Judging from the videos and photos capturing the Sunday night Palm Lounge scene, a better-than-decent crowd turned up for last week's La Luz gig — and as fast as that particular all-girl surf pop act from Seattle is rising, any chance to catch them should not be missed. Good on ya, Humboldt!
Thirsty for some soul
Well, hey — it's the Thursday night version of Soul Night at Humboldt Brews. "We figured, what better way to start off a new year fresh than try out a Friday morning hangover?" say the purveyors of aforementioned soul. Hop aboard with Jaymorg, King Maxwell, Matt'n'Adam and more. You can never go wrong going dancing. Doors at 9 p.m., cover is $5 and you've got to be 21 or older to get your groove thing on.
Friday feel-good fun
Look who's having a birthday! A-town all-star Pete Ciotti! You know Pete from Big Pete's Pizza, the Jambalaya, Nucleus, Full Moon Fever and far too much more to list in this small space. Join him for P.C.'s Birthday Bash with funky Motherlode (he's also in this band), hot jammin' DJ Rickshaw and sexy Samba Da Alegria, all at Humboldt Brews. Cover's $10, doors at 9 p.m. and yes, another 21-and-over good time.
And then there's Saturday aka "no excuses" night
Wow, Saturday. Live music options as colorful and diverse as a box of Jelly Bellys. Here we go...
Bang for your buck
New wave darlings Space Biscuit headline at the Jambalaya with San Francisco's solid alternative rock power trio The Institution. Opening the night is local electronica artist — are you ready for it? — Knot They're. Space Biscuit's Tamaras Abrams pulls double duty as her other band Electric Gravy closes the night with a short set of hip-hop electronica improvisation. This four-band night of something different will set you back a mere $5. Things start around 9 p.m., show is 21-and-over.
Humboldt's singer-songwriter darling Josephine Johnson has moved to Los Angeles, where she's the after school programs director at Citizens of the World Charter School in Mar Vista and a development and communications assistant at WorldSpeak language academy in Santa Monica — "I'm thankful to have solid jobs that allow me to play music all over LA. I have landed in a very good space. Finally! Amen," Johnson writes. Congrats, Josephine! She's not completely done with us yet, though, and is returning to town for a CD release party for her new album, Let It All Out at the Palm Lounge. The show gets going around 9 p.m. when members of a Reason to Listen poetry collective will perform 15-minutes of original compositions followed by Perry Brubaker (The Plumb Uglies, Hollow Down) in a solo set. Johnson's band consists of Brubaker on Bass and Jay Forbes (Strix Vega) on drums. This is a 21-and-over show.
Songs for all occasions
Hippies, rejoice! Festival favorite Hot Buttered Rum returns to the sweet, sweet music room of Humboldt Brews. For the ungreased, Hot Buttered Rum is a San Francisco band of five friends who perform what we shall refer to as "Americana fusion, a happy, sing-along mix of bluegrass hoe-down, high-art and roadhouse rock." They are serious about their mission. "Sing-along! Have fun! Hot Buttered Rum lives for songs. Songs to sing in the shower. Songs to crank through your ear buds at the DMV." Hot Buttered Rum boast three songwriters — Aaron Redner, Nat Keefe and Erik Yates — who spin tales about the good times, the bad times and the roads in between. If you're not sold yet, consider this: Last August, Hot Buttered Rum performed not only the "Star Spangled Banner" but "Bluegrass Fight Song" as part of the opening ceremony at a San Francisco Giants game, an achievement that covers them in oodles of cool in my book. (Is it baseball season, yet?) Doors open at 9 p.m., show is 21-and-over, tickets are $15 and recommended in advance.
And in case all the above sounds too heartwarming and happy, never fear! Or perhaps ... fear. Because Chico doom metal masters Cold Blue Mountain are bringing their heavy sound to the Alibi for the first time. The band is touring an eponymous debut album, released last year on vinyl through Gogmagogical (!!!) Records and on cassette (!!!) through Vulture Print (as well as digitally through iTunes). Interesting tidbit from the band: "Over the summer/fall, the band took a break while our singer Brandon was a castmember of this season's The Amazing Race on CBS (unfortunately he didn't win)." We're talking the Alibi, so music won't start till 11 p.m. or so and you'll need $5 to check out the band. Another 21-and-over, obv.
Shows to buy tickets for now
The live music influx continues to ramp up over the next several weeks with three shows of note on the horizon.
Americana fans, please know that Midwestern singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault plays at the Arcata Playhouse on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Advance tickets are $15 and available at Wildberries Marketplace, Wildwood Music or by calling (707) 822-1575. Admission is $15 general, $13 HFS members.
Lovers of high brow hip hop, attend to the fact that the Zion I Masters Of Ceremony Winter Tour with special guest SOL is happening Friday, Jan. 31, at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Cost is $20 at the door, but you can (and should) get $17 advanced tickets at Wildberries Marketplace, Peoples Records, The Works, the ATL and ATL online. The show is 21 and over.
To those who live for tightly arranged, melodic, eclectic songs of beauty (and performers who are easy on the eyes), here's a heads up that around the corner that same Friday, Jan. 31, Morning Ritual, a new collaboration between Portland-based composer Ben Darwish and twin singers Shook Twins, brings a rock/folk/jazz/R&B sound to Robert Goodman's Tasting Room. Tickets are $15.
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.