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Vinyl for the Soul 

This week includes an important day for your local music scene, sandwiched right between 4/20 and Earth Day. It's Record Store Day, a barely decade-old bridge between the music collecting public, independent record stores (what's left of them) and the recording industry (what's left of it). Why would I mention an ostensibly commercial holiday in the middle of spring when I am not usually very fond of capitalism in general? Because I believe that local record stores, like independent bookstores, are invaluable to us as a community, serving as a hub for information about live music, new bands and old, otherwise forgotten gems from our cultural archive. And I believe that listening to and collecting vinyl records and tape cassettes is good for you. Nothing is quite like that record scratch and hi-fi hum. As for strictly digital formats? They have their use but generally they remind me of these lines by Neil Young: "I heard a perfect echo die/Into an anonymous wall of digital sound/Somewhere deep inside/Of my soul."

Don't do that to your ears or your soul.

Thursday

It's another vinyl showdown in Old Town tonight at 8 p.m. at The Siren's Song (free). The weekly 33 and a Third rap, funk and hip-hop sock-hop is curated by turntablists Goldylocks and Fade for your dancing pleasure, and if you happen to want more out of the shindig then remember that the mic is hot for freelance rhymers of all kinds.

Friday

It's the closing performance for the 25th season of the Eureka Chamber Music Series tonight at 7 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church ($30/$15 for Calvary Lutheran Church members/$10 seniors/$5 children). The Ariana Quartet will work through a program with Shostakovich's Quartet No. 1 in C major as well as Ravel's Quartet in F Major, then take a breather before concluding with Brahms' Piano Quintet in F Minor, with a little help from pianist Tian Ying. If you don't know anything about the featured composers I would like to point you in the direction of Julian Barnes' excellent novel The Noise of Time, which is partly about Dmitri Shostakovich's immense and unique talent being sloughed off at the edges and boxed up by the mad machine of Stalinism as he attempts to work and survive inside the arbitrary lines of brutality and dumb chaos.

Also at 7 p.m., there's a good hip-hop show at The Siren's Song, featuring a (mostly) West Coast cast. The Bay Area's Z-Man is an MC on the renowned Hieroglyphics Label while DJ True Justice hails from Berkeley. Oso Negro and DJ Surebert roll out from Oregon and the lovely Eva Rhymes brings her voice all the way from Baltimore. Together they have banded for the Clock Strikes Thirteen Tour — a 1984 reference — and intend to entertain our fair people on this most holy and hokey of weed holidays. Local flavor provided by Nac-One and C4RB0N CROO ($10).

Saturday

Winnipeg's Mulligrub makes the trek south from the Cree land of muddy water to play its brand of emo pop for you at the Outer Space tonight. Fellow travelers Señor Fin from Seattle bring a big, hushed and pretty rock sound down from rain town and local songwriting act Blood Honey (now with drums!) rounds out the bill nicely. And 7 p.m. for $7 sound like some lucky numbers to me.

The Miniplex hosts an international night of prog-ed up psych-rock vapor trails as the four Findlay sisters from fabulous Australia bring their band Stonefield to the stage at 8 p.m. ($10). Local Arcata phantasms Ms. God weave a tale of creation for you, as well.

The Monster Women invites you to a vinyl LP release show at the Siren's Song this evening at 9 p.m. (price TBA). Providing support for this wax track party will be Arcata's cool two-car-and-one-synth garage band act Super Senior and homegrown guerillas Blackplate, fresh off a pilgrimage to Chi-town to record with Mr. Steve Albini.

Sunday (Earth Day!)

It's another quiet Sunday here behind the redwood curtain so the bigger shows we have flash through on the weekend from time to time are simply not here at the moment. However, it is Earth Day so let's remember to enjoy our massive alpha mother anyway while we are still allowed a collective purchase upon her wild bosom. The Bayside Community Hall is hosting the 10th annual electric vehicle show from 8 a.m. to noon and $8 or $5 for kids and seniors will get you breakfast and music from The Vanishing Pints, which is a band name that is either suited more toward cocktail hour or a comment upon the welcome disappearance of gasoline as we eschew the combustible engines and go electric.

I would also like to remind you all that the Humboldt Flea Market is going on today at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds starting at 8 a.m. as well and the $2 admission will offer anyone the chance to find your own gently used gong to bang or drum to beat to find your own groove in the chaos of our shared home.

Monday

Our live punk rock entertainment comes from a faraway place tonight as Bogotá, Colombia's own quartet Primer Regimen takes over The Siren's Song for an evening of '80s influenced hardcore. Usual suspects The ChainLinks, The Scum Lourdes and The Cissies strut it up as well. Eight p.m. is the hour, $6 is the price.

Tuesday

Humbrews hosts a jammy evening of Americana and roots music as California Kind plays a set of semi-improvisational takes on traditional U.S. styles at 8 p.m. ($20). Join longtime jam scene regulars Kate Skene, Barry Sless, Rob Barraco, Pete Sears and John Molo for an evening of groovy, twangy fun.

Wednesday

Modern jazz tricksters LD51 haunt the cozy confines of The Speakeasy tonight at 8 p.m. for an evening of free music.

Meanwhile, Whomp Whomp Wednesday at The Jam is curated tonight by electro maestros HullabaloO, bouquet, Norman and Little Brain. Doors are at 10 p.m. and it's only $5 before 10:30 p.m., $10 after. Viva.

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@northcoastjournalcom.

Collin Yeo knows that there ain't no sunshine when she's gone, only darkness everyday. For the purpose of this narrative "she" is a cigarette and definitely not welcome back because he has quit her company. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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