Before we get into where you can go with your bodies, let's talk about where you can go with your ears. This week marks the debut of a new KMUD program, The Adventurous Ear in which host John Hardin shares unusual, interesting, genre-defying music, and talks to the artists who create it — including Humboldt County's own musical experimenters. The Adventurous Ear airs Thursdays at 5 p.m. on 88.1 FM, beginning this week with the music of Arcata-based improvisational ensemble, Medicine Baul, recorded live at Synapsis in Eureka. So if you, too, produce very odd music, send a CD to The Adventurous Ear/John Hardin c/o KMUD, P. O. Box 135, Redway, CA 95560.
Which offers a perfect segue into the Lancaster Trio, comprised of Elizabeth Grunin, a cellist from Sacramento, Nicaulis Alliey, a flutist from Venezuela and Jelena Dukic, a pianist from Florida. The group's upcoming Humboldt State University performance will include "Vox Balaenae" ("Voice of the Whale") by celebrated contemporary American composer George Crumb, who was inspired by the first recordings of humpback whale songs in the late 1960s and requested that all performers of the piece wear masks and be bathed in blue light. Show begins at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 general/$5 seniors, children and students, available from the HSU Box Office or at the door.
In more familiar fashion — although on a less familiar day — DJ Red, Matt n'Adam and Jaymorg & Funky T-Rex bring Soul Night, once again, to Humboldt Brews. Tickets are $5, doors at 9 p.m., 21-and-over.
Hippies and treehuggers, this one's for you: Moonalice offers a seasoned blend of roots, rock and R&B at the Mateel Community Center in a benefit for EPIC that also is sure to include a multi-sensory experience of lights, visuals, music, art and dance highlighted by extended improvisations in the tradition of the Grateful Dead. Doors open at 6 p.m. for dinner, music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and available at www.brownpapertickets.com, Redway Liquor and Wildberries Marketplace. All ages.
When junk-blues purveyors Hillstomp took a year's hiatus in 2013, fans worried the break would turn into a permanent one. The band allayed fears with the release of Portland, Ore last year — great news for those of us in love with Hillstomp's rambunctious deluge of North-Mississippi-trance-blues-meets-Appalachia-punkabilly clanging and tumbling. The duo plays Hum Brews at 9:30 p.m., tickets are $12/$15, show is 21-and-over.
Saturday nights don't get heavier than this. Port Orchard stoner rock heroes Mos Generator join Humboldt's own veteran rockers Lord Ellis at the Alibi. Music starts at 11 p.m., cover is $5, show is 21-and-over.
More local action takes place at the Palm Lounge, with a hip-hop extravaganza featuring The Dirty Rats, Hiway, Nac One and Sinek. Doors at 9:30 p.m., no cover.
Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick, two of the Bay Area's most admired bluegrass artists, perform the songs of their highly esteemed California predecessors, Vern Williams and Ray Parks, best known for their hard-core traditional bluegrass in the high lonesome style. The show takes place at the Arcata Playhouse at 7 p.m., tickets are $18 general, $15 Playhouse and Humboldt Folklife Members.
Here's an interesting little show — The Velopheliacs and Minna Stenberg at the Siren's Song. The Velopheliacs' sound is dark and wandering, likely classified under "indie folk," but that seems a bit restrictive for a band so wide-ranging. A "velophile," by the way, is someone with a passion for bicycles and cycling, and the Velopheliacs' eponymous track is ridiculously catchy — preview it on Spotify and be prepared to sing along. Somewhere between little girl and torch singer, Minna Stenberg is a somewhat more traditional take on the chick-with-guitar motif. She also does a nice Mumford & Sons cover. Show starts at 8 p.m., free, all ages.
Look, just cancel whatever you have going on Thursday morning so you can catch the psychedelic-funk-soul wonder known as Monophonics at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Think early Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone, and The Temptations meets The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Seriously cool. Doors open at 9 p.m. happy hour prices on food and beverage until 10:00 p.m. $15 advance tickets at www.arcatatheater.com, Wildberries, People's Records and The Works. $20 general admission tickets, and the show is 21 and over.
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.