I'm still buzzing from the Napalm Death show last Saturday so I will keep this brief. Have a safe Labor Day weekend and if you go on a trip, look out for the other drivers. And if you stick around, try to catch a few shows because, as that lovely Calvin and Hobbes collection reminds us, the days are just packed.
Jenna Pup, who fronts the trans-queer grindcore act HIRS, brings her solo show all the way from the city of brotherly love to the Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. ($5). Joining Jenna will be local punk acts The Cissies and Daniel.
Nearly half a century into its career, Black Uhuru is still touring strong, albeit with only one original member, leader Duckie Simpson. If you want a chance to catch these monolithic legends of reggae play a set tonight, fear not. Simpson and company will be playing Humbrews at 9 p.m. ($25). Talented Belgian singer Onesty opens the evening's entertainment.
The Madrone is a relatively new joint with a beer bar and woodfired pizzas. Tonight after the Eureka Friday Night Market, it's going to be a venue as well, when fuzz chuggers Hollow Down join the magical Mister Moonbeam and the heartfelt high drifters Mojave Green for a free show in the heart of Old Town.
Brooklyn has spawned another neat fusion band whose tour brings its sounds to our fair county, specifically the stage at the Outer Space at 7 p.m. Combo Chimbita melds a heavy mix of vintage psychedelia with rock and Colombian cumbia rhythms to forge a new alloy in the dance music industry ($10). Along for the ride is similarly minded local act La Mancha.
An hour later over at Blondies, Portland is in town as PDX rock bands Drooler, On Drugs and Ah God join local act Dimboi in a line-up that reads like a sentence from a cut-up technique journal I forgot to keep in my 20s. Anyway, it's an all-ages gig and the cover's only $5 so there you have it.
All good things must come to an end and with the imminent departure of two core members — including my good friend Dieter — Motherlode has decided to call it quits. But as another cliché goes, God doesn't close a door without opening a window and the silverlining in this story — am I having a stroke? — is the new album being feted tonight at Motherlode's going away show/album release party at The Jam at 9 p.m. ($10). So come on out and see one of Humco's best OG funk bands kick out the jams for the history books.
It's the last day of the Redwood Run — the North Coast's big motorcycle meet and variety show — and this year the fest comes at the end of the summer and much farther north of its usual SoHum setting, in Blue Lake to be precise. There are carny-influenced circus acts and daredevil. The musical acts include Everlast, local metal journeymen Dead Man's Tale and a bluesy band fronted by the former Peg Bundy and matriarch of the fictional biker gang SAMCRO on TV's Sons of Anarchy (but someone who will forever live in my heart as Turanga Leela from the excellent Futurama) Katey Sagal. Day passes start at $75 with package deals for the entire weekend but if you want a tip on a fun auxiliary event, I suggest you head over to the Logger Bar at 8 p.m., where there will be a wet tighty-whitey contest reserved for the bravest of bikers. How wet and how unblemished will these bikers' briefs be? Choke down your trepidation and come find out.
Monday (Labor Day)
It's the 33rd annual I Street Block Party in Arcata, with all proceeds from the event going toward our sister city of Camoapa, Nicaragua. With all of the fierce government-led violence and oppression going down in Nicaragua recently I am certain that this is an excellent time to show some support and solidary. It's a free event kicking off around noon and will feature lots of live music from local acts The Gatehouse Well, Kingfoot, Motherlode and The Latin Peppers. This is also one of our most important holidays as Americans, when we celebrate the progress and achievements of workers and social movements here and around the world. To quote The Internationale, "You have nothing if you have no rights." Never forget the multitudes who bled and fell in the name of labor and human rights — they are by far the largest casualty count in human history.
Mexican heavy flamenco duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are world-touring masters of their craft and astonishingly talented guitar players. Together the duo plays a fast, highly percussive hybrid of acoustic rumba music that electrifies with its virtuosic kinetic energy. They appear tonight at The Van Duzer Theatre at 8 p.m. and are a must-see for any fans of seamless and exhilarating guitar playing ($66).
Beach Goth pioneers The Growlers find a new home tonight in the foggy lowlands of Arcata — specifically at the Arcata Community Center — where its neon boardwalk depression chic will slither around the place for a stylish yet detached evening of greasy fun at 9 p.m. ($25). Joining in will be Aussie songwriter Kirin J Callanan.
Collin Yeo thinks this would be a much better place if we celebrated artists, workers and human rights activists with the same reverence we reserve for war hawks and politicians. He lives in Arcata.