“Sometimes I wonder what I’m a-gonna do, there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”
– Eddie Cochran
Something got you down? There’s a cure: Find something to do. For example, Saturday, Aug. 3, we have the umpteenth annual Buddy Brown Blues Festival in Perigot Park (in sunny Blue Lake), dedicated to the memory of my old friend Richard Duggins (aka Buddy Brown).
It starts early, 11 a.m. with My Generation Blues Band, followed by Back Seat Drivers (12:15 p.m.) The Lost Dogs Band (1:30 p.m.) Buddy Reed and the Rip It Ups (also playing a warm-up show at Phatsy Kline’s Parlor Lounge the night before), then the Jim Lahman Band (4 p.m.) and closing things out, Jenni and David and the Sweet Soul Band. A mess o’ blues all around.
Meanwhile we have the big wrap-up for the 2nd annual Eureka Street Art Festival Block Party, with artists from “around the world and around the corner” painting the town red and all other colors with brilliant murals and street art. They’re working all week, but Saturday, Aug. 3, is your chance to meet the artists and watch them add finishing touches.
There’s arty music on three stages: the Ink People Stage in the parking lot at seventh and F streets, starts at noon with the Festival Kick-Off and Mayor Seaman’s brief welcome followed by Elaine Cole, then Wild Abandon (1:30 p.m.) Blue Rhythm Revue (3 p.m.) and Dynasty One (4:30 p.m.). The Rynecki Stage (at Sixth and G streets) has Belles of the Levee at noon, Heavy Mellow (1:30 p.m.) and Bandemonium (4:30 p.m.). And, in the Melvin Shuler Sculpture Garden behind the Morris Graves Museum (Seventh and F streets) the James Zeller Trio plays throughout the day. Of course Saturday is an Arts Alive! night, and Old Town will be jumpin’.
Feeling energetic? Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association - HBBCA - start the day with a 3-mile ride around Old Town/Downtown looking at murals old and new. Meet at Romano Gabriel Sculpture Garden at 11 a.m.
Or you can go to Mendenhall Studios (Second and C streets) the night before, Friday, Aug. 2, for the “grand unveiling” of “2nd Street Women: BIG,” with large pieces by painters Joan Dunning, Linda Mitchell, Kathy O’Leary and Rachel Schlueter. Starts at 5:30 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 7:30, and The Art Band (musician artists) jammin’ throughout the event.
In a related Arcata event at The Sanctuary Friday (8 to 10 p.m.) they’re screening The Now Of US, a video project about murals all around America made by keyboardist Thollem McDonas and Silver Ochre, his collaboration with video artist ACVilla. Local abstract muralist Anna Sofia Amezcua starts things off talking about her muralist processes, a discussion follows.
The next night the Sanctuary hosts Thollem’s Electric Confluence, a second night of keyboard “inspired by the myriad sonic experiences on his lifelong travels.” Opening is Erich Ragsdale aka Shadow Waves, “melding magic melodies with a scintillating tapestry of analog film loops and reel to reel reality shifting 16mm turbo splice collage movies.” Sounds trippy.
Unrelated side note: After the Crabs game Friday night, they’re setting off 4th of July-style fireworks (again). I hear the animal rescue folks get a lot of extra visitors when they do that. “Warn your fellow pet owners to lock up their pets.”
Down SoHum way, the Mateel folks have a seriously downsized Reggae on the River-style event (moved to the Mateel Hall) called Mateel Forever: Reggae Legacy with Kabaka Pyramid and the Bebble Rockers, Arkaingelle, Ishi Dube, and more Saturday, Aug. 3, and the legendary Toots and the Maytals, Irie Rockerz, Realyouth, and G. Davis Sunday, Aug, 4. Too late, they offer a shout out to the late great Carol Bruno, Queen of Humboldt Reggae.
Meanwhile, not that far north of here, there’s the surprisingly similar Chilling on the Illinois Fest (on the Illinois River) near Cave Junction, Ore. happening Friday and Saturday Aug. 2 and 3, formerly “Reggae” weekend. “Two days of love & unity” has Toots and the Maytals and Kabaka Pyramid, headliners plus Sizzla (who was briefly on the bill for RotR) The Gladiators, Spragga Benz, Indubious, Jah Sun, and Rocker T “and many more.” Presenters are the Free Republic of Earth People’s Park, “a church in communion with nature in association” along with El Gee Productions who put on the recent Warrior King show and other reggae gigs at Mazzotti’s. Like RotR, this a camping fest on a river with reggae vibes. Irie mon!
Eclectic show Saturday evening at Outer Space, featuring local Latinx band La Mancha playing Cumbia-tinged rock, with Retra, a quartet from San Diego fronted by Rebecca “Becx” Pelayo, who kinda reminds me of Amy Winehouse. Also on the bill, Limbic, a psychedelic/funk/punk/jazz combo from I’m not sure where. Also DJ EastOne, Griffin’s resident spinner who hosts their Salsa Nights and a bunch of other themed nights there. (Check djeastone.com for deets.)
At the Jam, on Monday, Aug. 5, The Something Different Show returns from hibernation with the first of four weekly shows (Mondays). Shea FreeLove is the host, this time out including a “different” sort of lineup with a Punch and Judy puppet show, “the comic stylings” of my friend Talvi Fried (producer of the morning show on Power 96.3 FM), and Arcata Chief of Police Brian Ahearn. Yes, you read that right, apparently part of the Chief’s outreach campaign. “All shows are free and start promptly at 8.”
More reggae? Thursday, Aug. 8, The Jam has a pair of Oregonian “reggae fusion” bands: Indubious and Sol Seed, kicking off their “Releaf Tour,” which starts here before bouncing around California, including a date with Julian Marley (Aug. 16 in Garden Grove).
Next Saturday, Aug. 10, we mark the 37th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony, an opportunity to “offer spiritual consolation for those we miss, departed loved ones, ancestors and all we hold dear,” and also to remember two horrendous days in August 1945, when the United States detonated two atomic weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of them civilians.
The lantern event “affirms our dedication as a community to the cause of peace, to bring awareness to the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and to advocate for environmental sustainability,” done with lanterns.
(In connection with that event, at the Arcata Playhouse, on Aug. 3, at 7 p.m. you can see the U.S. premiere screening of The Grandchildren of Hiroshima, a Japanese film (with subtitles) based on interviews between kids and atom bomb survivors about their lives before and after the bomb destroyed their city.)
The Aug. 10 activities start with Lantern Making at the Arcata Farmer’s Market. (Necessary supplies supplied.) At 7 p.m. you gather near Klopp Lake in Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary (at the end of South I St.), where Rick Kruze will be playing his shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute. Mayor Brett Watson is the host of a program including heartfelt poetry from the Against the Wind Festival for peace in conjunction with the historic sailing ship Golden Rule (for peace). The McKinleyville Choir and the Raging Grannies offer songs. I’m hoping the Grannies will do one my dearly departed mom wrote about boats for the occasion (inspired by peace). Starting around sundown (at 8:40 p.m.) the lanterns will be set free to float awhile on the manmade lake — for peace.