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Fanfare for the Common Man 

click to enlarge New Here plays the Miniplex on Friday, July 5, at 9 p.m.

Photo courtesy of the artists

New Here plays the Miniplex on Friday, July 5, at 9 p.m.

While I am not a fan of historical hypotheticals and counterfactual guesswork, it is enticing to imagine what a different world we'd all be living in if instead of that homicidal hayseed from Missouri, Harry S. Truman, FDR's previous sidekick Henry Wallace had been vice president when Roosevelt died. Wallace was an avid reformer in many good ways and historically one of the most left-friendly politicians to hold high office in America. I have limited space in this column and in my own frazzled mind, so I'll instead just steer you toward the title of this week's Setlist, named after a famous piece of homegrown glory music inspired by Wallace's words and written by one of our greatest composers, Aaron Copland. It's really quite something and never fails to bring to my mind the finest features of our people — qualities that I certainly believe the majority of you, dear readers, must share. Here's to you for keeping up the struggle during times of trouble. May you all celebrate that this week. I'll certainly be celebrating you and your efforts.

Thursday, Fourth of July

It's Independence Day and the Shanty is the place to be for a matinee of loud music and patio partying under the Humboldt sun. As is normal for the place, today's show is free, but is a 2 p.m. matinee gig rather than a night show, so you still have time for fireworks when the sunsets. Three bands, all ripping in their own way: The Real D.T.s, Silver & Nails and Something Wicked. Sounds like an alchemical recipe for success.


The Miniplex is putting on a punk and pop-punk mash-up gig tonight at 9 p.m., starring Portland's queer solo-to-collective act New Here, and featuring local support from a well-picked set of comrades in the form of the bands Blub and Vegan Slaughterhouse. The show is $5-$10 sliding scale and NOTAFLOF, so share what you have if you can.


The Sanctuary is continuing its successful jazz concert series, with this fourth installment, a celebration of the King of New Orleans and beyond, and the world's biggest ambassador to jazz himself, Louis Armstrong. At 7 p.m., join James Zeller, Don Hammerstedt and company for an evening of the stuff that made the 20th century sparkle, from the sacred epicenter of Congo Square out across the globe and, I would argue, beyond ($15-$30 sliding scale).


Humboldt Hot Air, our region's free internet radio station and a beacon of the off-beat and pulse for the proper goods since KHSU was assassinated, is holding a fundraising fest today at the Arcata Playhouse and adjacent areas. This free, all-ages "fun-raising" event will feature two stages for live music, vendors, food trucks, a vinyl record sale and much more. Some of the excellent bands on board include Datura Blues, Shiny Eyes, Henpecker (back in the saddle again), Dinner Service (I can't be the only one who has missed this band due to a literal interpretation of the name), Barking Dogma, Mo'Love and more. It's an eight-hour event, so even if you miss the noon starting whistle, there are many pockets of pleasure to distract over the course of the day.


Steve Poltz wears a lot of hats, including the actual style accessories and UV protectors, some of those hats include singer, songwriter, guitar picker, fully booked road dog, and a chooser of good collaborators for his style of jaunty and jocular tunes. I do not know whether he chose Trinidad Town Hall for this evening's gig, but whoever did has the wisdom of King Solomon, as the warm, wooden joint is perfect for his sonic shenanigans. Check it out for yourself at 7 p.m. for $25, a fair price for a midsummer delight.


I was just this weekend chatting with one of my Texas brothers in arms from my musical touring days and we agreed that no place creates brilliant counterculture artists quite like the Lone Star State. From the Butthole Surfers to Townes Van Zandt to The Flatlanders, it's a special place, love it or hoof it. The latter group is a fantastic country-ish trio featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Those unfamiliar with the man's music will probably recognize him as Smokey, the diminutive bowler who Walter threatens with a gun for a supposed infraction in the Coen Brothers classic The Big Lebowski. Tonight at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, you will find him playing in The Guilty Ones, a band he fronts with Dave Alvin, another classic oddball roots rock and roll weirdo, albeit one from our state. These fellas are solid legends and I am certainly not alone in that opinion. The $50 ($45 in advance) ticket might seem a little high, but considering you get Badger State bard Paul Cebar on the bill as well, I think it's well-worth it if you are a fan of the kind of goods that used to get folks returning to Austin City Limits during its PBS heyday of the '80s and '90s, when many more of the greats that walked with these fellas were still alive.


Humbrews hosts the next-generation of a beloved talent — and his late, famous, jam band King of Hearts friend and cohort — at 8 p.m. tonight for $25, a sum I guarantee many of you in the jam world will be seriously considering after reading below. The Sam Grisman Project is helmed by the son of David Grisman, pioneering mandolinist who was often the partner of Jerry Garcia when the latter felt like breaking out the acoustics, chucking the amps and digging out old songbooks and new to babble some folk, bluegrass, jazz and beyond. This fusion was dubbed by the duo "dawg music," with an emphasis on bringing new life into old forms and sharing the often excellent results with all people everywhere. The younger Grisman has dedicated his considerable abilities and those of his players to preserving and expanding on this theme. The new crop of dawgs. And why not? Seems a more noble use of his skills than what a lot of legacy kids get up to. Check it out.

Collin Yeo (he/him) enjoys Aaron Copland's music but can't miss pointing out that the beloved national composer's surname was essentially "Cop Land," a perfect nickname for America.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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