Have you noticed how lately holidays seem to stretch their borders? While it’s hard to celebrate Groundhog Day all month (unless you’re Bill Murray), in February, we can’t wait for Valentine’s Day to roll around. Thus we have Inked Hearts taking over the Blue Lake Casino the weekend before V-Day (Feb. 9 and 10) with music shows 3 tattoo fans will presumably like.
The Friday night show features Sublime with Rome, which is not exactly “Sublime,” and not really a Sublime tribute since the original band’s bassist, Eric Wilson, is still part of the current trio. There was a complicated lawsuit involved with the late band leader Bradley Nowell’s family holding tight to rights to the Sublime name ever since Bradley died in 1996.
Initially, Eric and drummer Bud Gaugh marshaled on, calling themselves the Long Beach All-Stars. Some time in 2009 (yes, 10 years ago) guitarist Rome Ramirez joined up and they used that potent name (Sublime) again and lawyers got involved. The compromise: It’s OK to play the old songs, but they must add “with Rome” in all promotion. Whatever.
Bradley didn’t live to see What I Got, become a No. 1 hit, but he lives on when they play it. Safety Orange, another “beach/rock/reggae” trio from Ocean Beach opens the show.
There’s a bit of irony in that the gig where they first returned to that sublime moniker was at a multi-band bash called “Cypress Hill’s Smokeout Festival.” Who is playing at Inked Hearts Saturday night? That’s right, Cypress Hill. Remember Insane in the Brain? Rappers B-Real and Sen Dog have been touring since, with turntablist DJ Muggs back after a break, plus Bobo Correa on percussion since ’93. Still “Insane in the membrane, insane in the brain” after all these years.
Friday, Feb. 8 at the Miniplex (in the Goat) Austin-based alt. power trio Grivo mashes together doom metal and shoegaze (if that’s possible). Local openers are Ensemble Economique (starring Jacob Sweden) and the always spacey CV, with Robert Tripp, Tavan Anderson “and extended family.”
Monday, Feb 11, again at the Miniplex, catch the psychedelic cumbia-punk of Tropa Magica, formerly known as Thee Commons. Brothers David and Rene Pacheco throw together accordion and guitars with wild abandon. (There’s no opener listed, but I’d be surprised if local Latin dance faves Sonido Pachanguero isn’t at least in the house.)
This coming weekend (Saturday, Feb. 9, to be more exact) prepare for a comedy collision of sorts. We’ll start with the Mr. Humboldt Pageant #6 returning to Arcata Theater Lounge for another “spoof male pageant.” (Really? They’re still doing that in this post-#metoo era?)
Meanwhile at the Savage Henry Comedy Club (in Eureka) smokin’ cannabis comic Ngaio Bealum headlines the club, with what amounts to as the Savage-Allstars: Dr. Foxmeat, Dutch Savage and host Matt Redbeard. (Expect at least one pot joke with a Murder Mountain punchline.)
Over at the Arcata Playhouse that same night, Tourettes Without Regrets: the Humboldt Edition! mixes comedy with side show acts, burlesque, champion freestyle battle rappers (with a $100 cash prize for a battle winner), also an open poetry slam (also with a $ prize), all of this under the leadership of former Arcatan slam poet/Tourette syndrome survivor Jamie DeWolf, who is now based in the Bay area (when he’s not hanging at Shea’s place).
On Friday, Feb. 8 at Humbrews, New York City’s The Rad Trads, described as “the greatest band you’ve never heard of,” with P.R. mentioning, “walls of horns and psychedelic guitars that meld with lush acoustic arrangements…”
Then at Humbrews on Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Scott Pemberton Band from PDX offers “infectious and inventive dance music. Funky, surfy, rock propelled by Scott’s virtuosic guitar playing.” (Yes, it’s another jamband.)
The next night, Feb. 14, it’s a “Lovers Rock Valentines Special” with reggae legends Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare with The Taxi Gang, plus UK lovers rock legend Bitty McLean on vocals. This is the real deal. DJ Ras Azad and One Wise Sound kick things off.
V-D-Day will be over Saturday, Feb. 16, but Humbrews’ “Valentine’s Dance Party” continues with locals Object Heavy and Dan and The Americans promising some love songs etc.
That same Saturday (Feb 16) The Jam has a semi-love inspired post-Val show with Lovebush, the latest Fela/James Brown inspired funk band led by guitarist Greg Camphuis. Sharing the bill: Conman Brio, offering electronic and R&B-inspired pop music with Conner West on guitar.
Movie fans know the Oscars are coming soon (Sunday Feb. 24) and once again, the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission joins with the historic Eureka Theater to present the 6th Annual Red Carpet Gala. Start time is 4:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and champagne from a no-host bar, with music by Michael Dayvid. There’s more music later as the 91st Annual Academy Awards fill the big screen. “Pesky commercials will be replaced with local Film-Friendly” stuff and cinematic jazz by RLA Trio.
Getting back to Valentine’s Day, on the real holiday at The Basement, Tim Randles leads RLA Trio, with Mike LaBolle on drums and Ken Lawrence on electric bass. You might think, the name doesn’t quite make sense, well the trio once included Bobby Amirkhanian on bass, but he sailed away to work on cruise ships. They stuck with old initial name explaining LA in kind of short for Lawrence, but I think they should come up with a real name.
The Basement is a relatively new nightclub in the “basement” of Jacoby’s Storehouse (below the Union office). While they started out with music only on Fridays, they’ve booked combos Thursday through Saturday, mostly on the jazzy side.
The Low Notes are there Thursday, Feb. 7. The Christina D’Alessandro Quintet Friday, Feb. 8, The soulful Paula Jones Band (with RLA) plays Saturday, Feb. 9. On Friday, Feb. 15, it’s the Julie Froblom Trio (Julie on sax), then on Saturday, Feb. 16, they have Claire Bent, with vocalist Claire showing off her jazzier side (without Citizen Funk).
Friday, Feb. 22, it’s the Tavola Quartet, who describe themselves as “old souls.” Saturday, Feb. 23, they shift gears a bit with multi-instrumentalist Seabury Gould and Mark Jenny, who plays, well I’m not sure what, since Seabury is a very eclectic guy bouncing from Indian kirtan to Celtic jigs and occasionally jazz tunes.
Ending the month of February on Thursday, the 28th, Claire Bent returns to the Basement. We’ll leave it at that since I’ve already exceeded my 1,000 word limit. See you in March…