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click to enlarge The Jacob Jolliff Band plays Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Arcata Playhouse.

Photo courtesy of the artists

The Jacob Jolliff Band plays Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Arcata Playhouse.

As is sometimes the case in the re-emerging world of local live entertainment in which we find ourselves, the good shows are simply not spread out evenly across the week. Drat. Don't worry about it because the offerings this weekend are top-notch, with national touring talent vying with some of our best local acts for your time and attention. We are truly in the glutton's dilemma here, with the choice cuts happening in a small window of time. That's fine though, a little feast and famine now and again brings perspective. And I've added some suggestions that will hopefully pad the menu a bit. Enjoy.

Thursday

Cal Poly Humboldt is putting on its Local Bands Night at the campus Student Activities Center at 8 p.m. (free). Although this event is probably more geared toward students, it is technically open to the public and, while I know next to nothing about the participating bands, I hear tell of a couple of acts called Cowboydaddy and Shaggy Joon. Intriguing.

Meanwhile, a half hour later over at the Miniplex, there's a special addition of everyone's favorite microphone-sharing ad hoc talent show. Y2Karaoke is, as the name suggests, a celebration of pop bangers from the hinge point of the most recent millennium. Right when I was a teenager, in fact, which means that I will probably be absent because, like a lot of haters, I have no rosy-tinted glasses for the cultural forms of my youth. Y'all enjoy, though.

Friday

As my intro suggested, the weekend is here and I'm stacking these days with a heavy roster of shows to make up for sparseness come Monday. The first entry in tonight's trio of delights is going down at 7 p.m. at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, when Bay Area bluegrass fusion band Hot Buttered Rum treads the boards and shares some pickin' and grinnin.' In a two-decades career the quintet has built a reputation for its progressive, multi-genre take on the hardest of the acoustic arts. Get in the door the night of with $25; $20 buys an advance ticket and $15 will secure an "early bird" ticket that will likely not be available as of press time.

Two hours later and two-ish blocks away at Humbrews, you will find another Bay Area-ish institution doing its thing, as two of the most famous members of San Francisco/Los Angeles hip hop collective Living Legends, The Grouch and Eligh return to Humboldt in year three of the Plague Age ($25, $20 advance). These two always find a very appreciative crowd up here so the live frisson should be all over the dance floor. DJ Fresh and AmpLive will be slinging the beats.

Finally tonight, at the same hour, music is once again on tap at The Logger Bar, in this case a brand new group called White Meat is making its like debut. Because I can't describe that which has not happened yet, I'll let you bask in the mystery of this show and decide accordingly (free).

Saturday

If you thought last night was packed, I've added yet one more show to tonight's lineup, as we celebrate the last day of T.S. Eliot's "cruellest month." (Note his extra "L.") Canary and the Vamp continues its triumphant crawl out of hibernation, returning to the scene of the crime for a live show tonight at 8 p.m. (free). The scene in question is The Logger Bar, where the group filmed its first music video earlier this month, which is technically not a crime, but the song in question is called "OK Corral," so some criminal elements were certainly at play, if only in the lyrics.

At the same time over at the Arcata Playhouse, mandolin virtuoso Jacob Jolliff brings his Band to the stage. No, not the Yonder Mountain String Band, that's his other gig. Rather this is Mr. Jolliff's own handpicked group of hand pickers, all of whom play among the rarified air of the string gods with their combined talents. Only $20 at the door, $18 for members and seniors.

The Miniplex is hosting one of my favorite Humco bands, as Shively's Blackplate returns to Arcata for a night of heart-rending sonics at 8:30 p.m. Also on board are two more local acts that I have not yet had the pleasure to hear: Silver & Nails and Phosphorus. Blackplate singer/string-slinger Sean Casement tells me that admission is a sliding scale/gas donation, so I suggest you dig deep if you can — that amber liquid isn't cheap these days.

One thing that has proved recession-proof is the cost of admission to Soul Party over at Humbrews. For a pre-inflation $5 at 9 p.m. you can still get into the best vinyl dance party north of the 1970s and tonight even has a dance contest at midnight with a cash prize on the line. Viva.

Sunday (International Workers Day)

No music, however, Savage Henry has a special midnight comedy show featuring the talents of Sara Rooker from Reno, Andrea B. from Tahoe and Gabby Jesus from somewhere, Oregon. Only $10.

Monday and Tuesday

These are the aforementioned dead days. However, here's a thought: Monday is the 76th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Alcatraz, a multi-day prison riot that captivated the nation as its deadly drama unfolded. In the following year, Burt Lancaster starred in a gritty noir film called Brute Force partly inspired by those events. Maybe see if you can track down a copy and enjoy it.

Wednesday

I hate to do it but here's another movie night. This one takes place at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 6 p.m., as a part of its ongoing Sci Fi Night series. The film is Paul Verhoeven's ultra-violent satirical classic Starship Troopers. Set in a world full of gleeful fascism, where the only path to full citizenship is through participation in hyper-deadly space warfare with a remorseless enemy, it should serve as a sample of things to come for all the kiddos in the audience ($5).

Collin Yeo (he/him) has been reading a particularly vicious James Ellroy novel which is why he is writing like That. He lives in Arcata, gun molls and gangsters.

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Collin Yeo

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