I got a message this morning from Zev, one of the founders of something called the Breakfast All Day Collective.
“Hi Bob,” he began, cordially. “Just wanted to share Outer Space’s fundraising video with you, in case you wanted to share it on The Hum.” Sure. I could do that…
“Contributors of the fundraiser get digital downloads of our newest compilation album, featuring locals like: White Manna, Mister Moonbeam, Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes, along with bands from across the country. Thank you!”
I followed a couple of links, and checked out the Bandcamp page for the comp, A Year In Outer Space, featuring 23 bands that have played at Outer Space (or is it in Outer Space?).
An email I received a little later (I’m on their mailing list) repeated the invitation to check out the comp, and filled me in on what they have going on in the week ahead — a couple of shows and an Open Collective Meeting (Wednesday, 1/31/18 at 6:30 at Outer Space) where you can “find out ways to help and get involved!”
At this point, you may be wondering, what is the Breakfast in Outer Space thing? In lieu of retelling a story that was done well by my former editor at the Mad River Union, Lauraine Leblanc, I’ll give you a link [here] to a piece she wrote a little more than a year ago, based on an interview with Zev.
At the time the Collective was just about ready to open up an all ages venue, “a long-lasting, safer community space,” on 11th Street in Arcata (across the street from the Portuguese Hall).
If you’ve been following The Hum a long time, you may remember repeated mention of a youth organization called The Placebo, so named since it was an all ages space where drinking and drugs were not allowed. My son, Spencer, was involved at the start — he was in high school at the time, now he’s 30-something. Yes, that was long, long ago.
The first Placebo venue was in a warehouse the kids rented on South G in Arcata where they started putting on shows back in the 20th Century (in 1999). I’m not sure exactly which space it was, but it was in one of the slots near what is is now Redwood Curtain Brewery, or maybe M. Walker Guitars. (Anyone remember?) They did not jump through the requisite hoops with the city and before long they were shut down.
Now you might think and authorities would encourage a youth-run organization that tried to offer a place where you didn’t have to worry about underage drinking and the other things that go on at wild parties, but no, The Placebo never had any support outside of non-profit angel Libby Maynard, who offered Ink People’s welcome umbrella, just as she’s done for scores of organizations.
The Placebo found a home for a time at the Manila Community Center, but was ultimately shut down. They shared a warehouse on the outskirts of Old Town Eureka with the art collective Empire Squared, splitting it with Synapsis (before Leslie moved into the heart of Old Town). Volunteer organizations always face an uphill battle, and Placebo was homeless for years, and eventually stopped doing shows or anything at all outside maintaining a Facebook page.
That tangent down memory lane brings us back to the present, and what seems to be a successful arts and music based non-profit with a “long-lasting” space known as Outer Space. Here’s what’s going on there:
Local support comes from my friends Medicine Baul Loves Sound Church, a extremely eclectic experimental combo who are planning an acoustic set…
and Julio Lopezhiler from Eureka with “queer freakfolk.” Tuesday, Jan. 30 , doors at 6:30, music 7-10 p.m. Cover: $6.
Wednesday there’s that Open Collective Meeting, where you can “find out ways to help and get involved.” Perhaps you’re interested in “helping volunteer during open hours or at shows,” or you might want to play music or show your art or do something else collectively. [1/31/18 at 6:30 at Outer Space, 1296 11th Street at M St.]
“A founding member of the bands Cool Rays, Beat Happening, The Go Team, The Halo Benders, and the Hive Dwellers, Calvin Johnson is also the founder and owner of the influential indie label K Records (see above re: Arrington) based in Olympia, WA.
Kurt Cobain cited Beat Happening’s Jamboree as one of his favorite records, and even got the K Records logo (a small “K” in a shield) tattooed on his arm to “try and remind him to stay a child.”
Since founding his Dub Narcotic recording studio in 1993, he has produced and engineered recordings by many bands and artists. Calvin has worked with Modest Mouse, Beck, Heavenly, The Microphones, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Blow, Mecca Normal, The Gossip and Built to Spill, among many others.
Local support comes (once again) from The Monster Women, who are all over Humboldt currently since they are on the cover of Insider, the NC Journal’s glossy aimed at the tourist trade.
(They’re interviewed inside too.)
The BAD Collective describes The M-Women as having
their own original sound, a smorgasbord combination of many eras gone by. Drenched in rich vocal harmonies and dance-able quirky beats accompanied by complex poetic lyrics and an flair for artistic costuming! Yes please!
Plus, SLOP, “up and coming fresh and fierce Arcata queer punk rockers.”
Coming next week…
Okay, that’s all for now. See you in Outer Space ~ Bob Doran