The Kinetic Grand Championship is upon us this weekend, and it's hard to think of an event that more completely captures the strange, silly and fabulous spirit of life here in Humboldt County.
I arrived in Humboldt 16 years ago now, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't exactly remember my first sculpture race, nor the first time I heard, "For the Glory!"
I do recall the first time I took visiting family members to a kickoff at the Arcata Plaza, and when I took visiting friends another year to the kickoff and Dead Man's Drop. Watching out-of-towners get a glimpse into how special — did I mention weird? — life is and how tightly knit our community is literally brought a few tears to my eyes that day. This special event — and many others — is really something we should cherish, as I'm hard pressed to think of another place I've been that proudly flies its own freak flag to the many winds.
With all that said, when there's a big event happening in Humboldt, you know there will be bands gigging and hosting "unofficial" event parties for the folks who stay sober enough (or not) to make it to a night-time gig. So if you still have the required energy/sobriety to support a local band after supporting the Kinetic Glory, peruse the list below, or the Journal's Calendar section for the right local watering hole to keep the Glory flowing.
You'll find one of the Marleys in Southern Humboldt at the Mateel Community Center. Stephen Marley is set to perform around 9 p.m. and if you haven't picked up tickets in advance — for what I'm guessing is a sold out show — you may be lucky enough to grab a $40 ticket at the door. Best of luck.
I was recently made aware that another Alice in Wonderland movie just came out. I became confused, as I thought a film based on the Lewis Carroll novel just came out — turns out that was five years ago — and then I got equally confused as I thought Johnny Depp was Willy Wonka and realized that was a different film. After admitting to myself that I'm out of touch — and that life is one large rabbit hole — I was glad to hear that Moo-Got-2 is headlining A Very Wonderland Costume Ball at Humboldt Brews in celebration. Joining the bill is Boa, so expect plenty of Wonderland-themed costumes around 9 p.m. $12 for this party, but only $10 if you show up in costume.
Things will be funky at the Blue Lake Casino and Hotel around 9 p.m. Wander into the WAVE Lounge to get it going with locals The Getdown. It's a free show so you don't have much of an excuse to bail.
It's the kickoff of the Kinetic Grand Championship which — as mentioned above — is one of the weird and wonderful aspects of living on the North Coast. Get out watch the kickoff on the Arcata Plaza and follow 'em to Dead Man's Drop. If you take it easy on the day drinking and can pace yourself, there are a slew of "unofficial" Kinetic afterparties.
The one that claims the award for best press release belongs to the final show of Tigerbomb!, which, those of you hipper than I know, is an 18-year-old Guided By Voices tribute band. After forming in 1998 after some discussions on a GbV email digest fan club thing, former locals Jensen Rufe, Ryan Cook, Danny McAlerney, Aaron Karl and Big Play Ray put together the band. I could mention all the other local bands these fellas have been in, but I don't have the word count available. This final show comes 15 years after their last Eureka gig at The Vista (remember that place?) back in the aughts. They'll be joined around 8 p.m. by fellow locals The Monster Women, Opossum Sun Trail and The Mother Vines, all for free.
Also free, but at the Ocean Grove Lodge in Trinidad, is Cliff Dallas & The Death Valley Troubadours (Mojave outlaw country) and "outlaw country grass" by The Good Time Rounders at 9 p.m.
Humboldt Brews hosts Family Matters, a benefit for Bianca D (Kali Fiyah) who was struck by a car recently. Teaming up to raise some funds for medical care are DJ Touch, Masta Shredda, Grasshoppa and Haiku, all doing their part to help out. If you can chip in $5-10 it would be appreciated. Show time is around 9:30 p.m.
House of Floyd returns to Humboldt and you'll hear 'em at the Blue Lake Casino and Hotel. If you haven't caught HoF before, you're in for a treat — and a deal at only $18 — as the band not only recreates the Floyd sound to the proverbial "T," but the projection/light/laser show gets you as close to a real Floyd show as possible these days. Music starts at 9 p.m.
A little later at The Alibi you can catch Tucson rockers La Cerca as they return to Arcata on their West Coast Tour around 11 p.m. Although local band Strix Vega didn't send me a press release, I hear they'll be rounding out this $5 bill a bit after midnight (assuming their guitar player gets his guitar back from the pawn shop on payday).
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 email@example.com.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m. He hopes Glory never fades.