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To Autumn 

click to enlarge Death Valley Girls play the Miniplex on Monday, Nov. 18 at 8:30 p.m.

Courtesy of the artists

Death Valley Girls play the Miniplex on Monday, Nov. 18 at 8:30 p.m.

It's definitely been what John Keats called a "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom friend of the maturing sun" recently. We have been lucky in that sense because even though I have been swerving in the low fog a lot lately to avoid the odd raccoon, dog, cat or dark-hoodied skateboarder, I have been loving the cool, white blanket with its wet smells and drifting gray visions that has enveloped our northern county. I grew up in a wetter and colder Humboldt, and it's always a sort of homecoming to enjoy these brief fits of damp remembrance. I'm always trying to avoid nostalgia but the autumn of one's life is usually full of the stuff, so forgive me if the mid-autumn of my year is also invested with some of those forbidden sweets.

We don't really appreciate the fall enough: We pretend that the winter starts as soon as the sun goes down before we are finished eating dinner, the consequence of which leads to a seasonal despair brought on by the illusion of a six-month dead zone. But that's just avoiding the beauty and slow-motion kiss goodnight that is the epitome of all things autumn. And if there is anything that can maybe help us find small moments of grace in the otherwise idiotically hurried death march we pass off as contemporary society, it is the recognition of a different pace from a truer tempo. The greater majesty of existence humbly invites you to experience it at your convenience.

"Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too."

Thursday

Homegrown Humboldt reggae act Woven Roots plays the Jam tonight at 10 p.m. for $10, according to the word on the street. Also appearing will be Guyanese artist Arkaingelle. The show will be for those who like the deep grooves of spiritually informed roots rock reggae from the classical vintage of the genre.

Friday

The Arcata Theatre Lounge has an electronic show tonight with three artists with the usual bizarrely spelled mononyms. Young CharlestheFirst is probably the most relaxed and downtempo of the bunch, while TiedyeKy is a little more twitchy. However, the nearly vowel-free VCTRE walks away tonight with the glitch prize of erratic beatsmanship. The tickets are going for $15 for a limited time, $20 for advance tickets after that and $25 at the door, which opens up at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday

According to owner Kate Martin, the site of the Logger Bar was an empty lot in 1886, but there is a record of the first bartender getting fired at the establishment in 1892. Splitting the difference — and looking at the age of the nearby Grange — and it's a fair guess that the bar was up and running about 130 years ago. So, tonight the cast and crew of the Logger Bar are going to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the newest iteration of the place in tandem with its probable 130th overall year of continuous service as a rural watering-hole. Hors d'oeuvres will be available at 7 p.m., while the Rinky Dink Stringband will be running its first set at 8 p.m. Come and celebrate an ever-evolving local institution.

If you crave louder and later entertainment, check out the Alibi at 11 p.m. For $5 you can enjoy Seattle's Wild Powwers, a modern grunge trio with a respect for volume and Pacific Northwest rock history. Local bone saw singers Bow-Legged Buzzards bring the carrion crowds.

Sunday

Seeing as the Tim O'Brien Band show at the Old Steeple appears to be sold out, I will suggest a slightly humbler but no less pleasant showcase of stringed music. The HSU Guitar Ensemble is playing at Fulkerson Hall at 5:30 p.m. ($10, $5 children, free for students). Tonight's music will include pieces by The Grateful Dead, Juan Serrano and William Kanengiser, as well as themes from the RPG video game Final Fantasy V. Mariachi de HSU is also on board, so it should be a pretty full evening.

Monday

Occult-informed riff-rock schlock doctrine drifters Death Valley Girls come to the Miniplex tonight on a package tour full of damn fine music at 8:30 p.m. ($15, $13 advance). Apart from the Girls, who served as the backing band for the late Roky Erickson on his last tour, you will find the heavy garage rock of Crocodiles, as well as the solo punk theatrics of Los Angeles scene queen Kate Clover. I'll be there, will you?

Tuesday

Improv and specialty jam band Ghost Light returns to the area to play Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($18, $15 advance). Featuring classically trained pianist Holly Bowling, this group is known for taking a very studious and exalted path toward the light of purely fun improvisation. The band's last appearance at Humbrews was well regarded, so this is likely to be a worthy sequel.

Wednesday

U.K. R&B producer Troy Boi will be performing at the Arcata Theatre Lounge on this mid-transit evening between the full and the new moon. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. ($25, $35). Expect to hear downtempo hip hop, backtrack club songs and downtown deep evening pavement flavor drops curling and purring out of the venue's speakers. Yultron is also in a featured spot on this trip, dubbed the Nostalgia Tour.

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.

Collin Yeo thinks that anyone who supports the recent violent military coup in Bolivia as a preference to a recount or redo of the legal election there ought to be tossed into a box full of agitated skunks. He prefers he/him and lives in Arcata, where a whole lot of skunks could be pretty quickly gathered with very little preamble.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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