February is an often overlooked month, a wet and cold placeholder in the depth of the northern hemisphere's winter that isn't even considered worthy of 30 days. Throughout history various cultures have named the month after frost, river ice, firewood cutting, mud or even cabbages (cole crops were staples of the winter in most of Europe). On Sunday the moon will grant us its fullness, which in February is called the Snow Moon and has also been named after anything from bears to hunger and to sucker fish (as the Ojibwe people refer to it). However, all of this talk of cold things like frost and full moons and fish shouldn't deter you from going out. I assure you there is quite a lot of fun to be had this week for the reasonably bejacketed.
The son of the late reggae singer Jimmy Riley, Tarrus Riley is a Jamaican-American singer with a decade and a half career that pays a fair amount of homage to the classic Trojan Records era of dancehall track-toasters while still cultivating a contemporary vibe. Tonight he appears at the Arcata Theatre Lounge with the Jamaican saxophonist and frequent collaborator Dean Fraser and his group Black Soil Band at 9 p.m. ($35).
There are two excellent cover acts playing tonight, each with a fair amount of buzz and popularity among those who are fans of fans of certain bands, if that makes sense. The Stallions are renowned for covering all things Ween, with live sets that do a fair amount of honor to the quirky jam-adjacent alternative act's vast discography. Tonight at 9 p.m. the group will be pulling those moves over at the Logger Bar for a free show.
About half an hour later our local chapter of Pink Floyd interpreters Money will be playing the entire Animals album at Humbrews for a mere $10. Seems like a good deal to hear what is one of my favorite albums of the 1970s.
Big Business is a duo made up of bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis that has a big, loud and heavy sound far surpassing each guy's respective past bands, Karp and The Murder City Devils. Pummeling riffs give way to sick beats and diving wails of drone warfare. I first saw them about 10 years ago in New Orleans when they opened for, and then played in, The Melvins on the support tour for their hard rock-styled Nude With Boots record. The Melvins have always been one of my favorite bands and one of three groups that I have seen in three different decades (the other two being Neurosis and Low). That night, however, the Business boys really stole the show, both as openers and auxiliary members. They'll be playing the Miniplex tonight at 9 p.m. and I can't recommend this show enough ($15). Our local surf-metal masters The Sturgeons are opening, which is a mighty tough task but if anyone in the area is up to it, it is this trio hot off the release of its excellent album Figure It Out, which I promise to review soon (spoiler: it's really good).
Dweezil Zappa, the eldest son of the late, great Frank, is rolling into Arcata on a tour celebrating 50 years of one of his father's greatest rock albums Hot Rats. The album, which came out a month and five days after Dweezil was born, is famous for its contributions by Captain Beefheart, Shuggie Otis and Jean-Luc Pointy, as well as its exuberant, almost anthemic weirdness. Tonight at the Van Duzer Theatre, Dweezil and his band will be playing Hot Rats and other like-minded tunes from that era of his dad's oeuvre at 8 p.m. ($55, $25 Humboldt State University students, $85 VIP soundcheck access tickets). The younger Zappa is an incredibly skilled guitarist and musician in his own right, and this is no pale imitation.
It's pretty quiet around these parts but I will offer you a couple of slightly esoteric options. Firstly, have you considered playing cribbage? It's the 411th birthday of the English poet and gadabout Sir John Suckling, who supposedly invented the game sometime in the early 17th century, so if you don't feel like reading his frankly not too deep poems, perhaps this would be an appropriate way to celebrate. If not, may I suggest going to the Reel Genius Trivia Night at Phatsy Kline's at 6:30 p.m.? It's free, and if they ask you any questions about the creation of cribbage by the writer of "I prithee, send me back my heart," then you will be in a unique position to turn some heads with your knowledge, my dear reader.
Local hip hop trio Lyricool, who originally hails from South Carolina, is the featured act in a spoken word appearance at Word Humboldt's open mic tonight at Northtown Coffee at 6 p.m. I've seen 'em live with DJ Goldylocks in a performance that made me take notice some months ago, so I expect tonight's appearance to be no less enthralling. The gig is free but donations for the artists are always welcomed.
Vancouver, B.C., electronic musician and producer Ekali makes the sort of epic ephemeral music that traffics in big swells and dreamy, often female vocals with weird affected vocal tics and pronunciations. It sounds like alien mall music to me. It's big and inoffensive and ultra-cosmopolitan: this stuff could play in nearly any city in the world without seeming out of place. This evening it will be playing in the city of Arcata, specifically in the Arcata Theatre Lounge, as Ekali brings his A World Away tour to the stage at 9 p.m. ($15-$25).
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 protected].
Collin Yeo prefers he/him pronouns and lives in Arcata, where he is currently nesting in a pile of jackets and living off hot tea.