I'm settling back into the swing of things here at the Setlist. It was nice getting feedback from some of you about the return of this little column. Even nicer was snagging some free drinks as a result of my bartender shout-out last week. Free booze is truly the Olympian ambrosia for a gadabout town. This week's edition still has a sparseness that reflects the current live music output so I'm just focusing on the holiday weekend. But don't fear: These are all excellent entries for your consideration and more are coming down the pipeline very soon. Meanwhile, I encourage all of you to make it through the week the best way possible, by having fun and looking out for each other, the two cardinal virtues of the New Age. Try not to burn the place down if you can help it.
Be seeing you.
I have been given the absolute word from the very talented singer/guitarist Rah'kiv from Icarus and Suns that his group will be joining up with a couple more bright young acts to grace the stage at the Siren's Song at 9 p.m. ($5-$10 sliding scale). The acts in question are psychedelians Pills and Thrills and the country-tinged, punk-adjacent grab bag Over Yonder, both of whom I can heartily vouch for. If you are looking for a fun night out to remind you such joys are once again possible, this is my pick. I took the plunge a week ago and saw Conman Bolo at this venue and oh my, was it good to be back in the crowd.
Arts Alive! returns once again to the streets of Old Town Eureka, and with it come diversions and delights. I have my eye on one affair in particular: A skateboard art fundraiser outside of the Madrone Taphouse, where skate ramps will be set up and records will be spun from 5 to 8 p.m. by the fantastic DJ Goldylocks. And the best part is that the proceeds go toward providing skate gear and helmets to at-risk youth, courtesy of CASA and Big Brother/Big Sister. No cost but what you throw at the auction.
Sunday (The Fourth of July)
Antonio Gramsci once wrote, "The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." Now, seeing as he was writing from one of Mussolini's prisons, I highly doubt that he was talking about our fireworks-loving freedom holiday here in the U.S.A., but the point still stands. As a culture, we tend to have a hysterical obsession with the past that forces us to dream of a heavenly era that never really existed and are thus not prepared for the present or the future. And presently (and for the foreseeable future) fireworks and our brave new wildfire season shouldn't mix. Pretending otherwise is morbid and unhealthy. Plus our pets, another of our beloved American institutions, hate those loud things. My two cents.
If you are looking for some wholesome Fourth of July fun down by the river that will hurt nobody, I highly recommend that you check out the folk rock songs of Colorado by-way-of Nashville duo You Knew Me When at the Mad River Brewery at 6 p.m. (free). Perfect vibes for a summer night.
Collin Yeo (he/him) thinks T.S. Eliot might have been on to something when he wrote, "The whole earth is our hospital/ endowed by the ruined millionaire." Only "hospital" should be replaced with "morgue" and, with the forces of inflation considered, the last word should be "billionaire." He lives in Arcata.