Usually we like to offer you a buffet of musical options, letting you choose according to your tastes, needs and desires. This week continues that tradition — but if we were to choose One Show You Must Go To, it would be Sila at the Jambalaya Friday night. The Kenyan-born artist shimmers, pulses and throbs his way through American pop, R&B, soul, and funk, all flavored with a serious dose of Afropop. World music DJ and Journal advice columnist Jess McGuinty says, "He's amazing! You'll love it! I promise!" Tickets are $10, show starts at 10 p.m. and is 21-and-over.
Thursday: Roots, reggae, reality
Reggae star Prezident Brown brings his version of the new roots and reality consciousness reggae to Humboldt Brews. While scrolling through his online press kit for a photo, the band's rider popped up. In case you're wondering what the man and his band require, their needs are relatively basic: a case of water (Note: Can't we get beyond bottled water, people?), a bottle of merlot, a case of Heineken/Guinness, a dozen hand towels, 12 assorted soft drinks including natural sodas and organic juices, Throatcoat and mint teas, coffee, assorted vegetarian sandwiches and a bag of tortilla chips with fresh salsa. A stance against fast food or pizza is about as difficult as it gets. No green M&M clauses here. But there's a glimmer of backstory near the end: "Purchaser shall have a representative familiar with this contract, who is of sound mental condition, who is also in a position to make decisions regarding this contract on site from load in time until Artist has loaded out." Ah, "sound" and sober. A lesson likely learned from experience — and a lesson we can all take to heart. Decisions. If only other aspects of life required they be made by the sound and sober among us.
Tickets for Prezident Brown are $15 advance, $20 at the door. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. and is 21-and-over.
Thursday: Good drones
Around the corner at the Jambalaya, a collective known as Pleasure Drones and featuring Will Bernard, Jeff Hanley and Eric Kalb arrives from Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood to deliver a modern take on classic funk and R&B. Scanning through the list of people they've played with, together and individually, is like reading a Who's Who of the reggae, jazz and funk worlds — helluva lot of talent going on here. The Pleasure Drones gig is $10, showtime at 10 p.m., 21-and-over.
Friday and Saturday: Rock out at the 'bi
Hey, it's a double-whammy heavy sounds fix with New Mexico's doom/black metalists Predatory Light, plus the interstellar noise of Golden Raven at the Alibi on Friday, followed by Humboldt cosmic rockers CV playing with Seattle stoner rockers Ancient Warlocks on Saturday. Do you like seductive, powerful riffs? Do you enjoy feeling music reverberate through your body? Do you ever experience a twinge of nostalgia for those hot desert nights making out in the back of your '67 Mustang while the Kyuss cassette spun out in the front? Or maybe you're just a guy who likes to rock? Then you will enjoy Ancient Warlocks.
Both shows come with the usual $5 cover, 11 p.m. start time and are for legal drinking-age folk only.
DJs Pressure Anya celebrate the one year anniversary of their monthly party "Fuego" at the Pearl Lounge. The night features a mix of tropical sounds including Latino beats, Jamaican riddims and modern bass music. For this celebration, they're bringing up DJ Sep from San Francisco's Dub Mission, which was voted Bay Area's Best Reggae Club by SF Bay Guardian readers. Sep started out on Bay Area radio at college radio station KUSF and later at Berkeley's public radio station, KPFA. She's the co-compiler (with producer Shockman) of Babylon Is Ours: The USA in Dub, a collection of all-exclusive American dub tracks and has a bunch of other notable credits to her name. It's a free, 21-and-over dance party at 10 p.m.
Saturday: Shook action
The much-adored Shook Twins perform at Humboldt Brews in support of their forthcoming album, What We Do, produced by Grammy Award-nominated producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Fleet Foxes). Best known for reshaping the American roots genre through a distinctive indie-folk songcraft — lush harmonies, foot-stomping gospel and unexpected grooviness — the music of Shook Twins seeks to balance a delicate vulnerability with scorching positivity. 9 p.m., $15.
Saturday: Sparking up
Speaking of scorching, Circus of the Elements presents the third annual "Fire Fusion 420" — oh yeah, Sunday is 4/20 — at the Mateel Community Center. Featuring three stages of live music, artists and performances with MC John McClurg, this all-day includes The Nadis Warriors, Rooster McClintock, DJ Itchie Fingaz, Likwefi, Guns n Barrels, T-Hawk, Midnight Flock, Smoke n Mirrors, Mad River Rounders and more, plus a slew of burlesque, aerial and belly dancing performers, and — true to the name — a fire show by Circus of the Elements. Tickets for the 1 p.m. event are $25 pre-sale, $35 at the gate. You need to have an ID proving you are at least 18 years of age.
Sunday: Strings sublime
That genre of music popularized by the great Django Reinhart has been the subject of some debate over how it's commonly referenced. Is "gypsy jazz" a racial pejorative? My brief research yielded neither a clear answer nor cause to stop use of the phrase, so I'll go with it for now.
Self-described "Americana meets gypsy jazz" band Taarka performs at the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m. Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals), the band's sound speaks to influences ranging from Western and Eastern folk traditions to jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian and Celtic music all in a string band setting. Tickets are $15 general, $13 Humboldt Folklife and Playhouse members and are available at Wildberries, Wildwood Music or 822-1575.
Wednesday: Bump beats
Finally, a Wednesday night dance party treat. Lynx, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, beat-boxer and producer from the Bay Area lands at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Lynx has played at Coachella, Austin City Limits festival, BOOM festival, and collaborated with Matisyahu, Beats Antique, John Popper, Bassnectar and more. Lynx's music combines elements from multiple genres including electronica, folk and indie pop. Cost is $10 advance, $12 at the door. The show is 21-and-over and starts at 9:30 p.m.
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