Back when I edited the Arcata Eye’s Scene pages, the occasional lack of attendees at local rock shows annoyed me. So what if the show doesn’t start till 10 p.m.? Or 11? Life is short! This band is worth a few less hours of sleep! I scoffed at people who couldn’t run on four hours of slumber and a hangover.

And then I started a new job, in the description of which was a notable lack of “attend music shows and write about them.” Without the need to fill pages – and with the requirement to be at the top of my mental game – my show-going nosedived. I found myself in bed before midnight. Sleeping for six or seven hours proved surprisingly more effective than four or five. The idea of leaving the house at 9:30 at night took on an aura of ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong – I can and do launch into some late nights and am able to pull off whatever I need to the next day. But, wow, the extra level of brutal in the effort.

Last night, however, we hauled ourselves out to the Logger Bar to see Strix Vega and The Trouble. You know a show at the Logger’s going to bring out the usual Blue Lake crowd and sure enough, despite years passing since my last sojourn into the tavern of saws and other dangerous implements, old friends (various degrees of Dell’Arte) greeted us the moment we stepped inside.

Not much has changed at the Logger, except the bar offerings seemed especially meager. Otherwise, the usual scene: pool players oblivious to their surroundings, women bumping-and-grinding to the music, plastic cups, a disproportionate amount of flannel and plaid, and the typical jokes about I’d-hate-to-be-here-in-an-earthquake.

Right off, The Trouble established themselves as the perfect bar band. They have the name, the driving rock-this-side-of-country sound and no shortage of either enthusiasm or enthusiastic fans. Someone should buy the Angelina Inn and make The Trouble the house band.

Strix Vega, of course, captured my heart long ago. Sultry and dreamy, sometimes spacey, occasionally amping up the noise – I’ve written about them so often and wonder why they haven’t sold “Mad Rain” or any of the tracks on Drunken Sky for commercial use, become the indie darlings of the year, broken up in a drug-and-jealousy-fueled rage, reunited for a one-off tour and suffered through three different tell-all biographies already. Oh, sure, the “tell-all” part would be, “They’re all real sweet,” but still, with such pretty songs and good looks, no reason the success part couldn’t come true.