The Walrus and the Carpenter were on the Arcata Plaza with a few oysters and paused to chat. “The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.”
They moved on to talk of the Paris Accord and Pacific Seafood's plans, and there was some more eating until the bivalves were all talked out. “O Oysters,” said the Carpenter, ‘You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?’ but answer came there none — and this was scarcely odd, because they'd eaten every one.”
I’ll eat a few of the bivalves Saturday and chat about this and that. I’m told there’s a full guide to Arcata Main Street’s 27th annual Oyster Festival here, so I’ll skip straight to the music here, and there’s a taste of this and that throughout the day.
On the Main Stage, music starts at 10 a.m. with the tux-wearing Fred Oystaire (aka DJ Stir Fry Willie); at 11:45 a.m. Diggin Dirt (funk/rock/reggae); 12:30 p.m. Bayou Swamis (Cajun); 2:30 p.m. Timbata (Cuban/Caribbean); 4 p.m. Motherlode (“heavy funk”/AfroJB) also last call for beer, which is what you use to wash down all those oysters.
This year they’ve added a “Green Stage” (H St. south) with all sorts of eco-grooviness and more music: Ghost Train (R&B, funk and soul) at 11 a.m. and Dynasty One (reggae, hip-hop, Afro) at 12:30 p.m. More music at the Art Mart with The Lost Coast Traditional Island Band (I dunno, ukes etc?) and still more in the VIP Room in Jacoby's Storehouse where Anna “Banana” Hamilton plays the blues with bassist Bill Andrews. Bill is also part of what’s described as the “well known jazz trio, A.T.F.” but I don’t know who they are or what the initials stand for (aside from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Educate me.)
Later, the semi-official O-fest afterparty is at Humboldt Brews “with alternating sets from Object Heavy and Diggin Dirt including an all out jam session to close out the night.” (Jam on!)
Then, after partying all day and into the night, on Sunday (which also happens to be Father’s Day) you can head north for more seafood at the Trinidad Fish Festival. Again there are full details elsewhere in the paper, so we’ll skip to the music schedule: 11 a.m. Doug Fir & 2 x 4’s (father/son rock, perfect for Father’s Day), 12:30 p.m. Lizzy & the Moonbeams (eclectic rock) 2 p.m. Blue Rhythm Review (soul/R&B covers) and at 3:30 p.m. Rosewater: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead (do I have to explain?) They have things to eat and so forth, you know, festive stuff.
Saturday, once you’re done your bivalve chore, you could head to the Eureka Theater for the “unofficial after party for the Oyster Festival,” with burlesque, as the Va Va Voom Vixens present Dancin' thru the Decades and “strip it down through all your favorite decades,” with boobs galore, games of some sort, a 50/50 drawing “and more.” Start time 7 p.m.
Meanwhile at the Bayside Grange there's the Spring Queen Fling Bingo. “Do you love queens? Are you yourself a queen? Do you aspire to be a queen?” The Eureka Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are celebrating the season (it’s almost summer and spring is holding on) and various Queens with bingo, and since since the Sisters are all about outrageous outfits, costume contests, “pitting Fashion Queen against Drag Queen against Rutabaga Queen against Queen of the World to see who is the most outrageously fabulous regent of them all to be declared Spring Queen.” This is also a potluck, so whip up a dish to share “including a card with allergy information.” (Seafood allergy?)
Above the Plaza that night, in the Community Yoga Center (890 G St. above Sleep World), you can hear Indian classics on sitar played by Pandit Deobrat Mishra of the DAYA Foundation and Benares Academy of Indian Classical Music. For those who know Indian music, Deobrat follows the Benares Gharana school of Hindustani classical music and is the son of Pandit Shivnath Mishra, a sitar legend along the lines of Ravi Shankar. Showtime 8 p.m. Advance tix recommended.
Tonight, tonight (Wednesday,Wednesday)
Back in 1922, the acclaimed silent film director F. W. Murnau adapted Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, as Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. The German Expressionist horror classic became the first of many vampire flicks. Tricky Murnau changed the names and other details from the novel: "vampire" became "Nosferatu" and "Count Dracula" became "Count Orlok,” but he kept the basic story. As a result, he was successfully sued for copyright violation by Stoker’s heirs and all copies were ordered destroyed. But, lucky for us, besides the legal wooden stake, it was film that would not die. Wednesday, June 14, Nosferatu rises again at the Eureka Theater with a soundtrack supplied by The Invincible Czars, a band from Austin that specializes in silents, anything from cartoons to sci-fi and comedies, all given a neo-classical treatment under the baton of guitarist Josh Robins. With a band mixing rock with anything from violin to glockenspiel, they incorporate music from the classics, for example Bartok's “Roumanian Folk Dances” for Transylvanian village scenes. Eureka Main Street and Robo-Cat Productions helped put the local show together. Doors at 7 p.m. Showtime 7:30.
At Humboldt Brews Wednesday night (also June 14) it’s classics of a different sort, The Wailing Souls, a classic Jamaican reggae vocal group with roots in the ‘60s. Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" McDonald were in a group formed in 1964, originally known as The Renegades; they became The Wailing Souls in 1968. They kept singing through the decades, signing with Island Records, working with Sly and Robbie and their Taxi label, contributing to the soundtrack of the film Cool Runnings, and so on. If you don’t know reggae, that may not mean much, but trust me, they are the real deal. Irie.
Not quite, but Eureka Main Street kicks off the 20th annual Eureka Summer Concert Series on Thursday, June 15, a free outdoor music thing on the Waterfront in the newly christened Madaket Plaza at the foot of C St (by Jack’s Seafood, or as old timers may remember where Lazio’s used to be a long, long time ago). The series starts at 6 p.m. every Thursday for 10 weeks with almost exclusively non-local bands like the Johnny Young Band from Mendocino, who play this week. Described by the Main Street folks as ”best of rockabilly,” Johnny actually seems to be more of the country/rock type, at least on their hit single, “We Love Whiskey.”
On June 22, the series continues with the sole local, the Merv George Band, who must to be going on something like 50 years playing rock ’n’ roll in these parts. (Anyone else remember The Keg? Flynn’s Inn?) Main Street call what he plays “sing-along classic hits,” which is not how see his style, but what do I know? BTW, did you know Merv is also a medicine man and official keeper of the regalia for the Hupa tribe?
For your Friday todo list
This afternoon while I was sitting at my desk, writing this column, a young man knocked on my door. He’d come bearing a hand-addressed letter from the Breakfast All Day Collective, something that they’d mailed me, only to have the post office deem it undeliverable. Sean, who introduced himself as a guy “from Outer Space,” thought maybe it was returned because it contained a B.A.D. pin, but he wasn't sure. The note was a thank you/reward for contributing to a Kickstarter/GoFundMe campaign. As they explained,”With [my] help we were able to sign a lease, start making the space functional and beautiful, and host all kinds of events!”
The B.A.D. folks have been throwing eclectic parties in Outer Space, a “safe space” for all (on 11th St.), but this Friday, their next event is somewhere else. A Forest Show: IV is in the Arcata Community Forest.
“Plan to meet at Redwood Park (accessible by walking, bike, bus, and driving)” at 5:30 p.m. and walk elsewhere for music by as-yet-unnamed musicians. (“TBA.”) Respect for the Earth is the order of the day. “We are forest dwellers and we deserve to utilize our incredible forest in this unique and special way. Please respect the land that we will tread on, and the people we encounter along the way. If you have any questions, message Breakfast All Day Collective” (presumably via email or Facebook, as no phone number is included). A sliding scale donation of “$1-$5” is suggested. (I forget what I donated, but it was in that range.)
Friday evening at 7 p.m. Northtown Books welcomes Gabrielle Bell for a reading and signing of her graphic memoir, Everything is Flammable. I’ve never been to a graphic novelist reading, so I’m not sure how it works. Is it like storytime at a library where you show the book as you read? Whatever.
As the Northtown people explain, the story covers a year in Gabrielle’s life where she “returns from New York to her childhood town in rural Northern California after her mother’s home is destroyed by a fire. Acknowledging her issues with anxiety, financial hardships, memories of a semi-feral childhood, and a tenuous relationship with her mother, Bell helps her mother put together a new home on top of the ashes.” If you were wondering, her “semi-feral childhood” was spent somewhere in the hills of Mendocino (not Humboldt).
The Westhaven Center for the Arts has its "Third Friday Blues Jam: Hosted by Seabury Gould this Friday around 7 p.m. with “special encouragement for blues musicians to come by and experiment, improvise, and share on their acoustic or electric instrument.” Bonus for jammers: Bring an instrument and you get in free, whereas others make a sliding scale donation of $5-10.
Later that Friday, Fraktal Productions presents Elevate: Tropical Beats Edition with “local favorites Joe-e, Marjo Lak, Mr. 415, Copperton3 and Fresh Depz,” who are all faves in the electrodance field.
Okay, we’ve looped from Saturday back to Friday. Sometimes life is like that.
Got a copy of the CenterArts catalog in the mail this Saturday. For years, I’ve played the “Pick Six” game in the Hum this time of year. I’ll give you mine, and it’s not easy (I’ll skip many things), listing them in order of appearance:
I’ll start with Paula Poundstone, who I find really funny, even if I don’t care for that Wait, Wait quiz show. She opens the season Aug. 26.
The venerable Pharaoh Sanders Quartet has always drawn on the music of whole planet, making jazz a world wide thing with a master plan. (9/23)
Emmylou Harris is a great voice who will always remind me of the late Gram Parsons. (10/11)
Kris Kristofferson doesn't have such a great voice, but his songs are truly national treasures. (1/11/2018)
I’ll see Bruce Cockburn this weekend at the Kate Wolf Festival, but his concerts always make me think, and to want to make the world a better place. (2/3)
Toumani Diabate´ is a master on the kora, and a true griot. Following tradition, he is bringing along his son, Sidiki Diabate´, another in a long line of griots. (4/10)
That’s six, with many omissions. The really big thing for this year is a show with Bill Murray, who is doing something involving books and a cellist, Jan Vogler “and friends,” but that is considered as a “special event,” thus is not included in a Pick Six package (which gives you some sort of priority).
If you are a dedicated reader of the Hum, you may remember that I reported at one point that none of the next season’s shows would be at the Van Duzer Theatre, since the whole building is scheduled for an earthquake retrofit. Cherie Arkley announced that CenterArts was making plans to use the Arkley Center as an alternate venue. Well, the university’s retrofit plans have been delayed so most of the season is still at the Duzer, but some shows will be at the Arkley, including the Bill Murray thing and Emmylou’s show.
Here's the whole list followed by the press release:
8/26: Paula Poundstone
9/17: Michael Franti and Spearhead
9/19: National Acrobats of China
9/23: Pharoah Sanders Quartet
9/30: BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
10/11: Emmylou Harris
10/12: Van Cliburn Piano Competition Gold Medalist
10/23: Andrew Bird
10/26: B: The Underwater Bubble Show
10/30: La Santa Cecilia & Mexrrissey
11/8: Flip Fabrique
11/13: Dolores Huerta
11/16: Hot Rize
11/29: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
12/4: Bill Murray, Jan Volger & Friends
12/5: Pink Martini
12/9: Scott Bradley’s Postmodern Jukebox
1/10: Tommy Emmanuel
1/11: Kris Kristofferson
1/25: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
2/3: Bruce Cockburn
2/4: The St. Olaf Choir
2/10: Moscow Festival Ballet - Cinderella
2/13: Ron Finley Project
2/25: International Guitar Night
3/3: Willie K.
3/6: Squirrel Nut Zippers
3/14: Yamato Taiko Drummers of Japan
3/17: David Lindley
3/20: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
3/24: Camerata RCO
4/10: Toumani Diabate & Sidiki Diabaté
4/17: Complexions Contemporary Ballet
4/25: Bob Henson
4/29: Perdito Martinez Group
CENTERARTS proudly announces another astounding performing arts season for 2017- 18. Humboldt State University will host some of the leading performers and thinkers in the worlds of comedy, music, dance, science, and theater, beginning this August through April, 2018. The annual season kicks off with Paula Poundstone from Wait Wait . . Don’t Tell Me performs on August 26; Hollywood A-lister Bill Murray brings Jan Volger & Friends to the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts on December 4;
crossing all musical genres and boundaries Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox performs on December 9; the legendary Kris Kristofferson will perform in the Van Duzer Theatre on January 11.
Other season highlights include Thundercat on September 5; Michael Franti and Spearhead on September 17; Emmylou Harris on October 11; three acclaimed groups will come together to celebrate Dia de los Muertos on October 30 including La Santa Cecilia, Mexrrissey and Mariachi Flor de Toloache.
The 2017-18 season will feature some of the best songwriters touring today including the return of Andrew Bird October 23; revered musician Bruce Cockburn performs in the Van Duzer Theatre on February 3; “Mr. Polyester” himself David Lindley performs on March 17.
Jazz has been called America’s greatest cultural achievement, and the CenterArts 2017-18 Season has a great schedule. On September 23 the Pharoah Sanders Quartet whose work embodies the spiritual foundation of avant-garde jazz performs; Pink Martini performs at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts on December 5; and the Squirrel Nut Zippers electric fusion of delta blues and early jazz will shake the house on March 6.
The folk music traditions are alive and well represented this season. BeauSoleil who is known as “The best Cajun band in the world,” according to Garrison Keillor returns on September 30; one of the most popular bluegrass bands in the country Hot Rize performs on November 16; Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn return on November 29; one of Australia’s most respected musicians Tommy Emmanuel performs on January 10; and on February 25 The International Guitar Night is a must see for lovers of the six string guitar.
CenterArts also offers an exciting lineup for those who enjoy world music including the Ladysmith Black Mambazo on January 25; an evening of Hawaiian music with Willie K. on March 3; one of the world’s top Celtic bands Altan returns to Humboldt State University on March 11; Yamato Taiko Drummers of Japan perform on March 14; Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté perform in the Van Duzer Theatre on April 10; and the Perdito Martinez Group will bring traditional Afro-Cuban grooves to the Kate Buchanan Room on April 29.
The AS Presents Distinguished Speakers Series will feature the Co-founder of the United Farm Workers Dolores Huerta on November 13; Ron Finley the self-proclaimed “Gangsta Gardner” on February 13; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz author of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States on March 20; and acclaimed journalist Bob Henson April 25.
The art of dance is represented by some of the most exciting choreographers and dancers on the scene today including season favorites Momix in Opus Cactus on November 3; Moscow Festival Ballet in Cinderella on February 10 at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts; and Complexions Contemporary Ballet on April 17.
CenterArts presents a world class classical series as well. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist will perform on October 12; the gold standard for a capella excellence the St. Olaf Choir will perform a February 4; and the Camerata RCO performs on March 24.
For the children in all of us CenterArts presents the National Acrobats and Martial Artists of China on September 19; theatrical sensation B-The Underwater Bubble Show perform on October 26; and Canada’s cirque spectacular Flip Fabrique on November 8.
Subscribers to CenterArts’ season can receive priority seating and discounts of up to 30% over regular ticket prices. There are specially priced tickets available for HSU students, as well as children. For more information on becoming a CenterArts season subscriber, or to receive a free brochure with a complete listing of the 2017/2018 season, call CenterArts at 707-826- 3928. Information is also available online by visiting the CenterArts website.