The HUM: Set up the pins for the Peppers

Latin Peppers Orlando Morales, Jon Lewis, Tim Randles, Lee Phillips, Jimmy Durchslag, and Andy Barnett, play Saturday at the Ten Pin Building, a benefit of the Arcata Playhouse. Bob Doran | Union

It was a Friday night, the historic dance/concert at the Arcata Bowl, just after the turn of the century was titled “Our Last Band Bash.” 

The oh-so-memorable night featured top indie rock bands of the day playing in a venue that was known as the Pin Room. The “bash” had our current Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson playing guitar in Petey and the Associates, Steve Bohner of Alchemy Distillery/Construction drumming in The Hitch, The Sin Men committing sins, alongside of Acts of Aggression, Downstroke and Crimewave. 

That all-star show marked the end of an era when music filled the space at Eighth and K streets, now known as the Ten Pin Building, in honor of its former use as a bowling alley. 

Now, as we begin a new decade, music will fill the hall once again, as Latin Peppers play the Ten Pin Building when Arcata Playhouse hosts a dance party on Saturday, Jan. 11, benefiting their various programs. 

How and why? Well, Playhouse board member Tom “Tomas” Perrett, of Tomas Jewelry fame, owns the building, which most recently was used by the North Coast Co-op, mostly for storage. When the Co-op downsized, they vacated. The last time the Latin Peppers played at the Playhouse, the show sold out. This time there will be room for all, including a special dance floor. Bring your dance shoes, or those old two-tone bowling shoes if you’ve got ‘em. Funds will be raised. 

The Playhouse peeps promise “a plentiful supply of drinks and light food at very reasonable prices.” They also note, “January also marks the beginning of the membership year for the Playhouse, so ‘Membership Corner’ will be hosting a ‘Spin to Win’ game – anyone renewing their membership (or joining for the first time) gets a chance to spin the wheel and win a fabulous prize!”   

For those unfamiliar with the Latin Peppers sound, they have a repertoire based on red hot salsa “with an Afro-Cuban feel.” Bandleader/trombonist Jimmy Durchslag, who also does the arrangements, played with local Latin legends Kachimbo and Ponche back in the day, and ran Bembé Records, keeping the Cuban music torch going in the face of a boycott by importing records via Canada. 

Tim Randles of RLA (and formerly Ponche) is on piano, trumpeter Andy Barnett also leads the Garberville Town Band. A rhythm section with Lee Phillips on bass, Jon Lewis on congas, and percussionist brothers Orlando and Arnold Morales keeps the beat going. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. showtime at 8 p.m. Advance tickets available at Wildberries Marketplace, via or by calling (707) 822-1575. Sounds like fun.

The Zion I Crew kicks off a winter tour at Humbrews Thursday, Jan. 9, 9:30-ish. I have to admit, when I first heard his name, I assumed Zion I was a reggae dude. I was wrong. He’s a rapper (born Steve Gaines) who also is known as Baba Zumbi, borrowing a name from Zumbi dos Palmares, who led a Brazilian slave revolt in the 17th Century. Zumbi has lived all over the U.S. — Philly, Cincinnati, Houston, Atlanta, etc. — but he calls Oakland home.

“It’s the place where my music first grew,” he says. “I have always loved the diversity and culture of rebellion that is in the heart of Oakland. There’s every shade of color here. When people see injustice, there is a collective activation that takes place and we take to the streets to fire back at the system. The history of the Black Panthers is still alive in the hearts of many. I live and breathe this energy of this community and draw tremendous inspiration in my lyrics from the town. I hope to be an example for the next generation; showing that you can live out your dreams and pursue your goals with passion and exuberance.” Let’s call that a New Decade resolution. Live your dreams!

In Eureka Thursday (Jan. 9) at Siren Song, A Reason to Believe presents The Humboldt Poetry Show to kick off a New Decade of poetry. Open mic sign ups begin at 7 p.m. the words flow at 7:30 p.m. Dylan Collins, founder/host of Word Humboldt is featured, with words from his new book Love Poems We Write Ourselves. There’s also music by DJ Goldylocks and live art by Dre Meza. Please note: A Reason to Believe resumes their first Thursday word-jams at Siren Song in February. Word Humboldt hosts a spoken word open mic at Northtown Coffee in Arcata, most Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m.

This is the second Friday in the month which means time for Arts! Arcata with a random exclamation point, “a monthly, self-guided celebration of visual and performing arts nested inside our dynamic downtown businesses.” 

At the brand new Movewell (formerly Arcata Core Pilates), they start early (4 p.m.) with a grand reopening ribbon, then watercolors by Joyce Jonte and jazzy music by Nicholas Talvola and Lyza Padilla followed by DJ Dacin playing music to move to. 

At Moonrise Herbs you’ll find Celtic music by Good Company, acrylics by Danielle Orr and wine poured by Arcata Rotary Club.

There’s a group exhibition at Upstairs Gallery (upstairs in Umpqua Bank) with photos by the Redwood Camera Club.

Still more photographs at Stokes, Hamer, Kirk and Eads, LLP (381 Bayside Rd.) with “adults only” (some nude) photos by our own Janine Volkmar, folky music by Dale Winget, and wine poured American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team #32.

Coincidentally, also on Friday, Jan. 10, nearby at the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge (251 Bayside Rd.), the Redwood Region Audubon Society presents “On the Threshold of Change: Rising Tides and Humboldt Bay,” The talk is by Aldaron Laird, co-chair of HSU’s Sea Level Rise Initiative, based on his mapping of the bay’s shoreline. He starts with changes in the bay historically, and then explores its “current vulnerabilities.” 

Of course the changes posed by sea-level rise will have a profound effect on the bay’s natural habitats and thus on our birds. Alexa DeJoannis, from the Audubon Society, will discuss ways bird populations will be affected. Doors at 7 p.m. program at 7:30 p.m. “Bring a mug to enjoy shade-grown coffee and please come fragrance-free.”

The talk should also prepare you for the Friends of the Arcata Marsh’s third annual King Tide Tour the next day as the King Tides hit their peak on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Elliott Dabill leads a discussion about climate change, sea level rise impacts and King Tides on Humboldt Bay, and how the City of Arcata is preparing for the future. Bring your camera. “Attendees will have the opportunity to observe and photograph the King Tides, in addition to documenting water levels at their peak.” Meet at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary on South I St. at the first parking lot in from Samoa Blvd. For details call the Interpretive Center at 707-826-2359.

Returning to music, The Miniplex presents “Friday Night Live,” Jan. 10, 10 p.m. (21+) a three band bash “no cover, local showcase” with Over Yonder (“psychedelic primal rock”), Ramekin and Goblins Club (about whom I know nothing).

Saturday Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. the Redwood Curtain Brewing Company has The Dank a bilingual Americana/Tex-Mex, blues/rock band out of Los Angeles. First formed in 2014 by Texas-natives David Monnich (guitar, bass) and Jimi Morales (keys), The Dank “mixes gypsy punk with cumbia and salsa influences and is about the feeling of missing one’s homeland. Their songs tell stories of communal feasts, homelessness, homesickness, narcotraficantes, treachery, and Texas Rangers,” and more.

At Humbrews that Saturday, 9-ish, Club Triangle makes the move to new digs with Broadgay: A Drag Musical Theater Tribute. “Tonight, tonight, won’t be just any night,” they begin, with a quote from the current revival of West Side Story. “It’s opening night of Club Triangle 2020! It’s the season of love & the cast of Club Triangle is in the spotlight with all their favorite musicals! Glitter & be gay, and all that jazz!” Hosted by Tucker Noir, resident DJs: Joe-E and Anya, visuals by Marmalade Sky.

Sunday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. Humboldt County Lao Dancers present a program of traditional Laotian dance at the Morris Graves Museum of Art (“similar to Thai and Cambodian dance”). Dancers in the group range from 5-15 years old and will be adorned in traditional Laotian attire. “The mission of the Humboldt County Lao Dancers is to restore and promote the preservation of Lao traditional arts and customs by providing resources that optimize cultural awareness, education, self-sufficiency, and identity to the youth and community.”

Coming up Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Arkley Center CenterArts presents, Superstars of the Blues Harmonica, a recurring harp review hosted by “ringleader” harp man Mark Hummel, this year featuring Magic Dick (aka Richard Salwitz) from the J. Geils Band, Lee Oskar from War (and Denmark), and Chicago’s Jerry Portnoy, who played with Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and many more. Guitarist Duke Robilard, from Roomful of Blues anchors the backup band. (He shone at the Redwood Coast Music Fest last year.) Early showtime: 7 p.m.

Same Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Library’s “Based on the Book” Film Series is rolling again with “cinematic tales of derring-do: Swashbucklers!” It began last week with the quintessential swashbuckler, Errol Flynn in Captain Blood on Jan. 7, but Mr. Flynn is also in The Adventures of Robin Hood, one of the first movies filmed in glorious Technicolor.

You may know the oft told story: “When Prince John begins oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard’s absence, Sir Robin of Locksley fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army — robbing from the rich, giving to the poor, and keeping Prince John off the throne.” Your host is yours truly, Bob Doran. “This program is free.”

See ya there or somewhere.


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