I've been bloviating a lot here lately, so I'll make this short and sweet. I heard a sound last week, a most unique and wonderful sound, and I would like to share it with you, inasmuch as I can transmit that information via the printed word. I went back-country snowboarding on Horse Mountain last Monday — the less said about my abilities at that sport the better — and there was this sound ricocheting across the valley. It sounded like a pitch-shifted metallic twang. After our runs, my buddy suggested that we check out the road the snowplows had just cleared up to some transmission towers. I am very grateful he did because as we surveyed our erstwhile boarding hill from across the valley from where we parked below the towers, we were treated to the source of that sound. Snow clumps, melting off the transmitters and discs on the modern metal spires were falling and hitting cables, metal struts and other accoutrements (I am not an engineer and I know none of the technical terms for such things) attached to the structures, making a symphony of percussive metal noises. This soundtrack, coupled with the sweeping snowy vista below us in the clear sunny air made me feel as if I were in a strange and beautiful film. Like if Werner Herzog made a bloodless sci-fi flick that was also somehow a documentary about evergreens. It was the perfect coda to a day of pure ego-depantsing as I learned how to fall down and get up and fall down again.
Have a great week.
It's an all ages low-fi rock night at Siren's Song tonight at 8:30 p.m. when Sacramento's grungy emo kids Meet Cute play with local garage-y headliners Super Senior, formerly Kids Eat Free (it's a move up the menu, name-wise I suppose). Local openers Five Minutes Alone starts the night. Do they sound anything like the Pantera song of the same name? Vegas odds say it's rather doubtful but there's only one way to find out, friends. Price TBA.
Northwards across the bay it's pint night at The Jam with another solid YAMS-curated show at 9:30 p.m. ($5). Three very different and very talented local bands come together to play to local half-priced beer fanciers: Paradise Inc. pays the bills with a glossy modern psychedelic pop sound, while Opossum Sun Trail favors a more classically western lysergic sound with a mezcal sheen and The Fatherlies play progressive jazz chops with, I dunno, a Sun Ra sunburn? What I'm saying is that I have a sunburn which has probably worked its way into my skull, so bear with me on my descriptions — I have good intentions I assure you.
Most of bluegrass king Del McCoury's backing band — including two of his sons — have been touring for the better part of a decade as The Travelin' McCourys playing hot bluegrass jams to packed venues across the land. Tonight at 9:30 p.m. they play Humbrews in support of their long-awaited debut long player. Three-piece Oakland folk act T Sisters, made up of — wait for it — three sisters, opens the night ($25).
There's a disparate deal going down at The Little Red Lion tonight at 8 p.m. with an experimental metal band from the East Bay called Gurschach and a swingin' and punkish ragtime act from Ellensburg, Washington, named Robbers Roost. Elsewhere in the roster you will find local heavy groovers Ultramafic, glammy punk gutter act The Scum Lourdes and the delightful folk duo Cats Meow. A perfectly odd lineup for a perfectly odd bar. Price TBA.
The Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir and the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Youth Choir presents Love Thy Neighbor tonight at 7 p.m. at the Arcata Presbyterian Church ($18, $15 advance). It's a fundraiser for the church to help repair damage caused by the horrific arson attack last September that also seriously injured a 28-year-old man who was sleeping in the doorway. Yes, in case you forgot, someone was set on fire in the doorway of a church in our community last autumn, so love thy neighbor seems like a pretty important message.
It's a loud-music showcase tonight at The Siren's Song tonight with Portland post-punk act Broken Spirit and two hardcore acts from Chico, D-FY and Outside Looking In at 8 p.m. ($8). Punk band The ChainLinks provide local support for this all ages event.
Black Faun Gallery is hosting Nest of Possibilities at 6 p.m., a live drawing performance by artist Laura Corsiglia with improvised music by Medicine Baul and dance by Leslie Castellano. Price TBA.
Oglala Sioux and Navajo activist and hip-hop artist Nataanii Means performs at The Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. ($8). Joining him will be Native rapper Antoine Edwards from Omaha, GRIZZ and Arcata hip-hop act Mash Yellow Bird.
For the past 30 years, through line-up changes and the death of a founding member, Altan has been consistently ranked one of the world's best groups playing a modern take on Celtic and traditional Irish music. If that is your jam, then join them tonight at the Van Duzer Theatre at 7 p.m. for an evening of exactly that sort of thing ($39).
I really dug deep for this one but I have to be honest, apart from a regular restaurant gig — Tony Roach at The Victorian Inn at 6 p.m. and Rude Lion Sound's regular dancehall Monday deal at The Ocean Grove at 9:30 p.m., both of which I have mentioned in this column before, I can't find any shows to recommend tonight. It's Monday, after all, but a real dead one at that. How dead is it? How about deader than a bigoted evangelist who told a delighted and agreeable Richard Nixon during a taped conversation in 1972 that Jewish people have a "stranglehold" on America that "has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain." Deader than the snake oil salesman who helped to destroy the separation of church and state in this country by weaponizing religion to the detriment of millions of people, religious and secular alike. Deader than the apocalyptically-obsessed creep who openly supported the disastrous war in Vietnam and privately advised bombing campaigns too horrific in projected casualties even for the aforementioned President Nixon. Just spit-balling here and using my lazy creativity to imagine this recently deceased and purely fictional charlatan to illustrate how grave-like tonight is, as no one with so outlandishly ugly a character could have achieved any prominence as a national moralist in real life.
Who Is She Productions presents Dancehall at The Jam at 10 p.m., a bi-monthly Jamaican dance party that happens on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and which will likely burn the midnight oil. Price TBA.
One of Japan's most popular modern taiko drumming groups Yamato stops off in Arcata for a performance of its newest production The Challengers tonight at 7 p.m. ($39). Expect an evening of complex dances, masterful multi-instrumentation and elaborate costumes all to the beat of the broad family of percussion instruments that make up the taiko tradition.
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 email@example.com.
Collin Yeo could not imagine a national political landscape this venal and stupid outside of a pirate colony run by intellectually deficient cavemen. He lives in Arcata.