Friends sometimes ask me what I actually listen to, as I seem to carry an annoying aloofness in this column when it comes to music. And it grates, I am told. Well, tonight there is a big ol' harvest moon outside so I am listening to ... anything but Neil Young. I hate to be owned by practical conventions. Right now, I am playing The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell. Earlier it was a trap mix I found on Twitter, then Hey Moon by John Maus from what is probably my second favorite album title, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves. (My favorite album title of all time is unquestionably Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty, the perfect first release by the Scottish band Felt.)
Anyway, the point is that I am, at best, a man full of suggestions. Suggestions based entirely on my completely silly personal taste. So when it's appropriate, please disregard that taste and forge your own path. But if you embrace it, bless you. I promise I'll dance at your wedding. Or at least try to.
Have a great week.
It's an unusually busy Thursday night here in Hum. Co. First up is EDM duo Hippie Sabotage, pulsing the knobs at the Mateel at 9 p.m. for all of the jet-setting pleasure seekers in the SoHum industrial matrix ($40, $35 advance).
At the same hour in Arcata for $30, you can hear syrup-thick twee pop music played by people with pixie-cut mullets, ear gauges and hand tattoos when Never Shout Never schmoozes into the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State University.
Finally, tonight at Humbrews, you are cordially invited to visit the intersection of Burning Man, steam punk and the Oregon Country Fair when the hyperactive circus-dance experience MarchFourth makes a Napoleonic plunge into our nocturnal borderland at 9:30 p.m. ($20).
The Outer Space has a promising show tonight at 7 p.m. for fans of the sacred art of the DIY six-string (and synth) samurai. Oakland's post-punk trio Moira Scar is really, really cool. It's just that simple. Joining in for the fun are Shively's heaviest trio of evergreen rumblers Blackplate, punk rock royal upsetters The Cissies and the vacant and proper neo-surf rock sounds of Sue and the Namis ($5).
Over at The Jam and for the same price you can catch local pop-bluegrass supergroup The No Good Redwood Ramblers. The night-long hoedown kicks off circa 9:30 p.m. with an opening performance by local string-smith Chris Parreira — known for his work in local acts The Trouble and No Pardon. Should be fun.
Newly minted local metal act Unholy Orifice — possibly named after the trepanning spout at the cervical base of my skull, which I use to excise most of the memories from my adolescence — is graduating tonight from fast-rising local opener to bona fide recording artist with a demo release party at Siren's Song at 7 p.m. Along for the ride are local amp-burners Ultramafic, Knot Ewe and Racket. ($5).
Long before I dove into the Sonic Youth school of "tuning every guitar string to the same note and droning your way through a track," I discovered an even older master of the form in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, with its "all E's and a B" acoustic strum. Written a half a century ago by the Stills part of the equation, this light and timeless piece still inspires fresh ears who are blissfully ignorant of its kaleidoscopic baby-boomer hook-up culture origins. However, the two main players in that origin story — one an improbable survivor of the mid-century excesses of the most profligate generation since the Pharisees and the other a chanteuse and song interpreter par excellence — team up tonight at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts for a blockbuster performance. To speak simply, Judy Collins and Stephen Stills are coming to town for a night at the opera and they are national treasures so maybe think about getting a gander while the getting is good. At 7 p.m. ($89).
No big shows tonight but here's a weird idea: There is something called Arcata Contact Improv Jam at the Arcata Presbyterian Church tonight at 7:30 p.m. From what I can glean from my research, it's a sort of ad hoc open theater experience for anyone interested in the art of spontaneity. Musicians are encouraged to play over the experience. How can you keep from singing — and improv-ing? Free.
Guess what? It's Top Grade Tuesdays at The Jam tonight. What does that mean, you ask? It means that Who Is She Productions will be spinning the best bass-heavy dance tracks from the canonical gospels of hip-hop, dancehall and reggae for all comers at 10 p.m. (price TBA).
Hey, hey it's Whomp Whomp Wednesday at The Jam tonight, with impossibly bass-heavy dubstep, drum 'n bass and djent shit presented for the 011010000110000101110000011100000 masses. Tonight's activities will be curated by Skeler, Djedi, YAMA and Norman. The cover charge is $5 before 10:30 p.m. and a cool $10 for the hours after.
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 isn't really a judgmental asshole: He just plays one on TV. He lives in Arcata.