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Another Vintage 

click to enlarge Wahid plays the Arcata Playhouse at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26.


Wahid plays the Arcata Playhouse at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Things sound scarier, sadder or sexier in French. Take, for example, the mid-century jazz standard "Autumn Leaves." Every pianist in America from that era had a crack at that tune, from the block-chord, frenetic mania of Bill Evans' version to the over-sweetened hit by Roger Williams. The original French composition was called "Les Feuilles Mortes," which translates to "the dead leaves." Quite a bit more morbid for the sensibilities of an American audience, similar to how Rimbaud's Une Saison en Enfer rolls with much more seeping, nuanced romantic dread than its direct English translation A Season in Hell, which is barely different from one of the blunter titles from the golden era of the thrash metal kings Slayer. Something gets lost in translation. Speaking of the French, I've mentioned before that one of my more enduringly annoying tastes is that I prefer aspects of the short-lived French Republican Calendar, conceived when the architects of the Revolution were attempting to — ahem — sever any relationships with the gods and leaders of the past and replace the months named after them with names which evoked the material reality of the period in question. FYI, right around the equinox this week, we'll be entering the month of Vendémiaire, named after the vinting time of the grape harvest. Is there anything more earthy and French than that? Anyway, I'm just spouting off because I've been enjoying some of our own local, seasonally harvested goods, and listening to some nice mid-century jazz. Have a hell of a week, but not a week en enfer.


I've long been a fan of larger ensemble groups playing traditional or genre music. I am thinking of the country swing sounds of the mini orchestras that famously back-up singers like k.d. lang and Lyle Lovett, or the large tropical pop groups that were the sonic palette of composers like Sergio Mendes and Henry Mancini. So I am immediately intrigued by a touring act that pulls off the same feat with mariachi music, a genre for which a strong argument can be made is one of the world's great examples of music of the people. The group in question is Mariachi Herencia de México, a Chicago-based outfit that has garnered quite a bit of renown in the relatively short time since its inception in 2017. Tonight at 7 p.m., you can catch 'em in action at the Van Duzer Theatre, and I suggest snagging your tickets sooner rather than later, as the Center Arts website was flashing the ominous "limited" link as of press time ($15-$35).

Friday, Autumnal Equinox

Everyone hip to the deal of living in Humboldt knows our county magically balances a relatively mild-yet-diverse climate with an approximation of four distinct seasons. This is a rarer thing than one who is used to this way of living might readily acknowledge, so I am always in favor of celebrating a new season. A good way to tip our hats to the coming local season of mists and noble decay is a show full of local talent. The Miniplex has one of those going on tonight at 9 p.m., with a soundboard that scans the scales from cabaret to cumbia to loud and jammy psychedelic rawk. Mambo Green, Drastic Gnarlys and Vegan Slaughterhouse are the artists on the docket, and, as is often the case with these local shindigs, the door price isn't firm, so bring a few bucks and a good story if they ain't quite enough. Folks are pretty nice about these things around here, especially this time of year.


Timbata is a local septet that specializes in Afro-Cuban music, as well as the many rhythmic derivations from the Caribbean and beyond. Tonight, this group, which has put in the time playing to many happy people under sun and stars, will be hitting it up at the Arcata Playhouse at 7 p.m. Just thinking about the warm luster of the wooden soundscape from the stage to the risers makes me smile ($15).


Speaking of sun and stars, here are two events for your Sunday that cover the domain of each (let's not get pedantic and point out that our sun is indeed also a star, because you know what makes that holy exploding orb stand waaaaay out from its fellows in the lives of us earthlings). First up, if you feel like ponying up $50 and heading over to the River Lodge in Fortuna around 2 p.m., you can be a part of the pregame wind-up to the upcoming season of our fine Eureka Symphony. This prelude gala will feature a performance by the Temporary Resonance Trio and catering by the ever-scrumptious menu-master Brett Shuler.

If the night's the right time for you, the Jam has a high-energy gig tonight at 8 p.m. Los Angeles rockabilly band Rumble King will shake, rattle and roll with local Idle Spurs for a spiked sock-hop to remember ($10).


Two venues, both alike in dignity, (in fair Humboldt, where we lay our scene), from ancient grudge to break new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. (Author's note: There are two gigs happening at 7 p.m., so you have to pick a side.) If you are a shoegaze and dreampop loving Montague, then your allegiance aligns with the Outer Space, where you can catch Helens from Portland swirl things up with Petiole and House of Mary ($5-$20 sliding scale). The latter is a great band name, by the way; it evokes the lesser-known acts from the 4AD and Mute Records rosters in the 1980s.

If, however, you are born from the metalhead lineage of the Capulets, then Savage Henry Comedy Spot is the scene for you, where touring acts Hollow Point from British Columbia and Trigger from Germany will be allied with locals Malicious Algorithm and the Brain Dead Rejects. Ten bucks is the key inside, and both shows, being more alike than not, are all ages, so bring an I.D. if you wish to drink intoxicants at the latter.


Wahid is a Los Angeles-based duo that plays a syncretic blend of Greek and Turkish music spanning from the ancient world through the Ottoman Empire and into the early 20th century jazz and blues age of pre-war Europe. The result is a deeply human sound birthed in essence by the marriage of the frame drum and the oud by Chris Wabich and Dimitris Mahlis, who have not only mastered their instruments, but the dynamic range of possibilities in their collaboration. If you can, treat yourself to this show at the Arcata Playhouse. The fellas have played here before, and at $17 for a 7 p.m. show, the price and hour are both friendly to the needs of workers, students and retirees alike.


The EXIT Theatre is once again hosting its monthly variety performance, The Something Different Show, hosted by local clown Shea FreeLove. Tonight's events kick off at 7 p.m., and will feature 2023 Dell'Arte grads Alice Irvin, Grayson Klages and Damla Ari. Eight dollars gets you a seat in the applause section.

Collin Yeo (he/him) is just pulling on the "blah blah blah" lever until something spills or someone yells at him. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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