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Lady Luck 

Imperial Destructo plays RampArt at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Photo courtesy of the artists

Imperial Destructo plays RampArt at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Many years ago, in a Yankee cemetery in coastal Maine, I was pondering the grave of a young man who was taken out of the game by an "unruly bull," in an incident that I can only imagine was every bit as dramatic and shocking as the gravestone (upon which I was making an etching) was understated. Sometimes less is more, and when casually telling centuries of future visitors that your loved one was removed from life by a 2,000-pound monster, it helps to omit the gory details and let the imagination run as wild as that long-dead, murderous and horned juggernaut. Not that I have ever taken that advice myself. I am temperamentally very far removed from the dry and laconic mindset of the Northeasterner, and have been given to vivid descriptions and dramatic language as a means of personal style for some time now. Blame it on the private paraclete of my own imagination, which has steered me, through various acts of mania and neuroses, to envision brutal and vibrant scenarios as a means of encountering the world at large. This has certainly made my writing a bit more interesting than my exterior life but it has also allowed me to stay alive for these four decades, when the more dangerous temptations present themselves alluringly. That isn't to say that I haven't bitten down on the forbidden flavors here and there, nor is it to deny that I am also very lucky, as that young, trampled Mainer certainly was not. Discernment and navigation can get you so far, but you really do need some fortune on your side, blind and inscrutable, to get through life's flaming hoops without catastrophe. And good fortune would be an unearned privilege if we didn't push our luck sometimes. Thankfully, the venues in which I offer you the opportunity to do that are fairly safe, with an outsized reward-to-risk ratio. Come check it out.

Thursday

The Old Steeple is coming into 2023 hot, with a show tonight at 7:30 p.m. featuring Grammy-winning singer-songwriters. Shawn Colvin was last in Humco, I believe, when she shared the stage at the Van Duzer with Steve Earle in 2016, for a show that I snagged free tickets to out of sheer chance. Marc Cohn is perhaps best known for writing the 1991 hit 'Walking in Memphis,' and Texas chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz, the youngster of the trio, has spent the last decade releasing critically acclaimed folk records and touring the world. This is a high profile show for this area and it comes with a proportional price tag of $150. If that seems a little steeper than you'd like to spend on a Thursday but you still have a hankering to visit Ferndale, I suggest you cough up $10 at 8 p.m. to see the Ferndale Repertory's opening night of The Elephant Man. I am told by the fellow who plays the titular character that, unlike the David Lynch film, this version uses no prosthetics, but rather the magic of acting to portray the tragic conditions of John Merrick's life.

Friday

The Humboldt Folklife Society is bringing back its popular barn dance to the Arcata Vet's Hall tonight at 7:30 p.m. Join the Cider Mill Creek Band and dance caller Lyndsey Battle as they lead you through a variety of group dances ($10, $5 Humboldt Folklife Society members, kids 12 and under free).

Saturday

RampArt Skatepark is hosting an album release party for a compilation called URgE Skate Session, Vol. 1, and it looks like it's going to be a real corker. 4 p.m. ($10). Eight (mostly) local bands of various levels of aggression and heaviness will be hitting the curved stage for the enjoyment of the gathered masses. Come join this all-ages event and check out sets by Scythe, War Möth, War of Knives, RACKET, The Bored Again, Imperial Destructo, FOIL and Biomass. The last two groups have a history in Arcata, recently relocated to Los Angeles and are on a mini-tour, so this is a good chance to see some familiar faces.

If you still have any gas in the tank and would like to experience a different style of music for your evening's celebration, the Arcata Theatre Lounge is hosting two Bay Area rappers, Lil Pete and Lil Yee. The doors open at 8 p.m. and the entrance fee is $25.

Sunday

Samba Floresta, our local large-scale samba collective, is putting on a live show (also streaming on the web for those of you not inclined to attend) at Outer Space at 7 p.m. Although free, donations are welcome and will be graciously received.

Monday

I guess it's a winter tradition to have quiet Mondays around these parts. Which is fine, frankly, as it's perfectly fine to be alone with yourself during the occasional cold night. Solitude is a great comfort to those of us who need a recharge and nighttime solitude can't be beat. If you do feel the need to go out, how about taking what you might have spent on entertainment, buying some warm clothes and giving them to some of our neighbors who are exposed to the elements at night?

Tuesday

Under the Influence is a comedy show hosted by Josh Barnes and a panel of guests who will act as arbiters and judges for three as-yet-unnamed comics who will be playing the role of "influencers" pitching their shtick to win hearts and minds. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and a sawbuck ($10 for those of you under the age of 80) will get you through the door.

Wednesday

Dirtwire is one of those crossover acts that mixes acoustic and folk instruments and traditions with electronica that were very popular here and abroad among the festival crowds during the last decade. Tonight at 9 p.m. you can revel in that scene at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, where joined by openers Bloomurica, the DW will be playing the kind of jams that will have you dancing with an organic-smelling hottie with a mononym taken from nature, party drugs or both. Fair warning, this gig will likely sell out because, despite the precipitous fall in marijuana prices, there are still somehow a lot of those people floating around and they like to get down. ($25).

Collin Yeo (he/him) hijacked an airplane on Nov. 24, 1971, under the alias "Dan Cooper," and 30 minutes after takeoff parachuted out over southwest Washington with $200,000 in cash. He now lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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