Music is like glue. It's what keeps us together. Try and think back to the last time you went out where music wasn't involved. Took the missus out to dinner? There was probably forgettable music playing in the background. Got a massage? Remember that gentle major-key harp music with no dominant chords?
My point is that music is all around us and not by accident; going to a music-less public event can be awkward. When the band takes a set break, or the jukebox goes down, things get weird, and fast. If you're putting on an event, you better have music lined up. It can be a simple playlist or it can be an actual band. Music is like glue. It keeps us in one place. It is also generally white and inexpensive, which, while apt in Humboldt, is probably taking the metaphor too far.
The Environmental Protection Information Center (hereinafter referred to as EPIC) knows that you are concerned about the "lasting protection and restoration of northwest California's forested ecosystems" and that you would like to help support the organization. EPIC also knows that you might not drive out to the Mateel this Friday (more below) if there isn't music to get down to. EPIC understands that music is like glue. Because of said knowledge, it brought the funky Monophonics in town to perform at the group's Fall Celebration.
I had the chance to chat with members of the band about this upcoming show and their fondness for our county. No strangers to Humboldt, they guess that they've been here about once a year or so for the past seven years, with their most recent performance at the Northern Nights Festival. Band members tell me that they had a blast at the festival, that they're glad to return to Humboldt for this benefit concert and looking forward to bringing "some good vibes and hopefully raise a good amount of funds for the cause."
Speaking of funds, in a recent "Setlist" I sparked some controversy and sounded all jerk-like for my poo-pooing of Kickstarter and other crowd-sourcing ventures for bands to raise money. So how did Monophonics fund the recording of their last album Sound of Sinning? Well, I selfishly asked and band members politely informed me that "we are self-funded and have our own recording studio called Transistor Sound Studios where we recorded our last album ... as well as many other projects." A band after my own heart, and bootstraps. Before letting them get on to Seattle for their show that night, I asked if they had any insights regarding their many Humboldt fans and they replied with, "We thoroughly enjoy all of the plants that are grown in Humboldt." I can only imagine they are referring to our forested ecosystems. Support a hard-working band and a hard-working nonprofit this Friday. Be the glue.
For some local Americana and an always good time, head down to the Redwood Curtain Brewery to get on the Kingfoot. This trio aims to please at 8 p.m. and won't even ask for your money.
Another band happy to simply play for your smiles is Urban Pioneers, doin' their hillbilly string thing for you at the Logger Bar at 9 p.m. Feel free to leave a tip as there is no cover charge.
As mentioned above, Monophonics will be playing EPIC's Fall Celebration at the Mateel. Tickets for the classy local dinner catered by Outlaw Kitchen, drinks, and music will run you $75 ($60 if you got tickets in advance) and it all starts around 6 p.m. with music by Josephine Johnson and Piet Dalmolen while you dine. Monophonics hit the stage around 9 p.m. and you can get in for just their set for $20.
If you missed Urban Pioneers Thursday, catch 'em for a free all-ages show at Dead Reckoning Tavern at 7 p.m.
Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU hosts the Composers Concert with new works by three students. A song cycle (based on poetry by HSU grad Marlena Kellogg) for voice and piano called "The Dignified Lonely Person" by student Michael Donovan will be featured along with a performance by the HSU Jazz Orchestra. This show's at 8 p.m. and is $8, free for HSU students.
Students of the Dead, head on down to Humboldt Brews at 9:30 p.m. for The Miracle Show. Bring $8 to get in.
Now-returned local Ryan Bisio will be taking a break from teaching songwriting (and basketball) at Arcata High to record a live album at the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m. Bisio has toured Europe with his music, but is glad to be back home. $20 will get you in.
In Trinidad, you can welcome rock/blues guitarslinger Brad Wilson at Cher-Ae-Heights Casino at 9 p.m. for free.
Couldn't catch Brad Wilson Friday? Don't worry, he's playing again. Same place, same time, same price.
Just as free is a show at a barbershop in Arcata. The Trim Scene hosts a collection of works of honky-tonk stars, a beard and mustache competition and music by Cliff Dallas & the Death Valley Troubadours along with The Hill at 7:30 p.m.
There are some shows at churches too. At Arcata Presbyterian, the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir's 70 members will be doing their thing along with the AIGC Youth Choir and South African Singing Workshop Choir. 7 p.m. and $15.
Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka has Legends of the Celtic Harp at 7:30 p.m. You'll hear a harp, bouzouki, cittern and nyckelharpa. I don't know what all those are, but they probably sound Celtic. $20 suggested donation to get in.
Trampled by Turtles' Dave Simonett will be at Humboldt Brews at 9:30 p.m. Special guest Jordan Smart joins the show, and no animals will be trampled. $15 for these fellas.
Back up at HSU you'll find some Beethoven on violin. Professor Cindy Moyer is working her way through all of the composer's sonatas, but tonight you'll hear the Sonata in C minor. She'll be joined later by pianist John Chernoff for some non-Ludwig sonatas as well. Fulkerson Recital Hall at 8 p.m., $10, but just $5 for students and seniors.
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.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. He doesn't feel bad for not mentioning your show that you never told him about.