Hey there, Humboldt! The question this week, as always, is: why stay home? Yes, I know your home is cozy and delightful (and the weather outside might be frightful! Just kidding — you're in Humboldt! A little rain doesn't bother you), but come on — the reasons to experience live music offerings are plentiful. Opportunity calls. Don't linger. Go.
Thursday: Wild life,dreamy desert
Immediately spooky and catchy, El Radio Fantastique's music has been called everything from junkyard hymns to cabaret grotesque to gypsy soul to New Orleans second line noir. The band's dangerously charming singer, songwriter, dumpster diver and former gravedigger Giovanni DiMorente leads El Radio Fantastique's audience into a world where an old radio possesses and haunts its listeners. You'll find yourself similarly unable to resist moving your body to the night's fantastic sounds. Doors at the Arcata Playhouse open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m., cost is $12 to $20 sliding scale. Proceeds benefit the Environmental Protection Information Center's efforts to protect Northwest California's wildlife and wild places.
The Siren's Song hosts San Francisco's The Desert Line and Eureka's Companion Animal. The latter band's "Tsunami Siren" track is available via Companion Animal's Facebook page and well worth a listen, not only for the fun of relating to the topic, but also for the charming and catchy semi-retro pop factor. The Desert Line delivers a sound more atmospheric, wistful — exquisite. Show starts at 9 p.m., is all ages and free, although tips for the band will be appreciated.
Friday: Ramblin' and draggin'
The No Good Redwood Ramblers certainly are good and, if you haven't yet stomped your feet at one of the band's live gigs, here's yet another chance and a special one. To celebrate the release of the band's new CD, Good Ramblin', the Ramblers are throwing a party at the Logger Bar! Quintessential Humboldt here, folks. Go out and enjoy original, traditional and cover songs in the bluegrass style — for free! Show starts at 8:30 p.m., is 21-and-over, and the very fine Gunsafe opens with some torch country that'll melt your heart. And your face.
Meanwhile, I've been flattered into helping judge The Drag Wars — along with Justin Ladd and the Journal's Jennifer Fumiko Cahill — at Humboldt Brews. The event features all the fun of your regular Where's Queerbill events, plus a serious drag contest (see wheresqueerbill.com for rules). Be prepared to dance to the hot club and house tunes DJ Razorburns will throw down. This party is for those 21-and-over and starts around 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5.
In addition to the good time that is Arts Alive! in Eureka, Arcata has some happenings. At the Jambalaya, Seattle production duo Odesza show off the hit-making skills that sent multiple songs to Hype Machine's "Popular" chart and earned Odesza spots at Sasquatch, Capitol Hill Block Party and the Decibel Fest, among others. Doors at 9:30 p.m., tickets are $10 advance at The Works, People's Records and Wildberries, $12 otherwise, and the show is 21-and-over. D33J and Kodak to Graph round out the bill.
Across the way at the Alibi, Humboldt Free Radio presents the psych rock styling of Humboldt drop-out rockers White Manna along with Cleveland soul punks (and Slovenly Recordings artists) Obnox. That gig happens at 11 p.m. or so, costs $5 and is limited to those 21-and-over.
Monday: Rhythm is gonna get you
Don't let Monday slow you down. Get your party shoes on and head out to the Palm Lounge for Matt Jackson, Pandemonium Jones and the second installment of Whatever Forever, Humboldt's newest dance fever ward. It's free! The booty-shaking begins at 8 p.m. and you have to be 21, etc.
You could also chose to spend your evening with the North Carolina post-wave dance band Future Islands over at Humboldt Brews. Did you see them kill it on Letterman last week? Better get your tickets now. Terse, yet passionate, Future Islands lays synthy melodies overtop a pulsing punk bass and a rather ecstatic sense of rhythm. Joining them is Ed Shrader's Music Beat. Show starts at 9 p.m, is all ages and will run you $10.
Tuesday: Play on words, songs sans instruments
Make note, the cleverly named CunninLynguists land their Strange Universe Tour with J-Live, Sadistik and Nemo Achida at Arcata Theatre Lounge. CunninLyguists is a hip-hop group from Lexington, Ky. and Atlanta, Ga. The trio's name, the press release explains to the dialectally challenged, "is a portmanteau of the words cunning and linguist, and is also a play on the word cunnilingus." Sampling genres from psych-rock to blues, New Romantic to polka, CunninLynguists' resume includes having shared stages with Kanye West and Aesop Rock and crafting songs with international soul superstar Cee-Lo Green. Doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at the door and for those aged 21-and-over.
If you're looking for a different kind of rhythm, maybe the joyful South African a capella sounds of Soweto Gospel Choir will do you. The choir performs in HSU's Van Duzer Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults, $25 children and $10 HSU students.
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 email@example.com