I wrote in a previous column about the rather common financial situation in which local bands and music venues find themselves. Not only do bands and venues have a lot in common, they also exist in a type of symbiotic relationship. That is, they need each other. Now, it's easy to complain about the $14 you and each of your bandmates made for a gig. It's also easy to assume the venue you just rocked probably made a fortune. The truth is, unless you royally got screwed by the venue (which is rare around here), the venue's probably not sitting that much prettier than you are. Did they make more money than your band? Let's hope so, but also be glad you don't have to pay thousands of dollars in payroll tax every month. But I digress.
I got to sit down this past Sunday with Kate Martin, owner of the famous Logger Bar in Blue Lake, and get caught up on the trials and tribulations facing said bar. You may be familiar with the recent saga, but if not, the uber-condensed version goes: A handful of folks living close to the Logger don't like the fact that music happens there after 10 p.m. on weekend nights — which, as an olive branch, Kate cuts off around midnight instead of 1:30 a.m. — or that some patrons of the bar occasionally and mysteriously get intoxicated and talk loudly after leaving the joint. They've complained and called the fuzz repeatedly, and then later had to face a hundred Logger Bar supporters at a city council meeting.
Bummer? Sure. No one likes drunk strangers being all irritating late at night. But is the answer to try and stop the music and prevent folks from getting tipsy at a bar? Hell ... wait, let me admit my bias up front before answering. I'm a musician, and one that has been gigging at the Logger since the "Brenda Days." I love the now-immaculate place. Okay, with that out of the way ... hell no!
I used to live above the Minor Theater in Arcata. You know what? It got pretty loud there on H Street, especially around 2 a.m. Did it bug me? Sometimes it did! Did I get tired of drunk-ass bros waking me up with their loud stumble mouths and knuckles all a-draggin'? Hell yeah I did. Did I ever call Arcata Pizza & Deli (APD) and ask them to not stay open so late? Never. Did I ever call the Arcata Police Department (APD) because idiots woke me up? Nope. Did I ever yell at those filled with life and liquor to "Pipe the f*ck down!"? Yeah. I did that a lot. But it ended there. It all came with the turf. I lived "downtown." That was an unfortunate byproduct of living fabulously near the heart of Arcata. It was worth every drunken fool and every earplug I ever bought. Now I live a few blocks from the Logger. I couldn't be happier.
The Logger Bar and other local venues provide a vital support network for bands, music lovers, art, culture and even a tax base for the community. In turn, bands and lovers of music, art and culture provide a vital support network for music venues and small businesses. Get rid of the music, you get rid of the venue. Get rid of the venue, you get rid of the music. We're all in this together. And if you ever find yourself in Rome, try not to complain about the ruins.
The weekend seems a bit sparse as far as music goes (at least according to emails I've received), but if you want to get your dance on, head over to the Arcata Theater Lounge. At 9:30 p.m. you can shimmy and shake to Danny Corn, Zanapod, Dub Cowboy, & Deejay Pressure. Bring $5 so they'll let you in.
A bit further away, you can hear Doug Fir & the 2x4s in a relaxed setting at the Fieldbrook General Store. They'll be starting around 7:30 p.m. and don't require any of your dough for this show.
Wishing it was already Halloween? Well, keep waiting, but there is something called the "Hip-Hop Halloween" at Humboldt Brews with Grasshoppa, Mike D, Masta Shredda and B. Swizlo. 8:30 p.m. and $5 cover charge. Test out your costume, I guess.
The Westhaven Center for the Arts is featuring "Songs from the Center: An Evening with Tim Breed and Josephine Johnson." Believe it or not, it features songwriter in residence Tim Breed and Josephine Johnson. Hear these songwriting pros at 6:30 p.m. and, if you're a member, it's only $7. Everyone else: $10.
If country and Americana is more your thing, the Siren's Song Tavern will be your destination. Local enigma Cliff Dallas with the Death Valley Troubadours welcome newest troubadour Jake (formerly of Rooster McClintock) to the band. Rounding out the bill will be lunar alt-country locals Electro Saloon and solo songsmith Gabe Rozzell. [Full disclosure points: Guess which band my wife's in? Hint: Her name isn't Cliff or Gabe.] This is a free show and it starts at 9 p.m.
I am told that "electro-thunder-funk jam band" Cure for the Common are in our neck of the woods. All the way out from Bozeman, Montana, these fellas want to stretch out and jam away with you. Expect tunes from their recently released album The Squeeze. They've shared the stage with STS9, Umphrey's McGee, Galactic and a few other notables. So they're probably good. Reward them for coming all this way with your attendance. No word on the price, but I know it's at the Jam in Arcata at 9 p.m.
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 Night Show on KWPT 100.3 FM weeknights at 6 p.m.