My roommate has been reading Macbeth all week, which sparked a discussion about our favorite Shakespeare plays, quotes and characters. While his is currently the titular power-hungry Scotsman and the "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" soliloquoy appears to have all the quotes he needs to satisfy, I am not so easy to satisfy anymore. Sometimes I feel like a fine fool, like Falstaff from the Henry histories or Dogberry the gross constable from Much Ado About Nothing. Sometimes I think a tragic figure like Othello or Hamlet fits my mood, although, if I am honest, I admit — thankfully — I am not important enough to warrant my own tragic play. I am never a lover like Benedict — the stars aren't in it for me, I'm afraid, and although I would love to be a trickster like Robin Goodfellow/Puck, I lack the shifty genius and commitment to fun and wickedness. And a favorite play is impossible, although A Midsummer Night's Dream or The Tempest seem as good as it gets. However, with so many great shows to report on this week I can tell you that my quote of the moment comes from Hamlet's Polonius: "Brevity is the soul of wit."
There's a grab-bag show of beat-based genres at The Jam tonight as pioneering leftfield Los Angeles rapper Aceyalone and DJ Az. Redsmoke is joined by a group of artists spanning afrobeat to neo soul and dub at 9 p.m (price TBA). Also gracing the stage will be AfriCali, J Ross Parrelli, CBaker and Eva Rhyme.
Meanwhile, over in beautiful Blue Lake at the same hour, Portland's best country and western bar band Jenny Don't and The Spurs will be playing a free show at the lovely Logger Bar.
There's a free show at the gazebo in Old Town today at 4 p.m. with soul and dubsters New Traditions sharing the bricks with Arcata's dayglo-polished pop group Paradise Inc.
Later on at 7 p.m. at the Outer Space, you can check out a Bay Area bedroom folk/electro/lo-fi blend as Oakland's Wizard Apprentice rolls through town with Julius Smack. Local support is provided by rapper SIRI and comma comma, which plays ecstatic orchestral repetitions in the (near) dark ($6).
Finally, tonight at 8 p.m. up at the Van Duzer Theatre, you will find Chico's own pioneering "California-sound" jam band The Mother Hips ripping it up like it's 1995 ($36).
Speaking of the mid-'90s, The Mateel hosts one of the decade's more influential acts this evening as The Crystal Method raises the roof with its era-defining electronica at 8 p.m. ($27). With a sound that is at once iconic but nonetheless groundbreaking in its time, this big-beat Las Vegas duo spanned every medium from dance floors to movies to video games. Catch them and your former self tonight.
Up at The Arcata Veteran's Hall at the same time the fantastic nonprofit EPIC is hosting its Forest Prom, an all-ages event that mimics that ancient high school social event but without the horror of a teens-only audience, and for a good cause to boot. There will be dancing to music provided by DJ East One and funk closers The Apiary and adult beverages available for those of age ($20, $15 students).
Two very different shows are available for your enjoyment at 8 p.m. tonight. Great Britain's hardcore veterans Antisect play the Siren's Song with local support from Dullahan, The ChainLinks and, in its debut performance, DëathWaivëR ($8).
Over at Humboldt State University's Kate Buchanan Room, world-class Cuban percussionist, studio ace and live dynamo Pedrito Martinez brings his whip-smart group to the stage for a rollicking night of hot Cuban dance music ($39). Who are you to resist?
The Miniplex hosts another band from the faraway land of Japan tonight, as stutter-start avant blues and prog trio Loolowingen & The Far East Idiots bounces on the ghost notes and staggers over the off-beats tonight at 8:30 p.m. (price TBA).
HIRS, the Philadelphia queercore collective on Get Better Records enjoys a rotating cast of supporting characters, from Garbage's Shirley Manson to Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! Tonight, HIRS appears at the Outer Space at 7 p.m. as a duo without the famous faces but with no less of the power, fury and fun, the hallmark of its punk-derived sound. Joining them will be Olympia's punk rock act Escort and local ragers The Cissies, who haven't put on a bad show yet ($6).
Local roots rockers Doug Fir & 2x4s play this iteration of the Mad River Brewery's Pint for Nonprofits. Join the fun at 6 p.m. and ride your bike there if you like, as the featured nonprofit today is the Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association (free).
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 is now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast. His tale isn't really full of sound and fury, but it is told by an idiot. He lives in Arcata.