Music » The Setlist

Once More, with Feeling



All right, here we go again. We've got a lull in the pandemic wave action and, for better or for worse, live music is being made with a few minor protective caveats. I hope the COVID-19 Joint Information Center shutting its doors on April Fool's Day is not an augury of human folly, and I pray we have kicked this wretched bug for the most part. The greater harm of normalizing and accepting of mass preventable death is something to consider for another day. I'm not in the game of making predictions anymore and can assure you that if I ever got a crack at operating the Lathe of Heaven, the world would be disordered in a much more fun way. Shelve all that talk for now, I'm back like an annoying gadfly to whisper sweet promises of live music treats in one ear, while happily droning away with my annoying opinions in the other. It's good to be back; I hope to see many of you out there under better circumstances in this lovely calm between teetering catastrophes and midterms. Have a sweet week!


As a part of the ongoing Redwood Poetry Festival, the North Coast Repertory Theatre will be hosting this evening's event, titled She Persisted: A Night of Female Empowerment and Poetry, at 7 p.m. ($10). While I imagine that everyone on the bill is talented and worth your attention, I can personally vouch for a couple of the local poets. I won't play favorites. Instead, I will suggest that the fine quality of my friends' output suggests the whole cast is worth a gander. Masks, vax card, or negative test.


The twangy, precision chops of local indie grass superstars Absynth Quartet are once again available for the public's listening pleasure. That is of course, if the potential members of the audience can get it together enough to mask up and present proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test. If those terms seem agreeable to all parties, then head over to the North Coast Repertory Theatre by 8 p.m. and pay the very reasonable $15 at the door for what is sure to be a stellar evening of pluckin' grooves.


Captured! by Robots reads like the title of a science fiction novel generated by feeding an A.I. every title from the lost "pulp era" of American sci-fi. And while that's certainly off the mark, it isn't exactly far off in spirit, as this group is composed of equal parts kitsch and grind. Frontman Jay Vance, aka JBot, started this group in the late '90s, arguably past the golden era of animatronic theme bands. I mention animatronics because, as the name suggests, the rest of the group is composed of homemade droids that accompany JBot's exquisite, tortured howls. Have you ever seen Mystery Science Theater 3000? Well, it's a bit like that with more distortion, although I imagine JBot might hate this somewhat lazy comparison. That's OK. I've always secretly wanted to be hunted down by a killer bot like John Connor. Siren's Song will be hosting this dystopian edition of The Munch's Make Believe Band (Google it) with local blasters Scum Lourdes and Insomnia Syndrome providing support at 7 p.m. ($10).


Cal Poly Humboldt (I am not going to get used to writing that anytime soon) is presenting a chapter of its guest artist series at Fulkerson Hall tonight at 8 p.m. ($10, $5 for children, free for CPH students). The artist in question? Saxophone and clarinet tamer Monty Cole, himself an alumnus of a little school you might remember was called Humboldt State University. He will be accompanied by university accompanists John Chernoff (piano) and Virginia Ryder (clarinet and sax). The evening's repertoire will feature works that live in the intersection of jazz and classical music.


Do you enjoy the stompin' powerhouse sounds of '60s garage rock psychedelia but happen to be encumbered by a corporeal form that is trapped in our current, deeply un-groovy temporal station? Have no fear, dear psychonaut, I've got your ticket to ride. Head over to the Miniplex tonight at 7:30 p.m. to check out Atlanta's Mattiel, a band lauded by Jack White, who took the group out for a spin on his arena-touring mega-machine ($15, $12 advance). Providing local support are The California Poppies, a group whose aesthetic genetics harken back to a gentler age when Mama Cass and Karen Carpenter were still alive and singing.


Nothing really live per se tonight but the newly reopened and re-ownered Clam Beach Inn is hosting a classic hip hop and RnB vinyl spin night with turntable commander DJM at 10 p.m. I haven't been to the ol' Digger for a show since it got its little makeover but I'd imagine that it's still a fun little jam pad. And the door's only $5, so you're not out much scratch if the scene isn't for you.


Open Head Records hosts a monthly showcase at the Miniplex and this edition is going to be fun-sational ($7 at 7 p.m.). Driptorch will bring the beats, Freakbait has got the lights and colors, and notorious noiseman Chini will bring his ratcheting nonsense in a triumphant live return to the Humco underground after a period of cooling his heels down south of Los Angeles. Chini's noise shows are always an amusing enigma but I swear, if he does the thing where he plays the electric banjo with the treble turned up to excruciating, I am going to throw my fucking shoe at him. He knows why.

Collin Yeo (he/him) lives in Arcata, where the ownership class will likely soon start putting land acknowledgements in the preamble of their eviction notices.

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