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Because It's There 

click to enlarge Darrell Scott plays the Old Steeple on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

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Darrell Scott plays the Old Steeple on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

I'm packing up and heading out of town this week with the promise that I'll return with tales of adventure and conquest. For me, that boils down to the possibility of going far enough north up the Pacific Coast to see a puffin in its native home. While I concede a floating puffin is a pretty boring white whale, it is mine, and I've never asked much from the world in the way of exciting journeys. I'll leave that to other people, who see tall waves, mountains, rock formations and remote trails across treacherous landscapes and plan their travels accordingly. Perhaps the words of the late George Mallory, entombed (for now) on the frozen slopes of his obsession Mt. Everest, echo in all our heads, whether we are climbing the death zone of a mountain or simply looking for a puffin while birdwatching. When asked why he was driven to climb the mountain that claimed his body, he is supposed to have said, "Because it's there."

Seems like a good motto for hitting up the week for some fun, too.

Thursday

I'm going to suggest a nix on the big venue shows for tonight and instead juice the Adult Skate Night at the Blue Lake Roller Rink. I don't have a dog in this hunt myself — I'll be out of town celebrating my partner's birthday in the wilds of the Great Northwest — but I know with DJ Goldylocks at the helm, everything's gonna be groovier than a stack of vinyl at 7 p.m. ($15).

Friday

Unless you acted far in advance and managed to snag some tickets, the sold-out Thundercat show at the Van Duzer is not in your cards tonight, friend. Don't sweat it though; the Miniplex is putting on a banger at 9 p.m. San Francisco's warm, electro-tinged chamber pop act Healing Potpourri is in the house and the group is out flogging a new LP called Paradise, which was produced by Stereolab-collaborator Sean O'Hagan. All signs point to this gig being a hidden gem, and for $12 at the door and $8 online advance, that's a hot deal. Locals Los Perdidos and Mister Moonbeam also bring the noise.

Saturday

The world of music runs not on the headliner alone but on their secret weapon. You can call them the hired gun, the sideman, the multi-instrumentalist, but the job really all shakes out to be the same thing: they can play almost anything, on almost any instrument and make it sound good. The late David Lindley was one such player, Nils Lofgren and Ry Cooder, as well. A strong argument would put tonight's performer at the Old Steeple in that category. Darrell Scott has been in that role for ages, most recently with Robert Plant and the Zac Brown Band. He knows what he's doing, folks, and he writes his own tunes as well. I suggest giving him a listen tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 at the door, $35 in advance.

If you aren't feeling the trip to Ferndale, you can enjoy a free gig at the Siren's Song Tavern at the same hour, featuring another local sideman and musician in general Robert Tripp, known for his work with CV, the Freeks, Datura Blues and many more. He's rolling out his new creation Shiny Eyes and will be joined by other master vibe-makers and musical gadabouts in the form of Elegant Humanoid, Idyl and DJ Dental Floss. This will be a good show, I guarantee it.

Sunday

Minneapolis rapper Prof is rolling through town again, once more appearing at the Arcata Theatre Lounge with an ensemble package of talent in tow, this tour's been given the moniker "The High Priced Shoes." Whatever that means is up for you to decipher; I'm here to share the details. Doors are at 7 p.m., you can get in for $25, and the other folks on the bill are Cashinova, J. Plaza, C Dot Castro and Willie Wonka, who I believe was onboard for the last run through town.

Monday

Yet another Monday packed with metal over at Savage Henry Comedy Club at 7 p.m. This week's offering is heavy in favor of the power violence genre, with touring Tijuana act Hong Kong Fuck You joining forces with local acts Grug!, T.I.C.K., and The Groomers. As always, this all-ages show is $10, and you need to bring an I.D. if you are of drinking age and wish to partake in fermented liquids.

Tuesday

The Siren's Song Tavern is hosting an interesting gig tonight at 7 p.m. The Secret Emchy Society is an Oakland-based, queer roots and country act that dabbles in the darker side of honky tonkin', murder balladry. I don't have a lock on the door price, but I'd suggest you give these folks a try regardless, because from what I have heard, this will be a real good time, and it's an off night, anyway.

Wednesday

It's midweek in the beginning of the spooky month, so why not go and catch a big screen presentation of a slightly macabre and murderous musical? I am talking about the 1986 Frank Oz-directed iteration of The Little Shop of Horrors, starring Rick Moranis as the nebbish florist Seymour, who finds himself in thrall with a man-eating flower whose hunger drives the silly plot to a romantic end. If nothing else, you can appreciate Steve Martin's scene-stealing role as a viciously cruel dentist and enjoy a moment of culture shock from seeing a time in history when Americans had enough access to dentistry that they could universally joke about the more sadistic aspects of the trade rather than bemoan the lack of care my generation enjoys. My last dental experience was nearly 20 years ago, when I paid someone at a dental college $200 to split and yank out an impacted wisdom tooth sans anesthesia. Thankfully, there was a liquor store in the same parking lot. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., it's $5 to get in and $9 to leave with a poster. Viva.

Collin Yeo (he/him) has heard that it's not the destination, but the journey that counts, but he still wants to see a fucking puffin. He lives in Arcata, a land rich with much, excluding puffins.

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Collin Yeo

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