Back when I was new to the column writing gig, my coworker at the time used to joke that if you didn't have anything to say, just repeat something three times. With that in mind and given the drought of live entertainment options this week, I would like to start this week's column like this:
Music, music, music...
So how about that music? What music, you ask? Yes, it's true that we are experiencing the typical early January lull, but do not despair! The desert is not without its oasis. What's that over there? The sound of rock? Yea, salvation lieth ahead! This is not just any Johnny-come-lately conglomeration of drums, bass, keys and guitar, either. Lord Ellis combines the talents of, respectively, Steve Bohner (The Hitch, Magnum), Roshawn Beere (The Hitch), Andy Sorter (Grimace) and Pablo Midence (Dragged By Horses). You ever find yourself hauling ass on 299, stereo blasting, tires screeching on the turns, cresting the Lord Ellis Summit to discover your brakes are out and all that lies between you and a fiery death is the grinding metal of your gears? I certainly hope not as that would be an incredibly irresponsible way to drive! Don't you know that piloting a two-ton vehicle is privilege deserving of respect and caution? Have you seen the auto crash statistics in these parts?!
The good news is, you don't have to endanger your life and the lives of others to experience the adrenaline rush of a near-death experience among steep, rugged beauty. Lord Ellis will provide the vicarious thrill — for a mere $5 — at the Jambalaya Saturday night.
To tell us a bit more about the rock, drummer Steve Bohner:
NCJ: For the uninitiated, tell me about Lord Ellis's sound and how you arrived there.
SB: Well, I have played drums with Roshawn on and off for 15 years. Andy plays keys and is also a drummer (everyone's a fuckin' drummer these days). Pablo Midence plays guitar and writes the lyrics. One of these dudes usually brings a new song to band practice and we hash the thing out, each adding our own specific style and signature to the music. Once it's in a rough draft, Pablo begins the lyric process.
Might be backwards to some musicians who are more lyrically based, but that's usually how our songs are born. I have no idea who we sound like. Heavy Rock? A mix between Dragged By Horses and The Hitch? We get early Deep Purple sometimes, but I think it's more to do with the fact that we have a keyboard player than anything else. We're having a blast.
NCJ: You all have successful professional lives (I think) — why put all this energy into a band?
SB: Why surf? Why ride motorcycles? Why turn wrenches on hot rods? Why hunt for Bigfoot? I think once you've tried the music elixir it's something that sticks with you the rest of your life. I hope to be playing drums until I'm six feet under. It's hard to explain unless you have some hobby that you look forward to. We're all busy but all work and no play ... well, you know the rest.
We do! So be prepared for a tight and heavy rock 'n' roll onslaught. You'll want to buckle up. Also playing, Portland's hardcore punk group Raw Nerves and Humboldt County moshers Imperial Destructo. Show is 21-and-over.
(Related New Year's Resolution #1: Get brakes checked.)
(Related New Year's Resolution #2: Remember to rock.)
Much as the stupid logo annoyed me, I was sorry to see the Red Fox Tavern close. I also still miss the brief-but-glorious existence of the Eureka Alibi. As of this month, you can, unfortunately, add Nocturnum to that list. The nightclub's calling it quits after nearly five years, which not only removes one of the county's dance party outlets, but brings to an end the monthly Where's Queer Bill LGBTQ events. Saturday night offers a final chance to celebrate, gay or straight, with DJ Razorburns spinning club classics and new jams. Cover's $5, age limit is 21-and-over and the shebang starts at 9 p.m.
(Related New Year's Resolution #1: Send donation to Humboldt Pride — causes.com/humboldtpride.)
(Related New Year's Resolution #2: Remember to dance.)
The waiting is the hardest part
Looking ahead, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Tom Petty and those who don't exist. Fortunately for everyone, Humboldt is home to Full Moon Fever, a band who makes paying tribute to America's most outstanding songwriter ever a worthy and wonderful good time. Oh, sure, it's at the casino, but hey, the hotel's relatively swank, so why not make a date night out of it? Wave Lounge, Friday, Jan. 10, 9 p.m. and free. Also 21-and-over.
Some refreshment for your spirit
Here is what I can tell you about the Thursday, Jan. 9 gig at the Mateel:
"From San Diego, Calif., award-winning reggae group Tribal Seeds have become known for their spiritually driven refreshing rock vibe they have infused with the roots style of reggae music. Tribal Seeds' unmatched musical talent and authentic sound has brought them to the forefront of the reggae rock genre, as their art form has reached people of all ages across the United States and worldwide."
Further, the band has released at least one album "inspired by life experiences, being on tour and the desire to inspire youth to raise their voices and seek a higher consciousness." They have won many awards "in the reggae genre" and shared the stage with artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, Skrillex, MGMT, Cee Lo Green, Jason Mraz, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, Taking Back Sunday, O.A.R., Pretty Lights, Pepper, Collie Buddz, The Wailers, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Gregory Issacs, SOJA, Rebelution and others. Impressive, right? Advance tickets are $20, any remaining at the door are $25. The Mateel opens at 7 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m.
Etc. & a note
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Send your show info and high-res photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: That email addy was out of commission for the past few weeks. I initially thought the lack of emails was due to folks being wrapped up in the holidays, so was slow to realize that it was, in fact, broke. Apologies to everyone who sent emails during that time! Everything's back in working order, however, so please, carry on.