If you thought this was the week you'd stay home and catch up on Trailer Park Boys, you were wrong. So wrong. Eat well and drink plenty of water because you've got a lot to do, Humboldt.
Thursday's blues, hard rock and hip-hop (and Watts)
Earl Thomas and Eddie Angel sit down for some "coffee-house style blues" at the Arcata Playhouse. Earl'll tell stories from the road and Eddie'll make his acoustic guitar sing. Soulful Jesi Naomi opens the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door. A 10 on the grown-up meter.
Aesir, a new local band about which little information exists on the Internet other than that the band covers Zeppelin and Sabbath and does some original "high voltage electrifying rock music," plays the Jambalaya, around 9 p.m., one supposes. This show is 21 and over. Potentially a 7 on the reliving-your-youth meter.
GRiZ's The Rebel Era Tour featuring Two Fresh and Anvil Smith lands at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. This is a big deal hip-hop show — GRiZ combines passion and skill to make melodies bigger and better and beats funkier and more awesome. Also, saxophone. Very cool. Two Fresh is comprised of twin brothers Kendrik and Sherwyn Nicholls — get it? — who add kickass drummer Colby Buckler to their stage shows. They've compelled audiences to dance at fests across the U.S. and continue ascending up the hip-hop ladder as if summoned from above. Anvil Smith is Russian and reputed to be "nothing short of astounding." Should be hours of excellence.
Doors open at 9:30 p.m. with happy hour food and beverage prices until 10:30 p.m. $20 limited advanced tickets are at People's Records, DTA, Wildberries and The Works. This show is 21 and over. A 9.5 on the make-you-sweat meter.
And, oh yeah, Reggie Watts is at the Van Duzer. The show is sold out, but if you can find a miracle, do it. An easy 10 on the I-saw-him-when meter.
Friday's soul and funny folk
The Soul Spectacular Tour, in which Karl Denson's Tiny Universe presents a Ray Charles Boogaloo Dance Party with special guest Zach Deputy and The Cosmic Horns, erupts at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Quick history: Denson first came to prominence as a member of Lenny Kravitz's band, then, in 1993, joined DJ Greyboy in creating Greyboy Records and released the legendary acid jazz staple, Freestylin. Out of that collaboration, Denson formed The Greyboy Allstars, which spread "West Coast Boogaloo" worldwide. Denson's been emphasizing vocals and adding funk, R&B and hip-hop elements all the way to his latest release, Brother's Keeper, which continues his artistic evolution fusing sounds from rock to funk to Afrobeat. For his part, Deputy serves up soulful rhythm and blues, with flavors of Al Green, Taj Mahal and Stevie Wonder.
Doors opens at 8 p.m., cost is $25 with advanced tickets available at Wildberries Marketplace, Peoples Records, The Works and the ATL. $20 limited advanced tickets available at the ATL's website. 21 and over. An 8 on the date night meter — a 9+ if you get dinner at Tomo or Renata's first.
Singer/songwriter Christine Lavin cracks people up with her smart, funny original songs and giddy stories at the Arcata Playhouse. Fans of witty, insightful, silly folk artists, rejoice! Claudia Russell opens with Bruce Kaplan on mandolin. Russell has shared stages with Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Loudon Wainwright III, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson and then some.
The show is presented in association with Humboldt Folklife Society. Tickets are $15 general and $13 HFS or Playhouse members and are available at Wildwood Music, Wildberries Marketplace or by reservation at 822-1575. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show time at 8 p.m. A 7.5 on the place-where-singles-can-meet-smart-mature-women-under-low-pressure-circumstances or long-established-couples-not-into-loud-music-date-night meters, respectively.
Saturday's rock, funk, space jams
Have you seen that show Sons of Anarchy? Ron Perlman and that hot blond guy? Katey Sagal from Married With Children? It's not that great, although compelling enough as an escapist-evening-soap-opera kinda thing. Anyway, L.A.-based band Jeff Crosby & The Refugees have two songs featured in upcoming episodes. The band is also opening for Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons and playing with The Heavy Guilt at Hum Brews. Tickets are $15, show is 21-and-over, and things get going around 9 p.m. A 7 on the low-risk-sure-I'll-have-the-wings-as-usual meter.
Yogoman Burning Band, possibly Humboldt's most beloved non-Humboldt band, drops into the Jambalaya. It's fun! It's energetic! It's ridiculous! The only people not having fun at a Yogoman show are, well, nonexistent! Tickets are $12 — get'em in advance — and show starts at 9 p.m. with Free Rain's post-rock/analog funk. A 10 on the never-take-yourself-too-seriously meter.
But wait! That's not all! You also get a special all-ages family show on Sunday at 1 p.m. Yeah! This one is $10 and, be warned, will be packed with tiny people full of unflagging energy. A 10 on the ecstatic-grateful-exhausted-parents meter.
San Diego's Earthless features members of Rocket From the Crypt, OFF! and Howlin' Rain, which means the band's cosmic jams are as heavy and juicy as you'd expect. Along with fellow San Diegans and shred rockers Joy, Earthless gets stoner spacey at the Alibi. Depart this planet for a mere $5. Music starts late, go early and have drinks. Show's 21-and-over. A 9 on the I'm-40-not-dead meter.
Sunday's funtime for the kiddos
Did you miss the note about the all-age Yogoman show today? Go back and look.
Monday's goth downer, folk upper
If the Yogoman show(s) put too much happy into your life, balance things out with Troller and Ssleeperhold, two Austin bands bringing dark electronica to The Siren's Song. Bleak and ominous. Things start at 9 p.m., cover is $5 and all ages are welcome, so punish your bad children by making them stay up late on a Monday night listening to purgatory's soundscape. A 6 on the black-eyeliner-early-Halloween meter.
Birds of Chicago is a collective based around singer/songwriters JT Nero (JT and the Clouds) and Allison Russell (Po' Girl). Nero is "a poet of the everyday and the absurd, the lonely, the hopeful and the semi-hopeful ... He's got a fractured country soul croon, full of doo-wop ghosts and old time religion." Russell plays banjo, ukulele, guitar, and clarinet, is a top-shelf whistler and, most importantly, knows how to use her voice to lift us all up from our mundane lives into a purer world. You'll likely leave the 8 p.m. Arcata Playhouse show with a bit more grace than you had coming in — and for only $15 at the door. A 10 on the goddamn-that's-good-I-want-to-be-a-better-person meter.
Tuesday's art rock
Art-rocker Todd Clouser plays the Jambalaya. His latest record, Man With No Country, was produced by Anton Fier (Pere Ubu, Golden Palominos, Lounge Lizards) and is being released on Medeski Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin's label, Amulet Records. "Those are pretty major artistic endorsements," says his promotions guy, reasonably. Music starts around 9:30 p.m. and show's 21-and-over. An 8.5 on this sounds-interesting-for-musician-types-and-what-else-you-going-to-do-on-a-Tuesday-night? meter.