From The Hum: All You Wanted to Know About String Thing 5 But Were Afraid to Ask

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Well, there went summer, Humboldt! And now we turn to fall, heralded by the rain’s return, balmy south winds quickening the pulse and the twang of stringed instruments calling to you like sirens to Odysseus’ sailors. Yes, it’s that time again. Time for String Thing 5, happening Friday night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge.

Here to tell you about ST5 is event inventor Ryan Roberts, best known for being one-fifth of Absynth Quintet (and four-fifths smartass wit).

NCJ: Why String Thing 5?
RR: This is one of those odd questions that music journalists think are so funny to ask. They are not. Instead of answering it, I will ask myself a more relevant question.

RR: After five years of doing the String Thing, what have you learned about the world of music production?
RR: Glad you asked! When we first started this, we had no idea what it would take to line up bands, schedule the night, take care of riders, insurance — it was a little bit of a learning curve! What I hoped to get out of it was some insight into how the other side of the business worked, the booking, the show production, the ticketing promotion side. And it really has done that — it has made the AQ a more professional band because we know what to expect and what should be expected from us when dealing with some of these bigger festivals and acts.
Also I think we can bring an artist’s perceptive to the promotion/production side of things and hopefully do some of the things for the artists and audience that we know sets the table for a enjoyable evening.

NCJ: Why should AQ fans come out to see this show if they've already seen you guys 100 times?
RR: Really, have they? I doubt that. What you’re asking, I think, is why go see us? Well, we practiced, that’s always a plus. Second, we’re playing all the material off our forthcoming album, which you can't hear anywhere else. We’re in love with the material and it’s incredibly fun to play. If you’re into what we do, it's worth checking out. Plus we will play last, so if you’re not into what we do, you can come to the show, see all these great artists and still be home in time to watch Matlock.

NCJ: Do you ever get tired of your fans being so, so drunk? Asking for a friend.
RR: Never underestimate your audience.

DirtFloorBand.jpg
Dirt Floor Band

NCJ: What should people know about the other bands on the bill?
RR: Well, The Dirt Floor Band brings the “throw down” from Mendocino and always get the crowd stomping those snakes. Lyndsey Battle, with Cory Goldman and Brian Hennesy, just put out an amazing album that really shows what kind of talent we have here in Humboldt ... Caitlin Jemma and Our Weight in Gold are going to bring lovely vocals and good down-home country feeling to the night to get us all in the right mood for love ... And Chris Parreira, local troubadour, has a special line-up of guests for the “also a stage” stage.

NCJ: Where's AQ headed?
RR: I really have no idea. Every time I think I know where we are headed, it changes direction. I have never been right in the past and there is no indication that will change anytime soon. So, hopefully somewhere good, hopefully somewhere together. I know for sure we are headed somewhere, or maybe not.

Doors for String Thing 5 open at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 at the door with advanced tickets available at Wildwood Music, Wildberries and the ATL Box Office. The show is 21-and-over.

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