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Hootin' and Hollerin' 

click to enlarge Blü Egyptian plays the Jam at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 25.

Photo courtesy of the artists

Blü Egyptian plays the Jam at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 25.

At the end of the preface to Hegel's difficult but rewarding work Elements of the Philosophy of Right, the philosopher evokes the image of Minerva (in Greece, Athena) the goddess of wisdom and justice. Minerva's wise owl, we are told, only takes flight with the coming of the night. This means we can only grasp the meaning of a cycle at its end. I mention this because there are two historical items in the current news cycle: the potential arrest of Donald Trump and the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War. I have been laughing a lot at the former and reading a lot about the latter.

To conservative propagandist (and professional nitwit) David Brooks, the owl's late flight is the tragedy that excuses his cheerleading for the war crimes of the G.W. Bush administration. How could he have known how bad things could get without the aid of hindsight? Hegel would scoff at this but, like most conservatives, Brooks is not a serious thinker anyway, and his use of Minerva's owl as a metaphor is dumb and wrong. Plenty of people were correctly skeptical of that war before it was inevitably launched, and plenty of people were studied enough in history to recognize we were in for the death of one cycle and the birth of a terrible new century of decline. That voices like Brooks' were deemed legitimate at all is a tragedy.

I'm not making predictions about Trump's crimes and (lack of) punishment. But looking at the last two decades, the architects of that massive criminal war have not faced punishment, either legal or professional. From politicians to journalists, all are quite comfortable. Hell, Brooks still has a job that pays better than anybody I know and is somehow considered a "serious man." I know some of you don't like it when I write about politics in the North Coast Journal of Politics, People and Art, particularly in my music column, but I will remind you of something I've said here before that I believe Hegel might agree with: All of our art and lives are downstream of larger forces, including the politics that shape our material reality. What we ascribe to those forces and whether they can ever be stirred or shifted is a topic for another time, but I wasn't going to let the sun set on this anniversary without at least a little birdwatching.



Every now and then a show comes along that allows for some audience participation and behavior that would be misapplied elsewhere. Anything from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to a performance by GWAR. Tonight's gig at Savage Henry Comedy Club is one such show. It's called the Heckler's Paradise and, as the name suggests, it's a safe space for live feedback from the cheap seats. However, be warned: The comedians, hosted by Eric Fitzgerald and Jason Merritt, heckle back. 9 p.m. ($10).


RampArt is generally known for putting on punk and metal gigs, but tonight at 8:30 p.m., the marsh-adjacent skate warehouse in Arcata offers another kind of gig. DJ and impresario Henry Fong and Arcane Artists presents the Circtus, which, as far as I can tell is a night of house and dubstep music with a circus atmosphere. Performances by GMNIITE, Mikey Bones, The Vagabond Dancers and more will be on deck. Pricing ranges from $20 for advance tickets, $35 at the door and $60 for VIP admission.


Here are three gigs all happening at 9 p.m., any of which you can use to celebrate your first weekend of this new spring season.

Over at the Logger Bar, Wild Abandon plays its first gig since its fine sold-out album release show at the Arcata Playhouse in the beginning of this year. Expect the folk-rock and country goods to be served up fantastically. Entrance is free, so tip your servers and performers.

Makenu is our county's current premier cumbia-crossover band, so if you are in the mood to shake it, head over to the Miniplex with some money in hand. The door price is yet to be announced, so I'd bring at least a 10 spot.

And finally, the Jam is hosting Chico's Blü Egyptian, a reggae, EDM and (appropriately) jam band that's young and hungry, although perhaps not quite as young and hungry as the kids in The Critics, who are doing the proper thing for a fresh local band: gigging themselves silly. Singer-songwriter Alex Kent is also on board and $10 is a deal to get the whole package.


It's the second and final performance of the Humboldt Steel Pan and Percussion Festival over at the Sapphire Palace in Blue Lake Casino, and this one's a matinee. This free show kicks off at noon, and has oodles of talent, including Humboldt Taiko, Humboldt Calypso Band and Caribbean Jazz Odyssey.


Well, in my excitement about an abundance of gigs, I may have spoken too soon in my previous column, as the winter doldrums have carried over into a bit of spring break quietude. However, all is not lost. It's the 59th anniversary of the Crescent City tsunami, caused by the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska. It might be a good time to read up on some of the wild conditions the planet threw out at our part of the topsoil back in 1964.


Savage Henry Comedy Club is hosting Open Mark, a unique open mic hosted by comedian Mark Sanders, in which anyone is welcome to take advantage of the two microphones, keyboard and guitar available to express themselves. This free (but donation-welcoming) show is the first of its kind at the club and will roll out at 9 p.m.


We've all got that one movie that, if pressed, we can accurately describe as a favorite viewing experience for what it is. When I squint and think of cult sci-fi flicks with just enough comedy and horror to balance the teeter-totter of my pleasures, I immediately think of the 1990 Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and Reba McEntire vehicle Tremors. This story about a plague of terrifying Graboids chewing up the salt of the earth citizens of an outpost in small-town Nevada has been perfectly scratching a particular itch for me since I was in the single digits, age-wise. However, in all of those years of VHS, cable TV, then DVD splendor, I don't recall once seeing it on the big screen. Well, tonight's the night. The Arcata Theatre Lounge is the place, 6 p.m. is when the doors open and $5 will get you through those doors. Although if you want to pick up a poster designed by local artist Hailey Kosinski (and you might), raise that fee to a still-sensible $12.

Collin Yeo (he/him) is, contrary to what some have suggested, occasionally pretty fun at parties. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

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