You may be familiar with All Ages Humboldt's Facebook page. If so, you saw the sad post about the Placebo losing its home at The Ink Annex on Oct. 31. This development leaves the folks behind the all-ages events without a space to host them. "If anyone knows of a possible new location for The Placebo," the plea goes, "please get in touch. ... With any luck we will persevere through this."
For anyone who hasn't been reading local music coverage for the past 12 years (and likely then some), the quest for a permanent all-ages venue has been elusive, to put it mildly. This is a goddamn shame. Seriously. What kind of world do we live in where a group of people want to create a safe, drug-free, booze-free space for young people to immerse themselves in the cathartic experience of live music at a time when it most matters and they can't find the support to make it happen? City council people should be lining up to make this happen. I grew up in a culturally deprived hellhole of a town and yet we still had a club that had under-21 nights. Between the boundaries of Humboldt County, someone, somewhere, should have made this happen a long time ago. We have bars galore — yay, bars! — but the ability to sell liquor should not be what determines a music venue's viability. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know — that's the reality. All those drinks we buy is what keeps a place in business. But c'mon, elected officials! Grants? Donated space? An answer must exist. Yes, teens and 20-year-olds can get their fix at the various residential venues around town (most of the folks booking said venues prefer their shows not be publicized in this space, ahem), plus a few careful taverns — Blondie's and Siren's Song — but no good arguments exist for denying teens a constructive, safe, approved alternative to house parties and car sex. (Not that I'm anti-car-sex. Just, you know, pro-options.) (And condoms!) (Where was I?)
Right. Who will step up and support The Placebo? You'll have my vote.
The best of the fests?
One of the solutions for the too-young-to-tipple crowd is to get the hell out of town and to one of the many music fests lighting up the greater West Coast region. The season's winding down, but far from over — not with the excellent Treasure Island Music Fest happening this weekend in San Francisco Bay. The best thing about this particular smorgasboard of musical delight is, of course, the artists, but many other attributes contribute to making Treasure Island a cut above, notably no overlapping sets. Seriously. No schedule conflicts. You don't have to bail out of one favorite band's set to go see another's. Also, they have a Ferris wheel. Saturday is primarily hip-hop and electronica-flavored — Outkast headlines, but you'll want to catch Ana Tijoux and Janelle Monae earlier on. Sunday leans indie, with Massive Attack finishing up the night, and the brilliance of TV on the Radio, Alt-J, The New Pornographers and Chet Faker, among others.
Because the festival is literally on an island, transportation takes even more planning than your average SF experience. Read up on how to make it all work at treasureislandfestival.com. And, of course, you can download the app.
Let's get back to local goodness. When a band is described as "San Fran psycho-grass," you know the wacky string action will happen at Humboldt Brews. In this case, via the Jugtown Pirates, starting at 9:30 p.m., with a $10 cover. Show is 21-and-over. Wurlybird opens.
Skipping right over Friday to get to this glorious moment: Humboldt County's Tom Petty tribute band Full Moon Fever plays a special one-night-only show at the Jambalaya. The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who get the beautiful heartache sexy genius of Tom Petty and those who have no soul. Don't be the latter. Cover is $7, the show starts at 9 p.m. and is 21-and-over.
Over at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, the scene is EDM/bass-heavy with Minnesota, GJones and Jackal. Get in on the party for $20 (available in advance at the usual outlets), doors open at 9:30 p.m. and this show is 21-and-over.
At the Alibi, it's a PDX-meets-E-town lovefest — or luvfest, rather — with Portland's rock folkers Lone Madrone and Eureka's The Lost Luvs providing what is sure to be the sort of excellent time that makes you feel prettier and smarter than when the night started out. Alibi standards apply: $5, 11:30 p.m., 21-and-over.
The second of three concerts in the Redwood Jazz Alliance fall season at 8 p.m. in HSU's Fulkerson Recital Hall with The Greg Osby Quartet, whose leader is known as one of the most forward thinking artists in contemporary jazz. We could rehash Osby's impressive resumé, but all you really need to know is, if the RJA books it, the show's solid. (Random observation: Osby is pretty sexy in the press photos.) Advance tickets — $15 general, $10 students/seniors — may be purchased at the locations where one typically buys tickets to musical events and also www.redwoodjazzalliance.org.
Bonus: Greg Osby will also present a post-concert workshop, free and open to the public, on Monday at the Humboldt State University campus. See aforementioned website for details.
You may know him as a founding member of the Greyboy Allstars. Now Hammond B3 master Robert Walter has his own band, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, which lands at the Jambalaya for a night of funk magic along with our own fantastic local crew The Getdown. Cover's $15, show starts at 9 p.m. and is 21-and-over.
If you enjoy irreverent songwriters, expert instrumentalists, former street-performers and consummate showmen, great news! The Two Man Gentlemen Band performs at the Arcata Playhouse. Monday, Schmonday! A tenor guitar and string bass duo in the tradition of the great Slim & Slam — with the occasional pyrotechnic banjo feature thrown in — Andy Bean and Fuller Condon have an obvious affection for pre-war American jazz and Western swing, but they're no period piece. The decidedly contemporary feel of their lyrics and the hilarious, often ridiculous, improvised banter that peppers their live shows combine with the music for a thoroughly modern ruckus. All that for only $10. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. All ages!
Cruising in from Austin, I Am the Albatross combines the backwoods mysticism of old-time American folk songs with the savage spirit of rock, punk and psychedelic noise at the Siren's Song.
On Thursday, Oct. 23, catch The Fairy Rings, local psych and garage fuzziness, plus West-Tripp, debuting a local spin on the drone-experimental sound. No cover! All ages! 9 p.m.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to email@example.com.