I originally hesitated to jump on the bandwagon of grieving for the former artist known as Prince, not because he wasn't deserving, but because the outpouring was near universal and ubiquitous. Now, a few weeks since his passing, I feel comfortable reflecting on our loss, and the temporal nature of other artists and entertainers.
Like me, you may not be super familiar with Prince's body of work. Sure, I know the hits, and I was aware of his balls-to-the-wall fashion proclivities, but a scholar of his sound I am not. With that said, I have come to appreciate him and his work immensely. It was only a few years ago I learned what a phenomenal guitarist he was (for proof just look up him jamming on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne et. al. Unbelievable).
All that aside, what I always find terribly interesting when we lose an immense talent is how personal it all feels, all without ever having actually met the person. Freddie Mercury: I never met him. Never saw him in concert with Queen, but I truly miss the guy. It sounds weird until we really think about it. The artists who can effectively share themselves, or share something real through their music, may connect more with us than someone we've actually known and talked to in our daily lives. The sweet consolation in all of this is that even though we will eventually lose all the artists we hold dear, their music is eternal, and that's no small thing. So Prince may be gone, but we'll forever have the chance to know him better through his songs. So good night, sweet Prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
The Kinetic Sculpture Race is almost upon us, and low-end-fanatic Dan Davis tells me that Richard's Goat Tavern and Tea Room (or is it the Miniplex?) hosts a benefit for the Kinetic Video Team at 7 p.m. For only a $5 donation you can hear: The heavy metal sounds of War Möth, an "all girl elastic waist comfort band" a.k.a. Blood Gnome, Gobi Blank's "local ethereal chance loop vocal pop," and some "new age noise" from Cybernator 2.
With a less wordy description, catch local guitarist Piet Dalmolen strummin', soloin' and loopin' it up at Redwood Curtain Brewing Company for free at 8 p.m.
If punk and endless DIY pride are your thing, the Arcata Vet's Hall is the place to be. An all-ages show starting around 7:30 p.m. hosts Jeff Rosentock (DIY from NYC), Upset (DIY from L.A.), Soarb (DIY from the Bay) and Dosidicus (DIY from Arcata). $10 for this showcase and beer will be available for those 21+.
I'm guessing the members of Good Company do it themselves, too, and they'll be doing that at Cafe Mokka for free at 8 p.m. — also all ages.
Local Americana band Kingfoot returns to the Logger Bar with special guest (and DIYer) Ryan Bisio. A free show here, and starting around 9 p.m. My thanks to the Logger Bar for still talking to me after screwing up some info in last week's column. All mistakes, I do myself.
Local do-it-yourselfers (okay, you get the point right?) Honky Tonk Detours stop by their favorite — my guess — venue so catch 'em at Mad River Brewery for free at 6 p.m.
Local musician in residence at the Westhaven Center for the Arts Josephine Johnson will be singing you some songs about Humboldt County barns tonight. No joke. "I recently completed a song about the Graham-Long Dairy Barn in Freshwater," she says. "The discovery process was a fascinating journey into local agricultural, economic and cultural history." Doing more homework than most songwriters it seems, you can hear Josephine — and learn more about local barns — at the above-mentioned center for the arts located in Westhaven at 7 p.m. for free.
Sow your Wild Otis (sounded funny in my head) at the "world famous" Logger Bar at 9 p.m. This group of all-around nice rockers won't even be asking a cover charge from you, so feel free to rock out and leave a tip.
Ian — the beard and soul of the Alibi — tells me that some "death pysch" from Albuquerque will be in town in the form of Holy Glories. Joining them at the Alibi around 11 p.m. will be local garage rockers The Sturgeons all for only $5.
The quote of the week comes to us courtesy of Arcata Playhouse owner David Ferney, who mentions that Jeffrey Foucault "returns with his brooding, sexy Marlboro man magic." As an aside, when the NCJ finally fires me, I recommend they immediately hire Ferney. Anyway, touring in support of his 10th record, Salt As Wolves, Whitewater-Wisconsinite Foucault hits up the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m. A songwriter in the tradition (I'm told) of American country-folk troubadours like John Prine, Greg Brown and Townes Van Zandt, and Canuck Neil Young, Mr. Foucault (I'm also told) still uses a typewriter to craft his lyrics. Nothing against him — or you hipsters who find that exciting — but I couldn't care any less whether he uses a Underwood or Crayola. But the guy can write, so I guess the ends justify the unnecessarily specific means. Opening this $18 show will be Lauren Sargent, who may or may not craft her lyrics on a word processor.
Not too far away at Richard's Goat Miniplex (in the Tavern) there will be some punk — post-pop along with garage — at 8:30 p.m. The Thermals ("Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars, and currently Saddle Creek Records") have a new record out, so expect some songs from We Disappear. Currently on the Thermals' former label, Kill Rock Stars, are Summer Cannibals, who also hail from Portland and will be rounding out this bill. I'm currently unclear what former labels the Cannibals have been on, so it's on you to find out. $10 gets you in the door.
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.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. His many mistakes occasionally go unnoticed.