The HUM: Ch-ch-changes, here and there…

OUTER SPACE Electric didgeridoo player John Hardin plays his didg and screens a film on Saturday at one of the final performances at Arcata Outer Space. Bob Doran | Union

Ch-ch-changes, oh, look out, you rock ‘n’ rollers. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange. Ch-ch-changes, pretty soon now you’re gonna get older… – from Changes by David Bowie

In part in the wake of the recent successful tribute to Joni Mitchell, my friend Lyndsey Battle is planning a multi-vocalist tribute to the late great David Bowie, and his great songs. The show tentatively scheduled for January around Bowie’s birthday, will undoubtedly include Changes, a number from early in his long career. 

For several reasons, the song seems to resonate in our local culture, with a few events that demonstrate the ever changing nature of the arts world. 

We’ll start with a show titled, “Fare Thee Well Pete Ciotti!! a going away bash at The Jam.” Now, as I write this, the details are scant. The invite says only “more info coming soon,” but Pete will probably be playing drums and/or guitar, since he is a musician in addition to being the owner of The Jam and the chief pizza-maker and bottle-washer. He’s definitely more than ready for a “ch-ch-change.”

“My time at The Jam is over,” he explained, since his family sold the business. To who? “I can’t say until the escrow is finalized. We signed a non-disclosure agreement. The new owner must announce before we can say anything.” 

Pete’s wife, Belle, is about to make a change career wise. She’s about to graduate from HSU, and as Pete proudly noted and already lined up a job as an environmental engineer for an Arcata firm. “And I’m gonna go back to school and become a high school teacher, hopefully,” said Pete. We wish him the best in his future endeavors, which will undoubtedly include music one way or another. 

The next big ch-ch-change was announced via a recent Instagram post addressed, “Dear Outer Space Friends, Patrons and Supporters. We regret to inform you all that the building we are in has been sold and our lease has not been renewed, ending our operations at our current site [on M Street] as of Dec. 12. We hope you can join us in saying goodbye to the space by coming to one of our [all ages//safer/sober] shows we have in this final month…” [See complete Outer Space letter, page A6.]

Now there’s a good chance you have not been to a show at the venue on 11th across from Portuguese Hall. As they explain, “Outer Space is an arts & music center for the arts in Arcata, since 2017, a DreamMaker Project of the Ink People Center for the Arts, it operates the 100% volunteer-run arts center.” 

If, like me, you raised a kid in the ’90s, you might remember The Placebo, a like-minded drug/alcohol free youth-run organization that always had trouble finding support. They were precursors to Outer Space (in a time before DreamMakers). 

Outer Space has been renting their “Space” from Nilsen Company, who had built a new building behind what was once Copeland Lumber. The Nilsen’s didn’t last long in Arcata, and the Outer folks have been waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop since they left. Again, a non-disclosure clause means the Space’s new owners are unknown. 

At this point, the area’s only fully all ages venue is actively searching for a new space. Got any ideas? Drop them a line: [email protected]. In the meantime, they have a few things happening while there’s still time on the clock. 

Coming up at (or in) Outer Space on Friday, Nov, 22, catch a film screening about a Czech band called Interpretace who you probably haven’t heard before. “Interpretace began making music in 1979, and this year they celebrate 40 years of highly original, radically collaborative and uncompromisingly honest music,” explained writer/filmmaker/musician John Hardin. “It has been my pleasure to get to know them, to play music with them, and to honor their long career with this short documentary,” he added. 

“Back in the early ’80s, when the Czech Republic was still part of Czechoslovakia, and still behind the Iron Curtain, a cassette of Interpretace’s music got smuggled out, and found itself in the hands of Rudolfo Protti in Northern Italy, who then released it on his record label, Old Europa Cafe. This release introduced Western Europe to the emerging underground industrial/noise scene in Socialist Czechoslovakia.” 

The underground music eventually surfaced, ultimately with help from Mr. Hardin, who will show his film and play his own underground music on electrified didgeridoo with his own psychedelic video images. Showtime 8 p.m.

If you’ve been to Arts Alive sometime in the last couple of decades, you’ve probably gone to Piante Gallery for one innovative show or another, always presented with great taste by proprietor Sue Natzler. The current show, which opened earlier in November, pairs multimedia artist Becky Evans and poet Jerry Martien with an examination of “Water and Power.” Becky’s contribution includes 99+ ceramic bottles on a wall, based on the ubiqwhat was once Copeland Lumber. The Nilsen’s didn’t last long in Arcata, and the Outer folks have been waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop since they left. Again, a non-disclosure clause means the Space’s new owners are unknown. 

At this point, the area’s only fully all ages venue is actively searching for a new space. Got any ideas? Drop them a line: [email protected]. In the meantime, they have a few things happening while there’s still time on the clock. 

Coming up at (or in) Outer Space on Friday, Nov, 22, catch a film screening about a Czech band called Interpretace who you probably haven’t heard before. “Interpretace began making music in 1979, and this year they celebrate 40 years of highly original, radically collaborative and uncompromisingly honest music,” explained writer/filmmaker/musician John Hardin. “It has been my pleasure to get to know them, to play music with them, and to honor their long career with this short documentary,” he added. 

“Back in the early ’80s, when the Czech Republic was still part of Czechoslovakia, and still behind the Iron Curtain, a cassette of Interpretace’s music got smuggled out, and found itself in the hands of Rudolfo Protti in Northern Italy, who then released it on his record label, Old Europa Cafe. This release introduced Western Europe to the emerging underground industrial/noise scene in Socialist Czechoslovakia.” 

The underground music eventually surfaced, ultimately with help from Mr. Hardin, who will show his film and play his own underground music on electrified didgeridoo with his own psychedelic video images. Showtime 8 p.m. If you’ve been to Arts Alive sometime in the last couple of decades, you’ve probably gone to Piante Gallery for one innovative show or another, always presented with great taste by proprietor Sue Natzler. The current show, which opened earlier in November, pairs multimedia artist Becky Evans and poet Jerry Martien with an examination of “Water and Power.” Becky’s contribution includes 99+ ceramic bottles on a wall, based on the ubiquitous plastic single-use water bottles, reimagined as relics dug up in a future archaeological dig, and a roomful of photos of L.A. water meters, along with some paintings on a water theme. 

Jerry created some poetic broadsides and placed what may be called poem mini-totems on an Aldaron Laird map of Humboldt Bay. Mr. Martien will present his thought-provoking writings in a reading scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. at Piante. You are invited. 

“Water and Power” will have second opening (a reopening?) at the December Arts Alive (Dec. 7). Then a week later, Dec. 14, the show will close and with it a chapter in Humboldt’s art history. Sue is retiring and the gallery is closing forever. We’ll miss it. Plans are for the Art Center Frame Shop, located next door, to expand into the space. BTW, Monica, the owner, says she does not intend to operate a gallery. 

Briefly: Sammy Johnson, an Australian native, with Maori and Polynesian roots, mixes reggae, soul and jazz vibes with his band Swells OC at the Blue Lake Casino’s Wave Lounge today, Nov. 20, at 9 p.m.

Same time, same Wednesday, at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, World Famous presents the TroyBoi “Nostalgia Tour” with Yultron. The glitchy futuristic music of the London-based mixmaster TroyBoi is anything but nostalgic, but whatever.  The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise once again hosts their annual “Taste of the Holidays” shindig on Thursday, Nov. 21, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center. Be prepared to taste the best of local foods and beverages. 

Wilhelm Reich fans and others will get funky with Orgōne at the Arcata Theatre Lounge Friday, Nov. 22. (Doors at 9:30 p.m.) The funksters from the San Fernando Valley come with an eight-piece soul machine mixing a Funkadelic, Santana and Stax feel with their own thing.  

Same Friday, MONEY: the Pink Floyd tribute is back at Humbrews, this time with a psychedelic light show by Shawn Lei. 

Down the road at Richard’s Goat’s Miniplex that same Friday, Baltimore’s Ami Dang “fuses sitar, voice, and electronics to create east-meets-west, ambient/trance music.” Sounds groovy. Local openers Drip Torch offer “no rave” music, whatever that is.

At Phatsy Kline’s Parlor Lounge Friday (7:30 p.m.) it’s the cleverly named Justin Time Band, a bluesy outfit with Robert Franklin and David Childers on guitars (and vocals), backed by a rhythm section with Justin Hobart Brown on bass and Paul DeMark on drums. Cool. 

Back at the Blue Lake Casino’s Wave Lounge Saturday, Nov. 23, Tempest, led by electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, manages to merge a Scandinavian and Celtic feel (Lief is from Oslo, Norway) with ripping metallic riffs. He calls it “folk rock,” but that doesn’t really do it justice.   

At Forever Found Humboldt, same Saturday it’s “Danksgiving,” a “harvest” party dedicated to weed, with dank hip hop with Kottonmouth Kings, UnderRated (formerly of Potluck), Garth Cultivader, Mendo Dope, Chucky Chuck and Eddie Ruxspin, Gorangutang (a stoner didgeridoo player) with emcee Stoner Rob and special guest “legendary cannabis freedom fighter” Eddie Lepp. They promise food trucks, live art,  “and more.” It all starts at 4:20 p.m. (Of course.) It’s also a toy/food drive so bring something along those lines.

On Sunday, Nov. 22, seemingly on the other side of the universe, at the Blue Lake Casino, this time in the Sapphire Palace, big-name funnyman Jeff Foxworthy tells jokes about rednecks and other stuff. You know you’re a rich redneck if you’ve already bought “gold” tickets for $120 apiece or else it’s $90 for “silver,” $75 for “bronze.” If that’s too steep, there’s always Netflix or YouTube. Two shows: 6 or 8 p.m. 

Earlier Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society presents their annual Mushroom Fair at the Arcata Community Center. “For the novice, it’s a wonderful introduction to the diversity of our local fungi. For the more knowledgeable, it’s an encyclopedia of fungi information.” Don’t miss Christian Schwarz, author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast speaking on “The World’s Most Dangerous Fungi” at 11:30 a.m. (Of course they’re only dangerous if you eat them.) There are also examples of psychedelic ’shooms to if you want to “turn and face the strange.” 

 







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