(Editor's note: Since this column was written and published, many events have been canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. The St. Patrick's Day Barn Dance and Ceilidh has been postponed. All CenterArts shows are canceled. Humboldt State has canceled its music concerts. Please check with venues to see if shows are still scheduled.)
Have you noticed the way holidays have become more or less conceptual lately? This coming week we have St. Patrick’s Day, where we celebrate all things Irish because of the guy who drove off all of the snakes on the island (or something like that).
Unlike some holidays, it’s on a fixed date, March 17, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be celebrating on weekends with some proximity to the day.
So, on Friday, March 13, Humboldt Folklife Society, with co-sponsor Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, plays host to a traditional St. Patrick’s Day Barn Dance and Ceilidh (at which Scottish or Irish folks enjoy traditional songs, dancing, and storytelling) with Celtic music, by Sam McNeil and Blake Ritter of Covered with Moss playing the tunes, while caller Sue Moon offers instructions on the dancing.
They’ll also have step dancers from Academy of Irish Dance & Music demonstrating serious high stepping. Doors at 7 p.m. beverages available including home-brewed Paddy’s Porter, and non-alcoholic stuff. As usual, “no experience or partner needed, and all ages welcome.”
This happens to be a bad day for those who suffer from fear of Friday the 13th or paraskavedekatriaphobia. The origins of the bad rep for that day are uncertain. It could come from the Bible, where Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest to arrive at the Last Supper leading to his betrayal of Jesus and a not-so-Good Friday. There was also some bad luck for the Knights Templar on a Friday the 13th in the 1300s, and so on.
Closer to home, at Humbrews on Friday the Thirteenth, it’s your lucky day if you want to catch Rooster McClintock and The Trouble, “two pillars of the Humboldt music scene for the past decade share the stage for the first time, for an evening of honky-tonk, country, rock and weird Americana.”
The bands’ drummer Sam Kaplan-Good contacted me the other day to make sure his Trouble bandmate Chris Parreira had told me about the “killer double bill at Humbrews.” (Not directly.) I wondered if there was anything special planned. “Well, The Trouble doesn’t play much anymore these days, so that’s special, I suppose,” said Sam. “For the past few years, The Trouble has ONLY played Halloween. We’ve kind of become like Huck Flint… Also, I’m now playing drums for Rooster, so it’s a double set night for me.”
It’s also a “double set night” for master steel player Aleister Paige (who incidentally just announced his engagement to the lovely Georgia Ruth. They play together as Tortoise and The Hen).
“Aleister is the newest member of The Trouble, on pedal steel and guitar, and he’ll also be joining Rooster on pedal steel, possibly some dobro,” Sam explained. “Rooster is gearing up to record an album this summer, engineered and produced by Marc Jeffares [of The Trouble]. It might even be a double album, since Jake [Wiegandt] and Jereme [Stinespring] have so many fantastic tunes.”
In addition to playing drums for The Trouble (going on 10 years) and currently for R. McClintock, Sam is in Ghost Train. “Those are my main groups, but I’ve also been playing with Jenni and David and the Sweet Soul Band. I’ll be with them March 14, at The Speakeasy,” (9 p.m.).
This is also the second Friday in the month, which means time for Arts! Arcata. The Sanctuary pays host to a conversation about “the importance of art in Arcata,” that evening as the city of Arcata is in the process of creating the Arcata Strategic Arts Plan (aka the ASAP). They want you to participate. The Sanctuary’s current exhibit, “Artcata, ASAP,” is a conversation starter. “City of Arcata staff will provide a brief overview of their planning efforts to develop the ASAP, which will be followed by several creative opportunities for community members to provide feedback and contribute new ideas to the planning process.” Bonus: complimentary ice cream will be served, and you get to be part of the process. Be there 6:30 to 8 p.m. You don’t have to stay the whole time.
Other Arts! Arcata haps 6 to 9 p.m.-ish: “Enjoy the cozy atmosphere and world-class food at Mazzotti’s while Michael Dayvid croons.” At Moonrise Herbs, Katharina Meerle, a pianist/composer from Bonn, Germany plays some sort of keyboards.
In the lobby of Jacoby’s Storehouse it’s Homeboldt Silent Disco #2. “Had so much fun last time, we gonna do it again,” says Tommy Hernandez, of Homeboldt fame. “Come join us for a night of art and free dancing.”
Unconnected to Arts! Arcata, Jeff Kelley offers “songs of life, death, and silliness,” at Papa Wheelies Pub (in McKinleyville) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. (He’s also a Vanishing Pint, see below.)
The Deadhead pick of the week is Rosewater, “bringing two epic sets of Grateful Dead music to the Historic Eagle House in Eureka,” Friday the 13th. Doors at 8 p.m.
At the Miniplex on Friday, starting 9 p.m. Gabe Pressure hosts Friday the 13th Punk Rock Karaoke. “Whatever punk means to you, everything from The Ramones to MCR [My Chemical Romance], just bring the heat,” says Gabe. “Bonus points for song specific fashion choices!”
If you saw last week’s Hum, you know that The Jam is back. Wednesday, March 11, it’s “The Re-Whompening with two Brits, Sam Binga and Rider Shafique and two locals, Hypha and Esch, sound system powered by Basscraft. Showtime 10 p.m. Friday the Jam has the first Mix Tape of 2020, #10, “a night of talented, creative multi-genre artists all night,” with assorted EDM. Showtime 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Buddy Reed and The Rip-It-Ups rip into some blues from 9 p.m. on. On Tuesday, March 17, St. Pat’s Day, The Jam rocks to covers by The Undercovers.
Wednesday, March 11, in The Basement from 8 10 p.m. it’s another Indie Wednesday, “Quickly one of our favorite Wednesday additions. Tonight is Tessoulation!” They describe themselves as “a neo-space-soul-jazz band from Arcata.”
The jazzy guitar duo Blue Lotus plays Thursday, same time. Friday (the thirteenth) PD3, a trio, is down in The Basement with yet another take on “jazz.” Saturday, at 9 p.m. chanteuse Claire Bent shows off her jazzier side.
“Nomadic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist” Johanna Warren and modern “philosopholk” troubadour Samara Jade are at The Sanctuary Thursday, March 12. Doors at 7:30 p.m.
At the Miniplex Wednesday (March 11), there’s an “Awesome Circus Arts Open Mic” from 9 p.m. to midnight, a fundraiser for the 2020 Humboldt Juggling Festival. Think of it as a preview of Saturday, March 14, at the Arcata Theatre Lounge, when Eccentrici-Circus partners with World Famous Productions, to bring in High Step Society and Sepiatonic with Christopher Boa opening for a night “livetronica” mixed with circus and cabaret. Showtime 9 p.m. Again, proceeds go to The Humboldt Juggling Society.
At Humbrews Saturday night, 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. it’s Club Triangle: Retro Night with DJ Anya Valentine spinning and a Drag Show at 10 p.m. with the unusual suspects.
Are you ready for another manufactured holiday? Since Saturday is 3.14 and pi is 3.14159… (Greek letter “π.”) you can celebrate Pi Day. Perhaps with a Slice of Humboldt Pie (their 5th annual) with special off-menu pies available, like Sour Cherry and Apple Crumble. Also the new Bigfoot Taproom in McKinleyville has pie stuff for their Pi Day potluck. “Festivities and Happy Hour will start at 3:14 p.m.
Starting 5-ish, Saturday, March 14, the Kinetic Paranormal Society has a Pi Day fundraiser for their wacky Kinetic Sculpture Race Team at the Sanctuary with bingo, a raffle, and a puppet karaoke contest, plus music from the Sanctuary’s own The Cowtown Serenaders, Los Perdidos (a “newly formed band with original songs by Julio Perdido and Sean Charles”), and Drip Torch (“handmade EDM”).
Puppet show by the KPS at 5:30 p.m. Kids welcome, 5 and under “FREE!!” Let there be pie and π.
On Saturday,March 14, 8 to 11 p.m. the Jim Lahman Band plays “rock tunes and throw little jazz and funk” and some blues, in all ages show at Redwood Curtain Brewing Company.
At the Miniplex Saturday, starting at 10 p.m. witness the return of Missing Link/Soul Night co-founder Matt Jackson as Trisha Weirwood. “If you love the story of Westeros mixed with the sounds of a Grammy-winning country icon, then perhaps this is for you.” Special DJ guests /ceBxTch, Dacin, and Pandamonium Jones, weirdness guaranteed.
Starting later Saturday, 10:30 p.m. at The Alibi, The Smashed Glass and Bow Legged Buzzards play for a “Pre-Paddys-Party.” Who/what is that? Says BLB fiddler Phill Irvine, “Description? If you’re not sure what this event is, you will, statistically speaking, not turn up anyway... Sorry.” Whatever.
In yet another case of holiday stretching, performers from the Irish Co. Dance Studio dance at the Morris Graves Museum of Art on Sunday, March 15, part of the Afternoon of Dance series. Expect reels, slip jigs, treble reels, and ceili dancing. Starts at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17, “Humboldt’s foremost Irish beer drinking band” The Vanishing Pints is at Redwood Curtain Brewery “for an evening of beer drinking music celebrating beer, beer drinking, and music. It also just so happens to be St. Patrick’s day, which is a good day for music, and beer, especially locally brewed beer of the most tasty persuasion. Pints up.”
Ready for a little history? “It was March 17, 2004 at 4:20 and Six Rivers Brewery was officially reopened by [current owners] Meredith, Talia and Kurt. ‘We always thought of our space as a community gathering place and for the last 16 years we’ve celebrated countless life milestones with our community.’”
Their latest? Their Sweet 16 anniversary. “16 freaking years!”
Music starts at noon with Good Company. Silk dancers from Synapsis and Humboldt Aerial Collective perform from noonish-5ish. Also “bagpipes, games, drink specials, grilled oysters, corn beef…We will have it all.”
“At 8 p.m. come inside the bar to dance to Rooster McClintock! We can’t wait to celebrate with you, our community who have supported us for 16 years. We couldn’t have done it without you! Let’s all raise our glasses, repeatedly! Cheers to 16 Years!”