thehum

The Hum: Down in the Basement

 

The Basement is a relatively new nightclub in the “basement” of Jacoby’s Storehouse (below the Union office). While they started out with music only on Fridays, they’ve booked combos Thursday through Saturday, mostly on the jazzy side. 

I used to go there when it was called Brett Harte’s, then Bergie’s, I saw Robert Cray Band there more than once, and Taj Mahal, and many others. The low ceilings with acoustic tile facilitate conversation. It’s a nice place to have a drink and hear good music.

RLATrio On Valentine’s Day, (the 14th) the real ❤ holiday in The Basement, Tim Randles leads RLA Trio, with Mike LaBolle on drums and Ken Lawrence on electric bass. You might think, hmmm, that name doesn’t quite make sense, well, the trio (shown above) once included Bobby Amirkhanian on bass, but he’s since sailed away to work on cruise ships. Ken took over the bass chair. So far they’ve stuck with old initial name explaining LA is kind of short for Lawrence, but I think they should come up with a real name. In fact, one has occured to me The TiMiKen Trio. What do you think?

On Friday, Feb. 15, it’s the Julie Froblom Trio (Julie on sax, with Blake Brown on guitar and Danny Gaon on bass. On Saturday, Feb. 16, when I first wrote this item for the Union, they had a band listed, they’ve since changed their minds.

The Friday, Feb. 22, band was listed as the Tavola Quartet, who described themselves as “old souls.” They have since become “Front Ear (formally Tavola”). Saturday, Feb. 23, they shift gears a bit with multi-instrumentalist Seabury Gould and Mark Jenny, who plays, well I wasn’t sure what, since Seabury in a very eclectic guy bouncing from Indian kirtan to Celtic jigs and occasionally jazz tunes. That night he tells me he’ll be playing, “mostly blues and some jazz. Mark is an accomplished veteran guitarist. His slide guitar chops are mighty fine. And I’ll be playing guitar & piano (keyboard).”

Ending the month of February on Thursday, the 28th, Claire Bent shows off her jazzy side, leaving her Citizen Funk band at home, at least part of it anyway. As far as I can tell, Claire was listed as that band playing Saturday.

RJA presents Charles McPherson 2/28 @ Fulkerson Hall, HSU

Charles McPherson

Sometime around 1953, a young Charles McPherson heard Charlie Parker’s “Tico Tico” on a Detroit jukebox and his life was forever changed. “I was completely floored,” he says, “and from that point on, it was like, ‘that’s it.’”

Before the end of the decade, Charles was playing alto sax with Parker’s contemporaries and forging a career that’s continued for over six decades. During that span, he’s collaborated with the likes of Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Kenny Drew, George Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Lionel Hampton, and Charles Mingus, in whose band McPherson played for twelve years.

“His ardent, chirruping attack became a defining component of the ensemble,” says Giovanni Russonello in the New York Times. The list of famous collaborators goes on: Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Billy Eckstine, Tommy Flanagan, Tom Harrell, Billy Higgins, Sam Jones, Cedar Walton…and on: Adderley, Brecker, Marsalis, Byard….

As a leader, McPherson has released over 25 albums and fronted dozens of bands, often exploring new approaches and configurations, but always rooted in the sound that enchanted him as a kid. A master of the bebop idiom, McPherson even played the saxophone voice of Charlie Parker for Clint Eastwood’s 1988 biopic, Bird

For lovers of bebop, then, you won’t get any closer to the real thing than seeing this legend in person.  As The New Yorker put it recently: “to witness an authentic master of the art, like the altoist McPherson, can still elicit a genuine spinal chill.”

As a composer, McPherson has worked most recently in collaboration with San Diego Ballet, who in 2015 premiered his Sweet Synergy Suite, a large-scale piece for jazz ensemble with choreography by Javier Velasco.

This May, the Ballet will premiere his newest work, Song of Songs. McPherson has also received a slew of awards for his historic contributions to jazz, including an honorary CSU doctorate in 2015. This April, Jazz at Lincoln Center will help him celebrate his 80th birthday, together with McCoy Tyner’s, by premiering new arrangements of some of the two men’s most iconic compositions.

Backing up McPherson for this RJA appearance, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, via the Western Jazz Presenters Network, is a trio of top-notch accompanists.  Pianist, composer, and arranger Jeb Patton is a regular with acts like the Heath Brothers, The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, George Coleman, and Jon Faddis, as well as his own trio.

L. A. bassist Jeff Littleton has worked with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Higgins, and Charles Lloyd.  Billy Drummond, who got his start playing drums for greats including Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and Bobby Hutcherson, has lent his versatile style to hundreds of records and released a handful of acclaim-winning albums as a leader.

 Show Thursday, February 28, 2019, 8 p.m., Fulkerson Recital Hall, HSU. Advance tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) to the concert by the Charles McPherson Quartet are available online at RedwoodJazzAlliance.org and locally at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People’s Records, and The Works.

With support from HSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the trio will also present an informal pre-concert workshop, free and open to the public, on the afternoon of February 28th in the HSU Music Department (exact time location TBA).  For additional details and up-to-date information, please visit www.RedwoodJazzAlliance.org.  

RJA

The Redwood Jazz Alliance is a 401(c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to jazz performance and education by touring artists of national and international renown.  Since 2006, with the aid of local businesses, professionals, and individual members, and in partnership with HSU’s Department of Music and College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, as well as the Humboldt Arts Council, the Humboldt Folklife Society, the Arcata Playhouse, and Center Arts, it has presented dozens of concerts and educational workshops. 

Its 2018-19 season will conclude in April with the return of bassist Shao-Way Wu, in a new trio with Randy and Gabe Porter.


The Hum: Grivo @ the Miniplex (and/or The Goat) plus…

Tonight, Friday, Feb. 8 at the Miniplex (in the Goat) Austin-based alt. power trio Grivo mashes together doom metal and shoegaze (if that’s possible).

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“Call it rock, or call it shoegaze… whichever, this one kicks. Hard.” -TinyMixTapes

Austin-based power trio GRIVO unleashed their ominously trudging sound with the debut full length ‘Elude’ in November on the HOLODECK label (of  STRANGER THINGS soundtrack fame) . Combining slow, methodical hooks and warm tube amplifiers, Grivo’s massive tones artfully re-establish the link between heavy guitars and downtempo pop to yield a potently encompassing experience. Utilizing effects as an active compositional element, Elude’s infectious riffs are brilliantly crafted and paced to allow the saturated guitars and bruising low-end to fully bloom. Within the tidal sound waves and bleak timbre, Grivo forges a distinctive personal connection that challenges the modern definitions of doom metal and shoegaze.

“Leaning into the heavier end of the shoegaze spectrum, Austin’s Grivo take inspiration from the dark, drug-induced beauty that lies just beneath the brutality.” -REVOLVER

 

 

 

grivo

Grivo on Bandcamp
Again that’s Friday, February 8 / 9 pm / $10 / $7 advance / with local openers,  Ensemble Economique (globe-trotting, cinematic avant-ambient aka Jacob Sweden) and CV, a local goth-rock supergroup feat. Robert Tripp, Tavan Anderson, Aimee Hennessy, etc. (members of White Manna, The Hard Ride, Nipplepotamus, & Blood Gnome) / 21 & up.

Humming along after Breakfast…

As you may or may not know, the Breakfast All Day Collective‘s “safer space,” Outer Space, is celebrating turning two years of operation on Friday, Feb. 1.

Sarah Torres

The 2nd birthday party features Arcata High hip hop collective 4 The Masses, local garage punks Wet Spot, indigenous activist/singer/songwriter Sarah Torres with cousin Adam, and the spoken word artists of Word Humboldt, who typically hold down the word fort Tuesdays at Northtown Coffee.

Interview by Bob Doran, podcast mix by John Hardin

If you’ve been reading the Hum for awhile, you know that the BAD Collective followed in the footsteps of something called The Placebo, a loosely knit group of kids that came together to create a space where they could hang out and have occasional shows with local and touring bands.

As Placebo founder Abe Ray explained, “We decided that Arcata needed a more permanent music venue, one that catered to all ages and brought bands into the area.” This was way back in 1999, when Ray and a bandmate took out a loan from their parents to pay rent for a warehouse space on South G Street in Arcata (somewhere near what is now Redwood Curtain). The name Placebo was chosen to indicate the drug-free environment they insisted on at the venue.

“We didn’t really know what we were doing; we just did it,” said Ray. “Up ’til then, I was basically just a kid who went to shows. We hooked up with some people who knew how to put on shows…” The rest is history, at this point ancient history.

The Placebo crew poses in front of their space in Manila – photo by Bob Doran

The Placebo put on a bunch of shows until the City got wind of their unpermitted venue. The kids were for the most part teenagers, and they didn’t know what hoops they were supposed to go through to go legit. Their venue was shut down. They tried again a couple of times, first in Manila, in an old classroom in the community center, where neighbors complained about the noisy shows, then later on in Eureka, where they shared a building on West Third Street with a couple of artist collectives: Empire Squared, and Synapsis, the baby of trapeze artist Leslie Castellano. Again, there were permit troubles and neighbors who complained about noise.

While Leslie, persevered and eventually moved Synapsis to another space in Old Town (and was elected to the Eureka City Council), the members Empire Squared mostly graduated and moved on. The Placebo’s founders did the same, leaving behind a ghost that still exists, but only as a dysfunctional Facebook page.

The founders of the Breakfast All Day Collective and its safer space Outer Space did not have to suffer the same “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that took down Placebo, but they still need our support. (For more history, read Lauraine’s piece for the Union.) Outer Space’s space on 11th St. was once home to Copeland Lumber, which was replaced by Nilsen Feed’s short-lived store hiding ‘round the corner. Now that Nilsen has thrown in the towel (for whatever reason), the BAD folks are not totally sure what will happen next, but they’re been good tenants, so they hope they’ll get to stay. We’ll see. If it looks like they need more help, say yes. And go check out a show.

Wednesday, Feb. 6. look for folky fare with Buck Meek from Austin, Texas (getting for a tour in support for Jeff Tweedy)…

Buck is currently on tour with his Keeled Scales label-mate Twain from Virginia

and local support from Hollan and Emelia Grace

The shows just keep coming. Friday, Feb. 15, 7-10 p.m. It’s two new young groups from Arcata, Petty Education (also playing at Redwood Yogurt Friday, Feb. 8) and mash yellow bird

As February stumbles to a close Wednesday, Feb. 27, Outer Space hosts the appropriately named, awakebutstillinbed (San Jose screamo)

plus Sundressed (AZ folk punk), Sunsleeper (SLC sad rock) and Alien Boy, who is a punker from PDX, not from outer space.

Remember, all Outer Space shows start and end early (7-ish-10 p.m.) so the kids (and seniors like me) can get to bed early. Also, remember when you were younger and needed a safe place to play. That’s all they ask…

The Hum is back (in print)

Yes, it’s true. The Hum is back. Back in print in the Mad River Union anyway. It never totally disappeared online (here at thehum.online), but I needed a break. I had more pressing things to do — like lay my friend to rest, then, my mom. The print Hum will be different. Watch for it semimonthly.

I explained all this when I ran into a couple of friends other day on Bar Row. One of them was in the Raging Grannies with my dear old mother. After sincere condolences and some talk about what a fine lady she was, I mentioned that I was bringing the Hum back. 

Her friend is a local musician, so of course he was glad to hear about the return. ‘What should I mention?’ I wondered. “Well, definitely the Nels Cline show,” said the local musician, Gary Davidson, who has been playing bass in various local combos for decades. 

Gary Davidson at the Folklife Festival – photo by Bob Doran

Needless to say, that show Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Arcata Playhouse is hopelessly sold out. (Miracle tickets required. Ask around.) Nels Cline 4 is led by Mr. Cline, the awesome Wilco guitarist…

It also features the 20-something Julian Lage, who played here with his band recently, and, memorably, with David Grisman a few years ago. In a JazzTimes interview, Lage says he’d “found his people” playing with Cline. “At last I found a scenario where you could be free and adventurous, you could utilize sound and be extremely melodic and evocative.” I’m ready for an adventure.

Gary also figured he had to mention a benefit at the Bayside Community Hall (formerly known as the Grange) since he plays in both bands on the two-fer bill: Home Cookin’ and The Handshakers.

Cover from Freddy and the Starliner album by Martin Wong

It gives away my age, but I can’t help but think of Home Cookin’ as the latest incarnation of Freddy and the Starliners, a band with Jambalaya founders Fred Neighbor and Joyce Hough from before Gary moved here. 

The Handshakers were once known as Rogues’ Gallery. A pair of Georgia-born guitarist/songwriters, Mike Bynum and luthier Michael Walker, are out front, with Aleister Paige on pedal steel.

The Delta Nationals in front of the B.C. Hall – photo by Bob Doran

They changed names when Gary joined with rhythm partner Paul DeMark on drums. BTW, Paul officially announced the end of the venerable Delta Nationals after 18 years. Just to keep busy, Paul started another band, a jazz trio PD 3, with Fred on guitar and Bruce “Junior” Johnson on standup bass. (Fred and Junior also play as a duo known as Fred & Junior.) 

This “Double the Money Hallabaloo” promises an “evening of dinner and music” with an early start, beginning with a home-cooked meal at 5:30 p.m. Handshakers at 7, with Home Cookin’ closing. All money raised for the B.C. Hall renovation will be matched by an anonymous donor. “This will be a fun evening for a good cause,” says Joyce. “I have many, many fond memories of playing in this building!! You probably do too.” Indeed I do. 

Illustration from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Before we parted on Bar Row, Gary had another gig to mention. Yet another outfit he plays with, Rosewater: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead, is at the Clam Beach Tavern (in McKinleyville) on Friday, Feb. 15.

Along the same lines, The Miracle Show offers “top shelf Grateful Dead,” at the Jam on the same night (2/15) declaring, “The music plays the band.”

There’s also a “Grateful Dead Dance Party” at Humbrews this Saturday (2/2) with Dead vids augmented by a light show by Marmalade Sky. Also, you just missed Dead On, a local trio “exploring the acoustic side of The Grateful Dead.”

Gary had a simple explanation about the plethora of Dead cover bands locally. “There’s all these great songs and we love playing them, and the people keep coming out to hear them.”

Speaking of tribute bands, Piet Dalmolen and the Pink Floyd cover band Money play that song and others from that catalog at Humbrews Friday, Feb. 1. They promise “lights and projections by Shawn Lei and a few new tricks up our sleeve.” (Remember the old days when light shows were listed along with the bands?)

More covers etc. coming up at The Jam, with a month of Sunday kid-friendly afternoon shows labeled “Fam Jam,” all from 1-4 p.m. Youngins get in free (with adults). First up, Feb. 10, Silver Hammer: A Beatles Tribute, then the following Sunday, Feb. 17, reggae tunes by Irie Rockers, and, rounding things out Feb. 24, All Things Must Pass—a Birthday Tribute to George Harrison. (His b-day is actually the next day, but it’s close enough.  

There’s more of this column in the paper and you can pick it up at your neighborhood news stand (Northtown Books for example) or you can wait until later, when I get around to posting some more, including some stuff that’s not in the paper.

The magazine rack at Northtown Books, curated by Jay Aubrey-Herzog – photo by Bob Doran shot for the NC Journal when we declared it “Best Magazine Rack” around in 2010.