As an ad hoc cultural ambassador to the region and self-professed "music bozo," I'd like to humbly welcome the assorted students of the area back to the academic grind. I won't waste your time with a bunch of flutey language and annoying BS; I will instead direct your no doubt divided attentions to this big fat week of homecoming sounds. After a fairly spartan offseason, this session's chalkboard is so packed full of options that I had to eschew a few. I cut out David Crosby, for Pete's sake. Fine, he's at the Van Duzer on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. ($67, $26 students, $217/$567 VIP).
Anyway, have a blast.
The Handshakers, a band for which I enjoy a fondness, will be playing two sets at Wrangletown Cider this evening beginning at 5 p.m. The show is free, there will be excellent local ciders and wines for sale, and I am told a food truck will be in the vicinity. What more simple pleasures could a body desire?
Seratones is Shreveport, Louisiana's heaviest soul band and a fine contender for the most blissed out gospel rock band in America. Tonight at 8 p.m. the 'tones play a gig at the Arcata Playhouse, which is free for Humboldt State University students and a mere $10 for the rest of us civilians and punters. DJ Funky T-Rex provides crowd-warming vibes.
An hour and a half later at Humbrews there's a new iteration of roots music happening, when Texas wunderkind Vincent Neil Emerson teams up with California's own Jesse Daniel for an evening celebrating the eternal fading beauty of vintage country music songwriting. These boys are originals who walk the line of the greats. ($15, $12 advance).
At the same hour at the Jam, you will find the doors opening for a variety show of grooves as Who Is She Productions presents Mix Tape Vol. 7. ($5). Tonight's line-up includes live hip hop by Little Kid Lost and old school, funk, jungle and DnB spun by Chill Will, BOA, Cassidy Blaze and Rufkraft. Booyakasha.
The busy weekend continues with three shows for the taste spectrum of the masses. The Outer Space has a very hot lineup tonight at 7 p.m. with France-by-way-of Los Angeles electronica artist Lola Jean brings her act Death Hags to town for a night of danceable art grind. Local support will be provided by tonal beepers comma comma and everyone's favorite brilliant post-punk, synth-riding buttheads CV. This is going to be a good show and you will feel bad if you miss it ($6-$20 sliding scale).
An hour later at Siren's Song, you will find Sansfü, aka Absynth Trio instead of Quartet, with extra special guest singer Beverly Twist from Belles of the Levee and multi-instrumentalist Britt Smith. Expect a night of vaporous torch music (free).
And finally, tonight at 11 p.m. at the Alibi you can enjoy the local Neil Young tribute act Shakey, featuring Pete Ciotti and friends. There'll be two sets of music from the master's songbook so lean back and enjoy, for the night is long ($5).
Saxophonist and open mic emcee Don Baraka celebrates his 76th birthday and his retirement from the music scene. Come celebrate this bittersweet musical milestone today at Blondies starting at 2:30 p.m. with a series of videos and recordings from the man himself showcasing his six-decade career (free).
Igor & the Red Elvises is an outsider — in this case Eastern Bloc outsider — rock band led by former citizen of the U.S.S.R. Igor Yuzov. Dating back to the Yakov Smirnoff-era of East/West cultural relations, Igor's musical genesis came about when he married the native folk delivery of his homeland with a grandiose and cabaret version of American rock n' roll. This 7 p.m. show will be screaming fun for anyone who has enjoyed a good time anywhere ever ($15/ $12 advance).
Monday (Labor Day)
The I-Street Block Party starts at noon today between 10th and 11th streets in Arcata. This year is the 34th annual celebration of Arcata's relationship with its sister city Camoapa, Nicaragua, and I can assure you that there has never been a better time in American history to celebrate solidarity with the international worker's movement and our fellow humans in Central America. Music will be provided by Wild Abandon, Citizen Funk and The Latin Peppers. Come out and celebrate the power of people.
The Intelligence is a digital and guitar buzz-saw garage band from Los Angeles that is working on its second decade of hyperactive music. Tonight the pinging synth and choppy guitar dreadnought sails into Eureka to play the Siren's Song. 8 p.m. ($5). Splashing the bow of this sturdy ship will be the local vintage flavors of Wet Spot and Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes.
The muted sparkle and static glisten of No Rave music comes from an electronic rejection of comforting sounds in favor of frenetic arpeggiated melody lines and muffled samples. It's good stuff, really, and you can find out for yourself tonight at the Miniplex when Oakland's 404 Not Found meets Eureka's Drip Torch for a tussle in a low-bit landscape at 9 p.m. ($5). This show will muffle, tap and pounce.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Yeo once dreamed of a joke. It involved the Northwest Passage, brightly colored zoo animals and Harry Dean Stanton in an igloo. When he woke up it made no sense so he can't share it here. He lives in Arcata.