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Oct 02nd
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Santa Cruz Music Calendar

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Wednesday | 1

These guys are grand purveyors of the “do whatever you feel like” school of music. Having played in more than a dozen side projects in addition to their work as Pinback, in genres ranging from comic book-metal to jazz-punk, this group likes to keep you guessing. If that doesn’t do it for you, consider that they are touring in support of the 10th anniversary of their Summer in Abaddon album, presumably because it was their first album to crack Billboard’s Top 200. BRIAN PALMER
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $16. 423-8209.

Let me just run something by you here: David Rawlings, longtime musical partner of the acclaimed roots standout Gillian Welch, is coming through town with his band the Dave Rawlings Machine. The current incarnation of the band features Rawlings, Welch, founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show Willie Watson, bassist Paul Kowert, and—hold on to your hats here—John Paul Jones. Yes, friend, that John Paul Jones. The secret weapon multi-instrumentalist from legendary rock outfit Led Zeppelin is along for the Machine’s latest outing. If you fancy seeing one of the finest acoustic guitarists of our time, along with a truly stellar cast of musicians, you’re going to want to jump on this one pronto. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8 p.m. Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. $33. 423-2053.

Friday | 3

In a way, Sacramento’s Blackalicious is almost like a jazz duo. Technically, they are hip-hop. DJ Xcel spins some creative, popping beats, and rapper Gift of Gab spits thought-provoking verses a mile a minute. What’s unique about them is the way they interact with each other. It isn’t just Xcel spinning beats for Gift of Gab to rap over; the two feed and play off each other, like two jazz musicians riffing off one another and influencing each other’s style and vibe. There’s a near constant vibrancy to the music that you get when listening to live jazz improvisation. Gift of Gab’s intellectual tongue twisters are completely influenced by Xcel’s beats, and vice versa. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

Saturday | 4

Dr. Ralph Stanley, one of the pioneers of bluegrass, is, as my dad would say, scaring the hell out of 90. And yet, he’s out on the road touring. If that's not hardcore, I don't know what is. The singer and banjo player—who along with his brother, the late Carter Stanley, formed and fronted the revered Clinch Mountain Boys—may be just a tad slower in step and strum, but he’s still doing his thing. Stanley’s stop in Santa Cruz is part of what’s being touted as a farewell tour, but who knows? Maybe he’ll just keep on picking and singing forever. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $28. 423-8209.

East Bay duo (and Santa Cruz favorite) Zion I will be using this show to record a live album called The Rapture: Live from Oaklandia. In addition to piano prodigy Kev Choice leading a full band that will be taking entries from the band’s substantial catalog and reimagining the songs in a more jazz-based and acoustic format, everyone who comes will get a digital copy of the album before it is made available to the public. BP
INFO: 8 p.m. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 423-1338.

What exactly are the Phenomenauts? Are they really agents from outer space on some sort of mission on earth that involves playing New Wave songs and shooting toilet paper at the crowd? The latest research suggests it’s highly unlikely; in fact, there were even a couple of scientists protesting this claim at a previous Crepe Place show. But the Phenomenauts do rock pretty hard, and play some fun Devo-inspired tunes. And their live show, with all the elaborate costumes, robots, guns and props is quite an entertaining spectacle, wherever the hell they’re from. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $14/door. 429-6994.

Sunday | 5

After releasing an album that was underwhelming to longtime fans (2011’s American Goldwing), this Portland-based group came back last year with a more off-the-wall release (VII) that was more in line with the band’s previous devil-may-care style releases. Singer Eric Earley proved he still knew how to turn a phrase, belt out a lyric when necessary, and spit rhymes like Busta, and all to the blended background of folk, rock, Americana and hip-hop that has come to be the band’s calling card over the years. BP
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

Monday | 6

There’s a Reading Rainbow episode, titled “Hip Cat,” that features jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman talking to LeVar Burton about jazz and improvisation, and taking viewers on a mini-tour of his stomping grounds around New York City. I tell you this because how many people are cool enough to have a Reading Rainbow episode? Not many. Redman also has mountains of musical accolades, two Grammy nominations, and he’s considered among the finest jazz artists of his time, but Reading Rainbow cred is tough to beat. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.

Tuesday | 7

The way that Oakland trio T Sisters take Americana and mix it up with country, gospel and jazz gives it a noticeably old-timey, but still adventurous aesthetic. Being actual sisters—their last name is Tietjen, hence the “T”—they have a similar timbre of voice, and they’ve been singing together since they were children, so they belt out some stunningly gorgeous and soothing three-part harmonies. They released their excellent debut Kindred Lines earlier this year. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.



Rural Missouri-born, Portland-based indie roots band. Wednesday at
Crepe Place
Afro-Cuban fusion. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Pioneering nardcore band out of Southern California. Saturday at Catalyst
Legend of Hawaiian music. Sunday at Don Quixote's
Sibling-fronted, world fusion band. Tuesday at Moe's Alley


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