We should be having some relatively warm — yet sane — weather here on the coast this weekend, which is good for any of you festival goers, but if that's not enough for you, head over to Blue Lake, where it will be a few degrees warmer. Local blues band the Lost Dogs are on around 6 p.m. and playing for free. In Arcata, Humboldt's favorite Beatles tribute band Silver Hammer makes a rare appearance at Humboldt Brews. Hey, Humboldt State University students, haven't seen this band yet? Check 'em out tonight — you'll recognize more songs than you imagined. They'll be on around 9:30 p.m. and are only asking for $5 to get in for this show. While you're sleeping through your morning class, you'll be glad you caught these local heroes.
Today kicks off the recurring annual Beast Please Be Still festival which runs today and tomorrow. Put on by former local Datura Blues member Oryan Peterson-Jones, you've got some experimental and mind-expanding music at multiple venues today and tomorrow. Things start off early today at Northtown Coffee at 4 p.m. with Oakland musician Vinnie Byrne along with Eva L'izard and Crowey from Portland. This kickoff of the BPBS festival is free and falls into the experimental folk genre of sorts. Pre-experimental/post-troubadour Chuck Mayville returns to Gallagher's in Old Town Eureka at 6 p.m. Chuck's a good sport and puts up with me encouraging readers to request songs from bands he can't stand. Such a good sport that I'll keep it up. Tip Chuck and ask him to play "Escape" by Rupert Holmes. Around the same time, Cadillac Ranch is playing at the Mad River Brewery Tap Room in sunny Blue Lake, also for free. At 7 p.m. the BPBS festival continues at Blondie's in Arcata with some classic rock and '80s covers courtesy of The Gritty Kitties and The Twisted Lickas. It's a free show but never feel embarrassed to leave a tip for the band. The festival has its last show of the night at The Miniplex starting at 9 p.m. with returning festival artists Die Geister Beschwören joined by Ghoulhand and Deep Dark Light. If I remember correctly, all three of these bands played last year's festival. Just $5 gets you in the door for these "darkwave, ambient, soundscapes." TroyBoi returns to the Arcata Theatre Lounge tonight after his recent sold-out performance. He's joined by Slumberjack for a night of heavy beats that'll get you moving. Show starts around 9:30 p.m. and with a $25 ticket price.
It's Day One of the North Country Fair happening in and around the Arcata Plaza so go soak up the sun and the sound of talented local musicians playing throughout the day. Local acoustic trio For Folk's Sake — who have one of the better band names — are up at the Mad River Brewery at 6 p.m. for a free show. The BPBS festival wraps up tonight with the seventh annual Production of (recurring) Dreams. Now here's the skinny for what happens here. Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, which is comprised of eight short bits, plays while eight bands perform, improvising music to go along with what you (and they) are seeing. It's a cool concept and has gone off well the past few years. Here's the lineup: Opossum Sun Trail performing "Sunshine Through The Rain;" Five Minutes Alone performing "The Peach Orchard;" Ghoulhand performing "The Blizzard;" Die Geister Beschwören performing "The Tunnel;" The Gritty Kitties performing "Crows;" Kit Lamb performing "Mount Fuji In Red;" Deep Dark Light performing "The Weeping Demon;" and Crowey with "Village Of The Watermills." This is all happening at the Sanctuary in Arcata at 7 p.m. for $12. Kingfoot and Absynth Quartet are keeping the fair groove going at Humboldt Brews at 9 p.m., and $5 gets you into this continuing party. There's a big show tonight in the Sapphire Palace in the Blue Lake Casino with legendary reggae artists The Wailers, who are stopping by for a 9 p.m. show. Only $25 gets you up close and personal with one of the world's most well-loved reggae acts. At the same time and just across the casino, local Dead tribute The Miracle Show are hoping you'll linger around the Wave Lounge during Wailer set breaks to get some of their goodness. They're playing for free and it's right by the bar, so make yourself comfortable. Car's got a boot on it? Out of gas but love The Dead? Stay in Arcata and walk over to The Jam to hear another local Dead band called Rosewater starting around 10 p.m. I'm pretty sure there's a $10 cover charge for this one and I believe I also heard that there's a special guest to be announced.
It's Day Two of the North Country Fair so do that. Local favorites Michael Franti & Spearhead return to Humboldt tonight to perform at the Van Duzer Theater up on HSU's campus at 8 p.m. On their Love Out Loud Tour, expect the usual positivity, hopeful optimism and socio-political calls for togetherness. Tickets are $66 but let's hope there's a discount for HSU students.
Sedona, Arizona-based singer-songwriter Brandon Decker comes to Arcata with his band decker (I believe the "d" is supposed to be lowercase) to rock the stage at The Jam. The band just recently release its latest album Into the Red, so they're on the road and supporting the album across the states. It's got roots rock, folk rock and a bit of psychedelia thrown in for good measure, and after listening to a few songs I got vague sonic whiffs of a shadow that might linger around a sober Clay Smith and Adam Stephens of Two Gallants. No word on the time or the price of this show, but I was impressed by the music, so if the ticket's under let's say $66, I'll call this one a deal. Show time is probably around 9 p.m. or so.
More legends from the reggae world are in town this week. Black Uhuru returns to the North Coast and this time at Humboldt Brews. You'll want to grab a $25 ticket before they sell out. Local band Irie Rockers start out this 10 p.m. show.
Those of you out in the Cream City have a treat tonight courtesy of Inscrutable Rabbit, playing at the Victorian Inn at 7 p.m. tonight. It's a guitar/mandolin duo comprised of local wavelength rider and mystery of a man Jeff DeMark and stringed-truth teller Marc Jeffares. Pay attention to their shadows and don't underestimate them. Free show.
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.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Album of the Week Show on KWPT 100.3 FM Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
Never underestimate a rabbit in a lawn coat.