Last week two very different musical geniuses passed away. Ric Ocasek was a hook-writer like no other before or since, and was the mind behind The Cars, as well as a talented producer behind the boards. Daniel Johnston was a lo-fi music collage artist who suffered openly and tremendously from various mental health issues for his entire career. While Mr. Ocasek moved in stereo and beyond like a multi-limbed avatar of pop bliss, Daniel, like his hero Casper the Friendly Ghost, was a magical being frozen in time and development, haunting the ever-diminishing borders of his childhood with his sweetly sad songs.
That the umbrella of American pop music is wide enough to house both of these talents is a genuine testament to the massive beauty of our culture and our near-limitless creative capabilities as a people. That's something worth celebrating and a bright note to take from a moment of loss. Americans can often present an ugly stereotype here and abroad, but our misfits and artists have always been pretty great. We set the scene with some of the weirdest and unique sounds because we are a fundamentally volcanic culture that burns what it sets in stone generationally and in hyperspeed. I'd like to think that this is something that will be celebrated in future places and by beautiful people whose lives and ideas I can't even begin to imagine.
Enjoy your autumn.
The Goldy-Lockdown is a local hip-hop show curated by the supremely talented DJ Goldylocks at Humbrews tonight at 9:30 p.m. ($10). The records and beats will be spun all evening for the flow and tastes of MCs LyriCool, Attribute, Flo J Simpson and Ruffian, who happens to be my middle brother and the dynamic wordsmith par excellence of the Yeo clan, Mr. Ian Yeo.
It's the beginning of the last weekend of summer and the days are just packed. The Creamery District is enjoying its third-Friday-of-the-month live music session in the courtyard between Bang Bang Vintage Clothing and the newish pub, which I finally checked out a week ago and enjoyed. The music starts at 6 p.m. and this evening's bands are electro duo Smog's Head Cold and Los Dune Bums. The entertainment is free. There's another free show within walking distance at 9 p.m. over at the Miniplex. DJs Red and Dacin are putting on a tiki lounge party where '60s outfits are encouraged and vintage tropicalia and exotica music will be spun. Fruity drinks will be for sale at the bar.
And finally, local high class jammers Absynth Quartet will be at Humbrews at 9:30 p.m. showcasing songs from their upcoming record Robot 0. Dan and the Americans opens ($10).
Jazz pianist and Juilliard professor Kenny Barron brings his quartet and half-century of musical acumen to Fulkerson Hall tonight at 6 p.m. If you want to hear the goods delivered by one of the masters of the form, you should probably roll through ($66).
It's Goth Night at Siren's Song, which seems sort of perfect given the ever-crisping weather turning the leaves towards decay and the wardrobes thicker. 8 p.m. ($5). Ambient Sacramento duo Venetian Veil will be showcasing its dark wares, along with Dj Dast Bunny and DJ Ratrace.
If your tastes are for a different sort of cultural institution then you could head over to Humbrews to check out Money, our county's most skilled interpreters of the Pink Floyd songbook. Saxophone and flute player Christopher Boa will be sitting in for this one. 9:30 p.m. ($10).
Two weeks ago, I reported on a fantastic forthcoming show featuring the Tuvan jazz-rock band HARTYGA. Well, that show was postponed due to the group having visa issues coming into the country. Thankfully, it's back on at the same place (Outer Space) with the same bands, Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa, The Sturgeons and dhinn-djon at 7 p.m. ($10, $20).
Monday (Autumnal Equinox) and Tuesday
Today and tomorrow are very quiet concert-wise so I suggest you celebrate the inauguration of my favorite season by harvesting something. Or sharpen up your horror film watch list for next month. Whatever you do, bring a scarf and gloves, please.
MarchFourth, the Portland, Oregon, circus culture marching band with more players on court than a basketball team is back in town and playing at Humbrews tonight at 9:30 p.m. ($20). If you enjoy hearing big, loud, eclectic covers by a large group who look like they scavenged their wardrobe from the lost and found pile at Burning Man, then this is your jam.
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.
Collin Yeo thinks that he'd do well in a nest, even better in a burrow. He prefers he/him and lives in Arcata.