Music » The Setlist

Microphone Season?



I'll make this quick, for once. I have included both open mics and karaoke gigs here in the Setlist this week, with the obvious elephant of two-plus years of plague looming in the room. I can't make any decisions for you, thankfully, but I am curious what people think about sharing a common microphone with the public right now. Yay or nay? Can you really sing with a mask or not? I am abstaining from public mics, but that's mostly because I don't play music anymore and I'm not sure that anyone really needs to hear me belt out Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" for the millionth time. So it goes. Have a nice week, stay safe.


A lot of Eureka still mystifies me and spending most of the pandemic in a bubble surrounding my home in Arcata hasn't helped. But like anyone else emerging into the bright sunshine and fresh air after two years, I am finding myself eager to explore again. Take the Grind Cafe, for instance. I have never been to the Grind Cafe but I have heard that there will be Americana music being played there from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. by someone named Basil Bolton, about whom I know nothing else. Perhaps I will explore this mystery further.

Two open mics worth mentioning for the evening: one at Blondie's at 6 p.m. and another at Siren's Song at 8 p.m.. The cost for both is free-fifty.


Some of you might remember my last music review was the latest release by local artist Penner. She also fronts a jazz band called Young & Lovely and you can catch them tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Sepentrio Winery.

If you still feel up for more music afterward, there's another show within strolling distance over at the Miniplex at 9 p.m. Los Angeles' cumbia punk group Sancho Villa will be joined by local noise-makers Wilutis and Over Yonder. The ask at the door is a reasonable $5-$10 sliding scale entrance fee, which seems easy on the audience considering the cost of gas and literally everything else nowadays.


Michael Hagen from the Bow-Legged Buzzards and Turtle Goodwater of Barn Fire fame are putting on a free singer-songwriter gig over at Papa Wheelies at 8 p.m. tonight.

Across the Mad River and an hour and a half later you can go celebrate a proper throwdown at the Arcata Theatre Lounge as hometown funk heroes Diggin' Dirt celebrates a return to the stage. Twenty-five bucks gets you in the door and more importantly, onto the dance floor, for an evening that will undoubtedly be an uptempo, high energy affair.


The Cal Poly Humboldt Theatre, Film and Dance department presents a closing matinee performance of Dance Visions today at 2 p.m. ($10, $8 students and seniors). This is the final performance of the run, so if you missed out during the working week, now's your chance.

Otherwise, here's to that theater-kid sibling of the open mic. You know what I mean, that unifying force that is capable of bringing drunk people of all persuasions and tastes together to celebrate in one of the last true safe space/neutral zones of the culture war: karaoke. You have two options tonight, both free, and both a considerable distance apart. The Clam Beach Tavern is the earlier of the two, starting off at 8 p.m., while the Miniplex has its own hot mic celebration kicking off an hour later and, if tradition holds, you are going to want to get there early for signups.


It's still kind of a music desert some days around these parts, so in keeping with my microphone season theme, I want to mention that there is one more open mic this week. The Clam Beach Tavern has its own homegrown honky tonk kicking off at 8 p.m., and as far as I am aware it is free to all comers.


No, it isn't quite 4/20 yet, that arbitrary celebration of all things stoney that possibly originated at a San Rafael high school in the late 1970s. However, it is close enough that a certain venue has booked the right talent to help shuffle in the festivities. In this case, the place is Humbrews at 9:30 p.m. and the artist is Trinidadian reggae artist Marlon Asher, whose 2006 release "Ganja Farmer" gained him an international audience chock full of tokers and smokers ($25, $20 advance).

Wednesday 4/20 doooood

Well, here it is. Looking back on my late '90s teen years, I am reminded how absurd a holiday to basically get stoned in a park with your friends was and how even more absurd law enforcement's reaction was to said holiday. It's just weed, you dorks. Never forget many of our laws are pointless, punitive and just plain stupid. At this point of the collapse, I feel we should ignore many of them — the ruling class certainly does. While my own musical preference regarding marijuana celebration is Sleep's iconic Dopesmoker album, there isn't enough of a stoner metal community up here to ever land that classic band for 4/20. Still, there will be a proper get-down at the Arcata Theatre Lounge at 9 p.m. for any reggae fans who didn't get their fill last night. Jamaican Rasta singer and deejay Anthony B will take the stage for a night of the good stuff that he's been putting out for about three decades now. Interesting note about the pricing system: If you pony up $30, you can get in the door and enjoy this show, however, for an extra $20 (bringing the total to $50 for those of you who get a little jumbled about numbers) you can score tickets to tonight's event and the Devin the Dude concert coming to the venue in three days. That's a pretty good deal.

Collin Yeo (he/him) doesn't really partake but still thinks that all drugs should be legal. He imagines the CIA would have some funding problems as a result so we should abolish that too. He lives in Arcata.

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