If you only go to one gig this week, make it the one that matters most: Saturday's Increase the Peace fundraiser. Sparked by the spate of violence that accompanied the new year, Increase the Peace quickly grew from idea to reality as artists, poets, musicians and others sought a way to infuse healing into the community.
Increase the Peace kicks off at the Jambalaya. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner follows at 5:30 p.m., then poetry, spoken word, a silent auction and guest speakers at 6 p.m. Music takes place at both the Jambalaya and Humboldt Brews and features Liquid Kactus, Wownd Humboldt, Farmhouse Odyssey, the Getdown crew with Pete Ciotti, Brian Swizlo and Drew Mohr, The Resonators, Berel Alexander, Splinter Cell, Scuber Mountain, Ashanan, Electric Gravy, Space Biscuit, The Hip Hop Lounge, Mo and Morgan Hollis, Michael Kavanaugh, Ben Allen and more. A $5 to $10 donation is requested — feel free to kick down more — and all proceeds go to the Stop the Violence campaign via the Humboldt Area Foundation.
And now back to our regular (exceptional) programming.
Friday fret frenzy
Many readers are likely fans of the expert guitar work of Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor. Great news for you — they're returning to the Van Duzer Theatre. Tickets'll run you $35 general, $15 HSU students. The fingers get moving around 8 p.m. (For more guitar-specific magic, jump down to Monday, below.)
Friday frenetic frequencies
Hip hop act Zion I celebrates the group's latest effort, Shadowboxing, with a stop at the Arcata Theatre Lounge as part of the Masters Of Ceremony winter tour. The new album contains the anticipated heavy beats as Zion I's past collections — all critically acclaimed — but delivers them in a grittier style, making this one something new. Not only does the title track infect on first listen, but Zion I remains both legit and accessible. To illustrate, Shadowboxing features heavy hitters Bassnectar, Grouch and Eligh, Collie Buddz and Goapele. The group has been voted best Bay Area hip-hop group by the SF Weekly numerous times and received aforementioned tons of love from critics in The Source, Vibe, YRB, 944, Prefixmag.com, Popmatters, 7+7, SF Chronicle and SF Bay Guardian. Even if you think you're a person who doesn't typically enjoy hip-hop, odds are the sharp groove of Zion I will get to you.
Opening for Zion I is Sol, a hip-hop artist from Seattle best known for his understated lyrics, exuberant performances and diverse instrumentation. His album Yours Truly hit #1 on iTunes' U.S. hip-hop chart and he's played the Sasquatch Music Festival.
Doors opens at 9 p.m. tickets are $20 at the door, $17 in advance at Wildberries, People's Records, The Works, the ATL and ATL online, and the show is 21 and over.
Friday folk favorites
Humboldt knows and loves Shook Twins. Now the sisters are touring as Morning Ritual, a new collaboration with Portland-based composer Ben Darwish in support of the project's first effort, The Clear Blue Pearl. The concept album follows a couple suffering in a drought-plagued land (sound familiar?) as they search for a mythical underground aquifer — the "pearl" of the title. While the tracks are as lovely as what we're used to with Shook Twins, Morning Ritual's songs hang on more haunting hooks and tease in tastes of jazz and R&B.
Catch them at Robert Goodman Wines. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m., tickets are $15 and available in advance.
Saturday, a new crush
After uprooting from their Nashville home and full-time jobs in June of 2012, the husband and wife duo You Knew Me When set plans to tour the nation for a full year. They succeeded — and then kept going. I clicked on the first track of YKMW's You, Me and the Rest of the World and promptly forgot I meant to give only a quick listen — thus mesmerized, I was four songs deep before remembering I was supposed to be writing about the music. The songs are just lovely, combining fragile folksy melodies with an elegant, edgier sound. This gig takes place at Redwood Curtain Brewing — good people — and gets going around 8 p.m.
I am no musician. I tell you this because the following show exceeds my ability to translate the brilliance, so I'm going to quote the press release. Here we go: "Four exceptional and diverse acoustic guitarists from Italy, England, Argentina and the U.S. perform at the Arcata Playhouse for International Guitar Night starting at 8 p.m. This year IGN's North American tour features Pino Forastiere, Mike Dawes, Quique Sinesi and Brian Gore."
What we know about Italian guitarist Pino Forastiere is that he "employs a dazzling blend of slapping, tapping, strumming, altered tunings and harmonics, combined with classical phrasing and a focus on distinct and addictive melodies." From England, Mike Dawes is hailed as one of the world's finest young finger-style guitarists and performers. Argentinean Quique Sinesi is considered one of the most important guitarists in Argentina for his personal style. Finally, San Francisco-based guitar poet Brian Gore is gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting and influential performers of "the next generation." Tickets are $20 general, $18 members.
Tuesday traditional twist
Direct from Portland, The Moonshine drops into the Jambalaya for a rootsy evening offering everything from a modernist take on a Carter Family song from the 1920s to an old-timey anti-GMO tune. Think of it as post-Americana. Showtime is advertised at 8 p.m., cover is $5.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.