for the Particle People – tonight @ HumBrews

Who: Particle ~

When: Tuesday, February 3, 9:30 pm ~

Where: Humboldt Brews ~

How much: $15 ~

Back around the turn of the century, Particle pioneered something they call “livetronica,” essentially they were pioneers bridging the gap between the jamband and electronica scenes. The band’s founder, Steve Molitz, began jamming on analog keyboards while he was a college student in the hotbed of jam, Boulder, Colorado, but he soon settled in L.A.

When I interviewed him a decade ago, he wasn’t really sure how to define the Particle sound. In the beginning, he said, “It was hard to describe what kind of music we played. It was kind of a mix of rock and this indie sound, groove and electronic and funk and jazz — after a while it gets hard to categorize it, or know what to say.”

Instead he fell back on calling it “high-energy dance music” since, “We’re known for keeping people dancing, for creating an atmosphere of celebration, and also for creating a space where people can take a trip.”

The “Particle People” understood, and so did Tom Rothrock (producer for Beck and Foo Fighters) who produced their first studio album, Launchpad  in 2004. The band ended up touring nationally and internationally and played monster festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Fest.

Then at the end of 2006, Particle went on semi-hiatus, cutting down to scattered shows to leave room for family and changing work situations. Molitz became a hired keyboardist playing with artists like Robby Krieger of The Doors, Phil Lesh of the Dead and the Allman Brothers among others. He did film soundtrack work and made music for video games.

Last year, itching to get back the his own music and the road, he reformed Particle. Guitarist Ben Combe, bassist Clay Parnell, and drummer Brandon Draper signed on  and they returned to touring full-time as ever-evolving journey. They’ve recorded enough studio material for a couple of albums, due out this year. But first there’s the latest cross country tour and a return to Arcata. The Particle People will be there…

Legg Up @ The Sanctuary tonight

Who: Adrian Legg
When: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 8 pm
Where: The Sanctuary, the corner of 13th and J streets in Arcata
What: Amazing solo fingerstyle guitar

Adrian Legg is a guitar player who Wikipedia deems “impossible to categorize.” His music borrows from folk, jazz, country, classical, and more, playing hybrid guitars that are not quite electric or acoustic, but somehow both at the same time. In the ‘90s he toured with shredders Joe Satriani and Steve Vai as part of the G3 tour. Satriani, who called his Uncle Adrian, said of him, “He’s simply the best acoustic guitar player I’ve ever heard. I don’t know anyone else who can create such a cascade of beautiful notes… Adrian plays like he’s got hammers for fingers.”

He records occasionally, and the album titles tell some of the story: Technopicker, Guitars & Other Cathedrals, Guitar for Mortals, Fingers and Thumbs and Slow Guitar among them. His latest, The Dead Bankers, is as good as any excuse for another tour.

Tuesday night’s concert at the Sanctuary is produced by the folks at Arcata Playhouse. Legg was going to play at the Playhouse, but a shifting tour schedule left only tonight’s date, the same night as the Redwood Jazz Alliance’s Melissa Aldana concert. They decided to do both.

Those who are new to the venue will be pleasantly surprised – it’s an inviting space that started out as the Arcata’s Women’s Club, then became a church, and now it’s a cultural resource. The pews are comfy, the ambiance sublime. They usually have homemade beer, ginger brew and cookies, and they’re quite good. I’m sure Adrian will make himself right at home. You will too, if you want to hear some sublime guitar.

BTW, The Sanctuary has a brand new Facebook page. Check it out HERE!


Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio – tonight at the Playhouse

Who: Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio
Where: Arcata Playhouse ~ Arcata, CA
When: Tuesday, February 3, 8pm
Tix: $15/$10 for RJA and Playhouse members

The latest concert in the Redwood Jazz Alliance‘s stellar series features Chilean sax player Melissa Aldana, a rising star, winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, who happens to be the first woman to win the award. Raised in Santiago, she learned sax on her jazz teacher daddy’s knee. By the time she was a teen, she was playing at local jazz clubs. With help from Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, she was accepted at Berklee College of Music. When she graduated, it was on to jazz central, New York City. Then came an album, Free Fall, and another Second Cycle, both on Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label. Her latest is Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio on Concord Records.

Somewhere along the way the Redwood Jazz Alliance crew heard her. They were floored.

When we first set eyes and ears on Aldana with her Crash Trio at Le Poisson Rouge in New York at last year’s WinterJazzFest, she stopped us in our tracks. The first thing we noticed was her sound: big, warm, inviting. Then we heard the inventiveness of her soloing, which pairs harmonic depth with rhythmic sophistication. Finally, we took in the close connection and the sterling interplay she shares with her band mates. In fact, we not only heard it, we saw it, in her stance and her body language: Aldana leans in toward her fellow musicians, watching, smiling, moving with the sometimes strong, sometimes subtle pulse coming from the bass and drums. It’s a winning stage presence.

Melissa Aldana will also present an open public workshop at 11 am on Wednesday, February 4th in HSU’s Studio Theater (Theatre Arts 115, to the left and down the hall from the Van Duzer lobby). Music lovers of all levels of experience are welcome to attend, and admission is FREE.


Humming on Groundhog Day

The musical hum around Humboldt never stops, it just keeps humming along. The groundhog may not see his shadow here, we all woke up to pouring rain, but there’s music in the clubs tonight. Yes, on a Monday…

Let’s start with a Bad Kitty show tonight at the Palm Lounge (in the Eureka Inn). Remember to swing revival of the ‘90s? Squirrel Nut Zippers out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina was one of the classier acts of that short-lived era, mixing old time Delta blues, klezmer and more in with swing. The leader, James “Jimbo” Mathus, started the combo with his wife, but it didn’t survive their divorce.

Norm of Bad Kitty brings us up to date :

Stop the press and hold the phone, this just in. Jimbo Mathus will be in town Monday night. Who is this fellow you may ask? He is a guitar slinger extraordinaire, founding member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and also a sideman for blues giant Buddy Guy. Currently Jimbo is on the road with his latest band called The Tri-State Coalition in support of their 201 release “Dark Night of the Soul.” Come on down and check out this world-class entertainer for the low, low price of zero dollars, you may even be compelled to dance.

Music around 8 pm, again, no admission charge. How can you lose? Try a taste.

Meanwhile in Arcata a new band, The Golden Gate Wingmen jams at Humboldt Brews. As you might guess from the name, the band comes from the San Francisco Bay Area. If you know the Dead-associated music world you’ll recognize John Kadlecik of Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends and DSO; Jay Lane of Ratdog, Furthur and Primus; Jeff Chimenti of Furthur and Ratdog; and Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green and Jacob Fred. The band premiered to a sold out audience at Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in November last year. They’re just getting going, mostly playing Kadlecik’s tunes. (He’ll also be one of the friends in Phil Lesh & Friends upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend at Terrapin Crossroads, Feb. 13 and 14.) Expect some tie-dye, psychedelic jamming and songs you know from the Dead. You get the picture. (That’s John below.)


Mary Lattimore, Weyes Blood & Ensemble Economique

Coming Wednesday, January 28th at 8pm an alt. alt. show at The Sanctuary organized by Brian Pyle of Ensemble Economique fresh back from a playing a show in Mexico City, with Mary LattimoreWeyes Blood and Ensemble Economique.

The Sanctuary folks tell us: Harpist Mary Lattimore of Philadelphia experiments with her Lyon and Healy Concert Grand harp run through FX. Her solo debut, The Withdrawing Room, was released in 2013 on Desire Path Recordings. She has performed and recorded with such great artists as Meg Baird, Thurston Moore, Sharon Van Etten, Jarvis Cocker, Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, Ed Askew and Fursaxa. Mary has been a part of soundtrack projects including the Valerie Project, which had an accompanying on a recording released by Drag City, Lopapeysa, a film by David Kessler set in Iceland, and the film score for Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present, a documentary about the artist. In March 2013, she accompanied Nick Cave’s beautiful horse soundsuits for the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Station in New York City. Mary is a 2014 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Lopapeysa short film trailer from David Scott Kessler on Vimeo.

Mary is on tour with Natalie Mering singing in her solo incarnation as Weyes Blood. After coming out of a phase of harsh noise and freak folk, Natalie has stripped her act down to “two open alligator jaws and blasting harmonically,”with the aim of creating a direct psychic conduit between herself and the listener. She will be playing solo folk and  blues.

And here’s a New York Times review.

Brian will open with his current project Ensemble Economique. Of his most recent album, Melt into Nothing, Slug Magazine reviews his current style as, “Dreamy, haze–ridden dronescapes with vocals to match (when they appear), minimal guitar lines and simple, mid-tempo drum patterns make up the majority of the tracks… Ensemble Economique’s most lucid seance to date.” There is a haunting character to this music, but it’s more tonal and spectral, rather than something tense or horrific. I’d go for another moonlit drive with a sense of quiet drama while listening to Melt Into Nothing.” –T.H.

You can get a taste of his music here: 

Or read the decoder interview

Coming up @ The Sanctuary

Tuesday, February 3, British guitarist Adrian Legg

Saturday, February 7, T Sisters

Frieday, February 13, Arts Arcata with painter Lance Borowitz and tunes from the neighborhood

Saturday, February 21, the return of Frank Fairfield with Meredith Axlerod

Friday, March 6, Make Under and Yassou Benedict

Friday, March 13, Bad Jazz Trio and Jonathan Kipp

Saturday, March 14, ze bib! and more .


Groom Tube

Admit it, it’s happened to you more than once. You’re surfing the web and you stumble upon a site and for no explainable reason, you get sucked in. There’s no redeemable quality in the stuff your clicking through, in fact there’s a weirdness factor that makes you uneasy, but you can’t pull yourself away. That was the case when I came across Awkward Family Photos, a website where the name pretty much explains itself. The simple concept caught on, and AFP became a media sensation with coverage on The Today Show, in Time and Esquire and on and on. A New York Times bestselling book was followed by a second book, Awkward Family Pet Photos.  Go to and see for yourself.

And now the phenomenon is coming to Humboldt with no less a venue than the Morris Graves Museum of Art. A exhibit of 200 Awkward Family Photos opens Wednesday, Jan. 21. And that’s not all, this is an opportunity for you to show off your own family awkwardness.

We’ll let the folks at the Graves explain:


With just 10 photos and a mission to celebrate the awkwardness of family, childhood friends Mike Bender and Doug Chernack launched in May 2009. Within a week, the site was receiving millions of visitors a day and thousands of submissions from around the world.

It began when Mike saw an awkward vacation photo hung in his parents’ house. Realizing there were probably plenty of other people out there with their own awkward family images, the two friends decided to create a friendly, online place where everyone could come together and share their uncomfortable family moments. Thus, Awkward Family Photos was born. The site quickly took off and became an internet sensation; it now receives millions of hits daily and submissions from around the world.

Visitors to the Morris Graves Museum of Art will have the opportunity to see the top 200 cringe-worthy photos in person. The AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS exhibition, opening January 21st, 2015, marks only the third time the collection will be shown in a museum setting.

“Over the past 15 years, the MGMA has become a special gathering place for families,” said Jemima Harr, Executive Director-Curator. “This exhibition offers a fun, light-hearted way for us to celebrate that special—and sometimes awkward—family bond.”

But why make it into a museum exhibit when all the pictures are available online? For Bender and Chernack, it’s about the in-person experience.

“It emphasizes the fact that we’re all awkward, and that we have all of this stuff in common with other families,” Bender said. “When you see it laid out in a museum setting, it really hits that home.”

Bender is also proud of the exhibit’s picture frames, which are “awkward frames” from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. “The frames to me are almost as fun as the show,” he said.

In honor of the exhibition, visitors are invited to share their own absurd family snapshots and stories behind the photos, for a chance to win fantastic MGMA and Awkward Family Photo prizes. Visitors may hang their own photos and create wall text for them in the Knight Gallery.

Creativity Across Disciplines

This came via e-mail… (It has nothing to do with B&D, at least as far as I know.)

Art Talk at the MGMA –  Today:

Creativity Across Disciplines; A conversation with composer/arranger, Gregg Moore, watercolorist, Alan Sanborn and playwright, Lauren Wilson

Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 2 p.m.

At the Morris Graves Museum of Art, 636 F Street, Eureka

Gregg Moore’s creative impulses have always taken a musical form. Growing up in Humboldt Co. music was the family business and during a subsequent 30 years living and working in the seething cauldron of vibrant creativity that is western Europe he found his specialty in merging sound with other disciplines – dance, theater, film and the visual arts. In Amsterdam, Holland he was a founder of the eclectic music ensemble, Available Jelly’, after 35 years still one of the leading Dutch music ensembles. During 10 years in Portugal, he was responsible for the introduction of Street Bands to that venerable cultural landscape. Back in California, he has been responsible for ‘Music for the General’, a concert of music played to the action of the Buster Keaton masterpiece, music for various productions by Dell Arte, Flying Karamazov Bros. and HSU Theater Dept. His quirky sense of composition is evident in the music of his current performing ensemble, SquarPeg as well as his community music initiative, Bandemonium, which is often found animating open-air events.

Alan Sanborn is most recognized locally for his watercolors and our local Farmer’s Market posters. Sanborn, Working Artist in Watercolor, has been represented nationally in twenty different galleries, from 1986 to present. Sanborn has worked as an instructor of watercolor, drawing and illustration for College of the Redwoods, Humboldt State University, and currently the Ink People. He also served as a founding member of The Ink People Center for the Arts, as a panelist for the California Arts Council and Victor Jacoby Art Award grant.

Lauren Wilson, Associate Artistic Director of Dell’Arte International, is a playwright, actor, director and teacher. Her physical theater training began at the Circus School of Brussels, in 1991. A graduate of Reed College and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater,

she began writing and performing with the Dell’Arte Company in 1995. Lauren received an M.F.A. in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College in 2007, and a 2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship in playwriting. Currently a core faculty member at Dell’Arte, she has also taught at the State University of New York, Humboldt State University, and American Conservatory Theater. Her plays are available through Dramatists Play Service, and in the Vintage anthology Laugh Lines.

Join Gregg Moore, Alan Sanborn and Lauren Wilson in a conversation on “Creativity Across Disciplines” at Art Talk at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Sunday, January 4 at 2 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults, $2 for students/seniors, Free to MGMA Members and children 17 and under.

For more information contact: Janine Murphy, Museum Programs Manager 442-0278 ext. 202