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Black Hole Sun 

click to enlarge Weird Mood plays Outer Space at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

Photo by Sarah Sanger, courtesy of the artists

Weird Mood plays Outer Space at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

Here's an interesting notion: This Thursday's summer solstice will be accompanied by a waxing full moon that will reach its peak two days later. This probably has a variety of implications; for my (mostly) nightlife beat, it means your weekend will start out with more skylight than we have had all year. To put it less prosaically, the Cathedral of Summer will fold back its vaulted ceilings to celebrate an extended Mass of Celestial Illumination for us pilgrims of the Northern Hemisphere. You know, weather permitting.

I'm hoping this Strawberry Moon comes more ripe and juicy than blood red, as we're getting too much of that already. Ditto for war, wildfires and other calamities. Let's hope we get a break from the ruckus. But hoping for, or writing about, these things does nothing to head them off. The mind and body of a human is ill-equipped to wrestle with the Angel of History as it is blown forward by the Storm from Paradise, leaving a rubble-field of "progress" in its wake, as it looks to the past with a desire to correct our atrocities and heal the dead. That's a very narrow reference to a much broader work on historical materialism by Walter Benjamin, published the year of his suicide near the border of France and Franco-ist Spain, while trying to evade capture by his era's avatars of the human death drive, the Nazis. Like his contemporary Arthur Koestler, Benjamin's understanding of the course of human events ripened during a time of great metaphysical evil and informed a near-intangible, spiritual quality in his analysis. And he, like so many others, died in desperation under the bright, indifferent light of the sky above, trapped in the snares of fascism.

I'm not anywhere near as brilliant as Benjamin but I am still alive, and can therefore write (see above for the value of that, but still). And what I am writing now is a proposition for everyone reading this to consider taking this time of abundant physical light to consider how to convert it into a metaphysical brightness to help resist the forces of death-driven ignorance that dominate the policies of our power elite. Those terrible few who leverage their outsized power to inflict undignified immiseration and pockets of mass death on the living people of an increasingly polluted world. Can we hope to shine a beacon over the bloody debris of history and the atrocities of the present, and with blinding clarity, say, "This will be no longer tolerated?" I don't know but we've gotta try something before it's too late. Because, as Benjamin sadly discovered, there's no certainty of escape and survival when the darkness has spread.

Have a bright week.


The Alley Cats, sometimes known as the Opera Alley Cats when playing in their home turf in Old Town Eureka, are playing a free one tonight at the Basement after 7 p.m. Be on the lookout for my buddy Brian's new trombone, which came in the post from Japan, looks like a beaut and I am certain plays twice as fine under his control.


More than 60 years since its creation, Memphis, Tennessee's Stax Records is still churning out records by acts that mix gospel, R&B, soul and the blues like nobody's business. One such hometown hero group is Southern Avenue, a large ensemble that lays it down heavy and danceable. They'll be at Humbrews tonight at 8 p.m., along with Claire Bent & Citizen Funk holding down a local family jam to welcome the road dogs and warm up the stage ($20).


The Miniplex is hosting Goth Night XIII, and this installment is a celebration of the quaint mall goth aesthetic that has largely died out with big structure American retail spaces. I am old enough to prefer the earlier thrift store/Salvation Army version of the style but to each their own, and I certainly won't pretend that the zealous adherents to the Hot Topic look haven't maintained appearances over the years. The music kicks off around 8 p.m., and will be overseen by DJs Satanica, Ratgirl and FauxVelvet. Whether you prefer vinyl boots or clothespins and lace, all over 21 are welcome ($10).


Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka continues its Sunday concert series today at 4 p.m., with a free lecture and musical demonstration of the wonders of the church's in-house Kegg pipe organ. I'm working off notes and flyers here, but as far as I can tell, local organists Merry Phillips and Paul VandenBranden will be showcasing a program of music stretching back to ancient Greece and forward to the space age. A couple composers mentioned include Bach and Hans Zimmer. The gig is free and open to the public, and there will be a quilt raffle to help keep this place of sacral motions alive and humming. Come by.


Let's hear it once more for Metal Mondays at Savage Henry Comedy Club. Tonight's performers are a sludge band from Salem, Oregon, called Hell, as well as local bangers Death Doula and Echo Death. Music starts around 7 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale cover, all-ages and an I.D. needed for adult beverages. To quote David Byrne, same as it ever was.


It's Taco Tuesday at Richards' Goat, and if that gets you in the door, the attached cinema venue the Miniplex has an interesting couple of touring bands rolling through at 8:30 p.m. Clementine Was Right is a twangy indie outfit from Denver, Colorado, who share a diary-entry, poetic approach with punkier tourmates Farseek from the wet, hot state of Georgia. This looks like a good bet for those of you out there who like to feel things that sound good ($10-$15 sliding scale).


The Outer Space has a trio of unique talents tonight at 7:30 p.m. whose blending might have what it takes to make for an interesting midweek show. Oakland's Weird Mood just tossed out the single "Jinx" last week and, after giving it a spin on Bandcamp, my response is a hearty thumbs up, if only for the loopy gentleness-to-guitar-power pipeline it creates. I've reviewed Makeshift Kink in these pages before and its minimalist lyrical narrative met with maximalist instrumental mood setting earned the project some repeated listens, something you can do on Bandcamp as well. Finally, we have the "full band debut" of Arcata's Travis Rowdy, whose music on, you guessed it, Bandcamp suggests a songwriter with a wide sonic palette enabled by reverb and distortion. This isn't exactly a rock show, but who wants that these days anyway? It's $5, but No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds, which from now on will be NOTAFLOF like the kids do it).

Collin Yeo (he/him) suggests, if nothing else, people listen to Basket of Light by Pentangle, one of the great British folk records. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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