There's a lot going on this week. Summer Arts and Music Festival is happening in Benbow, and although I don't know what the post-legalization attendance numbers have been looking like, it's probably still going to be a pretty banging event for those of you rolling through. I myself will not be doing so, having decided to take a quick trip out of the area to better appreciate the things that I love about this remote and sometimes difficult place we call home. If all goes well and my travels aren't visited by calamity, then I will be back in time for my next deadline and to enjoy some of the gigs in the far calendar end of the week. A little perspective never hurt anyone, in the proper dosage anyway. So, for those of you like myself who were dumb enough to hit the road on Memorial Day proper, I hope that your travels have resolved themselves safely. And for the rest of you, keep a seat open for me: I plan to be back in town soon and I like having options.
Enjoy your week.
The Blank Tapes is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Matt Adams, whose sunburst and faded vintage sound presents like a hot 8-track mash-up from the wet end of a 1970s Dodge Tradesman Van-cum-Shaggin' Wagon. Adams and company roll through town tonight on the Super Bloom tour in support of the group's newest release, Candy. Along for the fun are TERMINATor, a righteous noise act from Seattle, as well as local flavor Mojave Green. You can get in on the fun at this all-ages show at the Siren's Song at 9 p.m. ($5).
The Jam has a fun jam funk show tonight at 9 p.m. Portland, Oregon's Far Out West is a quartet fronted by singer/guitarist Liz Chibucos, whose deep vocals sit somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Chrissie Hynde and ride high in the mix over jams which would not be out of place on any of the mid-70s records by the Grateful Dead. The band returns to Humboldt to cohabitate a stage with local fusion act Spunj. (Price TBA.)
Globetrotting musicologist Oryan Peterson-Jones is back in town, which means that his act Die Geister Beschwören will be playing at the Clarke Museum tonight at 6 p.m. for Arts Alive. Oryan plans to play pieces arranged for solo classical guitar, as well various stringed instruments from Cuba, Turkey, Peru and his most recent destination, Senegal. Expect folk music in the broadest and most fascinating sense of the term.
The Sanctuary is hosting its family-friendly open house, the Casual Cafe, today at 10 a.m. Expect music, coffee, a bake sale and interactive informal workshops with the artists in residence of this living temple of gentle expression. Bring the kids for this one and don't sweat the cost: It's free.
Blondies has an interesting line-up this evening at 8 p.m. Local twilight-teen folk act Blood Hunny and soft, sweet, velvet-winged whisperers Spirit Notes provide an enticing draw to catch some interesting out-of-town bands on the pre-summer prowl. Portland, Oregon's Bed Bits is a bright and groovy lo-fi surf band from the land of bridges and conjoined rivers, while Olympia, Washington's Thunderwerld is a fuzzy snare drum mess that sounds like someone making epic jams through a Tannoy speaker powered by both vacuum tube technology and an actual vacuum cleaner. I like it a lot. ($3-$5.)
The genre known as ragpunk seems to exist to give a voice and musical outlet for contemporary hobo fetishists. A portmanteau of ragtime music, punk, and alcohol-assisted esophageal torture, ragpunk exists to give banjo players and upright bassists something to do if their talents tend more toward strummin' and slappin' than robotically technical playing. If a campfire and a pouch of rolling tobacco could start a band, they would start a ragpunk band. Which isn't to say the music is bad: That isn't the case at all. It's just highly stylized and the players are invested heavily in its mythology, which can endear listeners as well as turn them off, depending on the calibre of the performers. In the case of tonight's show at the Siren's Song, the sounds fall strongly in favor of endearing: Everyone tonight can really fucking play and you should listen to them. Clyde and the Milltailers are a quartet whose songs are punchy, fast, and searingly left wing. I don't know what a milltailer is, but after listening to these chaps, I suspect I'd like to be one. Also on the bill is the excellent one-man band King Strang, who as far as I can tell is pulling double duty tonight providing bass for the headliners. Either way, this one is free, so don't you dare miss it.
You can enjoy two very different power trios at 8 p.m. at the Siren's Song without anybody stopping you. Oakland's Glowing Brain is a force of nature crafted out of the liquid volume of The Wipers and Motörhead and molded in the dead ear canals of anyone who dared to spend their youth in the blast zone of full-stack amps. Tonight they ride with local twang-thrashers The Sturgeons. (Price TBA.)
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 believes that any country that treats noncompliance to the police as a crime that deserves extrajudicial capital punishment is a failed state. He lives in Arcata.