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Love Is 

click to enlarge Hopeless Jack & the Psychedeltics play the Jam at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Photo courtesy of the artists

Hopeless Jack & the Psychedeltics play the Jam at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.

People are complicated creatures with a vast catalog of needs that are often compressed, and therefore barely expressed in the gulf of space between thought and expression. I have considered love a lot over the years, and as someone who tends to translate the world through music and literature, I often get the moment wrong, and appear (sadly, unfortunately) aloof. My favorite poems about love rarely express easy and common romantic themes in contemporary life I am thinking of the unnamed male youth who is a locus point of Shakespeare's undefined affection in Sonnet 112: "You are so strongly in my purpose bred/ that all the world besides methinks is dead." I don't know the specifics of their relationship but I have certainly felt that sentiment in my own way. I can consider Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, in which he suggests that the highest bond between two people is that they protect each other's solitude. That seems pretty spot on and natural. I often think of New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas singing Jeannie Seely and Randy Newman's "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)," where she informs us, "The world may think I'm foolish, they can't see you like I can/ Oh, but anyone who knows what love is, will understand." I've been there, Irma. I might even still have a functioning P.O. Box in that zip code.

Lately, I've been thinking that love is a lot of inexpressible, simpatico desire, hard work, compassion and, most of all, outrageous and terrible humor. That way, I can cast a wide net and love all of my friends in their own unique fashion, while still reserving some of myself for a certain person I'm thinking of in the cold depths of night when the margins run thin and you just want to hold on to somebody special. There, that's the most you're getting out of me. Have a lovely week.

Thursday

It's the opening for A Night of Commedia over at Dell'Arte's Carlo Theatre at 8 p.m. ($10). This show is billed as a bawdy mix of physical comedy that is drenched with timeless themes from the human experience: love, food, power and farting. The show is rated for adults only, so bear that in mind.

Friday

Well, it looks like the Stick Men show over at the Arcata Playhouse is sold out, so I am going to suggest three alternatives for your Arts Arcata evening. Over at the EXIT Theatre, you will find a free show by jazz saxophonist Stan Fleming Jr., and if you stick around until 8 p.m. and pony up $20, you can enjoy the Diva Burlesque Arcata show, curated by Spooky Spice, who is no relation to the UK Spice Girls. Meanwhile at the same time over at the Miniplex, Chi-Town's space rock psyche masters Bitchin' Bajas will be jamming with support by Winter Band, helmed by Ben Chasney of Six Organs of Admittance fame (to this day one of the noisier basement shows I remember from my NYC days). Local sound-grinders Drip Torch open ($20, $15 advance).

Saturday

Hopeless Jack & the Psychedeltics are a Portland band helmed by a guy named Jack who likes his blues loud and trippy. San Diego's oddball duo Moxi & Loon will pad out the bill nicely at the Jam at 8 p.m. ($7). If you stick around until 11:30 p.m. and hand over an extra $5, you can enjoy a dancehall and reggae set by Benj & DJ Sarge OneWise. If you would like to see some other DJs roll out the dance wax with another familiar groove, come celebrate the return of Soul Night at Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($10). This pre-Valentine workout will likely have all the romantic gems needed for the loved and loveless alike.

Super Bowl Sunday

I don't know what to tell you; this is America's biggest sports holiday and, whether we like it or not, we all live within its considerable gravitational pull. If you don't enjoy that fact, just do yourself a favor and don't be one of those people who brags about not knowing anything about the "sports ball" event or how you don't own a TV. It's OK to just shut up about things, sometimes. Have some dignity. For the rest of us, eat trash and watch the spectacle.

Monday

Weird electronic show alert. Hudson Glover, aka Huddy Glo, is an artist who I have reviewed here before, and one whose music is dense, danceable and complex, full of Bill Evans-styled block chords and minimal disco beats. A true auteur in an emerging world of old and new sounds. Chini has also graced these pages as a noisemaker par excellence I have foolishly attempted to rein in a bit with my words. Pregnant is an act about which I know nothing but am happy to learn. All three can be enjoyed at the Miniplex tonight at 8 p.m. I am unsure of the cover, so bring a few small bills.

Tuesday, Valentine's Day

If you are one of those lucky ducks with a sweetie and an attendant treacly sense of romance, I suspect you don't need any advice from me on what you get up to tonight. For the rest of you, here are a couple options, the former being a little more vanilla. Young & Lovely will be performing a free one at Old Growth Cellars at 6:30 p.m. Expect jazz standards sung for the lonely and attached alike from the Great American Songbook. Half an hour later at the Logger Bar, $5 will get you in the door for a queer-friendly, historically risqué dance party curated by Trinidaddies and DJs Anya and Satanica. If I were on the market for sexy fun and ephemera (and I am not), I'd swerve into the skid and shake it up in Blue Lake.

Wednesday

It's yet another sci-fi night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, but because we're so close to the love holiday, the management is playing a rom-com I hated as a kid: Earth Girls Are Easy. I'd much rather watch the superior Jeff Goldblum/Geena Davis vehicle, David Cronenberg's The Fly. So go if you like, and maybe even prove me wrong (there's no accounting for the tastes of a weirdo '80s kid). I'm going to instead recommend the Logger Bar's karaoke night with KJ Dustin at 7 p.m. (free).

Collin Yeo (he/him) would like to extend his condolences to the family of the Chinese Spy Balloon, which intentionally crashed itself after seeing firsthand the poor state of American infrastructure. He lives in Arcata, where they still haven’t figured out basic housing.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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