Like everyone reading this, I survived the blackout PG&E inflicted upon us. Sitting in the dark, reading books by candlelight and headlamp, gave me ample thinking time, so I have decided to review some of last week's events, both worldly and personal. One thought came to mind: Public utilities should be publicly owned, and the revenue generated from the energy used should be reinvested in infrastructure, maintenance and community safety, rather than executive and shareholder payouts. If there's going to be a complete monopoly over our energy grid anyway, shouldn't we the people at least have possession of it? Moving on, I've been listening to a new artist whom I discovered when I went to see St. Paul and the Broken Bones at the Van Duzer earlier this month. The opener, Jeremie Albino, is a young man from Canada who plays absolutely gorgeous folk hymns with a young and talented band backing him up. Imagine if a musically stripped-down Gordon Lightfoot tried crooning like Stevie Wonder with the Cowboy Junkies backing him up. OK, don't imagine that, it's all nonsense and loose impressions anyway. Just go listen to the fella's music.
Finally, I have been following as best as I can the horror that is happening in Kurdish-run Northeastern Syria, a community that allied itself with the U.S. against ISIS, suffered huge losses and rebuilt itself through the unparalleled resilience of the Kurdish people. Only to be betrayed by Donald Trump through Twitter — yes, it has been reported that local government leaders discovered the withdrawal of American troops via the president's Twitter account and not the State Department. They are suffering unbelievable horrors at the hands of the Turkish military in the ensuing power vacuum. Pray for the Kurds; sad is the fate of anyone desperate enough to ally themselves with the U.S. We will betray you in favor of our avaricious leader's business interests at the drop of a billfold. Believe it. If this upsets you, the least you can do is learn more about the situation, bear witness to their suffering and work for a change in our government. If nothing else, it makes a short-notice blackout seem tame by comparison. If you disagree with my opinion, may I suggest you look into the last 243 years of American history. This isn't an isolated event, it's just a particularly pointless and stupidly evil example.
Be kind to your friends, neighbors and strangers, please.
Have a good week. Thursday
Virtuosic Hawaiian ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro returns to town tonight to play a rippin' set at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 7 p.m. ($49). Mr. Shimabukuro, who once favored effects laden party tricks but now focuses more exclusively on the natural sonic qualities of the tiny acoustic four-stringed instrument, has been playing the uke since he was 4 years old and showcasing his music for two decades since the days when he was in the award-winning Honolulu trio Pure Heart. Come hear big sounds from a little source. You won't be disappointed. Friday
Canada's warm and lo-fi melodic slo-mo pop act Loving is playing the Outer Space at 7 p.m. ($8-$20). I recommend listening to its self-titled record on Bandcamp. The tunes warble, swell and roll along like tape reel soundtracks to lost children's films from the 1970s. Local futuro-jazz act Tessoulation and the sweetly ghostly Spirit Notes are also on tonight's roster. Hey, hey! It's Fat Laces 3: Night of the Living Bassheads. What does that even mean? Well, it means that old school hip hop heads can go to Humbrews at 9 p.m. and, for a mere $5, dance to some phat wax tracks from rap's golden age spun by DJ Red, JayMorg, Chill Will and special guest, the ever-foolin', unstumpable, smooth and indefatigable DJ Goldylocks. Saturday
The mighty Lord Ellis is coming down the mountain for a much-desired ear-banger at the Alibi. The much-loved heavy riffing quartet always puts on a good show for those who desire the crashing sounds of traffic at the busy intersection of Deep Purple Road and Motörhead Lane. In on the calamity tonight will be Port Angeles, Washington's fuzz riding trio Teepee Creeper at 11 p.m. ($5). Sunday
American-Bahamian modern reggae artist Collie Buddz brings his dance-friendly and electro-tinged sound back to SoHum tonight to shake the frame of the Mateel Community Center at 8 p.m. Expect a fun scene with attractive hill people and local pot-farm cognoscenti grooving in the smoke-out at 8 p.m. ($25). Monday
Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller's Parlour Game is a quartet that, apart from showcasing the violinist and drummer's unique chemistry as collaborators, has an inscrutable and fun sound which hearkens to an age of pop, jazz and swing music played in the wainscoted parlors and ensconcements of secret party dens for lost generations of bright young things. Tonight begins a two-night stand at the Arcata Playhouse certain to appeal to lively music lovers of all ages. Both shows begin at 7 p.m., and admission is a mere $15, and only $10 for students. Tuesday
Chris Peck the Town Crier is a Bay Area singer-songwriter who is bringing his acoustic soul to bear at Blondies tonight at 7:30 p.m. Michael Dayvid, whose new album Solveig's Shadow is due out later this month, will also be bringing his formidable songwriting talents to the window-backed stage for this free, all-ages show. Wednesday
Oakland's False Figure is part of the resurgent post-punk movement going on in the bay and beyond. Tonight the group — featuring members of Adrenochrome and Cruz de Navajas — glooms and dooms its way through the Outer Space at 7 p.m. ($5). Also on the bill is local brat-attack punk act Sad Krotch and Riot Grrrl Punk Crushers, of whom I know nothing whatsoever. Odds say that this will be a fun show.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Yeo prefers he/him, but isn't too concerned about pronouns at night because for the entire month of October he turns into a singing cartoon jack-o-lantern after dark. He lives in Arcata, roving around, looking for candles and company.