I'll keep this brief because I really stretched out in my ekphrastic music writing this week and I don't want to test your patience. It's a brand-new week, a new month dawns, my birthday is just around the corner (next Thursday for anyone thinking about buying me a rideable war bird, black market Gundam suit or moderately priced fruit basket), and I am feeling pretty fat and sassy. I'm giving up booze for Lent and everything is rosebuds and bird calls as far as I'm concerned. Time to stretch out into the future. Go get some fun.
Particle Kid is back in town. Who's that? Why Micah Nelson, of course, the picking, sliding and looping roots guitarist who has made a name for himself with his solo work in this project as well as his guitar playing with Neil Young and other luminaries from his father's Rolodex. Who's his father you ask? Willie Nelson. So Micah comes by his chops honestly but is certainly a proper artist in his own right. Come see what I mean at the Old Steeple tonight at 7:30 p.m. ($20). But don't expect "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." This is every bit the younger Mr. Nelson's show. Friday
It's a good night for instrumental music so here are two options. The Horszowski Trio (pronounced Hor-shov-ski) is named after the late diminutive centenarian Polish piano genius Mieczyslaw Horszowski, whose long and brilliant career was an inspiration for players Jesse Mills, Raman Ramakrishnan and Rieko Aizawa. The trio returns to Humboldt to perform at the Calvary Lutheran Church for the Eureka Chamber Music Series at 7 p.m. ($30, $20 seniors, $10 students). Tonight's performance will be a celebration of the work of Ludwig van Beethoven in anticipation of the composer's 250th birthday in December. The program tonight will feature three trios, including the "Ghost" trio, which is a favorite of mine.
An hour later at Fulkerson Hall you can catch the HSU Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Orchestra performing a mid-semester recital ($10, $5 children, free for HSU students). The latter group includes my pal Jesse Garate taking a sax solo on the Charles Mingus piece "GG Train." Come and get it. Saturday
Assuming that you are at all like me — for your sake I certainly hope this isn't the case — and you support the idea of the possibly sold-out Mr. Humboldt Pageant at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 8 p.m. but don't particularly enjoy the spectacle and the press of the crowd, here are a couple of alternatives happening in Arcata at the same hour. Over at Blondies there's a pretty good rock show happening as Santa Rosa's Moon Sick brings some young punk vibes to a show tethered by local support from Dead Drift, Pills for Thrills and Wet Spot. All excellent bands ($5 suggested). Meanwhile at the Sanctuary, for a sliding scale door price of $10-$25, you can enjoy the Cowtown Serenaders, whose performance is a mix of balladry, puppets and props all in the service of a musical storytelling experience. Sunday
Maybe spend the evening reading a little bit about American history. For instance, on this day 110 years ago, the largest avalanche disaster in our nation's history happened in Wellington, Washington, when a half mile-wide goliath of snow took out a train depot and two snowbound trains full of sleeping passengers causing a death toll of 96. Morbid stuff, I know, but absolutely fertile grounds for a period piece about the early industrial west and a timely reminder about the fantastic power of nature. Monday
There's an indie pop masterclass afoot at the Miniplex tonight at 8:30 p.m. as Brooklyn's all-female clean-tone, vocal harmonizing quartet Habibi holds court in the incense and peppermint palace. Also present for the evening's diversions is Rudy De Anda from Long Beach, California, a musical ice cream man whose truck contains sweet flavors with swirls from the world of tropicalia and contemporary pop á la Destroyer and Mac DeMarco ($10). Super Tuesday
Oh thank God, Thundercat is back in town. Hot on the scent of a brand-new album, Dragonball Durag, this drippy soulster bass genius is coming for your ass and the collective asses of everyone in the audience at the Van Duzer Theatre tonight at 8 p.m. ($49). Expect nothing short of hot and super wet, the best of the best, the juiciest bits, the slickest neo-funk compositions. Take out an insurance policy on your buns, they're going to get the standard No. 2 pencil eraser treatment during the SATs at this one (SAT stands for Shaking Ass Tonight for the purpose of this message.)
By the way, did you vote in the primary today? Go do that if you haven't yet. Wednesday
Million Brazilians is a bizarre jazz ensemble capable of building woodwind tunes out of the ghosts of various musical styles of the late 20th century like a night-sprite frigate curling through the seas of hip electronic shit. They are worth your time and tonight the ship rolls into the Miniplex at 8 p.m. On deck are the ever dependable and utterly perfect tube-howlers Blackplate, whose farrowing grunts will witness the birth of chunky piglets of splendid misery. Apologies to Captain Beefheart for the previous sentence ($7).