There's an old saying that goes, "Always leave 'em wanting more." I say, "When they don't want any more, always leave." Well folks, after two years, it's time for me to let the door hit me in the ass, so to speak. It's not you, it's me. Now don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed my time writing this weekly column. Hell, I've enjoyed it twice as much as you've enjoyed reading it. I've enjoyed highlighting the immense musical talent we have here on the North Coast. I've enjoyed the opportunity to interview world class musicians like Ani DiFranco and taking hard passes on interviews with world class musicians like Michael Franti. Most of all, I've loved wandering into esoteric ponderings about music as the intellectual/spiritual/emotional power and force it is. I've loved sharing the musical journeys of my children as they grow up. I've loved shit talking certain genres, certain people and the commercial and ego-tainted fads that take the shine off authentic expression. I've enjoyed talking to you. Then again, one-way conversations have always been my favorite.
I'm winning no awards here but there are people I'd like to thank. My editor Jennifer Fumiko-Cahill has put up with my nonsense these two years with a monstrous sense of humor. Kali Cozyris, who handles the hell out of the grid and calendar. Thadeus Greenson, Linda Stansberry, Kimberly Wear and all the actual journalists and writers whose hard-as-nails (and award-winning) work allows someone like me to enjoy claiming to be a "writer" at the North Coast Journal. Thanks to whoever actually signed my paychecks. Thanks to my kinder and gentler predecessor, Jennifer Savage, who recommended me for the gig. To my kiddos for unknowingly supplying me with material and my wife for letting me work Sundays. And of course thanks to you, the reader, for allowing me to write, in essence, "local music is good, and you should check it out" every week. Thank you for supporting local music. It needs you as much as you need it.
Local Americana band Rogues' Gallery is at The Mad River Brewery Tap Room this evening at 6 p.m. You may have seen this band around as they've been staying busy as of late, and catching them for a free show — like tonight's — is a treat, so stop on by for a pint and some tunes up in sunny Blue Lake. For more bass-heavy dance music, swing over to Hum Brews for Elevate with DJs Basstard, Joe-e, Derek Watts and Mr. EW, who will be hitting the stage at 9 p.m. And $7 will get you in the big room.
Home Cookin' has been gigging up and down Humboldt County now for more years than need to be mentioned. Comprised of a local supergroup of talent, this band always delights the diners and drinkers at Mad River Brewery, and they'll be doing just that this evening at 6 p.m. As usual, it's a free show at MRB and all ages — just keep the kiddos out on the dance floor and away from the booze. I keep waiting for an all-ages Silver Hammer show that I can make it to so I can get our son out hearing songs from his favorite band, The Beatles. Alas, tonight's not that night, but that shouldn't stop you from hearing Humboldt's favorite fab four tribute who'll be in the Wave Lounge at the Blue Lake Casino at 9 p.m. and playing for free. Even better, they're playing until 1 a.m. So that's like 150 Beatles songs. Love 'em all. It's a big night for local something-grass band Absynth Quartet as it's releasing its newest album, What Do All These Knobs and Switches do? tonight at Humboldt Brews in Arcata. These fellas have been grass-groovin' out the dance floors for as long as I can remember and have been doing it as a quartet these past few years. They're joined at this celebration tonight by fellow locals, Diggin' Dirt with the music starting at 10 p.m. and a $10 ticket price. Pick up an album when at the show, you'll like it and you'll be supporting hard-working local musicians.
During Arts Alive last weekend I had the privilege of a sneak peek into the Clarke Historical Museum as it underwent its renovation and pairing with Humboldt Made to house the new Eureka Visitor Center, which has its grand opening this afternoon at 1 p.m. It's a hell of a party for the new center for tourists coming to our majestic neck o' the woods to sample/buy some of our local craft products and immerse themselves in our history. There will be local food and drink along with plenty of music and former-local legend Earl Thomas playing a free — and rare — show. It will perhaps guiltlessly remind Earl of all that he left behind when his career took him beyond Humboldt County. Count the times I just mentioned "local" in this paragraph and you'll get the gist of what this Visitor Center is all about. I'll be on the road for a gig today, so if you make it, please find my wife and executive director of Humboldt Made, and tell her you're there because I told you about the event. She's pissed I'm missing it. Mad River Brewery hosts The Detours at 6 p.m. for some free honky tonk and then at 7:30 p.m. in Fortuna, you can find Acoustic Eidolon at the Fortuna Monday Club. The band blends Celtic, world, flamenco and Americana music with Joe Scott on the double neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello. Welcome them from Colorado with your $10 ticket. Beats and grooves are on the bill at the Arcata Theatre Lounge when doors open at 8:30 p.m. for co-headliners Phutureprimitive and Papadosio, along with support from MiHKAL (I hope I got the upper and lower-case type correct on that one). It's $25 tickets for this sweat fest. More grooves happening just a few blocks away at Humboldt Brews around 9 p.m. courtesy of Chali2na, Raashan Ahman, Object Heavy and Klozed Sirkut for $15.
A cool all-ages show is being hosted at Outer Space in Arcata this evening at 7 p.m. with indie-rockers Palehound, on the road supporting their recent second album, A Place I'll Always Go. It's only $8 a great place for the under 21 crowd to hang out.
Confused there was no Grateful Dead tribute show last weekend? Fear not, as tonight you can hear the Grateful Bluegrass Boys who are at Humboldt Brews at 9 p.m. As the name implies, they give the Dead tunes the bluegrass treatment and feature members of Hot Buttered Rum and the David Thom Band. It's $10 for this Deadgrass show. Heavy rock and metal can be found at The Alibi in Arcata at 11 p.m., as local stoner metal band Ultramafic headline and welcome Denver rockers Cloudcatcher for a raucous show. Only $5.
In Old Town Eureka, L.A.'s pyschobilly band The Rocketz wrap up a U.S. tour at The Siren's Song Tavern with The Silver Shine all the way out from Budapest. I'm guessing this is their first time in Humboldt, so give 'em a warm welcome. Just $5 gets you in the door, so maybe leave a tip to help these folks get airfare home. Burning Man fashion fans Rising Appalachia return to the Arcata Theatre Lounge around 8:30 p.m. Their last two shows here were sold out, so you might want to get tickets ahead of time. With roots in folk music and a "devotion to world culture" you get an interesting mix of music and great harmonies, thanks to sisters Leah and Chloe. They're joined on this $30 bill by Gill Landry. Vancouver-based eight-man band Five Alarm Funk hits the Hum Brews stage tonight at 9 p.m. I'd explain their sound a bit more, but thankfully the name does all the work for you sometimes. This one's $10.
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.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Album of the Week Show on KWPT 100.3 FM Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Don't know where. Don't know when.