As July inches toward August, and the peaches are ripe, and the college students start trickling back into town, it seems like as good time as any for a festival of one sort or another. And there are a bunch of them, perhaps too many in fact.
Let’s start with something I’m moderately involved in, something called a “FleART Market” in the Creamery District. “Join local vendors on Sunday, July 28th 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for a special day of not just any old flea or art market, but a flea AND art market, where art, weird stuff, and cool junk is itching to be sold.”
I actually bought an EZ-Up a few years ago for a similar Creamery event where I turned it into a makeshift photo studio. This time I think I’ll do 3D portraits this time. And I have too much stuff in my life, especially CDs, so I’ll have some of those.
Expect “traditional booths,” and a “brand-new innovative idea, the Express Fifteen Aisle,” with sellers offering 15 items or less (like in the grocery store).
They promise “musical minglings” by Space Socks and The Blue Lake Choir (both involving Arcata Playhouse founder Jackie Dandeneau), and Humboldt Drummers with Jesse J (as in Jonathan), who is fresh from a summer Humboldt Drum Camp. Also the Pub is finally open so you can check out their new space, and their wood-fired pizzas, pub fare and local beer.
Along with stacks of CDs, you’ll be able to listen to Foot Fall, a collection of ambient music pieces created by Timmy Gray for a Creamery Festival in 2013. The work is a sonic “soundscape” of the Creamery and thereabouts, intended to be put on your portable music player so you can listen while you walk around the space that inspired it. It’s very cool, like its creator. Downloads available free of charge.
Also Sunday, July 28, the 59th annual Westhaven Wild Blackberry Festival. Yes, the 59th. Let that sink in. It’s a firefighter benefit, for the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Dept. held at the Westhaven Fire Hall and “proudly sponsored” by the Westhaven Ladies Club, from 10 a.m, ’til 4 p.m. Traditionally the “ladies” bake a bunch of homemade pies (they warn, “hurry because they sell out quick”) along with berry jams. There’s bbq, and kids stuff including fire trucks and Smokey the Bear, plus “artisan vendors” and music by The Sand Fleas (10 a.m.), Moonstone Heights, That Buckin’ String Band and Rinky Dink String Band “in that order.”
The ongoing Eureka Summer Concerts (6-8 p.m. at the foot of C St.) continue Thursday, July 25, with the Johnny Young Band, a “rockin’ country” band (or a “country hits” band depending on who you ask).
Aug 1 (again a Thursday) catch hot Cajun fiddler Tom Rigney and his band, always popular at the Redwood Coast Music Festival.
Friday, July 26, the Miniplex has Pieces, a duo collaboration that Hudson Glover explains, “toys with the boundaries of noise, dance, pop, psychedelia, and digital glitch. Rose Cherami and IDHAZ rarely have the time to leave the Bay, but we are lucky to have them up here. They will both be be doing solo sets and will then perform together so you can get the full taste of what their label/collective True Indigo has to offer.”
Hudson goes on to note, “Local support will be coming from Comma Comma,” of which Mr. Glover is a member. “Alex (upright), Henri (sax), and I (synth/rhodes) will be debuting two compositions that we’ve been working on for several months inspired by late ’60s minimalism and space music with liberal use of polymeter and key changes.” Sounds good to me.
The 30th annual Roll on the Mattole runs noon to midnight Saturday, July 27, out in Petrolia at the Mattole Grange, a fundraiser for the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company. There’s a “Firefighters Challenge” VFD muster (hose contests), things to eat and drink, crafty booths and music, music, music…
With Ishi Dube and the Tuff Riddim Band (reggae), Rosewater (jazzy Dead tribute), Black Sage Runners (rock a la Cream etc.) The Bandage (alt. something), and locals, Mattole Muddstompers, Potholes 3 and Bodhimind (you’ll have to fill in genres). “Please no dogs, no glass containers, and no overnight camping at the Grange.”
Eureka declares Saturday “Get Out and Play Day 2019 on July 27” (#gopd2019 *for Jada who doesn’t care for #hashtags). There’s playful stuff all over town, but Sequoia Park seems to be a focal point with Blue Rhythm Revueproviding a soundtrack followed by a movie/cartoon at 8:30 p.m. Spiderman into the Spider-Verse.
Local rock and/or roll band, Wild Otis, hits Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. Saturday (again 7/27) starting at 8 p.m. That’s Norman Bradford and Rick DeVol on guitar & vocals (both from Dead On), with bassist Dan Davis and drummer Jimmy Moore as rhythm section.
At Blondie’s, touring Zen Mountain Poets are joined by locals band LodeStar, with Goodshield Aguilar and Linda Faye Carson. (Linda also hosts CampChair Concerts at noon Sundays at the foot of F St. in Eureka. BYO chair.)
Zen Mountain Poets are a “psychedelic neo-prog folk jazz” combo from San Luis Obispo County referencing Ram Das saying they’re “who’s here now and who hears now… a gathering of musicians, poets, artists, dreamers, manifesters, dedicated to expressing heartfelt original songs that take our audiences on journeys.”
LodeStar played with unrelenting passion at the recent Humboldt Folklife Festival, moving from the Street Stage last year (shown above) to rock the Main Stage. You get the picture (now). LodeStar @ 8 p.m. Saturday with Poets @ 9:30.
You are officially invited to “join Soul Party regulars DJ Red, #JAYMORG, and Funky T-Rex for another record slinging session at Humbrews Saturday (7/27) starting at 9 p.m. This time it’s a “summer, summer, summer time party!” whatever that means. As always, “still a 100% vinyl affair.”
The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival comes to the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m. with Mendelssohn, Schubert and more modern classical pieces. If you’re out East, they’re also at the Hyampom Community Hall Friday, and at the Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center in Weaverville on Saturday.
A little later Sunday at the D Street Neighborhood Center, the All Seasons Orchestra plays classics for its annual Summer Concert (’tis the season). They note, “ASO welcomes players of all ages. If you play a musical instrument and love to make beautiful music, [this] is your opportunity to participate in a community orchestra.” They rehearse Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Experience psyche music of varying shades at the Miniplex, Monday, July 29 (8 p.m.) The bill is topped by JJUUJJUU, “a rotating ensemble of domestic & international collaborators, wrangled by Los Angeles-based musician, Phil Pirrone and collaborator Andrew Clinco (aka Drab Majesty mastermind Deb Demure)” of Desert Daze festivals fame.
Local support comes from “space-rock cosmonauts” White Manna, whose Cardinal Fuzz album, Ape on Sunday,’ was recorded in Freshwater. I picked up a copy of the vinyl edition, but couldn’t get them to cut loose with one of the purple vinyl special edition, which is now sold out, as well as the CD version. I think you can get a copy of the record at the show, or download it on Bandcamp.
Once again the Manna boys are paired with Opossum Sun Trail. “This is 21st century Cosmic American Music,” according to a Savage Henry review, with “hints of twisted Ennio Morricone, the sound of a spaghetti sauce stain on a Nudie-esque cowboy shirt.” How does a dirty shirt make noise? You’ll have to ask the Savage who wrote that. (Me.)
That’s all for now, see you at the FleART Market for festive fun.