Saturday is my birthday. Years ago on a Dec. 9, my mom gave birth to me. That occasion seems like as good a time as any for some Humming.
The season greetings above came from the Dorans as an Xmas card. It was a line drawing that my artistic dad drew. He actually did one every year, tracing the growth of our family. This one’s from the year I was born — I’m that squiggly line that looks like a new baby.
My dad kept up the tradition for decades, adding my little brother to the brood, eventually watching the kids move away and leave the folks to age, the way we all do, until he was gone. The tradition died with him and for awhile my mom mailed out other homemade cards instead to her remaining friends. Eventually almost no one sent out actual Christmas greetings aside from the occasional traditionalists. (The world’s gone digital.)
Okay, enough of Xmas stuff, here’s some things going on Saturday in the north part of Humboldt where I live. (One day seemed like enough work.)
We’ll start at the Van Duzer, where CenterArts presents Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, showtime, as usual, 8 p.m. The Postmodern Jukebox is “an ongoing musical project spearheaded by pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee,” described by C-Arts as a “genre-busting, rotating collective of musicians and vocalists,” and “a viral sensation with millions of views on YouTube,” like this cover of “Royals” sung by Puddles, a clown. (I’m not sure if he’s on this tour, but I love this song and so does Lyndsey, who once taught it to a bunch of young uke players.)
At the Old Steeple in Ferndale Saturday (at 7:30pm), some cowboy music and more from Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong, an artist/cartoonist who used to play in Robert Crumb’s Cheap Suit Serenaders.
Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong have had the pleasure of sharing their lively roots music with audiences at Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Center to concert halls, festivals and fairs around the country. With a repertoire of western classics, country blues, vintage jazz and string band favorites from the 1920’s and 30’s, they share a passion for America’s rich musical heritage and they know how to communicate that feeling to an audience. You’ll hear raucous and often heartfelt singing accompanied by a dizzying array of acoustic instruments including accordion, guitar, banjo, ukulele, jug, national steel, musical saw and harmonica. All dished up with a hearty dose of vaudevillian stagecraft making for a delightfully entertaining experience.
And here’s a strange inexplicable cartoon by Mr. Armstrong:
Charlie Parr is back in town. I saw his last time he came through on a road trip from Minnesota. He’s a amazing picker on guitar and banjo and delivers his rough hewn tunes with soulful passion. He’s at Humboldt Brews on a western tour with a new album, Dog, and another songwriter from Minnesota, John Mark Nelson, who has a new album of his own, Four Days Away. He was “writer, arranger, producer, engineer, performer” for the record.
Charlie’s sings about, well, dogs, among other things. “I have a dog, her name is Ruby but I call her Ruben, and we go for these long, crazy, chaotic walks,” he says regarding the inspiration for the song. “I decided a long time ago that I get along really well with this dog, and I was taking her for walks, and she wanted to go this way, and I wanted to go that way. And then I thought, why are we going to go this way and not that way? Maybe I should be the one getting walked. Maybe I’ll learn something. So I follow the dog.”
(Note, the second one is not a song from “Dog.”)
Here’s a piece from a PBS station about John Mark Nelson…
This afternoon while I was working on this post, I was listening to the KHSU Magazine when an item came on about an unusual classical recital Saturday. You can listen here. The NPR news, Ted-X and the calendar comes first then (at 18:05 or so) it’s an interview with tenor David Powell and puppeteer James Hildebrant.
James has done shadow plays and other puppetry (think giant puppets). He’s worked for Dell’Arte and the Arcata Playhouse (and more). You might know David from his work at Dell’Arte, where he sings this and that and acts.
-David began his operatic training at Humboldt State University. He then continued to the Boston Conservatory and studied privately in New York with Julliard faculty. He has had the opportunity to perform across the U.S, but the beauty of Humboldt County continues to lure him back. He is currently completing his Master’s degree in Physical Theater, preparing for a study trip to Bali, and working with local theater companies.
The show is a collaboration based a song cycle in German illustrated with a shadow play about a love story. It’s at 8 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 625 15th St. Eureka. David says the sound there is quite good, and the show sounds fascinating if you’re in a classical/operatic mood.
Or there’s the annual Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir Holiday Concert! It starts at 7 p.m. at the Arcata Presbyterian Church, 11th and G Streets. This will be the first concert performed there since the devastating arson fire of September 16. “We are doing the Hallelujah Chorus, gospel style too!” says Janine their publicist.
Keeping in a classical concerts at churches theme, we have the All Seasons Orchestra playing the first of three holiday shows at the Later-day Saints (Mormons) Church in Mickeyville. I’m planning on seeing the orchestra when they play closer to home (a block away from where I sit right now), so I’ll wait for next weekend.
Out in Blue Lake that day, my buddies, The Detours play honky tonk style at Mad River Brewery Tasting Room from 6-10 p.m. Saturday in what they call the “beer garden,” (shown below).
There’s no actual garden, I think that just means the bands play outside, but they have space heaters and if you’re sitting in the right place it’s warm enough, but dress accordingly. BTW, the band’s guitarist/graphic artist, Rick Levin, usually posts something on my FB page right before the show or when ever he gets around to it. He finally got around to it the day of, with a holiday theme.
You heard about ugly holiday sweaters right? Well, this is ugly holiday cowboy boots. I honestly doubt that Rick owns these, but you never know.
If you want to hang around until The Detours are done and turn your night in Blue Lake into a twofer, you can head down the road to The Logger for yet another birthday party, this one with Wild Otis and a “special guest.”
I know all the band members, Norman Bradford and Rick DeVol on guitars and vocals, Dan Davis on bass and (usually) Jimmy Moore on drums. Jimmy won’t be there Saturday, thus the guest and the birthday angle. They explain,
Please join us for a night of rock and roll with special guest drummer Jay Forbes.
To make this evening of music extra special IT IS JAY’S BIRTHDAY! Come share your love of Jay Forbes, your love of Wild Otis, or both!
They rock and will undoubtedly have a great party. I’ve been offered a drink if I show. We’ll see.
At The Siren’s Song Tavern on my birthday, the heavy metal heads of Angry Hammer Productions presents a party for someone else having a b-day with a THRASHORAMA!!!!!! “A special celebration of the escape from fetus jail of Liberty Williams with some Killer California Metal of variatas styles.”
with: Hazzard’s Cure
– Oakland Metal Crust
– Santa Rosa Thrash
– San Francisco Death/Thrash
Death Mode Trippers – local metal (who haven’t put together a Bandcamp page yet).
“In Honor of Liberty’s birthday, on this night you will mosh in a circle pit. None of that ping pong stuff. The mosh pit is not a wrestling ring or a karate dojo, y’all know who you are. Liberty wants one thing from you and that is circle pits. Action figures will also be accepted. But if I catch you doing any of that other shit I will refund you and kick you out.”Saturday, Dec. 9th ~ $8 ~ All ages ~ 7:00pm ~ Siren’s Song Tavern ~ 325 2nd St. Eureka
Back in Arcata…
Don on that gay apparel and get ready to have your bells jingled at Club Triangle’s annual HoliGAY Show. Featuring Club Triangle veteran, turned Las Vegas Showboi, King of Glitter and Fantasy Maker, the one and only… Tucker Noir
Hosted by Humboldt’s Queen of Magic & Mystery: Mantrikka Ho.
Featuring Performances by:Fuscia Rae, Aiden Pleazure, Amber Lust, Hugh Johnson
Aaron SpaceMuseum, Mr. Mustacchio, Tabitha Diva, Amethyst Lovelace, Nora Pinephrine, Corvi Dae, Oliver Klosov, Miss Trish, Muscles McKnucles, Coyote Free Pile and the Night Sweats
Beats by Club T’s Resident DJs: DJ Joe-E and DJ Anya
Visuals by: Marmalade sky
From Francois comes an invitation via email: Looking for some “past-future electronic sex beats”? It’s Zordon @ The Alibi Saturday, December 9th ~ 21+ / 11pm music / $2 cover… Not sure what this means, but it sounds a little too kinky for this clean old man.
Okay, I was going to steer clean of Xmas, but it’s time once again for SantaCon.
The first I heard of SantaCon was on a trip to see Portland to see my son. My wife and I are thrift store fanatics and had stopped somewhere along to way to shop. I came away with a copy of a travel book titled, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon by Chuck Palahniuk, who you may know for his novel Fight Club, which made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
Along with a guide book that included the Velvet Painting Museum and various sex clubs in a town full of stripper bars, A Walk in PDX gave some personal history Chuck-style including an account of an Xmas event held by the Cacophony Society (he was a member) that was basically a drunk/stoned gang of folks wearing cheap Santa suits and going on a makeshift club crawl. “Rudeness and intoxication” were welcome. (It was also known as the “Santa Rampage.”)
SantaCon hit the country like the plague. Humboldt caught up a couple of years ago (maybe more). The local FB page says, “It’s that time of the year! Santas, Elves, Helpers, and Hanger-on-ers, dust off those suits for the annual bar crawl. We’ll be collecting cash donations for Food For People… we’re pretty awesome in that way.” (They actually took over $700 bucks last year so they must have been “good.”)
It starts at the Shanty, not certain what time, but at this point they’re saying 12:15 p.m.
Here’s the guidelines, for those willing the stay between the lines:
1. Santa does not make children cry. Really, if you see kids, don’t do anything to freak them out. Give them a nice smile and possibly a gift of some kind (toys, candy etc). Parents and tourists are a different matter altogether – adjust your behavior based on their attitude.
2. Santa dresses for all occasions. It’s December. Smart santas wear multiple costume layers. Dress to maximize merriment whether singing Christmas carols in the snow, or swinging from a stripper pole in a hot nightclub.
3. Santa doesn’t whine! We will be outside a lot and commuting mainly on foot – bring enough “snacks” to keep your pie-hole filled until we get indoors.
4. Bring gifts: NAUGHTY gifts to give grown ups; NICE stuff to give kids. Throwing coal at people is discouraged no matter who they are. YES THAT INCLUDES POLITICIANS. But giving out coal might actually be appreciated.
5. Watching santa get drunk and rowdy is fun. Babysitting santa while he vomits in an alley is not. Don’t be that santa.
6. Make sure you always pay for your beer and tip the bar staff. We want to be able to do this again so be polite and cultivate the goodwill of the local community.
7. Please pay for your drinks as soon as you get them. Santas get tired of waiting on other santas to clear their tab before being able to move on. This entire adventure should be cash only.
8. “No santa’s left behind!” Don’t think only of yourself – Santa is not inconsiderate of his fellow santas like that. Pick a few people you know and keep an eye out for them when it’s time to move to the next location. If you don’t see them, speak up so other santas know to wait a moment. Every santa should have at least 2-3 other santas they look out for and 2-3 that look out for them in turn.
9. Stay with the group. It’s not just a case of “the more, the merrier” – Santa is safer with large numbers of fellow santas and what one santa can’t achieve (or get away with) is a possibility for 50 or more!
10. Dress up! You don’t have to dress exactly like Santa. In fact, unusual interpretations of Santa-ness are much appreciated, both by those we bring joy to – as well as your fellow santas: elves, reindeer themes etc. are fine as well!
11. Please remember that this is all about having fun. Most santas like to take their fun with a little alcohol which is fine. What is not fine, however, is getting completely sh#t-faced to the point that santas end up being abusive or violent. Remember that there is no “bail fund” for incarcerated santas and if you cross the line you’ll be on your own.
12. Santa doesn’t drink & drive and neither should you. If you’re going to drink you must make sure that you can get safely home without driving yourself. Check public transport, carpool with a designated sober driver, make arrangements to sleep over at someone’s place etc. Organizers sometimes try to coordinate transportation to get santas safely home. Check the message boards and groups for your local SantaCon to find out if this is being done in your area.
13. You MUST address everyone as “Santa.”
14. You SHOULD “ho-ho-ho” like Santa.
15. You OUGHT to give out gifts like Santa.
16. You MIGHT want to drink like Santa
17………………………Read these guidelines one more time.
18. If you have reached this rule, it means you didn’t get locked into a loop reading the guidelines over and over again as per the previous rule. You are therefore intelligent enough to take part in SantaCon!
19. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
And don’t forget we’re celebrating more that Xmas.
have a good day…