Oh, Valentine's Day. On one hand, an opportunity to offend your partner by not celebrating with enough enthusiasm; on the other, a reason to feel shut out by society for not having a partner to "celebrate" with. But let's find a happier path, shall we? Let's start with those of you waking up next to someone you've entrusted yourself to.
Guide to Valentine's Day No. 1: Established couples
First, start the day with a kiss and move on to the lovemaking from there. This way no matter what happens at least everyone got to have sex. Next, as you're looking languidly into his or her eyes, say, "I wanted to get you something wonderful, but I also want to spend more time with you, so I thought we could go shopping together, wherever you want." See what you're doing there? Jettisoning the burden of picking out the perfect gift under the guise of togetherness. (You're welcome!) Now, go celebrate your affection at one of the following shows:
The Fortuna Concert Series presents The San Francisco Munich Trio consisting of German-born Friedrich Edelmann, bassoon, and his wife, California native Rebecca Rust, violoncello, who are joined by Juilliard graduate Dmitriy Cogan, piano, from San Francisco. Hold hands at the Fortuna Monday Club starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
b. Sexy! Dancing!
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Dancing is the best precursor to sex that exists. I dare you to argue with me. If you're up on your steps, check out Latin Dance Night at Mazzotti's. Strictly for those 18-and-over, $5, starts at 9 p.m. Alternately, stoke those romantic flames watching other people's artful moves with the high-energy choreography of Samba na Chuva at Six Rivers Brewery. Cover is $10, show is 21-and-over.
c. Heartful dodgers
Or you could pop in to "a night of love and good vibes" at the Jambalaya with Raashan Ahmad and the GetDown Crew, a "veritable Humboldt hip-hop orchestra" made up of the ladies of Vidagua, Berel Alexander, Mike Lee on cello, Chris Noonan on the "hot, heated horns," Drew Mohr on bass, Pete Ciotti on drums, Brian Swizlo on the keys and Ahmad in front. Tickets are $10, doors at 9 p.m., show is 21-and-over.
d. Just like old times, sorta
Brown Sabbath is the alter ego of Austin-based psych-funk collective Brownout who delve deep into reinterpreting the catalog of metal godfathers Black Sabbath.
Brownout is further an eight-piece outfit formed 10 years ago by members of Grammy Award-winning Latin revival orchestra Grupo Fantasma. Take this info to Humboldt Brews, pay $15, be 21-and-over and enjoy a new twist on the old familiar.
Guide to Valentine's Day No. 2: On the prowl
I had to get some help with this one, as my entire dating scene took place in high school and mostly consisted of drinking wine coolers and making out in the back of my '67 Mustang. A survey of happening untethered friends resulted in the following suggestions: Get your party on as a group, wear your sexy clothes, pack some condoms (obv) and let the people come to you — nothing invites attention like looking as if you're too busy having a good time to bother chasing others down. Be a magnet. Do all the usual flirty things: Make eye contact, smile, compliment, crack jokes.
Or you could just swipe right.
a. Starry-eyed twang
Show-wise, you've got the romantic stylings of Austin indie/psych-country band The Lonesome Heroes at the Trinidad Town Hall (of all places) for the Trinidad Love Affair. They've got a lovely sound, bittersweet and nostalgic, reminiscent of what people used to call "alt-country" — why do we always feel the need to distance ourselves from "country," music fans? Doors open at 8 p.m., tickets are $15, show is 18-and-over.
b. Fried pickles for two?
Matt n' Adam serve up a handpicked variety of heartfelt 45s at the Alibi, $2, 21-and-over. It's dark, there's drinking and the aforementioned kickass music — what else do you need to get lucky?
c. Mythological mixtape
The Greek god Pan is renowned for his sexual prowess, which seems reason enough to head over to Richard's Goat Tavern and Tea Room. Celebratory tunes start at 8 p.m. and are provided by Jaymorg, DJ Red and Spaceman Spliff, plus an opening set with DJ Zephyr. Free gig, 21-and-over.
Thursday night offers a serious reggae show with Protoje and The Indiggnation, DJ Dub, Ishi Dube and Jah Sun at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Doors open at 9 p.m. tickets are $20 advance at Morning Star, Northcoast Horticulture Supply and www.inticketing.com, $25 at the door, show is 21-and-over.
Friday (the 13th!) brings you A-town's own Free Rain, an instrumental ensemble led by guitarist Piet Dalmolen, celebrating the release of the band's debut album, Regeneration, at Humboldt Brews. Show starts at 9 p.m. and includes DJ Rickshaw and local up-and-coming prog-rockers Farmhouse Odyssey. Tickets are $5, show is 21-and-over.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.