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The Gilded Cage 

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Tommy Emmanuel

As I write this on Monday, the first day of a brand new year I can report to you, dear readers, that I am sharp of eye and frosty of mind, having bucked my regular New Year's Eve trend of getting wasted drunk. So rather than sitting in the soggy detritus of another tanked evening desperately trying to pull the fragments of my brain out of the sinking wreckage of my awful decisions, I find myself instead calm and collected in my bedroom tapping out words to help pay the bills. Responsibility is attractive in the same way that a well-made bed is attractive: functional, cute and boring.

I write about what looks like fun on a given night, and all the real hard labor of going out and having fun is up to all of you. So while I can take no credit for the comings and goings of the good shows and events (this week continues to be a little sparse with the absence of the students) I can certainly try to endorse fun in general. In fact, despite being a cold sober rock in a warm and gassy sea of drunks last night, I still had fun. Assuming that "fun" has a big asterisk next to it which comes with a massive David Foster Wallace-type footnote that verbosely states that responsible sober fun is a good solid sort of fun and shaving off the highs and lows while aiming for the middle is rewarding only if one remembers how bad the lows can really be. I will enjoy my gilded cage of sobriety but I will not ignore its dimensions.

Have a lovely week.

Thursday

Local DJ consortium Fraktal Productions continues its Thursday night curation at Phatsy Kline's Parlor Lounge in the Historic Eagle House tonight at 6 p.m. The Parlor Lounge becomes the Laidback Lounge as DJ Gabe Pressure takes his turn on the tables to spin down-tempo grooves from the Latin, jazz, funk and house canon.

(Price TBA.)

Friday

It's still pretty mellow out there during the college winter's break, so here are two correspondingly low-key joints which reflect that fact.

Starting at 6 p.m. at the restaurant in the Victorian Inn, Jeffery Smoller will be playing instrumental jazz guitar sets for your dining and/or wining pleasure. (Free.)

A lovely trio and personal favorite act of mine, Mon Petite Chou, will play in my favorite nighttime cafe, Café Mokka, tonight at 8 p.m. (Free). Petite Mon Chou plays acoustic folk songs from the Francophonic parts of Canada, and they fit the old world ambience of the spot perfectly

Saturday

The Outer Space hosts two Olympia, Washington, transplant bands tonight at 7 p.m. Sawtooth is supporting a new bandcamp album and has joined up with 100 Watt Horse, who are celebrating a new single on Sleeper records. The resulting "Winter Dang Tour" will light up listeners with a twangy sort of Southern indie sound reminiscent of the Elephant 6 collective's satellite of bands with a minor degree in The Cowboy Junkies. Talented local songstress Ariel continues her solo act shine under the moniker Blood Honey. ($6.)

Dark Skies: An evening of Drum and Bass is the title of The Jam's DJ-driven D&B night which kicks off at 10 p.m. Join DJ's Zanapod, Red and Grasshoppa with Mr. Funk on the microphone as they spin through the jungle of that most heavy and cool of electric genres. ($5.)

Zordon, Zordon, Zordon! Mononymous musical maestro and DJ Zordon makes things weird again with a free-genre electronica set at the Alibi at 11 p.m. It's $2, or you can do what I like to do and spend $7 on this and the previous show and bounce between here and The Jam all night to get a full dose.

Sunday

The Bayside Grange Music Project continues its Sunday series at the Bayside Grange. Anyone with an instrument is welcome to join, beginning at 5p.m. and continuing for two hours. 7 p.m. to 9p.m. belongs to the wind instrument crowd, specifically those wishing to play in Bandemonium. (Donations suggested.)

Monday

The name is Molasses, but when it plays its bouncy and loud queer punk at The Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. this Minneapolis band will probably evoke faster moving liquids than the titular sticky sweet stuff (in winter too no less!) Joining Molasses is Marseille, France's Roxy's Angry, the continental answer to Bauhaus, The Wolfgang Press and most of the '80s output from the venerable 4AD label. Should be a fantastic night. ($6.)

Tuesday

Dominic Romano plays a solo set in the acoustic guitar-driven singer-songwriter vein. Expect many originals and a few covers when he takes over Phatsy Kline's Parlor Lounge at 7 p.m. (Price TBA.) Wednesday

Coming all the way from the land of the January midsummer to the Arkley Center tonight at 7 p.m., Australia's Tommy Emmanuel is widely recognized as one of the most talented guitarists in the world, joining the ranks of such greats as Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges in the legion of solo virtuosic pickers. Melodies, harmonies and comped chords slide from his fingers as effortlessly as solar radiation onto a massive southern continent full of psychedelically venomous creatures, an ancient and persecuted society of Dreamers, and the spillover from the prison brigs of 19th century Britain. ... OK, I kind of went off the rails there thinking about Robert Hughes' excellent book about criminal-class transportation to Australia, The Fatal Shore, but I am back. Emmanuel is a flat out amazing guitarist and opener JD Simo has earned his stripes, too, with a more bluesy electric sound. ($49)

If you are in Eureka but would rather hear some good old punk rock, The Siren's Song has a show for you at 8 p.m. Pisscat from Sacramento has a pretty straightforward and raw punk sound, meaning that its name and style are a perfect match. Local skate punk group Imperial Destructo and the low-rent shimmer of The Scum Lourdes pad out the bill nicely. Should be fun. (Price TBA.)

Collin Yeo is not, despite anecdotal evidence and quasi-satirical testimony to the contrary, a massive bloviating sandworm tearing through the Lanphere Dunes like an obnoxious and fleshy steampunk ATV. He is working hard toward that goal, however, and there is a long year ahead. He lives in Arcata (for now).

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