Humboldt County 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace is serving his final year in office as the chair of the board. But the San Jose native and former punk rock club busboy won't stop playing music anytime soon. He grew up listening to big band jazz music and the crooning of Bing Crosby with his parents. Later, one of his hip sisters laid the seeds that would turn him on to music coming out of '60s and '70s San Francisco, such as Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin.
Lovelace picked up the acoustic guitar in seventh grade, and saw his first concert in 1979 at the San Jose Performing Arts Theater, which was hosting "performing artists" Van Halen. He remained a fan of hard rock like Led Zeppelin, but enjoyed The Beatles (who doesn't?) and West Coasters Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash. No slouch, Lovelace saw The Who, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, The J Geils Band, Styx, Santana and The Dead in concert. The first album Lovelace bought was ... well, you'll have to ask him, as he still seems a bit embarrassed; but the second and third albums were Draw the Line by Aerosmith and Steely Dan's Aja.
Asked if he could play with any band, Lovelace quickly responded (to this writer's surprise) with The Ramones ("because I could"). Lovelace still drives a car with a six-CD changer in it, which currently contains Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow, one of the discs of The Beatles, Brett Dennen, Billie Holiday and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Speaking of electric guitar, Lovelace went electric in the last few years (Judas!) and you may have seen him playing at occasional benefits in his district. An insight into music that lasts, Lovelace says, is that it be "played" and not "performed." The shows that stick in our heads are when a band includes joy, freedom or, perhaps, spontaneous creativity. A performance, in the strictest sense, could be seen as merely a type of artistic regurgitation. A man wiser than this writer once said, "If music be the food of love, play on."
Returning to Humboldt County, The Brothers Comatose bring some of their high-energy old-time music to Humbrews. The guitar/banjo/fiddle/mandolin outfit is releasing a new album, City Painted Gold, on March 4, so you can hear some new songs before they are released. The brothers Morrison (Ben & Alex) front the band, and a music video for their new song "Brothers," gives the impression that these two probably pounded on each other a bit. Set in an old-timey boxing ring — surrounded by dapper, mustachioed chaps — the brothers get to go after each other, but it becomes clear that what keeps them together is music. "Like most brothers, Alex and I fought a lot when we were kids," says Ben. But in high school the two "picked up instruments and started smoking weed," so everything worked out, and now they've got a successful band. I wonder why they keep coming back to Humboldt... The Easy Leaves open the show at 9:30 p.m. and $15 will get you in.
Supertramp super-fan Chuck Mayville is back at Gallagher's Irish Pub and he'll be serving your ears starting at 6 p.m. for free.
Also doing the free thing is Wild Otis which you'll find at the same time in Arcata at the Redwood Curtain Brewery.
Should you choose to travel to the Arcata Playhouse, you'll witness Jeff DeMark and the Gila Monsters present "stories and songs" related to travel with a bunch of Blue Lakers including Michael Crowley, Paul DeMark, Diana Heberger, Lizzy Moonbeam, Marvin Samuels and sit-down comic Charlie Gilbert with the above-mentioned monsters. Expect some original songs by Jeff along with those by the equally talented Bob Dylan and Talking Heads. $12 if you can get your hands on a ticket, 8 p.m..
Jeff DeMark's travel show sold out last night, you say? Well, it's a good thing you have another chance to see the show tonight. Read above for the details so I don't go over my word count.
Fulkerson Recital Hall up at HSU hosts the HSU Symphonic Band, which will be performing a new work, The Poseidon Overture, written especially for them by L.A. emigre and now-North Coaster Michael Kibbe. This world premier will start around 8 p.m. for $8. The Jazz Orchestra rounds out the bill, performing originals by HSU student composers.
Local funk masters Motherlode will be enticing you to move at The Jam in Arcata at 9 p.m., for only $8.
Or find "top shelf" Dead covers by The Miracle Show at The Blue Lake Casino and Hotel. I heard the Wave Lounge was packed last time the band performed. Free show at 9 p.m.
Humboldt Free Radio presents a benefit for the North Star Quest Girls Camp at the Alibi with local big boys Side Iron. Helping them raise funds are local "angsty indie rockers" Chachi Hands. Alibi shows start around 11 p.m. and they're asking for $5-$10 to benefit the camp.
A master of anything with strings will be in the Cream City at one of Humboldt County's newest venues. Musician par excellence, David Lindley plays The Old Steeple in Ferndale at 7:30 p.m. When he's not playing with Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, David Crosby, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Rod Stewart or Joe Walsh, David apparently likes to return to Humboldt. No word as of press time on ticket price, but it'll be worth it.
But wait! There is another group of musicians in Humboldt that has also played with Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan. The Chieftains — who have also jammed with Van Morrison, Roger Daltrey and the Rolling Stones, to name a few — will be at HSU's Van Duzer Theater at 8 p.m. performing classic and traditional Irish music. HSU students can see this show for an incredibly low price of $10. The rest of us? $66.
Local Roland Rock will bring surfabilly rock to the Mad River Brewery. Enjoy a pint (or more), the music's free at 6 p.m.
At The Depot on the HSU campus, you can catch former Californian John D. of The Mountain Goats at 8:30 p.m. Now from one of the Carolinas, The Mountain Goats will be joined by fellow non-Golden Stater William Tyler from Tennessee. "Equal parts Appalachian drone and ambient noise, his set will be homage to ancient melodies, dead languages, and ghosts." Got it. $25, or $20 for you Lumberjacks.
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.
Editor's note: "Setlist" writer Andy Powell is endeavoring to interview all of Humboldt County's supervisors on their musical inclinations and appreciations. Look for more "Jamming with your public servants" features in the future.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. He wouldn't really want to play with The Ramones. Nor they with him.