Blanchard) but also guess the pre-war blues artist based on one song. It was Washington Phillips, a musician whose work originally caught my attention because of his unusual choice of backing instruments, the exact nature of which has been lost to time. They're basically some sort of autoharp or zither-like contraptions, with an eerie, tinkling sound that is as unique as it is other-worldly, trapped as it is in the dusky amber of 78 rpm discs forged in the 1920s. I recommend giving both artists a listen, the former still living and creating music, the latter long gone to his eternal reward, if you are looking for a little midsummer night music. Have a nice week.


Local guitar picker, American primitivist and world music collector Oryan Peterson-Jones has two free shows in two days ahead of his band, Datura Blues, performing later this month at a festival in Northern Oregon. The first is a solo gig at Old Growth Cellars this evening at 6 p.m.


The Miniplex is hosting a free psyche and space jam night, as local post-punk and science fiction concept band Control Voltage, aka CV, shares the stage with the experimental collective Datura Blues, helmed by Oryan Peterson-Jones, who has press-ganged the author into making a rare appearance on bass, something I would do for very few people, I assure you. 9 p.m. In the interest of balanced reporting, if you'd care to spend your après Arts! Arcata enjoying music without my involvement, the Jam is hosting a reggae show with Bobby Hustle and Dread Kennedy. $10, doors at 8 p.m.


Regular readers will notice that certain bands get a mention every time they roll through town. This is due to a group having done something to catch my attention in a profound enough fashion that I feel the desire to get as many people on board with the opportunity to see it live as is possible. I'm nothing if not a cheerleader for great live shows. One such act is The Pine Hill Haints, a spooky collective from Alabama, whose death country twang deals in apparitions and eldritch rural sermons from the sepia, cellulose and acetate times. They're playing a free one at the Shanty tonight at 9 p.m., where the musicians will be opening for themselves as The Invisible Teardrops, a Farfisa organ-led homage to '60s garage rock. Also on the bill are local bar rock heroes The Smashed Glass. This is gonna be a good one.


Arcata Main Street is continuing its summer arts market and concert series on the Arcata Plaza today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This afternoon's musical entertainment will be provided by Swingo Domingo, an act I have yet to hear, something I hope to rectify if the sun's out.

Afterward, in the same vicinity at 7 p.m., the Outer Space is hosting a pop and punk show, with Seattle's Dining Dead kicking it with locals Think Tank and Blub. This all-ages sober space has a mask requirement, and tonight's entertainment comes with a $5-$10 suggested sliding scale entrance fee.


One ongoing gig that has helped fill the live music dates in the lazy midsummer calendar slump is Savage Henry's Metal Mondays, an early-ish (7 p.m.) offering that is friendly to working headbangers of all stripes. Tonight's bill is all Humboldt talent, with metal bands Nail Gun and Midnight Mass hitting the volume knob with punk act Council of Vermin. $10 gets you in the door, and this all-ages show requires a valid I.D. to drink. Viva.


Seattle band Hell Baby is a who's-who of band members from the roster of boutique pop punk label Youth Riot! Records, including musicians from Mommy Long Legs, The Carols and Sleepover Club. The group is playing at the Siren's Song tonight, joined by labelmates Titanic 2 and local retro pop superstars Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes. Eight is the lucky number, both regarding the time of the show and the number of dollars required to see it.


Circle Jerks are one of the foundational acts in the Los Angeles hardcore punk scene of the late 1970s and early '80s. In terms of inspiration for global punk culture and music that came afterward, they're on the shortlist of very important bands, and while its members have been busy with notable projects like "OFF!" and "Redd Kross," the 'Jerks have a discography of crucial tracks matched by very few contemporaries. Tonight the band is making a stop at the Arcata Theatre Lounge for a show I can only imagine will sell out, despite the somewhat elevated sticker price ($34 for advance tickets, $39 at the box office). 8 p.m.

Collin Yeo (he/him) sure hopes they used a real nuke in Oppenheimer, because at this point, why not? He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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