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Come On Feel The Noise 

click to enlarge The retro-punk sounds of Courtney Jackson fill The Shanty during the Songwriters Circle of Death beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.


The retro-punk sounds of Courtney Jackson fill The Shanty during the Songwriters Circle of Death beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.

We've got a lot of great local gigs this week, which is about as good as it gets regarding midsummer Setlists. And many of them are free, which certainly doesn't hurt with the way things are at present. Despite my own hectic schedule, I was able to catch a few good ones last week and was rewarded each time. Even if you don't have the time for a complete show, a partial still counts toward full credit regarding the feeling afterward. Think of it like spending an hour or two at the river rather than camping overnight, or daytripping in lieu of a multi-day hike. It's still a good time. And these days, lord knows, good times are a precious commodity. Go get at it.


Hip hop Thursday is a thing at The Jam, where starting at 10 p.m. you can catch some of Humboldt's best rhyme-sayers and beat makers doing their thing near the iconic mural of the late, great Muddy Waters. This week has Chuck Angeles, Flo J Simpson and others rocking the beat. I don't know the exact door charge so bring some dough just in case.


Humboldt's beloved traveling musical couple, Nola and Dieter, have returned from their sonic wanderings to hole up in the county for a spell and drop some tunes. Most famous locally for their group Opossum Sun Trail (as well as their countless collaborations), the pair plays the Siren's Song Tavern tonight under the moniker Landers Drifters, which I am told by Nola is a "cosmic Americana act with some covers, in the vein of The Flying Burrito Brothers." That's good enough for me. Dieter and local badass Nicholas Dominic Talvola open the night with their project iichiko Brain. This one's gonna be good, folks. 8 p.m. (Free).


You have the option of an all-day and into the night event in the form of a block party put on by Arcane Artists in front of the Kinetic Sculpture Lab over at 820 N St. in Arcata, where a $20 general pass will grant you access to many hours of quality music and good times, starting at 4 p.m. However, if you want something more intimate with ties to the good old days of the HumCo music scene, you might want to head over to Lost Coast Brewery, where Sonoma County's trio of Humboldt music veterans The Beer Scouts will be playing a lot of blues and rock, in the form of covers and originals. This is a free matinee show at 3 p.m., so you have the option of enjoying some portions from each feast.


The Songwriter Circle of Death is a fantastic tradition, where a handful of local tunesmiths take turns on the mic with their finest compositions, flogging their feelings in front of a barful of cheering onlookers. This marks the 17th edition of this hallowed event, and the talent on the roster is about as top notch as it gets in our neck of the woods. Come enjoy the country stylings of Kenny Bowling, the perfectly bratty retro-punk sounds of Courtney Jackson and the drunken bass pummel of our dear Dave O, aka TheBoredAgain. I just caught Dave's set with The Smashed Glass opening for the Pine Hill Haints and, let me tell you, the last two years of crap have been great for the man's chops. Ditto Ms. Jackson, whose latest release with Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes gave me goose bumps in my rave review in these pages. Mr. Bowling I have seen the least, but I plan to remedy that, and you should, too. Come over to The Shanty at 2 p.m. to see what it's all about, all you need to get in the door is a pulse and a shadow.


It's another quiet summer Monday, sadly. However, I'm going to toss out some entertainment suggestions that you can pursue. In terms of cinema, one of my favorite films, Meet Me in St. Louis, begins in the summer of 1903, so it might be considered a summertime flick. A young Judy Garland is perhaps a more earnest figure than nearly anyone alive now or then, so the plot still kicks. As far as music goes, one of my all-time favorite lazy dog day records is Nilsson Sings Newman. If you know, you know.


I've been saying this, but I have to do it again, as I recently got a re-up and enjoyed the gig immensely. Word Humboldt's free open mic at Northtown Coffee at 6 p.m. is very real. You can experience everything from the sublime to the cringey, with nothing held back. It is a special experience, and I fully endorse it. And if you get there early enough, you can sign up for the mic, thus changing the room's landscape with the geography of your mind.


I've lauded Fresno's Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries here before, when they came and rocked the town with a chamber pop cast fused to a riot grrl ethos. Well, the band is back at it again, and can be found at the Miniplex tonight at 8 p.m. ($20/ $15 advance). This is a fantastic show for those in the know and of a sympathetic aesthetic background, as evidenced by our local heroes Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes rounding out the bill. Dirty dishes and puff pastries galore!

Collin Yeo (he/him) is just some dude who lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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