It's been a bad week, to be honest. My news-addicted mind experienced a mild apoplexy at two items I can't help but treat as related. The United Nations has released a stunning report that humans — and more specifically our exploitative world economic engines — are accelerating the extinction of some million-plus species of plants and animals. Also, Joe Biden has thrown his hat into the ring as the democratic establishment hopeful. I don't have the space here to explain why I find his record dreadful but I will say that the unwillingness of the Obama administration to prosecute Wall Street or the banks for their many crimes against humanity and nature are major components of the Black Mass that has summoned the demons who are currently running our country. Responsibility and consequences seem to have only a downward market trajectory, and the resting place for all of that damage — below even the ravaged global poor — is the natural world. We can't afford to just go about business as usual because business as usual is killing everything. We must have progress.
I took a day off to go see some music and check out the natural world. There are trilliums blooming everywhere, even within walking distance of my house. That's good. And there are a lot of great shows coming up this week, which also helps. But I still had to vent a little to avoid total meltdown. It's healthy, I suggest you all try it.
Have a great week.
Arkansas native Kendl Winter set up shop in Olympia, Washington, soon after graduating high school and quickly established herself as an indie folk powerhouse. After releasing three albums with K Records, she teamed up with fellow banjoist Palmer T. Lee to form The Lowest Pair. When the duo came to the Sanctuary last August, I made a childish joke about their chosen stage name and for that I make no apologies. However, despite my general aversion to all things banjo, I have found their music to be quite beautiful. See for yourself at the Sanctuary tonight at 8 p.m. You won't regret it. (Sliding scale $10-$25).
Portland singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza fronts the band Y La Bamba, a dreamy crossover act that nestles somewhere between the sounds of Sergio Mendes and Destroyer. You can catch the group at Humbrews tonight at 9:30 p.m. ($15, $12 advance), on tour in support of its latest release Mujeres, which is somehow as good as 2016's phenomenal Ojos Del Sol.
Los Angeles' own rockabilly/punk trio The Rocketz are in the house tonight. What house is that? Why, the Alibi, of course, specifically in the dark half of the establishment. The music kicks off at 11 p.m. Dead Drift opens the night up and the door price is a mere $7 for all you rockers and rockettes.
Well, this looks wholesome and exciting: Blue Dragon Steel Band is a steel drum ensemble featuring local elementary and middle school students. The group, which celebrates it decade-run on the local chromatic metal scene this year, gets together for a concert tonight at 6 p.m. at The Arcata Playhouse. ($10). The Arcata High Steel Band — friendly rivals perhaps? — opens the show.
Later at 7 p.m. just down the road, you can find a very different kind of all-ages show when San Diego's hardcore band Therapy, returning to town to rock the rubber floors of the Outer Space. Local support comes from Unholy Orifice and Husky and the Slow Attack ($7).
Sunday (Mother's Day)
Westhaven Center for the Arts presents its 17th annual Spring Fling Fundraiser today at 1 p.m. This free, family-friendly event features a silent auction, face painting and a spring-themed raffle, as well as music by the Compost Mountain Boys and Rosalind Parducci from No Pardon. I don't really know what people are supposed to do on Mother's Day — I suppose it's really up to her — but this seems like it could be a nice afternoon prelude to a larger celebration for some lucky mothers.
It's pretty quiet out here today. However, I would like to offer my regards to our beloved local Portuguese community, as today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. So, as I have often heard it said on more than a few beautiful Humboldt mornings, bom dia.
Los Angeles' Pedestrian Deposit heads up a showcase full of overwise local noise-mongers tonight at Siren's Song at 9 p.m. ($7). Join Rio Dell's grind-meisters Car Made of Glass, Ferndale's noise act Goruta (I didn't know it was legal to make loud sounds in Ferndale) and Arcata's spicy duo Arugula for an evening of crashing sounds and static set to various volumes and tempos. I'll be there.
Word Humboldt presents its Bigfoot Poetry Slam at Northtown Coffee today at 6 p.m. This free event is a contest to determine who will be the four poets sent to represent at the Bigfoot Regional Slam in Portland, Oregon, this summer. There will be two rounds, contestants must use their original work and are asked to keep the performances at three minutes max. There will be an open mic at the beginning if you feel like contributing some non-competitive material to the general vibe.
I suggest you go to the Siren's Song tonight at 8 p.m., where you will be treated to the heavy sounds of San Francisco's Crystal Logic, Oakland's Doctor Deaf, Shively's Blackplate and Eureka rockers The Tweeners. Can't go wrong there ($6).
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 doesn't think it's a good idea to destroy the world in the service of making a tiny minority of people insanely wealthy. He is a radical. He lives in Arcata.