- Photo by Chris Parker, courtesy of the artist
- Keelan McWayne of Malicious Algorithm, which plays the Siren’s Song Tavern on Sunday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
Very few people are immune to the temptations of self-mythologization. This makes sense in America, where we are raised from birth by the flashing dream machines provided by the entertainment, sports and advertising industries. Narrative is injected into our minds like the processed filling in Twinkies at such a rate and volume that we are constantly looking for meaning in places where it likely doesn't exist. Not in any tangible human sense, anyway. A little bit of mythology is good but we trade in the stuff at the peril of our own existence, clapping like idiots at the distractions, while the natural world collapses and our fellow humans suffer more and more. There's a good reason why Socrates wanted to abolish poets from his Republic. The hedonic wheel of distraction prevents us from taking the time to record how much things are heating up. I was in the middle of a shooting once, years ago, on Mardi Gras. One thing I will never forget, apart from the images of those wounded by gunfire, was the dumbass who opined (to no one in particular) that he didn't care for the floats in this particular Krewe's parade. In times of horror, we humans have an amazing tendency to fixate on the absolute least important things with extreme focus. The aperture of our lens narrows to look at bullshit with alarming frequency. The managerial class tells us to call homeless people "houseless," without mentioning that those houseless people are living that way because of the preferred economic policies of that same managerial class. We are told by these bozos that people need "access" to healthcare, without considering what that word means in the context of the uniquely American firewall of high premiums demanded by a Satanic, for-profit medical industry.
I've been thinking about this stuff lately because of an Easter egg hunt I did last Saturday, when I participated in a volunteer clean-up of the Arcata Marsh and dug around in wet loam for trash and needles. Sneaking off before the group photo (I don't do that shit), I couldn't stop thinking about what I had been a part of, sweeping up under the rug (or in this case, into a dumpster) some of the evidence of a massive crime that is ongoing and escalating. Ruled by industry, war on the poor. "Liberal" California, 2023.
Ah, as Walter Sobchak says at the end of one of my all-time favorite filmed narratives: "C'mon dude. Hey, fuck it, man, let's go bowling."
Here's to distractions.
Flint, Michigan, is the home of many things. Some good, some wild. I once played a show there that had to be locked down because the neighboring trailer park to the club had a domestic disturbance involving a man brandishing a gun from the roof of a trailer (thankfully, no one was harmed). Among the cool things from Flint are a group called Whitey Morgan and the 78s, a country honky tonkin' act of the finest caliber. Frontman Whitey Morgan will be jamming his solo act at Humbrews tonight at 8 p.m. My dear friend Katie assures me that this is the real deal and worth the price of admission, which is $30 at the door, $25 advance.
Spring has sprung and Money is back in business. No, I'm not talking about the dark force of mammon that weaves its evil spell through our very lives, but rather Humboldt's premier Pink Floyd tribute act. Tonight at 9 p.m. at the Wave Lounge at Blue Lake Casino, the group will be performing a free rendition of Dark Side of the Moon with a light show. If you prefer the album Animals, the fellas will be doing that one tomorrow night at 9 p.m. at Humbrews for $10.
Speaking of 9 p.m. at Humbrews, local ska band Checkered Past will be sharing the stage there with cumbia all-stars Makenu tonight ($15). DJ Amaru Shia presides between sets.
There are two indie-style shows tonight at two indie-style Arcata venues, both happening at 7 p.m. Over at Blondies by the university, $5 gets you four fine bands, with Tektonic, Wild Abandon, Icarus & Suns and the Drastic Gnarlys all playing the magic juggling act of setting up equipment on the stage by the big windows.Meanwhile, downhill and on the plaza at the Outer Space, Sacramento's Life of the Afterparty is teaming up with Something Wicked and surf rock act Miazma ($5-$20 suggested donation at the door, but no one will be turned away from lack of funds, however, you will need a mask). Cheers.
The Siren's Song Tavern is hosting a night of grind-oriented metal, with Knoll from Tennessee rolling in on a local's joint featuring Malicious Algorithm, God is War and Grug! This is chug chug scream metal, not noodley falsetto metal, and the price is $10. Everything kicks off at 7 p.m.
Blues trio GA-20 is playing a free show at the Cal Poly Humboldt quad today at noon. Seven hours later at Savage Henry Comedy Club, it's just another manic, no, scratch that, metal Monday. This week's edition has a bunch of bands with names that are adjacent to the Dungeons & Dragons universe: Ex Mortus, Paladin, Graveshadow and Bloodspire ($10-$15 sliding scale).
What's that you say? You'd like a little more metal in your ears? Well, here ya go. The Siren's Song Tavern is hosting Canada's death metal act Atrae Bilis ("black bile") at 7 p.m., for a show that will include support acts Echo Death and Sacrophilus Satanicus. As I do with as many of the acts I cover as is possible, I listened to some of the black bile's work, and can tell you that it passes the smell test regarding highly competent, technical death metal. If that is your jam, be sure to bring at least $10 for the door.
Assuming you are not one of the lucky few to nab a ticket to Tech N9ne at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 7 p.m. (as of press time, the venue's website is suggesting all is sold-out except for the $65 advance tickets), then you will want something to do tonight on the eve of the great smoke out. (I have no idea if people actually still celebrate 4/20.) The Jam has something for you from the horror punk and psychobilly school of music. Washington's Evelyn's Casket is joining forces with Canada's Five Cent Freakshow and Ghost Waves for a bit of boom-thwack bass and twang-twang guitar at 9 p.m. ($5).
Collin Yeo (he/him) is religious in the sense that he (like Christ and Dante) believes that a lot of rich people are going to Hell. He lives in Arcata.