For all its vaunted pomp and first-tier-in-the-new-year position on the calendar, January is a pretty beige and uninspiring month here in the Northern Hemisphere. All through December it comes rushing up the stairs, hitting each landing on the way up like a tensioning string, only to knock forcefully on the protagonist's door to deliver the seasonal equivalent of a traffic camera ticket. Thanks anyway.
Suffice it to say, I'm not feeling very inspired right now. This is a good week to take baths, make food and drinks spiced with enough cayenne and cinnamon to add color to our dreams, and to watch the skies as they make colors that call to mind the sounds of ice scraping against metal. Hunker down, dear ones, because even humans must observe our polar rhythms and hibernate from time to time. But do make an effort to bundle up and trundle out when you can. You won't regret it.
Louiza is the stage name of Oakland singer/songwriter Rebecca Mimiaga. Tonight at 10 p.m. her winter tour stops at The Jam, where she will perform with her quartet in anaticipation of Louiza's upcoming album Swim at Night, set for self-release in April ($5). The music is pinioned between the traffic lights of indie pop rock and alt-folk and the songs are good. Two very excellent companions for the night are local acts Dead Bird Son and Blood Hunny, who fill out the bill as comrades, not mere support.
The hush of winter in Humboldt doesn't manifest itself in heavy blankets of snow but our nightlife still hibernates accordingly. So here are two low-impact freebies for your Friday night's pleasure.
Local rock and blues trio Triple Tones plays the Fieldbrook Eatery and Market at 7:30 p.m. When I was a kid growing up in Dows Prairie, I knew a few timberland trails that allowed me to ride my bike through Fieldbrook and on to Blue Lake, Korbel and beyond with very few pavement interruptions. I don't suggest that you go sounding about for those likely vanished routes this evening but I do suggest that you head over to the Logger Bar at 9 p.m. for a dance set by DJ FuNK. It can't hurt and it might even sting in a good way.
Sansfü is a group composed of members of the venerable and versatile jam avatar-act Absynth Quartet, specializing in the "Gypsy jazz" swing section of musical influences. You can catch them tonight at 10 p.m. at North of Fourth to hear the sizzle, stomp and shuffle in person (price TBA).
It's another award-winning night of karaoke over at the Miniplex tonight starting at 9 p.m. Enjoy a seasonal cocktail or five from the bar at Richards' Goat and sign up for free to be a local hero on the mic-for-hire circuit of your dreams.
E-TV is a comedy show put on by local stand-up comic Evan Vest where he curates a selection of internet videos for local comics to riff off. Will we see a panel made up of the likes of William Trousers, Bartholomew Pantyhose and Sibyll Ascot cracking wise at neo-Vine culture? Come over to Savage Henry Comedy Club tonight at 9 p.m. and cough up $5 to find out what hilarity lies in the hypertext transfer protocol codex of contemporary human experience.
Wisconsin-born singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault has a sound that harkens back to a less divisive time in the acoustic and roots music world, when people like Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith and Dwight Yoakam bled between the fabric of American music and culture to make great and gentle art. Touring on the heels of his latest release Blood Brothers, Foucault is well-positioned to pass a blacklight over the forensic evidence of folkloric greatness from the contemporary American songbook. Check him out tonight at the Arcata Playhouse. 8 p.m. ($20).
BoomBox is an electronic act that plays an organic mix of blues and house music with an ear to rhythm and dance music. Founder Zion Rock Godchaux — the son of Grateful Dead singer Donna Godchaux — writes the tunes and sets the scene and has done so for nearly 20 years. Tonight his group plays Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($20). Expect the glorious sounds that one might muster from the FM radio waves from decades past filtered through an interstellar breakbeat engine.
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.
Collin Yeo is reading Tolstoy in the winter, which is quite a bit like playing "Bloody Mary" if the aim is to conjure the physical manifestation of seasonal depression in the bathroom mirror. He lives in Arcata.