It’s a longstanding tradition, Labor Day in the U.S.A. is a holiday celebrated the first Monday in September, same thing in Canada, although they call it Labour Day. We started honoring “labor” in the late 19th century, when the union movement was growing. While 21st century unions are not as strong as they once were, we still enjoy that three-day weekend.
As usual there’s a picnic in Eureka’s Sequoia Park organized by the Central Labor Council, from noon to 3 p.m. with tri-tip, hot dogs and the like, and speeches from politicians currying favor with labor. All they ask is that you bring non-perishable food items for Food for People.
We have our own longstanding Labor Day tradition in Arcata, the 34th annual I Block Party, also on Monday, Sept. 2, which runs from noon until 6 p.m. on I Street between 10th and 11th streets by Los Bagels with free admission, music and local microbrews, barbecued chicken, albacore and tofu on the grill.
It’s a fundraiser for the Arcata-Camoapa Sister City Project, celebrating “international friendship and solidarity,” with Camoapa, Nicaragua. Eternal volunteer Mara Segal notes, “We send humanitarian aid, mostly in the form of scholarships, to our sister city in Nicaragua” in a request for items for the always cool silent auction and raffle. Now I have to admit, I don’t know that much about what’s going on in Nicaragua. When the beginning we were in solidarity with the beleaguered Sandinistas, but I’m told the people of Camoapa mostly steer clear of politics.
Music for the party starts at noon with Wild Abandon, with lead vocalist Melanie Barnett on rhythm guitar, Cory Goldman going wild on electric lead guitar, the “honorable” Nate Zwerdling on bass, and the “conscientious” Gabe Lubowe on drums, playing “original experimental folk rock Americana.” They’re followed by the ever funky Citizens Funk led by the lovely Claire Bent (no relation to Citizens United) at 2:10 p.m. The Latin Peppers, a mix of SoHum and NoHum players, close things out with “hot Latin dance” music from 4:10 p.m. until the end.
Benefits? We’ve got ‘em. Friday, Aug. 30, two local non-profits, the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center/bird ally x and Jacoby Creek Land Trust team up for the 6th Annual Barntini!, “a night of music, dancing, food and delicious drinks,” on Kokte Ranch and Nature Preserve on Old Arcata Road (the land trust property), which is where bird ally x folks rescue and care for wildlife. They’ll have music by Bump Foundation, a “deluxe taco bar” by Chef Brett Shuler, desserts, a silent auction, and, of course martinis. Good cause, and the first drink is free (with paid admission).
What happens when you add a lot of female energy to what is typically a male-dominated music genre like hard rock? The sociologist Susan Fast wrote a paper on Rethinking Issues of Gender and Sexuality in Led Zeppelin: A Woman’s View of Pleasure and Power in Hard Rock. It’s kinda boring, not like Zepparella, an all-women band that plays Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Sapphire Palace. Please note, “Vocalist Anna Kristina, guitarist Gretchen Menn, bassist Holly West, and drummer Clementine have brought their passion for the sacred music of the greatest band in the world… replicating the nuance and detail of Zeppelin’s catalog, while honoring the powerful improvisational journeys for which they were renowned.” The membership has changed over time, nevertheless Zepparella kicks ass.
Local blues legend Buddy Reed and the Rip It Ups play an afterparty at Phatsy Kline’s Parlor Lounge in Old Town after the Friday Night Market at 8:30 p.m. (after the market winds down). The club in Eagle House also has blues by The Jim Lahman Band the next night, same time, calling it “Caturday Night,” since they’re fond of puns, and cats.
FB listings can be confusing, take for example two event posts for The Handshakers on the same night, Thursday, Aug. 28, at the same time, 5 to 8 p.m. One is at North Story Wines, the other at Wrangletown. Of course if you know winemaker Pat Knittel also makes cider, it all makes sense.
Who Is She Productions suggests, “Let’s finish off the Summer right with Mix Tape Vol. 7! Join us for an awesome night of mixed genre get down. Lineup TBA,” Friday Aug. 30, at The Jam. This follows on the heels of “a very special” Who Is Whomp Whomp Wednesday on Wednesday, Aug. 28, also at The Jam, then Brews ‘n Bass at Humboldt Brews. “Just wait for all the details!” which I guess means DJs TBA.
Vincent Neil Emerson and Jesse Daniel co-headline a show at HumBrews Friday, Aug. 30. Supposedly, “The classic country of these two songwriters has created fans across the land, garnered them both national attention, and secured their futures in redefining the sound of real country.”
Coming to the Arcata Playhouse on the same Friday (Aug. 30), it’s Seratones from Shreveport, Louisiana, who allegedly “create a sound that is certainly their own, due perhaps in part to Shreveport’s unique sonic geography: The city sits at a nexus roughly equidistant from Memphis soul, Mississippi Delta blues, and New Orleans jazz, with Texas swing located just over the nearby state border.” That sounds like a good place to be from. This is an HSU Downtown, Forever Humboldt - Alumni show, free to students, $10 for citizens. Showtime is at 8 p.m. The band is on a record release tour behind a new disc, Power, and just might have a classic Coke-bottle green vinyl version on the merch table. DJ Funky T-Rex opens with some classic vinyl of his own.
Speaking of Funky T-Rex, he and the other Soul Party DJs, #JAYMORG, and DJ Red, invite you to an Enchantment Under The Sea Soul Party:
A Back To The Future Themed Soul Party Blast From The Past, the next night, Saturday, Aug. 31, 9 p.m. with ’50s or ’80s attire “recommended and greatly encouraged” and “special prizes.” Confused? So am I, and apparently so are they.
Also Saturday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. at Outer Space, Death Hags, a multifaceted project of French electronica artist, Lola Jean. “Working mostly from the secluded hideaway hills of East LA, Jean crafts hypnotic, futuristic and minimal electronica inspired by the likes of like Brian Eno or Björk.” She’s coming with a new single “Electrochemical Communication.” Like-minded local support come from “Eureka post-punk, made with guitars and electronics” by CV, and Comma Comma, offering “minimalist space music on Rhodes, sax and upright bass.”
If you’ve been following the press around David Crosby’s latest tour and film, you might note he’s emphasizing the fact that his former bandmates don’t talk to him, he’s been generally hard to get along with, he almost killed himself through abusing whatever drugs he could and making other bad lifestyle choices. In the end, he says he’s surprised he’s still alive and could drop dead any minute. It’s an interesting marketing angle, but I suppose this might be the last chance to see him.
He’s coming to the Van Duzer Tuesday, Sept. 2, with the Sky Trails Band (named for his latest album) “and Friends” including multi-instrumentalist Jeff Pevar. Judging from the Tiny Desk show I heard, the band is great, and David is in fine form, good as ever.
Then there’s the documentary about him, David Crosby: Remember My Name, opening Friday at the Minor and running at least until he comes to town and after. The movie will cost considerably less than the CenterArts show, which runs $67 ($26 for students) with VIP tix available for $217 or a high-rollers Meet & Greet package for $567, with the opportunity to press the flesh, plus one “commemorative” reserved ticket (front row), one commemorative VIP laminate, and one exclusive autographed VIP merchandise item, to take home so won’t forget his name.
OK, over word count again. See ya later.