Ah, baseball! What could be more feel-good than sitting in the stands, cheering on the Humboldt Crabs, seeing all the folks you only see in the summertime, wondering if the drunk hecklers behind you are going to spill beer down your back, right there at the Arcata Ball Park, where cowboys and hippies find common ground in rooting for the oldest continuously operated summer collegiate, wood-bat, baseball team in the country? Yeah!
Musically, we're looking at a rather slow week, so before we look ahead, let us harken back to last Saturday afternoon, post-Farmers' Market, sipping Alibi Marys with a stringband:
"How do you know when the band sucks? When they start playing 'Mustang Sally'!"
"How do you know when the band really sucks? When they're still playing it 25 minutes later!"'
"I remember this one green room in this one club had a sign on the wall: 'Please do not play "Miss Ohio," "In Spite of Ourselves" or "Wagon Wheel."'"
"Ah, 'Wagon Wheel,' the Americana 'Freebird.'"
Band members confessed that these jokes sometimes get them into trouble. People think they're making fun of songs many fans consider sacred. That's an incorrect assessment. The lesson is, even great songs become cliché when covered to death. Consider yourselves warned, bands of Humboldt.
The exception, of course, is the Crab Grass Band. Bust out the "Crazy Train." We will always support you. In fact, my dear Humboldtians, why not go for two? Baseball and the World Famous Crabgrass Band! Look for the little music note on the Crabs' schedule and plant yourself in the bleachers accordingly.
And now, onward.
Thursday's boy band bonanza
The Placebo hosts four bands in the Ink Annex beginning at 7 p.m. You've got Astronaut, "a death metal boy band" from the town of Paradise playing self-described "songs of tardigrades and intergalactic cabin fever laced with pummeling walls of sound." (I feel like these guys are not getting laid.) Also up, Santa Cruz's Medicine Moon, a two-piece neo-folk prog deal with Grace Slick-ish vocals occasionally drowned out by the band's deep sludge predilection. Hiss & Hum out of San Francisco lays down the ambient sounds and local band Small Axe rounds out the evening. Placebo members can enjoy it all for $4, everyone else pays $6 and it is, of course, an all-ages event. Please support your local all-ages venue by keeping it drug and alcohol free.
Comedians playing music: What could go wrong? Dr. Foxmeat and Matt Redbeard of Savage Henry join Burly Dent from The Hill to perform as the dubiously named Honky Tonk Manor at The Jambalaya. The gig starts at 10 p.m. Please support your local 21-and-over venue by keeping it that way.
Friday's feeling all the feelings
Americana singer-songwriter Chris Jamison brings contemporary folk to Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville. No less an authority than the Austin Chronicle named his fourth album, Sleeping with the T.V. On, one of its Top 10 of 2013, which makes sense given the appealing nature of Jamison's storytelling and gentle guitar. Fans of Mason Jennings, et al., should enjoy this show. Add a little whiskey — you must be 21 or over — and let the melancholy wash over you at 9 p.m.
The mellow week gives way to an utterly reverbalicious gig at the Alibi with the 1960s garage pop of local girl group The Lost Luvs, who join L.A./Seattle act Prophets of Addiction, mascara glam rockers extraordinaire. If you've been looking for the next Guns N' Roses with a splash of 45 Grave, Prophets of Addiction deliver the old-fashioned sleaze-metal you've been missing. Show starts at 11 p.m., cover is $5, show is limited to those of legal drinking age.
Out at the Logger Bar, DJ Red and DJ Zephyr will deliver the boss tuneage via all-vinyl at Garage Rock Au Go Go starting at 9:30 p.m. ("Because iPods are for squares, man!" says Red.) It's the Logger Bar, so you already know you cannot attend this show if you have yet to celebrate your 21st birthday.
LAM! LAM!, the one-woman performance art project of Pink Flag guitarist Betsy Shane, incorporates thoughtful subjects with cheeky dance styling. Her energetic live performances encourage — warning! — audience participation. LAM! LAM!'s latest EP, Caliban, explores nautical themes and the trouble that lurks beneath even the most idyllic of seascapes. Show up with your subconscious desires and expect them to be dragged from the deep before the night is through. In plainer language, LAM!LAM! makes some pretty fun power pop tunes with cutting lyrics a la early '90s fem rock. Take "Fuck Scene," for example: "In the dark I don't know whether to kiss or kill you/you think you're cool standing there." Who can't relate to that? Especially when it's danceable. This all goes down at Redwood Curtain Brewing Company with local dark disco babes Space Biscuit accompanying.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.