It's the Fourth of July on Thursday and I'll be skipping that day here this week. After all, what could I really suggest for you that would outshine this evening's celebration of bellicosity and fireworks? Nothing. Which is exactly how I feel about this holiday in the age of Mitch McConnell. No push toward a central patriotism or a great love of the national narrative. Just a blank dullness. As long as we remain a nation of bigots and reactionary dipshits at permanent war to preserve the power of a ruling class more evil and bloodthirsty than any monarchy in history, this native son has no love to give on the fourth. I am happy to celebrate the eternal spirit of revolution, however, as well as justice, liberty, humanity and the better angels of our nature, which are all things worth pursuing any day of the year. As I write this there are tanks massing in Washington, D.C., for a parade that will in all likelihood serve less as a paean to our country and fellow citizens and more as a low tribute to the insane Freudian death drive of our worst politicians and the absolutely ugliest form of human expression we know: war. And who are the pundits and leaders who casually mention bombings and invasions like they're talking to the caterers? To a person they are cowards, all of them. From John Bolton to Donald Trump, these people look like they would have to be hospitalized with a nervous breakdown if you popped a balloon behind them. If there is anything worth celebrating, it is the resilience and inventiveness of humanity, with a prayer to the future that we can eventually create a government that won't just hand the reins over to the wealthiest and morally void minority to cull profit out of our mass destruction. That if we work and organize enough, we will eventually get to "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Keep on rockin' in the free world.
FridayFirst, fiddler Rosalind Parducci from local neo-folk trio No Pardon will be playing at Arts and Drafts at 7 p.m. (free). The Siren's Song is hosting an evening of freaky, improvisational folk music tonight at 7 p.m. Andrew Weathers is a solo composer who specializes in developing wild sounds out of acoustic properties, while Blaine Todd deconstructs the nature of a singer/songwriter until the resulting distillation steams in Americana abstraction. Both artists are highly active in the world of production and label running. The local scene will be represented by the transubstantial supergroup Medicine Baul as well as an exercise in American acoustic primitivism provided by Die Geister Beschwören ($5).
It's Arts Alive! in Eureka, which means there will be a great many musicians playing their hearts out within walking distance of one another on this beautiful summer evening. May I recommend a couple of sets? You have another chance to catch Rosalind Parducci at Synapsis at 9 p.m. as she'll be singing a song in the cabaret (donation TBA). The Jim Lahman Band will be rocking it over at Phatsy Kline's an hour later (free). If Eureka's not your scene, have no fear. There are a couple of dance parties happening in other burgs. The Jam is hosting a reoccurring house, dubstep, and drum and bass event called dConstructive tonight at 9:30 p.m. Just $5 will let you inside where you can dance to the sounds generated by Monsieur, Badam and Sudakra. If you like your sounds a little more canned and with a world-beat flavor, the Logger Bar is hosting Culture Clash around the same time. It's a DJ-curated dance-stravaganza with an emphasis on reggae and Afro-beat tunes from the '80s and beyond. And it's freeeeeee.
Our local PBS affiliate station KEET TV is hosting a free songwriting workshop at the Arcata Playhouse today at 10 a.m. Join local pros Jeff DeMark and Jan Bramlett as they walk you through the process of unlocking your own inner musical storyteller, with tips on how to stylishly shape your sentiments into a finished song worthy of an audience.
The Savage Henry Comedy Club is hosting a free recording of its comedy podcast tonight at 7 p.m. If you have ever felt like you wanted to be a part of the exciting world of podcasting but didn't have much to offer content-wise, never fear: You can be immortalized among the stars as a part of that most venerable of institutions, the live studio audience.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania's Mary Wander is a singer/songwriter whose folk-punk songs wander through the streets of love, gender and contemporary politics. Tonight they will be at the Outer Space where they will be joined by the similarly-minded local heroes in Blood Hunny, as well as the truly magical starlight darlings of Wild Abandon at 7 p.m. ($5-$20 sliding scale).
Whomp Whomp Wednesday rolls out at the Jam again. Tonight's show is titled "A Path to Northern Nights" and will feature artists who are sympatico with the cybernetic forest adventure that is coming up fast in a couple of weeks. The doors open at 9:30 p.m., and this evening's curators are Trevor Kelly, Dov1, G.I.R. and Hypha. Admission is $15, $12 if you score advance tickets, which might not be a bad idea because this one can get packed.
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 email@example.com.
Collin Yeo is an American who will never let anyone else define the qualities or value of patriotism for him. He lives in Arcata.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the times and locations of Rosalind Parducci's Friday and Saturday performances.