I have what I am telling myself is a slight cold. Maybe it has something to do with my multi-generational associates: My friend's absurdly cute baby seemed a little snottier than usual when I picked her up the other day and I will tell you that nothing is more likely to Trojan Horse disease into my life than a sweet little being who absolutely will not hear "no" on the subject of being picked up and held. I'm a sucker for it through and through.
Or it was the helmets and armor I tried on at the Medieval Festival of Courage on Sunday, some of it still wet from the melee sweat of the fighters. I know it sounds gross, largely because it is, but in my defense I was drinking beer in the hot sun and my mind wasn't entirely my own. Or maybe it's just one of the many bugs that runs through the herd a few times a year taking names and slapping asses. Any which way, I'm a little unwell, feeling grody, but I'm bouncing back by the hour. And I will be at some of the shows this week — that counts as both a threat and a promise. I suggest you build up your immunity and do so, too. Because nobody is really sick on the dance floor.
Go get it.
Dobroist Abbie Gardner returns to Humboldt County to play the Arcata Playhouse tonight at 8 p.m. ($18). Known for her work with folk trio Red Molly, Gardner is mostly playing solo these days, showcasing just how well her impressive playing on that mutant guitar dovetails with her sweet and warbling vocals.
Rapper, animator, voice actor and hip-hop-nerd-culture avatar MC Chris rolls back into town tonight to slay the crowds at the Miniplex while spitting hot fire about all the things that your cousin who learned coding in elementary school in the late '90s is super passionate about. You might know him as a rapper but to me he will be forever immortalized as the demonic diapered spider who tried to ensnare the naive youth of the '00s with his pyramid schemes under the guise of his reincarnating catspaw, MC Pee-Pants on the Adult Swim Show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Note: I have constructed that description with the aim to baffle the uninitiated with what appears to be gibberish, while infuriating the true fans by getting the exact character's details slightly wrong. I do this as a nod to the infernal beings incumbent in pop culture, for instance, MC Pee Pants himself. Anyway, Lex the Lexicon Artist and Schäffer the Darklord also pad out this groovy bill at 9:30 p.m. ($25, $20 advance).
Humboldt's weirdest trio of genuine mutant talent-hounds Strix Vega plays a free one at the Logger Bar tonight at 9:30 p.m. Joining forces to fuse this show into a truly glorious bill is the graveyard-and-gallows fiddlestick reels of local bone-daddies Bow-Legged Buzzards. I wouldn't suggest missing this one.
But if you do, perhaps consider visiting the Alibi an hour later for the Humboldt Council for the Blind's fundraiser starring Eureka's Former Chimps, Relapse Queen from Santa Cruz, our own dear and talented Peggy Martinez and two mystery comedians. My intuition tells me that Rosencranz and Guildenstern aren't dead — it's October so expect more spooky shit from me until at least after All Souls Day ($6).
Last time they were booked in town, the exquisite depression-folk duo The Lowest Pair unfortunately had to cancel. Hopefully that will not be the case this evening at 8 p.m. and the good people at The Sanctuary will not be deprived of the music of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee ($10-$25).
The Bulgarian folk ensemble Bulgarika is offering a song workshop at the Sanctuary today at 7 p.m. This comes ahead of the group's show at Synapse on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Come bring an instrument or just simply your voice. Legend has it that there will even be instruments available to borrow for the duration. Donations appreciated.
Synth-sourced doom clouds come a drooling out of the speakers at any show headed by Maryland's Curse. Adding to the dark sounds at the Outer Space tonight is the returning digital goth duo from Oakland Silence in the Snow. Local spazzoid Firstwife gets a taste along with KMRO, aka Karma Means Revolutionary Overthrow, which I am told is a fine collective of agit-prop metal. Come find out for yourself at 7 p.m. ($6 sliding scale).
My, oh my, are we all a lucky bunch tonight. Why, you ask? Because Chicago's Zigtebra, the synth dance duo that transcends all sound forms like sweat rolling off a technicolor skintight spacesuit at Mach 5, is returning to our humble home to backspin the bolts from the girders. Siren's Song is the place where it's all happening and 8 p.m. is the time. The indomitable Blood Hunny also plays and the price? Why the price is a mere $5 for a show worth more than diamonds.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Yeo prefers he/him and invites the public to share with him all of their folk remedies for the common cold. Provided, of course, that those remedies include a hearty intoxicant. He lives in Arcata.