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Game of Tones 

click to enlarge John Hammond plays the Old Steeple on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Jessica Chornsky, courtesy of the artist

John Hammond plays the Old Steeple on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Early on this week is a great time to catch great bands in the fringes of bigger genres. Noise punk, grindcore, psych rock and various other troubadours of the outré are hawking penillions of perverse metrics. If you are a fan of all things weird and glowing, from now until Cinco de Mayo is going to be a good time for you. Afterward, the week rounds off nicely with a few living legends who will likely conjure up some healing balm to quell the earburns of unrest among those of you in the pantheon of marathon show-attendance participants. And even if you are selective and sparse in your outings, you really can't miss this week. It's all a little touched by brilliance and certainly beats staying home, right?

Have a good run.


RampArt skatepark hosts another badass punk rock show at 8 p.m. ($7). Tonight it's a noise and grind-tinged adventure headlined by noise punk band The Wankys which hails all the way from Leicester, England. Joining the veterans from Old Blighty is Pittsburgh's Eel, whose Endless Fucker LP is an angle grinder to the eardrums. Local support comes from garage punks Wet Spot, who are embarking on a pre-summer tour, crust duo KLOD and the grindcore stylings of Human Soup Hot Tub, who win the award this week for Band Name I Can Taste with My Gag Reflex. Congrats! There is no prize.


It's a very busy night for all creatures in the psychedelic rock reverb taxonomy, so let's grab our nets, calipers and wildlife tags, and get to work, shall we?

First up at the Miniplex, Drag City Records' own garage spaceship quintet Wand headlines a show at 8 p.m. ($12). Joining them are tourmates Palm Tree, who unlike Wand and despite the name, are not from Los Angeles but come from the foggy, gentrified shores of San Francisco. Local support is provided by the always amazing Frog.

If you are smart, you won't miss the late show at the Alibi, which features another Los Angeles band whose funky, fuzzy and stoned carapace includes genetic markers from groups like Fu Manchu, Claw Hammer, Nebula and Backbiter. I am of course talking about The Freeks, who helm an 11 p.m. show with a more rocking iteration of local mudskippers CV. Happy hunting.


The Argentinian music and dance ensemble Che Malambo performs at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 8 p.m. ($29-$49). This show features all of the exciting aesthetic trappings of South American gauchos, with lassos, percussive stomping and speedy footwork to evoke the kinetic beauty of the horse wranglers of the deep, deep south. Viva.

Sunday (Cinco de Mayo)

What was supposed to be a fun show headlined by Washington State's vagabond ragtime punk act Robber's Roost at The Little Red Lion has instead become a benefit show, as the group was involved in a scary car crash with an allegedly drunk driver, resulting in the injury of one member and the totaling of the band's touring van. Thankfully, the other folks on the bill, The Scum Lourdes and The Automatic Men, have done the beyond-decent thing and turned this gig into a fundraiser to help out their wounded cohorts at 8 p.m. I don't know what the door costs but whatever it is, know that it's going to a righteous cause.


Green Milk From the Planet Orange returns to the Miniplex tonight to revisit the heavy, slow-burning beauty of its repertoire for the plebs and patricians of our bayside fogopolis. Expect slow-building jams that really leave a mark and expect the show to possibly sell out, leaving shitheels like myself to lap up drifts of sound through the wall from the bar at Richards' Goat. Oh well, it's an honest living. The opening salvos are provided by Drip Torch and The Sturgeons ($8).


John Hammond has been making blues records for more than 55 years. He has been a household name for most of that time and while many of his peers spiraled off into various genres and addictions, he has remained consistent in his love of delta blues and the recorded output that love has produced. Tonight he plays the Old Steeple at 7:30 p.m. and will deliver what is likely a world-class concert worthy of the ears of any genuine blues enthusiasts reading this ($40).


Moving from mid-century blues to proper American roots music done right, Keb' Mo' is coming to Eureka tonight to warm the stage of the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts with his unbelievably soulful voice accompanied by his deceptively earnest guitar playing. Some musicians can just seamlessly drift through a song, shedding notes and key changes like a juggler. Keb' Mo' takes the act beyond such theatrics, though. He is an absolute wizard and master of the musical universe cloaked in the guise of a man. His songs leave an afterglow and I am kind of mystified by the whole process, to be honest. If you can swing the $66 ticket price, come check him out.

Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to [email protected].

Collin Yeo would like to cordially invite the month of May into town. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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