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Hot, Hot, Heat



I'm firing this one off straight from the hip, so no frills, $20 words or political invective. It's a dang scorcher today, even on the coast, and I don't intend on spending the daylight looking at a screen, tapping away at a slowly heating keyboard, while the busy sounds of the landscaping industry hums and chugs into my open windows. Plus, the neighbor's dog won't shut up. So that's it, I'm going to hit the water for a while. See you in the papers (and hopefully not in the news section).



It is with no reservation of pleasure that I report the return of the Humboldt Folklife Festival after a too-long slumber, for reasons I'm sure you are all aware of. Today is the kick-off, with The Starhoppers blasting the inaugural note on a lineup including Bayou Swamis, Canary and the Vamp and Huckleberry Flint. If those names pique your interest, rally outside Dell'Arte with the rest of the joyous crowd starting at 5 p.m. The ticket situation is an evolving one over the three days, but today's deal is a very reasonable $20 for gen pop, $15 for members of the Humboldt Folklife Society and $5 for kids.


Assuming you have not absconded across the county line to join the rest of the glowstick celebrants awash in the sonic dream machine's supranatural, bass-boosted, electronic Mass (aka Northern Nights Festival), then I suspect you are in the mood for something a little more low-key tonight. How about a comedy show? Taylor Clark is a skateboarder and comedian who has taken the former's DIY culture and applied it to the latter's stand-up performance to forge a career that has taken him from Brooklyn to Seattle and many points in between. I've been boosting a lot of comedy shows lately because I enjoy the novelty of Eureka having a comedy club with Savage Henry and I think that people should be laughing more in general. The show's at 9 p.m. and $15 will get you past whoever's at the door.


Humboldt Hot Air, that new-ish internet radio sensation run out of the Arcata Playhouse's HQ, is throwing a fundraiser today at Septentrio Winery. 4 p.m., ($5-$10 suggested donation). I need hardly mention that it's for a good cause, as we all know how big the gulf has been regarding local radio since the crappy scuttling of KHSU by a group of bandits who have since largely left the community, cash in hand. I want Humboldt Hot Air to thrive and so should you. Consider taking a gander at this gig, featuring Inscrutable Rabbit, Hudson Glover, Uncredible Phin Band, Red Hot Shame and Die Geister Beschwören.

Later on at 9 p.m., the Miniplex is putting on a good one for all you ambient music heads. Folian and Canadensis are Portland acts touring under the same mixed media performance banner, while Oryan Peterson-Jones is well known here and abroad as an ambassador of folk sounds. However, the real hidden gem is thousands of burning christmas trees, a local lo-fi beauty that hardly ever sees the light of a stage. Having lived with the chief architect of this enigma for a number of years, I can tell you that the music is fantastic. And you know I'm being sincere because by admission I have acknowledged hearing this shit play over and again through a shared wall with the bathroom and I still love it. The show is free, so why not give it a shot?


Continuing with this week's theme of "Great things returning to Humboldt," I'm very happy to flog this gig. The Pine Hill Haints are an Alabama group that plays music often considered largely dead to this chaotically dreary world we have all created through unwilling consensus. I'm talking about old-form sounds, like singing saws, talking banjos and creeping fiddle. Consider a dusty crossroads in the bonelands of yesteryear where gospel music pours sparks of light onto a wet highway of murder ballads and hard times. That's this band. Come check it out at Siren's Song Tavern at 7 p.m. ($5). Local punk-offshoot operators The Smashed Glass is here, too.


I am happy to end the curse of quiet Mondays that have plagued the Setlist this summer. However, the show is a developing one as of press time. What I can share is that Los Angeles' earnest and dark pop act Saint Heartbreak will be playing Siren›s Song Tavern sometime this evening, with local support from the resurrected Los Perdidos and Birdpaw, about whose sound I know nothing. Time and door charge are also unknown at the moment. Sorry to be vague but those are the breaks sometimes. For what it's worth, the headliner has some pretty cool songs on its bandcamp page.


As far as I can tell, Surfer Joe is the stage name of an Italian gentleman named Lorenzo Valdambrini, whose love of classic California surf music has informed every aspect of his career since the mid-1990s. A quick exploration of his live sets on YouTube has assured me of the sincerity and skill behind the man's passion. The Old Steeple hosts his band tonight, with The Starhoppers providing local support at 7:30 p.m. ($25, $20 advance).


The Miniplex is the latest waystation for the Triple Trouble Tour, a package show that sees three talented troubadours heating up the summer concert scene. Ryan Cassata is a barrier-breaking trans artist whose music has appeared live and on the airwaves across the nation, while Tom Goss has a similar CV regarding TV soundtrack spots. de Roche is the pop solo project of Liz de Roche, whose drums, keyboards and vocals have been featured in bands like Cane & the Sticks and The Pushovers. This queer-friendly lineup has a meet-and-greet VIP package going for $40, while general admission is $15. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m., so nighthawks take note.

Collin Yeo (he/him) looks before and after, and pines for what is not. His sincerest laughter, with some pain, is frought. His sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. Wait no, that's Shelley's skylark. He lives in Arcata.

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