Having grown up in love with the work of Charles Mingus, I am excited for Thursday's show. Which is good news because there hasn't been much else in the world inspiring joy for me lately. I can't imagine that I'm the only one, either.
The lack of pretense surrounding our society's slip into open authoritarianism is about as refreshing as it is terrifying. If I had to pick a blueprint for government that was written by firelight before humans had an understanding of the germ theory of disease I'd pick Plato's Republic rather than the U.S. Constitution, which has aged poorly. The dead and nearly dead have such a power grip on the young and living in this country that I am unironically starting to believe in vampirism. When selling blood becomes a buyer's market you know things are about to get bad. Anyway, we still have good things to distract us and there are more than a few shows this month that I am looking forward to. So, watch this space, dear reader, because I am happy to peddle in distractions and there's a non-zero chance that the ghost of Nero will show up during this upcoming local election cycle to show off his fiddling skills and drop some pointers to a few of the candidates and incumbents. Who knows? Everything bad seems possible.
April 22 would have been the 100th birthday of the great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus, had he not passed away from complications from ALS in 1979. To celebrate the work of this brilliant man, the Cal Poly Jazz Orchestra is putting on a tribute concert at Fulkerson Hall tonight at 8 p.m. The show is only a 10-spot and $5 for children, which is appropriate as one of Mingus' most highly-regarded albums was 1972's Let My Children Hear Music. My favorite cut was the opening number, "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife are Some Jiveass Slippers." They don't name 'em like they used to.
Friday the 13th
It's another one of those spooky days of ill-omens and evil auguries. It's the only one of 2022, so make it count. The only show I found explicitly celebrating the day is over at RampArt at 9 p.m., where a whole lot of bands I have never heard of are filling the bill (kind of rare around here), with names like Not Lewy, Rupunzl, Unsung Rex, Me Spirit, BeninPayne and Ily Jxsh. As it is RampArt, it's probably a safe assumption these acts are punk or metal, although hip hop isn't out of the question. Also as with most RampArt shows, no mention of a cover charge on the posters around town, so bring a few bucks.
Oryan Peterson-Jones will be playing a solo classical guitar set at Septentrio Winery at 6 p.m. This free show will be chock full of O.P-J's trademark sound of outsider American primitivism, so if you like that sort of thing — I sure do — come grab a seat.
Later on at 9 p.m. over at Humbrews, there will be a special graduation edition of Soul Party. Come join the usual suspects — DJ Red, Maxwell, Philly Fresh and Funky T-Rex — as they spin the majestic vinyl goodies that make asses wiggle and cares melt away.
New venue alert! The Thing is a new thing on the Arcata Plaza, specifically at 833 H St. Tonight is its inaugural show, featuring the bellydance-accompanied musical stylings of Hayal, and the Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fusion sound of duo Donya Reeza at 7 p.m. (price TBA). From the sound of things, the people behind this Thing are attempting to create a collective art space of a certain aesthetic caliber. What that is remains anyone's guess but we all love a new thing, don't we, folks? As long as it doesn't resemble John Carpenter's The Thing, I suspect a good night will be had by all.
Denver indie folkster Esmé Patterson is playing the Miniplex tonight at 7:30 p.m. ($14). Formerly from the ensemble act Paper Bird, Patterson has been a solo artist for a full decade now, trading out the more acoustic and banjo-y elements of her former group for a lilting and ethereal electric sound. Opening the evening is ascendant local act The California Poppies, whose sound is a living homage to the blissed-out Kodachrome visions of the '60s heyday of West Coast pop music.
Los Angeles heavy rock power trio Solar Haze is coming to Eureka tonight to blast out the ears of anyone in the Siren's Song. Touring on the sound of last summer's hot EP The Solar Age, this group is a must-see for fans of stoner metal and '70s-influenced hard rock like Blue Cheer and the excellent proto-metal group Budgie. Locals Not Ewe are on the bill, too, at 8 p.m. ($5- $10).
Have you seen the Vine (RIP to that platform) where the guy in the Spider-Man suit, sans mask, says, "It is Wednesday, my dudes," and screams? How about the meme with the picture of the adorable fat frog with a caption of that same quote? No? Congratulations, you are less online than me and therefore undoubtedly happier. Anyway, it is Wednesday, my dudes and dudettes, and you can celebrate the middle of the working week with a cool show at the Miniplex. Anika is a German and British journalist turned singer-songwriter who plays dreamy, electronically tinged pop music that is delicate and haunting. You might have heard her cover of a cover "I Go To Sleep," the Kinks song that was made famous by journalist turned singer Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. Estonian musician and activist Maria Minerva will perform a DJ set as well at 7:30 p.m., ($18, $15 advance).
Collin Yeo (he/him) lives in Arcata, where it is becoming increasingly clear that he dodged a real hot mess by failing to secure a seat on the city council.