Let's just launch into it, shall we?
Soulful string band fans have a chance to experience the SF-based Hot Buttered Rum in a free noontime show on Humboldt State University's Quad.
Devotees of electronic music, can find no lack of EDM beats at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, where Eskmo, Lapalux and Zanapod will infuse the atmosphere with dance-ready sounds beginning at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance and the show is 21-and-over.
Bluegrass enthusiasts can leap for joy knowing Grammy Award-winner and twice-California's-Women's-Fiddling-champion Laurie Lewis (along with husband Tom Rozum on mandolin) will create a twangy good time playing old favorites amid what is sure to be charming banter at the Arcata Playhouse. The show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $18 general, $15 students/members and are available at Wildberries, Wildwood Music or by calling 822-1575.
The Arcata Playhouse streak stays hot with Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards. The Boston folk-pop darling and her bandmates have just returned from a State Department-sponsored American Music Abroad tour that took them to India, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. They're trading the international vibe for a West Coast one, but you can expect the same lustrous fiddle and cello topped off by dreamy vocals, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general, $13 members and students.
Down on South G, local Americanagrass trio Kingfoot brings songs of heartbreak, malaise and tsunamis to Redwood Curtain Brewing Company starting at 8 p.m., no cover. All throughout A-town, in fact, bands will entice you to throw dollars into guitar cases in various Arts! Arcata locales.
Saturday's dark charm
The Alibi remains one of my favorite places to experience a show. Sure, it's not an ideal design for either sound or vision, but there's something so pure about seeing shows there — sharing love for rock music in dark corners, maybe, or the ability to get up close and personal with the band as the sound envelops you. This Saturday night, Duane Mark & the Get Down Bandits will fill the 'bi with Mark's whiskey-drenched voice, the Bandits' driving drum, bass, electric guitar and banjo, and all the other elements that make outlaw country music resonate with one's inner renegade.
In his bio, Mark writes, "I could tell you all kinds of crap about how good I am, but that just seems lame to me. Truth is, I absolutely love music, which drives me to work very hard at making great songs and putting on a fun live show! Take a listen... decide for yourself. If you really like it, tell a friend for me!" Consider yourself told, friend. Music starts around 11 p.m., cover is $5, the show is 21-and-over and Humboldt's own cowpunks The Hill open.
Saturday's less dark, still charming
You know how movies seem to come in twos or threes? Like when Deep Impact and Armageddon came out at the same time? And those magician flicks, the one with Ed Norton and the one with Christian Bale? Well, for some reason, the universe has done the same with music, bringing forth not only the aforementioned country show, but a honky-tonk-bluegrass melding at the Jambalaya. Yes, the much beloved (and rightly so) Rooster McClintock joins forces with The No Good Redwood Ramblers for a night of fun the likes of which is rarely seen. Fortunately, proximity allows you to hop back and forth. Cover is $5, show starts 9 p.m.-ish and you must be 21-or-over.
Saturday's bold and brassy
The idea of dropping $20 to see a marching band indoors might confuse the uninitiated for a moment but, trust us, the March Fourth Marching Band is not your average group of synchronized traipsing musicians. Wearing redesigned marching-band-themed costumes, March Fourth bring electric bass, a five-piece percussion corps and a six-part brass section to the musical side of things, then adds stilt-walkers, dancers, acrobatics and an exceedingly diverse repertoire to the mix. The magic happens at Humboldt Brews and begins at 9:30 p.m. Please be 21-or-over.
Saturday also wants you funky
And now for something completely different... Jambalaya owner Pete Ciotti, DJ Rickshaw and B. Swizlo are the crux of The Getdown, who joins The Headhunters at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. From the instant funk classic "Chameleon" to the rare-groove sound of "God Make Me Funky," the Headhunters have redefined modern funk, world music and jazz, making them one of the most innovative groups in history. Doors at 9 p.m., cost is $22, $18 advance and the gig is 21-and-over.
Saturday, take children, send children
Take the kids to see DJ Zephyr and vintage queens The Lost Luvs at the Arcata Playhouse at 6:30 p.m. The $5 adults/$3 kids 12-and-up cover goes to help the Coastal Grove fifth grade class pay for a trip to Mount Lassen in the fall. Beer, wine and treats, too! Kids under 12 are free.
Monday's charitable moment
The do-unto-others vibe continues with Hip-Hop For Hope, an event hosted by the Children's Cancer Foundation and The Ink People at the Jambalaya to benefit local families dealing with childhood cancer. Performers include Jeff Turner of TeamBackPack, Hiway, Doe the Unknown Rapper and more. Cover is $8, show starts at 7 p.m. and even though it's for the kiddos, the party is 21-and-over.
Tuesday the road goes on forever and the party never ends
The rollicking Gunsafe and Filthy Still ramp up your Tuesday (if you're 21-or-over, natch) at the Palm Lounge starting at 9 p.m. and for a mere $5.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to email@example.com.