That cool breeze is hitting us full force again: the “holidays” are here, when “good cheer” is mandatory, and the materialism that comes with “gift giving” makes us wonder, why? Well, because merchants and others depend on this holiday push at the end of the year, and why not help out, if we can.
We’ll start with this weekend. The 40th annual Humboldt Artisans Crafts & Music Festival spreads holiday cheer this weekend at Redwood Acres. Expect 100 plus craft vendors (everyone you know), live music on several stages all day (too many musicians to mention). “Food and Libations. Friendly faces and more holiday cheer. Community Tradition,” they explain. It runs Friday, Dec. 6, noon until 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Just $3 to get in, free after 5, free for kids and seniors, free for those who bring a toy for the Humboldt Bay Fire Dept. Toy Drive. Ugly Xmas sweaters and Santa hats optional.
Just in time for more holiday gifts, we have the 45th annual HSU Geology Club Rock Auction on Friday at 5 p.m. “We will be auctioning off various rocks, minerals, and other things to any who come,” say the rock hounds. “There will be tables outside Founders Hall Room 118; the auction starts 6 p.m. with lesser samples for sale, a kids table, etc. Proceeds go to funding scholarships and gear to aid students at [rock] field camp. Formal attire requested! (but not required, we just think it would make for a great time!)” Indeed.
Or you can support local indigenous artisans at the United Indian Health Services Potawot Art and Craft Sale, Saturday, Dec. 7, (“a date which will live in infamy”) with various arts and crafts at Potawot Health Village (1600 Weeot Way, near Mad River Community Hospital). That’s from 10 a.m. ’til 5 p.m. “Bear Island Designs will be in the House!”
In McKinleyville Saturday, starting at noon, check out the annual Makers Holiday Fair at Papa Wheelies Pub. (“Makers” seems to be a more inclusive term.) “We welcome local artists to display their works so you can find the perfect holiday gift for your loved one,” says Papa. “Mimosas, art vendors, door prizes! If you are or know a local artist who would like to get involved, please reach out!”
Humboldt County Library, Arcata Branch has another Book Sale Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the library (and books always make a great gift). “Children’s books and movies are free, and all other sales benefit the Arcata Library, so everybody wins with this book sale.”
Ready for some poetry and/or spoken word? The Humboldt Poetry Show is at Siren’s Song Tavern the first Thursday of the month, (this time Dec. 5) typically with an open mic (sign up by 7 p.m, the show starts at 7:30). This time featuring the show’s hosts, Humboldt-grown poetry collective A Reason to Listen, with Vanessa Vrtiak, Therese FitzMaurice, Jeremiah Anderson and Anne Fricke with solo and group pieces. DJ Goldylocks on the wheels of steel, live art by Dre Meza from The Lullaby Lounge.
The next night, Friday, Dec. 6, The Blackout Poets, a couple of dozen or so creative writing students from Poet Laureate/Professor David Holper’s College of the Redwoods class English 32 (poetry). They’ll be reading their latest work at 7 p.m. in the rotunda at the Morris Graves Museum. “The public is welcome to attend and hear what students are rhyming, rapping, and reading.”
Still more spoken word, Tuesday. Dec. 10, 6 to 9 p.m. at Northtown Coffee, as Word Humboldt welcomes the duo, Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise from NYC “combining elements of hip-hop, soul and spoken word over the sound of classical harp.” Fascinating.
AJ Lee and Blue Summit offer an intimate evening of bluegrass and Americana at the Sanctuary Friday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m. Mandolinist/songster AJ Lee leads the bluegrass band, original from Santa Cruz. “This will be the first time we will be playing in Arcata and we are excited to share our music with you,” she said.
Across town at the Miniplex, same Friday, “surf rock trash babies” Sue & the Namies present the premiere of a music vid for “No Way!” with live-action beach party antics and claymation directed and animated by Violet Crabtree. They’re joined by psychedelic cumbia combo Los Dune Bums and Blood Hunny with some “heart string pullin’ indie rock.” Showtime 9 p.m.
At Outer Space, Friday (Dec. 6) it’s an Electric Youth Drag Show hosted by Tucker Noir. “Humboldt county’s vibrant youth drag performers take the stage once again!” says Tucker. “Come celebrate the joy of creative expression!” (Note, that may be the last show at Outer Space.)
It’s rhythm night the Van Duzer Theatre Saturday (8 p.m.) with The Humboldt Calypso Band, The HSU Percussion Ensemble and The World Percussion Group playing calypso, samba and experimental music for percussion, all directed by the rhythm kings Eugene Novotney and Howard Kaufman.
That Saturday at Redwood Curtain (the other one, in Eureka) Bare Elegance Burlesque and their extended family, the Rag Doll Revue host a show with “a classic twist to Santa’s naughty & nice list.” The Rag Dolls and the Beauties welcome special guest Bessie Snow up from the Bay Area. The whole thing is a fundraiser for a gift drive for a good cause: the Transition Age Youth Center serving youth between 16 and 26 “who may be experiencing mental health crisis, or in the foster care system, juvenile justice, or may be currently facing homelessness.”
Back in Arcata Saturday, at the Vets Hall, Mad River Alliance celebrates their Ninth birthday with a fundraiser, the Barn Boogie Birthday Bash, starting as 7 p.m. “We will be celebrating with a barn dance with the Striped Pig Stringband, beverages, good food, and even better company!” Silent auction, raffle items, 50/50 raffle. “All proceeds will go towards our restoration, conservation, education, and science & monitoring programs!”
Booty Shakin’ Music Productions plays host to the 12th & Final Tour of “How The Grouch Stole ChristMurs” as it hits the Arcata Theatre Lounge Saturday nite with hip hop royalty The Grouch and Murs, plus Pure Powers, Dr. Oop, DJ Fresh and Gabe Pressure. Music 9-ish.
Over at HumBrews, same Saturday, Who Is She presents Brews ‘n Bass with opening sets by locals Cassidy Blaze and Badam and headliner Edekit (aka Malakai Torres) a producer from Nevada City with various types of bass music.
HSU’s Humboldt Symphony explores the classics on Sunday, afternoon Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall with a program including Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz, the first movement of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Grieg’s first Peer Gynt Suite, and more.
Later that Sunday, at the Sanctuary (at 8 p.m.) there’s a benefit for the non-profit Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (aka AHHA) featuring performances by John Elliott, Leslie Castellano, Violet Crabtree, Joanne McGarry, Solomon Lowenstein, Cowtown Serenaders, “and more.” Expect work relating to homelessness in one way or another.
Minnesotan primitive folk blues guitar player Charlie Parr plays Sunday, Dec. 8, at HumBrews, an early show, doors 7 p.m. music at 8. Charlie is here with an eponymous new album, Charlie Parr, with his resonator guitar and 12-string picking out “an audio tour of his life and career to date and a celebration of more songs and stories to come.” He’s damn good.
Monday, Dec. 9 (which happens to be my birthday) BPBS Arts & Media presents an evening in the Miniplex with Oryan’s Die Geister Beschwören (organic mossfolk from Arcata), Crowey (psych-folk from PDX) and introducing the self-proclaimed “new Richards’ Goat house band,” Death Like The Old Days. Hmmm.
At Blondie’s Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. Join The Weevils at their favorite venue to celebrate the release of their new EP Here Come the Weevils! They promise, “We will have CDs that include five recently recorded new tracks, as well as the 2016 release Dawn Patrol!” Opening for us is local solo act Bright. We’re stoked!”
Last and we hope not least, Sunday and Monday, Dec. 8 and 9, Outer Space is packing up and leaving their space on M Street.
At this point, they don’t have a place to move to, but they’re exploring options.
If you can help clean up, show up at 10 a.m. or later. It’s all over at 6:30 p.m. Monday — for now.
As usual I’m over my word count, so that’s it — for now. Have a merry something.