The Hum is Back (again)

"Bob’s back: Expect gut-rumbling music with a beat "


That’s right, the Hum is back. I’m a Union man again, basically humming the same old song – offering my view of Humboldt culture. I’m not going to rehash the convoluted history of the Hum except to say it started in the Arcata Union a long, long time ago and now I’m writing for the Mad River Union (again). My new editor Lauraine tells me, “This is going to be fun.” I hope so, and that you the readers like it too.

Forgive me if I dive right in. The paper hits the street Wednesday, so we’ll start with July 6. I’m going to the Arcata Playhouse that evening to hear The Miscreants. There’s a piece by Janine about them right above, so I won’t say much except that I’ve heard Ben Goldberg, Scott Amendola and former local Trevor Dunn in various other bands, so I know this is going to be good. If you like improv music, don’t miss this show.

When it’s over, I’ll be headed over to Richards’ Goat for a wild show in the Miniplex. (If you’ve never been to the Goat, the Miniplex is a separate room that also shows cool movies.) Coincidentally, the invite demands in all caps “DON’T MISS THIS SHOW!” The extra-heavy metal heads Lord Ellis and “ball-busting synth pop” band Blood Gnome provide local support for Eldren, a Denver outfit in town for a few days. Elders notes that they were “Best Psych Rock Band” in last year’s Westword Music Awards, put on by a Denver alt. weekly. Not sure how this “best of” thing works – hopefully it’s not just a social media driven ad sales tool like some of these contests.

If you miss Eldren’s set at the Goat, you have a couple more chances to hear them. The band plays at Six Rivers Brewery Thursday, July 7, then again on Friday, July 8, as Siren’s Song, paired with Eureka’s The Tweeners who describe themselves as a “rock, folk, jazz, classical, avant pop band that emerged from the blackened ashes of Freemasonry and steam power.”

Back to Wednesday, it’s Whomp Whomp time at the Jam, where the Humboldt Bass Crew presents a showcase for German label SaturateRecords with Moniker from Knoxville and Humboldt’s own McG. Expect gut-rumbling music with a beat and an extra dose of bass.

I don’t know much about the show on Thursday, July 7 at the Miniplex, but those in know in experimental music circles are very excited about the headliner: Gate from New Zealand, the nom de band of Michael Morley from The Dead C. He’s on the road with Gabbie Strong andChristopher Reid Martin, both from Los Angeles. Eureka’s Ghoulhand adds his own laptop madness.

It’s the second Friday in the month which means Arts Arcata (forgive me if I omit the gratuitous punctuation). There’s the usual stuff around the Plaza and Main Street – art in shops and music all over – there are details in this paper, but I think I may go to the Creamery District for the grand reopening of Bang! Bang! Vintage. Proprietor Jane Williams-Eichensehr is more than excited to be a part what she describes as “this fantastic art district full of love and creativity,” and I’m excited too. There’s a wonderful synergy in the developing Creamery District. Expect music by DJ Miss Sure Shot and Easton, photos by Chuck Johnson and Erica Davie, cider from a district neighbor Wrangletown and vintage fun for all.

Elsewhere in the same building,  there’s a “Creamery Convergence” where you can “mingle, share, dance and collaborate with other local creative minds,” with some sort of visual art and performance planned. Music by HYPHA, libations by SCRAP Humboldt. “Creative dress encouraged,” they suggest. “Express yourself, and/or rock your favorite color.” (Does black count as a color?)

Friday, after Arts Arcata, Humboldt Brews has Gipsy Moon, an indie-folk quartet from Nederland, Colo., who are on what they call, “an endless musical journey, sharing songs with the hopes of planting inspiration into the soul, starting a fire in the heart, and building community that invokes love in its wildest manifestations.” Tools of choice: mandolin, guitars, banjo, cello and bass.

Meanwhile at the Jam HouseMF! = House Must Flow! as in house music by Release DJ Arts and Dub Cowboy. Note: house is not the same as bass music, but I can’t explain how they’re different. They just are.

It’s that time again, when the Mad River Festival turns into the Humboldt Folklife Festival. The kickoff party is Saturday, July 9, at Mad River Brewery with a couple of my favorite bands, Bayou Swamis and The Trouble. (Has anyone else noticed that Marla’s broken foot hasn’t slowed her down a bit?) Like most shows at MRB, this starts 6 p.m., so you can be home around dark, or go to some other party.

Other Saturday night parties? Make Me Laugh! is at the Plaza Grill. Comedian Tony Persico has been doing this funniness contest at other clubs. Basically, he has people from the audience come up and comedians try to make them laugh. They try not to laugh. There are prizes involved. They promise, it’s fun.

Still feeling patriotic after the Fourth? At Humboldt Brews Saturday night, Rag Doll Revue celebrates “freedom and all things Americana” with Red, White and Boobs, an evening of burlesque performers including Stevie DiLuxe, Jessica Pow, Lulu Fatale, Giggles Pumphrey, Cleveland Slim and Jamie Bondage. Fair warning: There is sexy nudity involved.

The Jam turns into Club Triangle Saturday night with Under Pressure '80s Night. (Remember when Bowie and Queen joined forces?) They promise “you get to be the star!!!” Here’s the deal: choose an '80s hit, email your choice to [email protected] and come up with “a group routine, solo, dance, lip sync or whatever tickles your fancy!” Other danceable music spun by DJ Red, DJ Anya and DJ Joe-E.

Sunday in sunny Blue Lake is Annie & Mary Day, a festival in Perigot Park and around town. There’s lots going on including a bocce ball tournament, a gymkhana, a petting zoo, a car show, bike races, food and drink, and music, music, music by Timber Ridge Boys, No Pardon, The Spindrifters, JED and Secret Club. Silver Hammer caps things off at the Logger Bar with a few Beatles tunes. (The Logger portion starts at 8 p.m.)

Music on a Monday night? Sure. The Jam has The Bloodhounds, a rock band from L.A. stopping off on their way north. Genre: “Chuck Berry. Blues. '60s Garage.” The night before they play here, they’re at the Down Home Record Store; when they play Portland they play “Liquor store.” The Arcata show also has “opening and intermission garage rock DJ sets” with “service industry drink specials all night.” You get the picture.

Tuesday, July 12, Mad River Brewery Taproom has The Low Notes, a cool jazz quartet I haven’t heard yet, although I know some of the players. With guitar, keys, bass and drums they offer “jazz standards, not so standards and original compositions,” kind of along the lines of Wes Montgomery. Very nice. This is another 6 p.m. gig. Just the thing for a summer evening.


You can read The Hum in the paper or online at, where I’ll be posting some bonus content (when I get to it) - links to music and videos, the latest digital smellovision (if they ever invent it), photos (I take a lot of them) and other cool stuff.

See you out on the town.


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