Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Fresh popped Scene Content

For your visual pleasure on B1:

Arts!Arcata, of course.

The magic of Thursday night karaoke in the Blue Lake Casino’s WAVE with Terrence’s commentary inside.

Plus, Humboldt Brews reopens: Read Josh Duke‘s Bonus Tracks‘ review, below.

Thursday night was special to me. A coming home of sorts occurred as Humboldt Brews reopened in all its remodeled glory, ready to serve non-distilled liquid joy to massive throngs of wristband-clad revelers that scrounged to get inside before reaching capacity.

With a new coat of paint, some serious renovations, and a public outcry for a nightlife spot with some actual floor space, Humboldt Brews gave us a venue with plenty on tap, an actual stage, and a rousing band to keep the crowd guessing. But between the sticky floors, fancy lighting, and overactive haze machines, we still couldn’t ignore the fact that we were watching a band named after one of the most annoying Will Farrell characters since “A Night at the Roxbury.”

Elvis Costello once said “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” and I imagine in my mind’s eye that he must have been watching a jam band when he thought of this.

What separated Moo-Got-2 from the usual stoner jam fare is their priority in maintaining a beat and tempo worthy of cutting a rug over. But I would say they retained the basic elements of any jam band: a group of bored jazz musicians, a bass player obsessed with Jaco Pastorius, the ability to improv a single riff in at least twenty-seven ways, and then taking no less than fifteen minutes to do so for each song. And I’m not knocking them; they were the safe, non-abrasive, pastel wallpaper choice for the opening night of a trendy joint that’s not trying to be exclusionary. No one’s gonna think they’re terrible, but they’re in the position where their music can only be enjoyed under the auspices of a crowd that is there to dance.

This review would be entirely different if there had only been a crowd of four or if I were listening to their album at home. The show was good because the crowd had a good time. It was music for the masses that did what it could to pass for clever and complex. I wrestled much with how to review a band that falls in musical realm where my tolerance fails after 10 minutes of STS9, and I saw that the only way to judge a party band is to judge the party itself.

The endurance that shined through their nearly three-hour set prompted me to get a lovely bouquet of the glandular activity of Arcata’s finest, and as the humidity of the room rose ever higher, I found a nice stool to sit on and dodge the elbows of those who have no concept of the personal space they occupy.

I’m glad that Humboldt Brews is back – and hopefully for the better. I’m sure the crowd was good for business, but I will personally be happier when the night arrives when I will not have to wait in line to get in. Waiting in line to see a show was one of the reasons I left L.A. in the first place.

For every e-mail we get praising the keen wit and “fresh approach” of our Bonus Tracks columnist comes one that asks, “Is there any way to get rid of that Josh Duke?”

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