First off, hi.
Secondly, it would be disingenuous in a community this size to act as though a huge piece of this paper weren't missing. Last week's North Coast Journal was the first in seemingly forever to not include a page with "The Hum" emblazoned across the top. Obviously, business is not per usual.
For nearly 15 years now Bob Doran has been filling the Journal's pages with Humboldt's color, whether through his written coverage of local music and events or by being on the scene as "the tall guy with the camera." (Down in front, Bob.) If you need evidence of how enmeshed in North Coast life Bob is, take a scroll around his Facebook page where countless locals have laid bouquets of words to honor him. One commenter noted that his "insightful photos are the glue that binds our community." Folks dig Bob.
So, since we're into fighting disingenuousness, let's be real: Regardless of what it says at the top of this page, this is not The Real Hum. I worked alongside Bob for four years, occasionally attempting Hum duties when Bob was coerced into taking vacation, but I was only babysitting. Now, until Bob returns from healing after his stroke, the Journal will use various community-reflecting writers to keep you in the know. (Would you like to be one of them? Get ahold of Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Hopefully it won't be too long. We'll keep your seat warm. Fight on, big guy.
Summah, summah, summah time
With the standard Memorial Day weekend rain endured, Humboldt looks ahead to our brand of summer — the students clear out, Arcata's bar meat market dies down and our various rivers taunt us with sparkly come-hither looks. Want proof it's go time? With the first weekend in June staring us in the face, this Humboldt weekend features the first event audacious enough to include "Summer" in its title. Thar she blows.
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area will be soaked in vibrancy Saturday and Sunday for the 37th annual Summer Arts and Music Festival. Fittingly ushering in the sun worshipping months ahead, the event continues to grow, featuring four (but more, really) stages, over 150 mostly local handmade craft and food booths and SoHum warmth.
But you care mostly about the music, si? This year's lineup is full of high-energy, crowd-pleasing groups not unfamiliar to our region. For starters, SoHum will be filled with the filthy grooves of Dumpstaphunk, a legit New Orleans funk/jazz/blues/jam ensemble celebrating its tenth year together since debuting at the 2003 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The band is fronted by multi-instrumentalist Ivan Neville — yes, he's a nephew of the Brothers.
Also on the bill: Well, there's Bay Area Gypsy party rockers Diego's Umbrella, who promote themselves as providing a "futuristic Spaghetti-Western soundtrack." I'll add "on crack" because it fits, it's easy and why not? Then there's Moksha, which has added The All-Star Horns to its brand of low key funk since the last time you've seen it. Who else? Sure, electronica producer Gaudi will bring heavy beat and bassline-driven soundscapes. And then of course instant funmaker Yogoman Burning Band, which is really trying to secure the title for "Humboldt's Favorite Out of Town Band," isn't it?
A quick list of other performer highlights: Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Joanne Rand, Rupa and the April Fishes, Bayonics, El Radio Fantastique and, geez, mateel.org, people. Check it. One new added feature this year will be the Summertronica e-music tent featuring local DJs, lights and good vibes, man.
Admission to the festival is $15 per day or $25 for both days, which is really a steal. (Not that you Mateelians should raise the price or anything. Just sayin'.)
The big O approaches
Speaking of holy crap it's June, Humboldt is only two weeks away from Arcata Main Street's suddenly controversial Oyster Festival. Yes, the event will require you to cough up a Hamilton just to smell the simmering bivalves. Yes, we know that is change. Yes, it probably could have been announced more gracefully. But sometime in the last few weeks word crept out online that none other than Lyrics Born is O-Fest's musical headliner? How did that slip by us? You would be hard pressed to find an LB show that costs $10 anywhere. So, there's that. One more Oyster Fest note: Rumor goin' round is that eleventeen-time KWPT The Point's Shuck and Swallow raw oyster lovin' champions Connor Eckholm and Aiden Semingson are taking a year off from dominating the competition. (Will and I took those guys on one year. Two words: Miss. Take.) What that means is that there an opportunity for glory — and tummy ache — potentially yours for the taking. You and a teammate can sign up for that yummy fame grab by calling DJ Carole Ann at 786-5978.
Read elsewhere in this paper about Humboldt's unprecedented two film premieres — After Earth on Thursday and Willow Creek on Friday, respectively, ... Arts Alive on Saturday, of course. ... This Sunday the Eureka High School Players are giving a Nintendo-themed performance of a Super Mario Musical to raise funds for a trip to Scotland. ... Seeing as themed dance parties seem to work so well in HumCo, DJ Knutz will tear through four hours of disco at HumBrews on Thursday. ... More gems in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online.