This is a special week because this one has — cue the Theremin music — a Friday the 13th in it! Ooooh. Ahhhh. Spooky.
Why is Friday the 13th especially spooky exactly? Ask five different people and unless you get any overlap on the "I honestly have no idea" response, you are very likely to get five different answers. You might hear something about the Knights Templar being betrayed and executed, or the number of knots in the hangman's rope for a very special someone from history. In fact, if you are in certain countries, you might hear a greater emphasis put on Tuesday the 13th or Friday the 17th. Like most superstitions, we all seem to know the what but not necessarily the why. I would argue not only does the latter not matter, but it gets in the way of some good old creepy fun. Our shared superstitions are best as little notes and eerie threnodies punctuating our lives. They serve as ghostly companions to our rote religious practices and secular routines — the salt thrown over our shoulders as we knock on the wood of the ladders we don't walk under. Only I think that last one is practical: Anyone who has worked construction knows you don't walk under a ladder. After all, you might have a mirror dropped on you that an umbrella opened indoors couldn't stop from breaking and cursing you to seven years of bad luck and clichés.
I promise on the cracks in the sidewalk upon which I don't walk on that I won't do this again until July, when we have our last Friday the 13th of 2018.
Have a nice week.
Remember all of the superstitious paranoia surrounding outer space? From the pre-space age fear of invasion that hit an apocryphal peak during Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast to the moon landing-era fear of returning spacecraft and satellites bringing game changing radiation back from the vacuum — watch George Romero's Night of the Living Dead for further information — we have long been suspicious of the final frontier and its contents. Gird yourself tonight and face those fears head on with an evening of awesomeness when The Siren's Song is invaded at 8 p.m. by returning space-rock conquerors Paleons with help local cosmonauts Ultramafic and Knot Ewe. $5.
Apart from the spooky mumbo jumbo about Friday the 13th mentioned earlier, the day Friday itself is named after the Scando-Germanic goddess Freya (or Frigga or Frija) who, aside from being married to ultra-god Odin, was also considered to be a sort of barbarian version of the goddess Venus by the Romans. Love personified: What's not to be feared? Fear not though, gentle readers, it's Arts Arcata night and here are three aprés art-stroll shows to help your heart go tick tock regularly.
Fantastic roots-rock maestros Kingfoot play a free show at Redwood Curtain Brewery at 8 p.m.
Maybe start a new tradition for the 13th of the month at The Jam for $5 at 9 p.m. with local reggae jammers New Traditions, as the band plays the supporting role for Jamaican vocalist Prince Levy. And finally, head over to The Griffin to hear DJ Goldylocks and East One spin fat wax tracks for a special free Arts After Dark session. Am I the only one who thinks that sounds like a WW II-era jazz tune? It's also at 9 p.m., by the way.
Local singer-songwriter Melanie Barnett hosts a special album release show for her debut Grayscale at the Sanctuary tonight at 7 p.m. Just $10 gets you in the door with a CD in hand and do not worry, I am told by the artist that the album is named after the complex moral shades of gray in our lives and not the zombifying leprosy disease in Game of Thrones so you will not require any special cleansing afterward.
Meanwhile, down south at The Mateel, you can spend $25 to see Andre Nickatina work his way through his deep catalog of tracks at 7 p.m. I am not a gambling man but I do study history and if it repeats itself then the odds are good that opener Smoove-E will be the more exciting act to see live.
Finally, tonight the fates have convened to deliver us a show at 11 p.m. at The Alibi with two local bands that just belong together. Hollow Down is a fuzzy trio that sounds like a rockabilly band if it dropped the bullshit greaser act and just got high and cool, and Opossum Sun Trail is a San Pedro cactus growing out of the skull that is your eternal youth in love with an endless summer of music ($5). Ahhh.
The Outer Space has a really good rock show going on tonight at 7 p.m. when Seattle's own grunged-out riff-lord power trio Wild Powwers comes to town. Local support is provided by Arcata's perfect little "frog"-rock band Frog and Eureka's own The Handies playing their first gig ($6).
At 8 p.m. the Arcata Playhouse hosts NYC musician Ryan Keberle and his quintet Catharsis for an evening of protest-charged jazz played by some of the very best and brightest on the scene (price TBA).
An hour later at the Miniplex, you can dance your ... well I don't want to say dance your ass off because that makes no sense really. Have you seen professional dancers? They usually have a pretty shapely anchor filling out the back end of their Anchor Blues, so that saying makes no sense. Anyway, you can dance toward whichever goal makes the most sense at this electro dance-stravaganza as Oakland's Diesel Dudes descend with Los Angeles' Sashcloth & Axes to bring the fun, fun, fun. Arcata's strutting metronomic muses Grocery Outlit provides local support ($5).
Instrumental funk eight-piece Polyrhythmics plays a fusion of Afrobeat-influenced tightness tonight at Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($15). Paired perfectly with this fusion machine is Ghost Note, an offshoot of Brooklyn-based jazz and jam master act Snarky Puppy and led by the latter's beat makers, drummer Sput Searight and percussionist Nate Werth.
Stones Throw Records artist and founder of tastemakers the Klipmode Collective, MNDSGN is a tough artist to define. Part hip-hop producer and part composer/brainiac, the Los Angeles-based beat farmer has made a name for himself on the fringes of the game for a decade now. He brings a brand new trio to the Van Duzer tonight at 8 p.m. make the place shake and groove like a Martian living room. Fellow traveler Swarvy opens ($15).
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 belongs in the stars but he'll gladly settle for a cabin in the sky. Maybe even a duplex on a raincloud. He lives in Arcata.