This is going to be brief because we are still in the lean days of the winter break. But even though I am writing in the last days of 2019, I would like to wish you all a hearty welcome to 2020. All of those twos and zeros seem pretty futuristic, don't they? Well the future is now and, to paraphrase Spider Jerusalem from Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan, it's inherently a good thing. But what if Leonard Cohen had it right in "The Future" and the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and has overturned the order of the soul, and now everything is murder, brother? Well, I suppose we are all going to all have to strike up a united front to keep that nastiness away. I think 2020 will be a year of pretty important choices.
Let's try to make the right ones.
Since I can't get confirmation as of press time whether Blondies is having its excellent and instrumentally diverse open mic tonight, I'm going to make another suggestion. It isn't music but the Logger Bar has been quietly hosting a Spanish speaking hour on Jueves at 7 p.m. Since languages are essentially dead unless spoken and there is no better way to pick one up than by speaking it with other people, this seems like a good time for students of any level.
The nights are cold and quiet in the first week of the new year, but luckily Blue Lake has two free shows going down. Over at the heavily decorated Logger Bar you can catch the strumming and picking pleasure of The Rinky Dink String Band. The name kinda says it all, eh? Meanwhile in the Wave Lounge at the Blue Lake Casino you will find Humboldt's premier Ween cover band The Stallions. Both shows are at 9 p.m.
The Moose Lodge in Eureka is hosting an evening of tango dance and performance with the Hyperion Ensemble from La Spezia, Italy. This six piece will be performing dance sets at 9 p.m. ($20) with free tango lessons available at 7:30 p.m.
If you crave a different sort of dance party, Radio Clash is back on at the Alibi. Join OG DJs Blancatron, Gabe Pressure and Zero One for a night of punk, goth and new wave beats and reverb at 11 p.m. ($3).
The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival comes to the Eureka Woman's Club for a performance of music from Beethoven's late period of string and piano compositions. Between the selections members of the assembled players will provide stories and information about the pieces and the life of the composer as he was writing them. The performance is sliding scale and donation-based, and will begin at 7 p.m.
We're still in the midst of the quiet lull of the winter entertainment season so I can't recommend anything tonight. Meantime, if you are so inclined, do what I like to do and put on Tchaikovsky's Pathétique and get warm with a good book.
The Eureka Branch of the Humboldt Library is featuring a special screening of the fantastic 1935 pirate film Captain Blood. I grew up on this movie, which was one of Errol Flynn's early winners. Incidentally, if you don't know anything about Flynn's life, I would suggest that you keep it that way: The man was an utter scuzzball. Anyway, this flick has an excellent breakthrough score by the prolific Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, who overcame an extreme three-week deadline by sewing in pieces from the music of Liszt to create a masterpiece of symphonic cinema synergy. 6:30 p.m. (free).
The Magic Voyage of Sinbad is a 1962 Roger Corman-modification of the 1953 Aleksandr Ptushko film Sadko, which is itself a visually lush interpretation of the opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. Oh, but it gets better, for Corman cut out a lot of the musical scenes, re-dubbed what was left in jarringly inert English, and made the quest by the Russian hero for the bird of happiness a part of the canon of Sinbad the Sailor. I was first introduced to this film with another layer of applied distortion, as it was featured as film fodder for the wise-ass robots aboard The Satellite of Love from the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Anyway, the movie is still beautiful and exotic despite being translated more times than The Epic of Gilgamesh, and I think it is worth a gander over at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 5:30 p.m. Entrance is only a $5 minimum of refreshments.
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 there are lies, damned lies, statistics and whatever the cable news uses to try and hide the massive popularity of Bernie Sanders. He prefers he/him pronouns and lives and votes in Arcata.