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June on the West Coast 

click to enlarge Roselit Bone plays Siren's Song Tavern on Thursday, June 6 at 8:30 p.m.

Courtesy of the artists

Roselit Bone plays Siren's Song Tavern on Thursday, June 6 at 8:30 p.m.

What more is there to say? We are now nested in the month so many people love for so many obvious reasons that it seems trivial to list them. On a final climb between now and the solstice to a solar pinnacle that will lead us down the dusty western slope of summer into the mulled days of ripened beauty and noble decay. A time of transient beauty felt all the more strongly by those of us who spent the wet part of the calendar locked into this often hard to handle home.

And also baseball.

Get out there.


Roselit Bone is back in town. This Portland band is one of the few acts I have had the pleasure of seeing live from the early days of covering this beat and that just gets better every time. For those unfamiliar, imagine an ensemble act with a heavy Western vibe, like a less jittery Wall of Voodoo, but trade the synths in for horns and fiddle. Very strong vocals from an enigmatic singer roll across a desiccated terrain until the music creates the kind of Dust Bowl thunderstorm that makes all the creeks rise and riverbeds flood until the coffins start popping out of the ground at the frontier cemetery. You should go to this show, but if my endorsement doesn't carry any weight, two great trios, the mighty Strix Vega and Velvet Worms, are providing the local oomph. And if that hasn't made the case yet for making your first Thursday of June sparkle and flash, the door price at the Siren's Song Tavern is a mere $5, and this all-ages show is at 8:30 p.m., leaving plenty of time for you to have fun and get home without ruining tomorrow.


There was a little bit of a mix-up last month regarding Wild Abandon playing a gig at the Logger Bar, so let's just do a quick window-edit in space-time and insert that show into tonight's slot at 9 p.m. The forecast now looks like you can enjoy a lovely summer's evening in one of our best watering holes with a great local band for gratis.


Here's something a little different for your Saturday, by which I mean during the sunshine hours. The Eureka Theater is the spot for the Climax Music Fest. This new eclectic phenomenon features music by Irie Mae, Icarus and Suns, Samba de Alegria and Mighty Violet, as well as danceable beats on tap poured out by DJ Tone Change. There will also be vendors, food trucks outside, and a fashion show courtesy of Living Doll Vintage. This all-ages event opens its doors at 2 p.m., with a 3 p.m. showtime and tickets going for $25 on site, $20 advance. Check it out.


I always forget about Fairy Festival in Arcata, largely because I don't have any children of my own and I was kicked out of Neverland 35 years ago for making fun of Peter Pan ("Baby Robin Hood" seems tame, but causes no joy in the land found after the second star to the right and straight on til morning). Anyway, it's happening again on the Plaza today and so, of course, there must be the afterparties. One such event for grown-up pixie dust devotees is a jam band tribute blow-out at Humbrews at 8:30 p.m., where you will find a supergroup called Tore Up!! It's made up of players from the Magnificent Sanctuary Band, The Velvet Sea and Grateful Getdown. They will be playing the jams of Phish, The Dead, et al, for a mere $10 at the door. I don't know what the currency exchange is in fairy gold, but you are welcome to find out and report back.


Quiet tonight out on the stage but that doesn't have to be the case at home. As part of my ongoing series recommending the tunes of musicians who passed out of this stupid samsara last year, I'm pushing the music of Carla Bley, a bandleader and jazz composer who, for a brief moment in time, sat aflame at the convergence point of emerging and established musical movements to operate the Lathe of Heaven in a mad attempt to create a lodestone of the era, for the future and beyond. What am I talking about? Listen to "Escalator over the Hill," in which you will hear her shot at finding synthesis between everything from free jazz, rock, Broadway, and Tin Pan Alley pop. The opposite of easy listening.


The Miniplex is playing more movies again, which bodes well for the future, as the joint holds a place filled by nowhere else regarding showcasing enjoyable and offbeat fare. A case in point is tonight's 7 p.m. presentation of The People's Joker, an indie comic book movie parody directed and co-written by actress and comedian Vera Drew. After viewing the trailer and reading about the controversy regarding the film's festival release due to copyright issues, I'm interested. It appears to be an awakening story that funnels gender dysphoria through the mass-production madhouse of oversaturated superhero culture, with appearances from a few of my favorite comedians, including Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk and Tim Heidecker. Just $10 gets you a seat and, assuming it's Taco Tuesday, tonight's a great one in the run to check it out.


Iowa is one of our more overlooked states and as someone who has been in nearly all 50, I have a soft spot for this land of corn and Slipknot near the disputed zone of the Midwest. I have seen things there and the place has its own taste, one I prefer over say, Oklahoma, which is the Devil's domain. Singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore grew up on a farm in the southernmost corner of Iowa and his music reflects a series of dispatches from another way of life than is immediately familiar to mainstream, metropolitan America. It's good, hearty, no depression-style folk and country, written with purpose and played with sincerity. Check him out online, if you can. Fans of American roots music will lock in immediately and know what to do, which is head to Humbrews tonight at 8 p.m. ($18, $15 advance).

Collin Yeo (he/him) has waited years but the bean never kicked in. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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