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The Best of the Rest 

click to enlarge Control Voltage (aka CV) plays Synapsis at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6.

Photo courtesy of the artists

Control Voltage (aka CV) plays Synapsis at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6.

A quick congratulations are in order for everyone and everywhere that won a coveted Best of Humboldt award in this issue. We are all of us winners for getting to live in a place as packed with the sort of folks who make up our artistic population. Keep it up, please. I did want to take a moment to throw out a quick thumbs up to a few of our less tangible experiences, though, in the pursuit of an esoteric, solipsistic round-up of some of the stuff that I enjoy around these parts. I would like to start with weird houses. Thanks to a loose attitude towards home decor and a happy dearth of severe HOA culture in most parts of our county, I'd like to give a shout out to those of you who paint your homes in bizarre color schemes, keep up seasonal — particularly Halloween — decorations up year round and generally do what it takes to make your home "that house" on the block.

Next up, and this was a tough one with steep competition, I'd like to award the area from the Millyard to Almquist Lumber in North Arcata as having the best summer scent of the river without an attendant view. As a journeyman carpenter and handyman, I can't tell you how many times I've been shopping for materials when I catch a whiff of running water and riparian vegetation, and immediately think about leaving everything behind to hurl myself into the water for a nice swim.

I'm going to have to also give a shoutout to the area around St. Mary's and Greenwood cemeteries as 2023's best cat neighborhood. There are so many of those whimsical little furballs lazing around the place, it's always a treat to stroll through and dispense a few pettings. McKinleyville's dump is by far my favorite destination for dispensing of waste, both household and work generated. The bucolic setting, double-barreled weigh stations and Zen garden-like layout always puts my brain back into the calm space of simple being.

Out of selfishnes, I won't be sharing my favorite blackberry picking spot, nor my favorite beach, birdwatching spot or hiking trail. I will, however, share in the pleasure of knowing that you all know the protective feeling of possessiveness that comes with recalling these spots.

Have fun, now.

Thursday

The summer concert experience at the Fieldbrook Winery drifts on tonight at 5:30 p.m. with Grateful Dead tribute band Dead On providing free entertainment for those who have made table reservations.

Friday

The Miniplex presents the return of one-of-a-kind cosmic puppeteer, musical act and alumnus of Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, David Liebe Hart. I can't do much justice to the man that Googling his clips won't do better, so all you need to know is that the show is 8 p.m., the opening act is DJ 0.000001, aka nyege nyege, and tickets are $15, $10 advance.

Saturday

I have two festivals to recommend today, each on either end of our county's share of the 101. First up on the northside at 3 p.m., RampArt Skate Park is home to Bushfest, a metal-palooza full of shredders and screamers, priced at a very reasonable $20 for 13 bands, $15 if you get an early-bird ticket. A few among the line-up include The Sturgeons, Wastewalker, Racket, No Living Witness, Bloodspire and, of course, the hosts Greybush.

An hour later down Redway way at the Mateel, you will find a celebration of the once-massive Reggae on the River, now called Reggae Legacy and scaled for one day of good jams. The headliner is BLVK H3RO, a young Jamaican singer whose resumé of collaborations is full of top-notch global talent like UB40 and the late Bunny Wailer. Also on deck is the Brooklyn crew Subatomic Sound System, who provided backing band tour support for icon Lee "Scratch" Perry when the master was still inhabiting this earthly realm. The group will be performing a memorial set of the man's work ($35, $30 advance).

Sunday

Another two-fer recommendation, this time in Eureka. At 2 p.m. at the Shanty, you will find a free matinee gig of two of the rompingest, stompin'-est, mightiest pub rock punk bands in the 707, when The Bow-Legged Buzzards join forces with the boys in The Smashed Glass to blow the lid off the patio. If you still have gas in the tank by 8 p.m., head over to Synapsis on Union to enjoy a nice mix of ad hoc, DIY musical theater and sci-fi tales, courtesy of returning champs Faun Fables and local starlets Control Voltage (aka CV), both of which are returning from an appearance at Oregon's Lunasa Cascadia festival. This pairing of Drag City Records folk darlings with our own spacey trippers is certain to be a fine match for the elegantly styled interiors of Synapsis' new-ish home ($13, $10 advance).

Monday

Here's a night of punk in various forms from straight-up to folksy going down at the Siren's Song Tavern. Local distortion-mongers Dead Drift are hosting a show that includes Connecticut-based folk punker David Coffey Taylor and Irish-flavored local rippers Wyld Banshee Whispers. Just $10 gets you all three bands and everything kicks off at 8 p.m.

Tuesday

What was at a time thought to be a once-off flight of fancy has now become a recurring 2023 motif over at Savage Henry Comedy Club. I am, of course, referring to the Open Mark, a diverse open mic event hosted by — who else — comedian Mark Sanders. Participants are encouraged to show up with jokes, music and anything in between as a means of public expression. This 9 p.m. event is free at the door, so just bring your material and an I.D. if you intend to drink.

Wednesday

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. Or rather, a midsummer Wednesday in Humco with a soft breeze blowing through the places where there are usually bookings. Either way, local rules and customs supersede all other laws and there's nothing we can do to change that, Mr. Gittes. We'll just have to pack up and call it a night.

Collin Yeo (he/him) would like to offer a deep RIP to Pee Wee and Sinéad. Nothing compares to either of you, nor will anyone ever. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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