Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and with it the inauguration of the summer festival schedule begins. The 42nd installment of Summer Arts and Music Festival is happening in Benbow this weekend and, although I will likely not be there, I will be thinking about my erstwhile Southern Humboldt home and the charming people down there. Right around the bend are Enchanted Forest and Kate Wolf, and many more. What awaits us in the hot months between now and Hardly Strictly? Who is to say? Now that the grownups are meeting on their own on the Korean Peninsula without the human version of an aerosol-cheese factory fire to gum up the works of a potential peace deal, we might actually have decent Vegas odds of surviving the hot months of the year without a nuclear holocaust. So we must plan accordingly and pace ourselves. The hedonistic thrill of annihilation-eve must be supplanted with a sunblock-assisted, sober appreciation of the outdoor music season. Have fun, be safe and stay hydrated. And most of all, enjoy the show.
Have a great week.
Portland's Man Repellant plays its first California date on tour tonight at the Outer Space at 7 p.m. ($5). With a smoked-out, low-fi grunge sound, it's difficult to believe that the band will live up to its name — which sounds like a well-used gadget on the tool belt of Adam West's iteration of Batman — and repel too many dudes. Sway Sisters and Dast Bunny share the stage.
There are a triad of free shows for you tonight for the first Friday of the first summer month. It's art night in Trinidad and the JD Jeffries Band will be playing at the Trinidad Art Gallery at 6 p.m. Harpist Howdy Emerson is also billed to play and with a name like Howdy, I assume they mean the mouth-harp or harmonica and not the stringed variety but I could be wrong. Wanna find out?
The Celtic sounds of Port Mooncall will fill the warm wooden spaces of Café Mokka at 8 p.m. and give a soundtrack to the reflection of the waning Flower Moon playing on the pond outside.
And finally, the incomparable local pre-modern jazzy act Belles of the Levee will bring their delightful songbook to the Logger Bar at 9 p.m. to help keep the floorboards warm with dancing.
Singer-songwriter John Elliott plays the Sanctuary tonight at 7:30 p.m. ($10-$25 sliding scale). The Minnesotan-turned-Californian is an independent wonder in an age of corporate music and has forged his own path through an industry that does not generally reward such mavericks. His dusty boots-styled tunes have been heard on television soundtracks and he is well appreciated by those who know good music. Find out why tonight.
It's the second and last night of the Paul Simon Tribute show and tonight's performance will act as a fundraiser for the Arcata Playhouse, the host venue. It features a talented cadre of local musicians, including Duncan Burgess, Jan Bramlett and Joel Sonenshein, so expect a fun run through the songbook of America's most prolific tunesmith south of Bob Dylan 7 p.m. ($15).
Karaoke Mondays continue up at Six Rivers tonight at 8 p.m. with DJ Marv. Discover things about your own talents and those of your friends while belting out personal tributes to what we think our favorite songs should sound like. Want to avoid a serious rookie pitfall? Don't do "Whoomp! (There it is)" by Tag Team. There's a word in there that you really wouldn't expect from high school assembly memories and which most of us have absolutely no business saying. I have seen it happen and it isn't pretty.
Over at The Jam, the neo-soul funky hip hop dance party known as The Hip Connection goes down at 9 p.m. so don't hide your pretty selves away (price TBA). Get in on the action.
Bay Area producer Carly Bond fronts her own band out of Oakland called Meernaa. Staffed with some of the hottest jazz players in the area and featuring Ms. Bond's very soul-drenched vocals, this is a show worth seeing. Bond and Co. play the Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. and for $5, the gig is a real steal. Local wonders Blood Honey and Dimboi will join the fun.
It's another installment of Mad River Brewery's Pints for Nonprofits, where a portion of the evening's suds goes for a good cause. This week the beneficiaries are the Osa Interactive Gardens NGO and One Forest, and the featured band is Arcata's own jazz-mutant hybrid Foxtrot so the tunes will be solid — 6 p.m. is the hour and free is the price, so who are you to resist?
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 used to build Lego starships while listening to mid-'70s Paul Simon records. Now he gardens nude to trap music. Lateral career move? He lives in Arcata.