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Zero the Hero 

click to enlarge Scout Gillett plays Outer Space at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28. Photo by Chelsea Palatucci,


Scout Gillett plays Outer Space at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28. Photo by Chelsea Palatucci,

As far as humiliation rituals go, another debate between two of the oldest and worst men to ever run for president (with four more years of decrepitude stacked on since their previous showdown) seems like something beneath the dignity of most people I know. When Alexis de Tocqueville gave his speech on socialism — he wasn't a fan — in the wake of the 1848 fall of the July Monarchy and the beginning of the Second French Republic, he praised America and its democracy, while warning that France was "sitting on a volcano" when it came to unease and revolution.

A lot can change in nearly two centuries but two things are pretty clear on the eve of America's 248th birthday: We are not currently any clear-thinking person's model of an ideal representative democracy and there is no danger of any volcanic momentum of change coming to fix that. If entropy had a governing political system guiding it towards an inert breakdown, ours would be a perfect candidate. And you know what? There's freedom there. Not the mythical freedom of our nation's foundation, but a freedom in knowing that we really don't have to debate this, care about it on a national level, or watch two evil, ancient morons yell in near-coherence over each other about the virtues and failures of their respective management techniques. You don't have to argue with your friends and neighbors, or even anyone, about any of this, because it is all so unbelievably stupid. We are truly, finally free.

Especially here in Humboldt, where the electoral college has already made November's choice for us and, even if there were a primary, our Congressman would, as he did in 2020, endorse someone other than who we preferred according to the numbers. We are free to live untethered by any consideration of representation or political culpability, and we can fill our minds with thoughts of greater things. Embrace it, celebrate it and shine on in the absurd glory of your own yearning destiny.

Have a beautiful week.


Longtime Logger Bar regular Kaptain Kirk is providing the musical entertainment at that fine establishment tonight at 8 p.m. I think I've walked in on a past performance or two, but my mind isn't what it used to be, so the only notes I have are free-associative: "cosmic," "trippy fun" and, most importantly, "free," in both spirit and the monetary sense.


I'll toss out three all-ages gigs from McKinleyville to Eureka (in order of time) and you can decide which ones warrant further examinations. At 5 p.m. at Six Rivers Brewery, Oryan Peterson-Jones plays a free set of his world-traveling inspired guitar picking. Two hours later at 7 p.m. at the Outer Space, you will find an indie music set featuring Brooklyn's Scout Gillett as well as local players Blood Hunny and Spider Fight ($5-$420) sliding scale, but NOTAFLOF).

An hour later at 8 p.m. at Siren's Song Tavern in Eureka, touring Rockabilly act The Rocketz are back in at it again, with rockerz Dead Drift representing the local sonic pyrotechnics guild ($10). Saturday

Summer means festival season and although I've been a little lax about reporting on all of the grouped-up goings on around here, I can't miss reporting on this metalworks happening at the Mateel today. The Nor-Cal Headbanger's Ball will feature 13 bands from the Bay Area and above. Rather than list the entire lineup, I'll give you a taste of the local flavor, which includes: Bloodspire, Malicious Algorithm, Locust Furnace, Echoes of Ruination and Sadistic Hallucinations. This all-ages mini-fest boasts a 1 p.m. start time and is being put on through the efforts of Austin Spence from Willits' Embryonic Devourment, who wants you to know that there will be food vendors, alcohol for sale for those of legal age and a light show during the times of savage riffage. The $25 fee seems like a steal to me for a marathon of crucial amperage.


The Fieldbrook Winery continues its Sunday summer concert series at 2 p.m. today. This afternoon's talent is the Claire Bent Jazz Quintet and no door cover means you have pocket change to spare for refreshments in the pastoral vintner's setting.


Another relatively quiet night here in our remote coastal outpost, which means I'm going to plot out another quick pitch to celebrate the music of a lost musician from last year. Tonight's artist is Brian McBride, one-half of influential Austin, Texas, duo Stars of the Lid, whose musical output starting in the early '90s created a new blueprint for countless post-rock, drone, and ambient groups to follow. Beyond the world of live music, Stars of the Lid influenced the direction of film scores, art installations and the soundtrack of creative life in general in the early years of the 21st century. By the time the duo released its acclaimed double album And Their Refinement of the Decline in 2007, they were already sitting on a decade and a half of game changing sonic architecture. So although it's quite sad he passed at only 53, McBride's life can be celebrated by more good music than most artists create with decades more time. Cop a listen outside on a warm night with a field of stars overhead and you'll see what I mean.


It's Taco Tuesday again at Richards' Goat and the connected Miniplex venue is putting on a NOTAFLOF show headlined by Eugene-to-San Francisco queer honky tonk band Country Risqué, whose tunes sound like the late Gram Parsons MC-ing a drag show set in the world of Robert Altman's Nashville. Also on board with these Grievous Angels are local heroes Lxs Perdidxs ($10-$15 if you feel so inclined).


As it is the day before our nation's version of a birthday/official display of supreme loyalty, it seems like as good a time as any to enjoy a work of complete fiction, specifically about America warding off, rather than creating, a dire existential threat to our species and the world at large. I am talking about the 1996 flick Independence Day, which is screening at the Arcata Theatre Lounge tonight at 6 p.m. Just $6 gets you in the door, $10 gets the same but lets you leave with a poster. And the movie really isn't bad — it's good, dumb fun, which seems fitting given how unimaginably bad everything else is nowadays.

Collin Yeo (he/him) saw a screaming crew of crows over the Mad River last week whose cawing dispatches had more coherence than our state's housing policies. He lives in Arcata.

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Collin Yeo

Collin Yeo

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