I don't like Halloween. I have fallen asleep in a graveyard on two non-consecutive Halloweens. I once coated myself in homemade corn-syrup blood to the point where my own friends didn't recognize me and I had to explain why my face was stained pink to my coworkers for a week. I have sat through the execrable movie Troll 2 twice — once in the theater.
I have been to a haunted bounce house as an adult and without an accompanying child.
I have eaten candy corn. A lot of it. Willingly.
I don't like Halloween. I LOVE Halloween.
And in the midst of so much real-world horror, I want you all to love Halloween, as well. Live music seems like the easiest entry into enjoying a perfectly spooky week. Bright lights! Loud noises! Costumes! Dirty and haunted bar bathrooms! So here are some choice, mostly razorblade-free sonic candy bars to fatten your evil week with and help you love this dark season. Thursday
Since Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year (boo), most of us will probably be celebrating it sometime over that nebulous Twilight Zone period from Thursday to Sunday that many Humbolsheviks call The Weekend. But fret not, dear ones, here's a bright side: If you celebrate Halloween over a premature weekend, you have at least two nights for different costume plans. And if you choose to attend the Kinetic Lab of Horrors fundraiser for the Kinetic Sculpture Lab you have four nights of wardrobe options over Oct. 26, 27, 28 and Halloween, to dress up scary, silly, sexy or a mix of all three. Fortuna's The Zone and McKinleyville's The Dead Drops will be playing spooky and macabre tunes starting at 7 p.m. ($12).
Just around the corner at the Arcata Playhouse at 8 p.m., Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards bring string-band virtuosity and beautiful vocal harmonies to fill the air with the mellifluous sounds of the quartet's latest release, California Calling ($16 advance, $18 door).
Talented local early jazz trio Belles of the Levee will be singing and plucking tunes from The Great American Songbook at the Palm lounge in Eureka at 9 p.m. ($5). These ladies are fantastic live and the venue fits their vintage vibe well.
The Arcata Theater Lounge is bringing back locally favored electronic act Minnesota at 9:30 p.m. ($15 advance, $20 door). The deep bass dance grooves appeal to many of our (clears throat) seasonal visitors, so Minnesota's shows have had a tendency to sell out in years past. DOV1 opens.
Following a 7 p.m. showing of Oscar-winning director Ava Duvernay's 2008 documentary This Is The Life about the late '80s origins of West Coast hip-hop in a South Central Los Angeles health food store/venue, stars of the film Abstract Rude and Myka 9 will do a Q&A and perform a set at 10 p.m. at the Miniplex. Admission is free with a movie ticket to the film.
Local show promotion team YAMS is kicking off their two-night Halloween Party at Blondies at 9 p.m. with dance rock power trio The Apollo Era and psychedelic dream pop band Paradise Inc., featuring the truly slick guitarist Leo Plummer from local funk favorites Object Heavy. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.
If I could Kyle Reese/Terminator-Skynet send myself back in time to tell dumb teenage me anything, I'd probably avoid mentioning the hellscape of the last election cycle and just make myself learn how to ride a skateboard and have fun while my body is still supple and quick to heal. Moms and dads: Don't let your babies be like bitter old me. Take your young aspiring cube-gleamers at 3 p.m. to RampArt's fourth annual Shredfest, where DJ Goldilocks and local bands Miteazwell and Not Ewe will rock and bounce the indoor skatepark while fire dancers dance, food is plentiful, and costumes are encouraged. It's free and family friendly with trick competitions galore.
At 8 p.m. at Siren's Song, Invisible Mans will be bringing a beautiful, plangent, and Wilco-esque sound from their native New Orleans for all of you dark Americana fans to swoon over. Jazz-rock duo Indigenous Gentlemen and ragtime group Back to the Hill open (price TBA).
The Alibi is hosting a Halloween version of their punk/new wave DJ night RadioClash with DJs Blancatron and Zero One spinning dance beats over power chords at 11 p.m. ($2).
Acclaimed songwriter and musician's musician Chris Smither brings his low-tenor rasp to The Old Steeple in Ferndale, where the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. ($25 advance, $30 door). His songs have been covered by everyone from Emmylou Harris to Bonnie Raitt and his tune "Leave The Light On" gives me goosebumps every time and is just so nice I always listen to it twice.
Get an early start on celebrating Dia de Los Muertos at the Van Duzer at 7 p.m. with L.A.'s Grammy-winning Latin rock group La Santa Cecilia, Mexrrissey (a delightful Mexican Morrissey cover band with Spanish-language vocals) and one of the world's preeminent all female mariachi bands, Mariachi Flor de Toloache ($39). Tuesday
This is Halloween! Technically Halloween! Here are two Halloween costume party shows you can attend back to back. At 7 p.m. the Outer Space hosts Misfits cover band BRAINxEATERS, Julio Perdido (Spanish and punk covers), Daniel (pop-punk covers) and Muy Perraz's "sex techno." Various DJs spin ghoulish tunes and $5 will get you in with a costume, $6 if you go civilian.
The Jam has roots rock reggae group New Traditions (formerly the Dubba Dubs) and modern soul masters The Velvet Touch at 9 p.m. and you can bet your best Gomez Addams impression that the $10 cover will be cut in half if you have a costume on.
It's All Saint's Day, and you want some contrition to temper the evil of last week. You want your "Ave Maria" after "A Night On Bald Mountain" from Fantasia. I have three free shows for you to fix your soul with and put a lid back on your demons.
The Speakeasy has alternative house/jazz band LD-51 for their ongoing Ultra Secret Wednesday Queer Night series (may all nights be queer-friendly, everywhere and always) at 8 p.m. (free).
The Griffin has cumbia and salsa music being spun by DJ Pachanguero at 8:30 p.m. (free). Salsa dancing is expected so come prepared.
Meanwhile, at 9 p.m. at the Siren's Song, Portland's Roselit Bone will be playing its high-and-dusty-mesa-filled cinematic cowboy songs to all the lonely souls seeking attrition on that Lost Highway — probably me, as well, if the Hallo-hangover isn't too bad because I like this band (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.