Having taken advantage of the break in the weather to deliver a load of firewood to my dear friend Pat, I am currently basking in the warm sense of accomplishment, or perhaps that's the after-effect of the sauna I enjoyed with another friend. Either way, I'm feeling pretty fat and sassy at the moment, gorged on good feelings and a manageable amount of sobriety. I will admit to navigating my week of virtuous abstemiousness with an attendant vice or two. Most specifically, I've been indulging in flavored vapes, scratching the cheap reward-monkey part of my brain as I watch those cartridges disappear from the shelves like disfavored communist party bosses being erased from group photos with Stalin. I have to say, however you feel about blunt wrappers, menthol cigarettes and the previously mentioned flavored mini-fog machines, abolishing those vices sure seems pretty grotesque coming from a state that doesn't provide universal, single-payer healthcare. I know liberal politicians are generally pretty useless but this seems like a bridge too far. Either give us healthcare (and not that insurance company windfall travesty called Obamacare) or stay out of our private vices. You'd think that it's a reasonable ask but here we are, marooned on the shores of crappy Democratic policy. Anyway, I'm in a good mood otherwise, having dug into better habits for the bulk of my freshly-minted 2023 behavior, and a quick audit of my brain suggests while I might be out to sea at the moment, there are many fine ports of call ahead of me, and I'm sailing by only the truest stars. What I'm saying is, I am going to do everything I can to wrestle a good year out of this coming set of months and I invite you to do the same. Let's start with this week, shall we?
Okie dokie, here's a new gig for this column: The Humboldt Bay Social Club is putting on a regular free comedy night on Thursdays, which, as I understand it, is being done in conjunction with the good people over at Savage Henry. But that's not even the best of it, so allow me to sweeten the pot. If you show up at 6 p.m. for the free comedy with $20 in hand, you can get your nails done while quaffing cocktails. What? I know, wild.
Sons Of is a mini-indie supergroup, featuring Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake (and also the nephew of my dear late friend Jack Turner) and John McEntire from Tortoise. Both groups were groundbreaking in the '90s and early aughts, due in no small part to the efforts of the aforementioned gentlemen. Come see what I'm talking about at the Miniplex at 8 p.m.; I guarantee this is going to be a good show. Jeremiah Chiu opens ($20, $15 advance).
My featured show of the week has got to be tonight's affair at the Arcata Playhouse, where at 7:30 p.m. the music will begin and the good times will roll. I am talking about the album release party for Wild Abandon, a local group whose musical pedigree somehow manages to outweigh the considerable talent of its members, many of whom are familiar faces in our little scene. If you doubt my convictions, you have only to check out the new music video for the group's tune Alaskan Beauty to see what I am talking about. As someone who has described our county as the Alaska of California more than a few times, this one vibes with me. Jacki and the Jollies will be getting their jollies off as the opening act, so be punctual ($10-$20 sliding scale).
Here's a nice trifecta with a little bit for everyone on the Lord's day of rest. First up at 3 p.m., if you are interested in hearing organ music done in the proper setting and by a master, head over to Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka and check out a performance by world-renowned organist Ken Cowan. The suggested donation is $20, which seems like a steal to me. If your tastes are more along the indie/DIY side of things, then the Outer Space has a good gig for you at 7 p.m., where a sliding scale door price starting at $5 will get you access to three bands: touring act Shutups, and local allstars Los Perdidos and The Critics. Finally, if you really love the confluence of nostalgia, novelty and hip hop, you could do a lot worse than heading over to Humbrews at 9 p.m. to hear Afroman do his song about that time he got high and the calamities that followed ($30, $25 advance).
Monday, MLK Day
One of my very favorite Humco bands is playing a gig to kick off its tour of the Pacific Northwest at Siren's Song Tavern tonight at 7 p.m. Blackplate will be joined by Eureka quartet Dirt Magic in making a bit of sonic magic for the public's pleasure. My buddy Sean from the first band tells me he's not sure what the door price is but assures me $5 toward gas will go a long way.
Back from the dead like a risen phoenix after the lethargic paralysis of COVID, the Miniplex is once more hosting Latin Dance Night with DJ Pachanguero. I can tell you that my foggiest memories from the pre-plague times are pleasantly colored by this event, and if you want to partake and make some new memories of your own, roll through at 9 p.m. There's no cover, but a two-drink minimum is encouraged.
Loathe as I am to promote yet another karaoke night, I have to drop a mention here, as I feel that the Logger Bar doesn't get enough attention and I certainly haven't dropped a line about this joint in enough recent columns. So, here's my endorsement for the evening: Go check out KJ Dustin's set-up starting at 8 p.m. and sing a song for everyone. It's free.
Collin Yeo (he/him) is a silly man. He lives in Arcata