One of the things I love most about Humboldt is how we grow talent. Case in point, Dave Fleschner, former Trinidad resident and Mack High grad. Fleschner lives in Portland, where he plays keys with the Curtis Salgado Band. He also routinely performs around the world, including with such luminaries as B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters, Steve Miller and The Portland Symphony Orchestra. He's making a hometown appearance on Friday, along with guitar wizard Alan Hager, at Westhaven Center for the Arts. Expect original songs, vintage blues and some Bob Dylan.
Show starts at 7 p.m. and is $10 to $15 sliding scale for the general public, $8 for WCA members. Reservations strongly advised and can be made at 677-9493.
Recommended for: date night — perhaps dinner at Moonstone Grill or a walk along the beach first?
Also on Friday, the Humboldt Folklife Society's summer barn dance with caller Sue Moon and music by Blake Ritter and Sam McNeill. The dance runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Redwood Raks dance studio in the old Creamery Building. They'll teach you the moves and partner you up. Careful — if you start socializing, you'll fall behind in the dance-learning. Admission is $7 general or $6 for Humboldt Folklife Society members, students and seniors. Free for kids under 12. For more information, visit humboldtfolklife.org.
Recommended for: meeting a new special someone — everyone who is there is clearly on the side of good and willing to dance. That and a sense of humor are the three primary ingredients for love, amirite?
Saturday night, well, let's just let the talent speak for themselves: "The fat one and the skinny one bring their shenanigans to Blue Lake. Funk'n'Soul all night long, until we drink enough whiskey to break into the booty jams, of course. Come shake it with us!" Yes, DJs Matt and Adam bring the dance party to Blue Lake when they take over the Logger Bar at 9 p.m.
Recommended for: getting lucky. No promises, but it wouldn't be the first time shaking it led to making it.
On the other end of Saturday's music spectrum, Humboldt Free Radio presents locals Indianola with Seattle's Foxhole Norman at The Alibi. Ten-second impression from Foxhole Norman's "Backseat" track: Social Distortion. Thirty-second impression from the next track, "Runaways": Social Distortion meets Husker Du. Forty-seconds into "Relief": Nirvana-esque. All of which I mean in the best possible ways. And now that disco and alt-folk are redefining notions of the modern rock genre, finding new takes on the classic grungy punk sound isn't easy. This is a chance to do so. Form your own impressions at foxholenorman.bandcamp.com. Standard Alibi protocol: Music starts around 11:30 p.m., show is 21-and-over, cover is $5.
Recommended for: reliving your youth. Convince your friends to go out, schedule a cab and clear your Sunday morning for recovery.
Sunday brings the Mateel Community Center's annual SoHum Beer Fest & BBQ Smoke Off. The festival title pretty much sums it up — see the calendar for details. Defining the musical aspect of the event will be Southern California surf rock band Aloha Radio and Humboldt's number one honky tonk band Rooster McClintock. (You can never go wrong with Rooster McClintock!) Admission is at the door only and is $15 for the BBQ and music only ticket or $25 with unlimited beer tasters and a commemorative tasting glass. The fest begins at 4 p.m. For more information, visit mateel.org or call 923-3368.
Recommended for: maintaining the illusion that summer will last forever. If you're heading down from NoHum, plan to camp or book a room in Garberville or at the Benbow. Then spend Sunday marveling along one of Humboldt Redwoods State Parks' many old-growth trails.
We are the world
Another highlight on the annual Humboldt happenings list shows up Monday with the I Block Party. The 28th celebration to raise funds for the Arcata-Camoapa Sister City Project brings the usual delish food stuffs — barbecue, local beers, cold drinks and delicious desserts — plus music from Lyndsey Battle, Lizzy & the Moonbeams, The Hip Joint and Steel Standing, all at and around the Arcata Los Bagels store from noon to 6 p.m.
Recommended for: getting a do-good fix. Bring money for the silent auction.
Book of song
As a devoted fan of the written word — I own a "Reading is Sexy" bag from Shipwreck, so you know I'm legit — Seattle singer/songwriter Tai Shan's concept album Cool to Be Weird particularly intrigues. Each song is inspired by a different book spanning from The Shining to The Sneetches. Also, this rave from CultureMob: "Tai Shan sings as if the world was unaware of beauty, and it is her task to describe it." These things alone are enough to recommend checking out her show at Mad River Brewing on Tuesday, but if you need more, see taishanmusic.com. Set begins at 6 p.m.
Recommended for: nourishing your soul. Go with someone who takes such things seriously or go alone, it doesn't matter. This one is for you.
Big Gigantic lands at the Eureka Theatre on Wednesday, Sept. 4. This particularly excellent electronic duo comprised of saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken channels everything from funk and dubstep to house and hip-hop, elevating traditional DJ-based music via live instrumentation. Fans of improvisation will be taken by the way Salken and Lalli alternate between keys, sax and laptop, constructing a church of sound that keeps the audience worshiping (aka dancing) as long as the music plays. Big Gigantic's cred list includes playing Lollapalooza, Hangout, Outside Lands, Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo among other high profile gigs. The all ages show starts at 7 p.m., admission is $21.50.
Recommended for: seeing what the kids are into. Be chill.
Suffocating in the swarm of cranes
If you haven't had your fill of German crust doom metal, great news! On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Metal Blade Records artists Downfall of Gaia play the Alibi along with New Jersey's Black Table. Standard Alibi details apply (see above).
Recommended for: purveyors of German crust doom metal, obv.
While we here at the Journal strive to provide the most accurate information, every so often unforeseen circumstances mean a show will be canceled or changed. It's never a bad idea to double-check on websites, Facebook or with a phone call. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.