I write this column early on a Monday morning, Outside Lands Festival grit still embedded in the blisters decorating my feet thanks to a misguided shoe decision. The smell of smoke lingers in my hair from the drive home through Willits and Laytonville, where the Lodge Fire continues to dominate. My contacts need to be taken out — the dust kicked up from crossing through Hellman's Hollow with thousands of other people needs to be rinsed away. I'm tired. Despite all this, I'm not unhappy. And I'm more in love with music than ever. Not only did 35 years of loving Tom Petty's music finally culminate in hearing the man play "American Girl" live, but my appreciation of The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys proved accurate, and I discovered Local Natives puts on a hell of a show. Music might not define my life quite as much as it did during adolescence — scientifically, that's a unique time for how your brain and music interact — but I can still find myself forgetting anything else exists when a band I love bursts out with a song I love, even if it's a song I don't know I love yet. Maybe especially if it's a song I don't know I love yet. In any case, fellow music lovers, you get it. And I hope you go out this week and feel the same. Onward.
Thursday: Eagles, Bats, Italian goth
Starting at 6 p.m., you've got your Boys of Summer Eagles tribute band, part of the Eureka Summer Concert Series happening at the C Street Market Square. It's free!
Then at 7 p.m., this week's Italian-bands-in-Humboldt experience begins with The Spiritual Bat, a goth-rock band from Frosinone, Italy, at the Ink Annex. Joining them, Portland's psychedelic doom act, Megaton Leviathan, plus local industrialites IDTAL and deathrockers The Disaffectionate. Please note, the Placebo, host of this evening's event, says to watch for poster prints of the flyer on black paper with purple ink and also says the person who brings out the most people will win a much coveted, one-of-a-kind Siouxsie and the Banshees T-shirt from the Tinderbox years. This show is all-ages, $8 general/$6 members. No drugs, no alcohol.
Around the corner, in another all-ages moment, The Works hosts dark hardcore from Portland in the form of Raw Nerves, plus heavy instrumental rockers Fort Dick, both for a $5 cover. Music starts at 9 p.m.
Your all-ages options are further expanded with SF-based, seven-piece electronic hip-hop jazz fusion band The Seshen, playing at the Siren's Song along with producers ONHELL and Taeo. Expect beat-driven compositions with a strong emotional core, along with West African R&B influences. Starts at 9 p.m., $5.
Finally, in Arcata, power-folk-trio The Mostest provides extemporaneous jamming and guitar-driven rock at the Jambalaya. Show is 21-and-over, starts at 9 p.m. and has a $5 cover at the door.
Friday: Jams, Punks, Finncore
If you want to get out of town — end-of-summer fling? — the Trinity River Jamboree offers three days of music with more than 35 bands, plus a Silent Disco Dance DJ Party and tons of other festival fun. See www.trinityjam.com for the full line-up and all the info you could want.
Speaking of not-Humboldt, a couple bands have come all the way from Finland to play at the Placebo's Ink Annex. You've got post-punk Kuudes Silma with hardcore Maailmanloppu, plus Washington's punk Kohosh and the venerable Shit Rag. This show is all-ages, $8 general/$6 members. No drugs, no alcohol.
From not quite as far away, Milwaukee's S.S. Web offers folk punk and Seattle's Ando Ehlers some death polka, with locals The Smashed Glass delivering speedy Irish folk, all at the Jambalaya starting at 9 p.m. Cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.
If you're in McKinleyville and you like to go out, you'll probably be at Six Rivers Brewery anyway, so please know local faves Kingfoot will be there to entertain you starting around 9 p.m. No cover, but you'll probably need to buy a beer or some wings.
Saturday: Washingtonians rip
Cruising down from Olympia, Arc Ov Light gets all dark wavy with a hook at the Alibi. Humboldt psych trippers White Manna round out the bill. Cover's $5, show's 21-plus, start time is 11 p.m. or thereabouts.
Sunday: Bay Stater sings, soars
Former Arcata singer-songwriter Carrie Ferguson is currently based in Northampton, Mass., but comes home as part of her tour supporting new album The List of Whales, notable for its charm, wit and elevating melodies. Find her at the Fieldbrook Winery at 4 p.m. Free.
Tuesday: Young punks go West, Italians go Irish
More or less representing the left side of the United States and definitely represent the current climate of punk rock, CV (general Northwesterners), Heartless Folk (Berkeley), Machine Gun Vendetta (Reno) and the wonderfully named Velcro Mullets (Humboldt) keep the genre alive at the Ink Annex starting at 7 p.m. Cover is $7 general/$5 Placebo members, all ages, no drugs/booze.
And now we come to the second Italian band to come through Humboldt this week — Dirty Artichokes, who, somewhat unexpectedly, play Irish folk punk. See what this translates to at the Jambalaya, 10 p.m., $5, 21-and-over.
Wednesday: Seattlites entice
This Seattle band, Low Hums, is the kind of band that will stop in Humboldt a few times, play for probably nowhere enough people, and then will be playing the Twin Peaks stage, late afternoon, at Outside Lands next year. They've already been on killer Seattle radio station KEXP and played a number of fests in the Pacific Northwest. If you go to this show, you'll be one of the I-saw-them-when crowd. If you don't, you'll have to figure out how to live with the coulda-shoulda regret. Don't say I didn't warn you. Dreamy in both a good way and in a sometimes unsettling one, with a fair amount of rock. The Siren's Song is a perfect small venue. Let yourself be lured in. Also playing, White Manna, The Fairy Rings and the fabulous Nipplepotamus. All-ages, 9 p.m., free.
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.