You probably don’t think of Halloween as a religious holiday, but officially it’s the night before All Hallows’ Day, aka All Saints’ Day, when Christians commemorate all the saints who’ve gone to heaven.
Nowadays it’s all about black cats, jack-o’-lanterns, skulls and costumes of sexy this-and-that, as well as the new beginning of the dreadfully over-commercialized holiday season.
Halloween retail spending was estimated at $9 billion in 2018, and you can’t blame people for stretching the celebration out into a week.
With the month ending on a Thursday, we have Halloween transformed into Hallow-eek. I thought I’d invented a new word, but it was old news to my new friend Gillen Martin, a recent Brown U. graduate (and current Union stringer). “That’s when you’re going to a ton of Halloween parties in college, and have to have a different costume for every one. It’s like ‘eek.’” Of course.
So what’s going on this extended Hallow-eek? Let’s start with my freaky Kinetic friends who tell us, “The BEST, most HORRIFYING Halloween event is back! Guided tours of the Haunted Kinetic Sculpture Lab begin at 7 p.m, and run until midnight,” Thursday through Saturday Oct. 24 to 26. Tickets at the door, benefiting the Lab, in the Creamery District (Eighth and N streets). Expect a line. Rockin’ scary music by The Dead Drops (which includes my son’s old history teacher). Recommended for those 13 and over. “Bring your momma if you’re scared.”
A couple of traditions return to the Minor Theatre this week as they bring back midnight movies and bring back The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with extras, or as they put it, “the FULL Rocky experience, with shadow cast, cheeky games, and audience participation!”
Advance tix include a “goodie bag of toys for the screening,” not sure what, rice is probably out, same with toast. Expect a few Dr. Frank N. Furters in “transsexual from Transylvania” drag, and many Brad and Janet couples since that’s easy in this “interactive movie experience.” Showtime is 8:30 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and on the real Halloween (Oct. 31) 9 p.m.
Speaking of “transsexual from Transylvania” drag, Friday at the Jam is Club Triangle’s “biggest party of the year” the annual Club T. Halloween Bash: “your time to dress up in costume, drag or however you want to express your fabulous self as we celebrate and honor life, death, love and community through dance and artistic expression.” They’re planning a big “Drag Show & Dance Party” hosted by Jamie Bondage featuring the usual suspects from The Club T Family. Beats etc. from DJ Joe-E and DJ Anya with visuals by Marmalade Sky. Doors at 9 p.m. Showtime at 10.
On Saturday the gender fluid action moves to the Logger Tavern, where they have the Lumberhunk HallowQween Dance Party, where you’ll probably find my friend Gillen, since her mom Kate owns the place. (Friday, Oct. 25 Droll Weevil brings strangeness to the Logger.)
There are two Halloweek things at the Inn at Second and C streets in Eureka. First on Friday, Oct. 25, it’s the Soroptimist International of Eureka 2nd Annual Masquerade Ball, “a fun-filled evening of dining, dancing, cocktails and auctions” with people in masks and fancy outfits benefiting Soroptimist funded programs for women and girls in our community. It starts at 6 p.m. with appetizers then dinner, both made by Brett Shuler Catering. Emcee Rex Bohn is the auctioneer, then there’s dancing at 8 p.m. with Blue Rhythm Revue playing soulful rockin’ music. The Inn also has their “Mystical Creatures Ball” on Oct. 31, Halloween proper (or improper) with costumed EDM — more on that next week.
It’s not exactly part of Halloweek, but The Whompining is taking over Wednesday (Oct. 23) at with Whomp Wed. at two venues as World Famous Productions teams with the Arcata Theatre Lounge to whomp you with EDM. Headliners include David Starfire, a “pioneer of the global bass genre,” who’s been touring with Bassnectar and Skrillex. Then there’s Stephan Jacobs and Sunev, aka Bósa, with electronica with world-inspired live percussion. Date Modified Tomorrow (D.M.T) is a new collaboration between West Coast natives Christian Sudweeks, aka Suds from Arcata, and Michael Williams, aka Mike.iLL from Seattle, promising a vivid, psychedelic soundscape. Then you have glitchy whomp by WWW veteran Masta $hredda. Visuals by Dumps. Meanwhile at there Jam (the usual WWW venue) GMNIITE, Eternalize, Dvnd-E and Controlled Substance bring a mess of whomp.
Earlier Wednesday, 6-ish, at the Mad River Brewery (incidentally, now owned by the Yurok Tribe), The Gatehouse Well offers an evening of “progressive folk music” on the (covered) outside patio. The members of the young quartet seem to be everywhere with bassist Nate Zwerdling playing in about a half-a-dozen bands, fiddler Evan Morden playing Celtic style with Seabury Gould, and guitarists/songwriters Dominic Romano and Michael Dayvid releasing solo records. The latest is an EP from Michael titled Solveig’s Shadow, co-produced by Dominic at Bongo Boy for a release on Mercury Sky Records (Nate’s dad Zach Zwerdling’s label). Celebrate Michael as he explores “the darker side of his songwriting” with a truly cinematic sound with “soaring orchestral strings and hard-hitting rock anthems,” at The Inn at Second and C, Saturday, Oct. 26, with songstress Georgia Ruth Reidar opening and joining Dayvid. I saw both of them at the HumFolklifeFest Songwriters Night, and they’re both really good. Doors at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 24, at Mad River Brewery, early (6 p.m.) Dead On has our requisite dose of Deadhead Hallow-eek fun. Expect “acoustic interpretations of your favorite GD songs.”
At the Old Steeple Thursday (Oct. 24) catch the rootsy songwriter Lindsay Lou returning with her band, who “started in Michigan sounding trad, moved to Nashville with a sound closer to their own.” This is the latest in a string of Americana acts playing at the venue with the shows being videotaped by a KEET crew for a series in progress called “Live from the Old Steeple.”
O.S. owner Paul Beattie explained, “Pharis and Jason Romero, Phoebe Hunt, Chris Thomas King, Robbie Fulks, Sam Reider have been filmed so far... Lindsay Lou, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas (Nov. 1), John Craigie and the Shook Twins (Nov. 13), the Tim O’Brien Band (Nov. 17) are scheduled, then we’ll do three more to complete the 13 episode season.”
This is where you can help. They’re looking for underwriters. “We need to raise a total of $30K in underwriting, so far have about $3,000. The point of doing the 13 episodes is so that the season can be made available to all other PBS affiliates, that can help KEET stay in existence and obvious benefit to the venue and the artists involved,” and potentially giving Humboldt culture a national boost.
Thursday, Oct, 24, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. you can hear a relatively new duo, Flying Oms, at the McKinleyville Farmers Market (in the Eureka Natural Foods parking lot), then the following night, Friday (Oct. 25) at North Of Fourth (next to The Shanty in Eureka) from 8 p.m. on. The duo finds Rob Diggins on synth-violin and guitar and Joli Einem on violin and bass, promising “to rock a few 17th c. dance tunes, electrify them, grapple with a gypsy bear dance, maybe a Bolero, and heat it up with some jazz fusion, bebop, blues and a few funky fiddle tunes.” Of course, the duo has been together for ages — Rob and Joli are legendary in the chamber music world, and Rob is bridging the gap between India and America through globe trotting.
Friday on campus in Fulkerson Hall, Centerarts presents Bombino from Niger and Vieux Farka Touré from Mali, son of the late great African superstar Ali Farka Touré.
The collaboration between two guitar masters from the Sahara has them performing separate sets and together, electric and acoustic. You will hear the true roots of the blues.
At the same time Friday at RampArt Skatepark and DisBeatCrasher present Anicon an “atmospheric back metal band from New York, Haunter with “progressive black/death metal” from San Antonio, Rust with “doom/death metal,” and WrätH with “black/death/thrash metal” both from San Francisco. (Don’t ask to explain the difference, but they’re all based on heavy, heavy blues.) Requisite local support TBA. All ages welcome. Doors at 7:30 p.m. music at 8.
Friday, the Arcata Theatre Lounge has a “special co-headlining event” bringing together fiddler/electro-magician Govinda’s “Burning Rings of Helios Tour” and Canadian funky bass heavy keyboardist Defunk’s fall tour, with local support from Marjo Lak, and her Brazilian “butter” music, and the ATL Dance Team (whatever that is). Showtime 10 p.m.
Friday the Alibi starts late (11 p.m.) with Samvega, a “band of artists, painters, builders, music makers, merriment creators, travelers, animal lovers, urban vacationers, beach combers, rust farmers, star gazers, book readers and barn dwellers,” plus Opossum Sun Trail with their “cinematic desert drone and honky tonk freak out.” Cosmic!
Yet another CenterArts show in Fulkerson Hall Saturday (Oct. 26) as classical pianist/composer Conrad Tao tickles the keys on the grand, solo. He was a teen prodigy but now he’s 25. No telling what he’ll play, probably something of his own, and some classics he’ll make his own.
Deep Groove Society have had their Sunday thing at the Jam, Sundaze, on hold, but they’re back Oct. 27 for a benefit for one of their own, Touch. He’ll be on decks along with Joe E (who is celebrating his birthday) plus “special guests” and visuals by Marmalade Sky.
That’s all ’til next time…