The HUM: 20/20 Vision for a New Year (post-visions of sugar plums)

Christmas will probably be over by the time you read this, and the Teens Decade is fading fast. (If that’s what it was.) It’s time for 20/20 vision in a New Year, and on the Eve before, with parties galore. But I’m getting ahead here. Let’s finish off 2019 first. 

The Paula Jones Band is down in the Basement Friday evening, Dec. 27, between Xmas and New Year’s Eve, 8 to 10 p.m. “This lady has more soul than the average country!” declare the folks at the Basement, and I guess I agree, although I’m not sure exactly what that means. I presume her band is some variation on RLA (aka TiMiKen).

Same Friday, at 7 p.m., Northtown Books welcomes Chelsea Fairless on tour with her new book, We Are All Mirandas. The bookstore tells me, “The book is a snarky guide to life inspired by the most underrated character on Sex and the City, from the creators of the Instagram sensation @everyoutfitonSATC,” which is “a quest to document every outfit on the show.”

Chelsea Fairless is an L.A.-based creative director and digital content creator with a background in fashion history and graphic design. In 2016, she co-created that Insta-account with Lauren Garroni and it went viral, including being dubbed “Fashion’s favorite Instagram” by Vogue. They’re up to 637K followers, including Sarah Jessica Parker. Of course, a book followed. We presume they chose Miranda because she’s the most sarcastic character on the show.

While we’re talking fashion, are you getting ready to dress-to-impress for NY Eve? Saturday afternoon, Dec. 28, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. SCRAP has a class with Amy Fowler. “The local hat maker and owner of Humboldt Haberdashery, is hosting her popular and inspiring Hat Making class just in time for New Years festivities.” 

You’ll learn how to create “your own unique fascinator hat,” whatever that is. (I’m sure Amy will explain.) BTW, Amy was among the local artists who was awarded a sizable grant via the Victor Jacoby Award, a fund administered by the Humboldt Area Foundation. She’ll use the money to learn how to make even fancier hats.

There was an answer on Jeopardy awhile back — you know how that works — you supply the question. “Super Diamond honors him,” was the clue. The question, “Who is Neil Diamond?” 

“I’ve met them and I have been to their shows, they’re wonderful!” said Neil Diamond himself to Katie Couric on the Today Show around the same time. 

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San Francisco’s Super Diamond is a cover band deluxe, with front man Randy Cordeiro aka “The Surreal Neil,” channelling the real Mr. Diamond, who incidentally did not change his sparkly name for show biz. His parents were New Yorkers Akeeba “Kieve” Diamond, a dry-goods merchant, and Rose (née Rapoport). Doors for Super Diamond at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 28, in the Sapphire Palace at Blue Lake Casino. VIP seating available if you’re feeling important.

Saturday at the Arcata Playhouse, the last show of 2019 features Georgia Ruth and The Reverie with “original songs, both old and new, and a few of their favorite cover tunes.” Not sure if there’s VIP seating there, where everyone is important. Showtime is 8 p.m.  

Same night you can dance to DJ L Boogie on a “Sexy MF’ing Saturday,” “this and every last Saturday of the month at The Griffin. Bring your sexy MF’ing self and groove to R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, Latin and more.” Get down! 

Or, over at The Jam on Saturday it’s “The Last Getdown for Now!” with Pete inviting you to get down with the Getdown crew one more time before he turns the reigns over to the new owners (from AA Bar & Grill). That band’s membership is fluid, and they’re not saying exactly who will play. Starts 9-ish. 

What’s interesting is, the Pete Ciotti Trio is booked at the same time at the Basement, also with a 9 p.m. start time. They tend to end their shows earlier, so maybe Pete can play both gigs. Keys wiz Brian “Swiz” Swizlo also indicates that he’ll be at both shows, if you believe checking the “Going” box on Facebook means anything.     

Sunday and Monday seem quiet, so that brings us to the end of the decade. We’ll start in Blue Lake, where on Tuesday, Dec. 31, there’s “A New Years Eve Celebration” at Sapphire Palace (at Blue Lake Casino). “Ring in the New Year with Humboldt’s favorite cover band, The Undercovers and a special Tribute to Queen.” A 21+ free show. 

Down the road at E&O Bowl they have a two-part New Years Eve HonkyTonk Hootenanny featuring two fine “boot scoot’n, knee  slappin’” bands, Barn Fire and Rooster McClintock. There’s an early matinee show from 5 to 7 p.m. “for you old timers and party hoppers,” then a late show starting at 9 p.m. Also free, or as they put it, “FREE!!!”

At Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville you are invited to “relive the past while we jump into the future! Dress up and dance to all your favorite ’80s and ’90s jams! Don’t miss out!” Music by DJ Pressure and DJ Joe-E. “Costumes highly encouraged.”

Arcata Theatre Lounge and World Famous Productions present a “Roaring 20’s NYE Party.” They promise a “Champagne Toast at Midnight,” but as of press time, the “Line-Up TBA.” Look online and they’ll probably know. My guess? EDM.

Since there are several “Roaring” parties yet to come, I’ll insert an email I received from our copy editor, Kevin Hoover, re: “Apostrophe usage.”

“Bob,” he wrote, “when you cite a decade, the apostrophe needs to point to the missing numbers. It’s the same with words. This week’s column includes this: ‘60s , when it should be this: ’60s. Just FYI.” 

Now I’ll admit, I didn’t think it mattered, and when I type it, well, it’s not easy to flip that comma, but I’ve been trying. Anyway, that “Roaring 20’s” NYE should be a Roaring ’20s NYE. (FYI.)

At HumBrews, they have “a night of hard hitting soul from Humboldt’s local legends, Object Heavy, performing a unique night of original music with a special tribute to some of Motown’s greatest records.” Southern Humboldt’s SoulHum DJ J-Riggs will be there with an “all-vinyl” set. “You don’t want to miss what’s guaranteed to be a raging soul and funk dance party to ring in the new decade, Motown 2020.” Starts at 9:30 p.m. 

At The Jam it’s “New Years Eve 2020” with Dan and the Americans and Spunj, “a high energy, multi-genre’d fusion four piece based out of Eugene, Oregon,” in what’s described as “interlocking sets.” Lights and visuals by @shawnleilighting

The Griffin invites you to “ring in 2020” with festivities beginning at 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve. “Music by L Boogie. Toast at midnight. No cover. Black and gold attire is a must!!!” 

At Richard’s Goat and the Miniplex, DJ Sonido Pachanguero will be ringing in the New Year with salsa, cumbia, and Latin EDM. Dress up, it’s about to be the roaring ‘20s all over again! There’s a drink minimum, 9 til close! Drink specials, come in early for $2 tacos from 6 til 9! NO COVER!” 

At Redwood Raks, Redwood Fusion and Monday Night Swing offer “a spectacular Roaring ’20s New Year’s Dance, (on Tuesday, in case you’re confused) 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in two rooms, one for swing, the other for fusion. Dance lessons are from 8 to 8-30. “All ages, Martinelli toasts, balloon drop, concessions, 1920s costume contest, photo booth, more!”

The Speakeasy suggests, “Let’s party like its the ‘20s again, because it is!” as they present a “Roaring ’20s themed New Year’s Bash.” From 4 to 9 p.m. they’ll have a street fair including live music, vendors, food, a beer and wine garden “and more!” (They don’t say who’s playing music.) This “family friendly” event has a New York count down at 9 p.m. where that big ball comes down with the ghost of Dick Clark doing the countdown. Proceeds from the beer garden benefit Planned Parenthood. Then the party moves indoors inside the Speakeasy (for 21+) from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. with a champagne toast at midnight.

Not far from there in the Historic Eagle House, aka The Inn at 2nd and C, “It’s time to bring on the next decade with an insane Intergalactic GLOWWWW Party for NYE 2020!”  The headliner is Wood Rowe Farguheson Jr., aka MC RadioActive, a Grammy award winning beatbox master, who I remember from his days with Spearhead, performing here with True Justice. Also on the bill: Mr. Rogers (not the one from PBS, since he’s dead), BangData, Mark Starr (aka DIRTYBIRD), Nima G (from Trippy Ass Technologies), Sacre Cheu, DJ Soules, Marjo Lak, D’Vinity and Skinny Pepperwood. In addition, they have an aerial silks show, live art, a photo booth (where you can memorialize your glow), a kava bar, assorted vendors, VIP lounge… “SO MUCH FUN!!!”  

Then the next day, when you’ve recovered from that decade, the folks from Outer Space present, a big all ages party with a few of my lovely friends on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, from 7 to 11 p.m. Of course, as you may have heard (here and elsewhere) Outer Space is currently homeless, so the show they had booked in advance was moved to the Arcata Playhouse (thanks Jackie). Yes, “Gunsafe is baaaaaack!!!” and sharing a bill with Lyndsey Battle, and Belles of the Levee, getting our 20/20 vision in focus. 

Lyndsey, and Stella (the heart and soul of Gunsafe) are true certified friends. You may or may not remember, but I had a stroke in 2013. When I was recovering, learning to talk, walk, and live again, my wife put the word out, I was in St. Joe’s and if anyone wants to come see me, well, I might appreciate some music. 

Lyndsey came by with her uke and sang some songs and talked to me as I lay in bed. Then Stella visited with stand-up bass player (and stand-up guy) Norm Crawford. They came around lunch time, and I was in the dining room with a bunch of much older old folks. Stella read the room, and started off with some Hank Williams tunes that pleased the old folks greatly, then sang a couple more by Hank and some Patsy Cline. It was perfect, picked up my spirits along with everybody there. 

They say “a friend in need is a friend indeed,” and it’s so true. 

These folks will always be my friends, and not just because they showed up in my time of need, but because they’re good people. Thanks again. 

And on that note, I’m starting to tear up, so I’ll wish you a happy New Year, and good things in the next decade, where our vision will be 20/20.



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