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Wednesday | 22
On her latest album, Pretty Bird, singer-songwriter Cosy Sheridan sings, “Rise out of the water / I will believe in the cup of human kindness.” It’s a sentiment grounded in warmth, vision, and a connectedness to all things. So it goes with Sheridan, who has been writing thought-provoking, acoustic guitar-driven songs about the Earth and our place on it and the beauty of life for decades. But don’t write her off as a folkie softie. The Moab, Utah-based Sheridan is also a funny, button-pushing artist who doesn’t shy away from sensitive issues, environmental or otherwise. Case in point: her song “Turboyeast,” about vaginal yeast infections, which broke the folk singer mold and was featured on the Dr. Demento radio program. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive, Soquel, $15. 477-1341.
Friday | 24
San Francisco’s the She’s quickly became a buzz band around the bay while the quartet was still in high school. Indeed, their 2011 record Then It Starts To Feel Like Summer captures the joy and sadness of their young age with some really catchy, surfy dream-pop tunes. They’ve graduated high school, and their most recent record, last year’s Dreamers, has a heavier edge to it. The songs are still hooky ’60s surf-rock loving, but the distortion is a little louder, and the songs are a little more dissonant. Even their video for single “Dream Girl” is a total psychedelic blur. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
Sometimes you just need somebody to shove you. That’s why Soul Asylum is playing two free shows on Friday as part of the annual Bands on the Beach series at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Hard to believe, but this year marks the “Runaway Train” rockers’ 32nd year together. Even after the tragic death of bassist Karl Mueller to cancer in 2005, Soul Asylum continued to drill for black gold with their latest release, 2012’s Delayed Reaction. For any readers born after MTV started sucking, stream the movies Clerks or Chasing Amy to brush up on your Soul Asylum lyrics (director Kevin Smith is a long-time fan and friend of the band), and to see how hard we had it in the ’90s. MAT WEIR
INFO: 6:30 & 8:30 p.m. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-5590.
Saturday | 25
Kehlani has not had an easy go of it. The budding R&B singer and songwriter from Oakland lost her father as an infant, was passed from her drug-addicted mother to an aunt, and had a career as a promising ballerina dashed by a knee injury. But all this just adds to the power of her music, which pulls in elements of soul-rap, classic R&B, and pop music to create something beautiful and honest. An emerging star, Kehlani is raking in praise for her new album You Should Be Here, with Billboard calling it “the year’s first great R&B album.” CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 423-1338.
LA SANTA CECILIA
Winner of “Best Latin Rock Album” at last year’s Grammys, La Santa Cecilia is a Los Angeles-based band comprising Jose “Pepe” Carlos, accordionist and requintero, Alex Bendana on bass, Miguel Ramirez on percussion, and La Marisoul on lead vocals. Playing heartfelt songs about loss and love, the band members blend international styles—including cumbia, bossa nova, tango and klezmer—with pop influences ranging from Janis Joplin to Led Zeppelin. The video for the band’s rendition of the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” is a touch of tongue-in-cheek brilliance. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20. 479-1854.
Sunday | 26
Irish music and dance go together like peanut butter and jelly. (Or even peanut butter and chocolate for that matter.) Usually, if performers are going to incorporate both into their show—which they should—they have Irish dancers and musicians. Not so with the Gothard Sisters, who do both, and amazingly well. The trio of sisters from Washington began performing as children in 2006, and they bust into some incredible dance moves mid-song. In the past decade, they’ve released several albums. They even mix storytelling into some of their tunes. You’re really getting a well-rounded night of Celtic entertainment with the Gothard Sisters. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $12/adv, $14/door. 603-2294.
Usually “one man band” conjures visions of a lone kook with a bass drum strapped to his back and cymbals between his knees à la Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Then there are artists like the self-described “island-infused, drum ’n’ bass, gospel, ninja soul,” Zach Deputy, who blows away all such preconceptions. With an arsenal of loopers, samplers and his trustworthy acoustic guitar, the Georgian digs deep into his multicultural background to blend calypso, funk, rock, African and every genre between into a one-of-a-kind party. Just make sure to wear appropriate shoes because even a robot couldn’t resist shaking it once Deputy drops the boogie. MW
INFO: 7 pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $26/door. 427-2227.
Monday | 27
JEFF HAMILTON TRIO
A consummate drummer who is as adept at driving a big band as maneuvering in the confines of a small combo, Jeff Hamilton has spent the past four decades collaborating with jazz royalty, from Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson to Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Brown. As a bandleader, he co-directs the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra as well as this scintillating trio with the brilliant Israeli-born pianist Tamir Hendelman and big-toned bassist Christoph Luty. The trio’s latest album, Great American Songs, is a lyrical delight. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Tuesday | 28
Rasar and Cameron Calloway are two accomplished performers from Las Vegas. Rasar, originally from Sacramento, is an alt-rap emcee with some philosophical, spiritual rapid-fire lyrics, and Calloway is a passionate acoustic-guitar-toting, sweet tenor soul singer. The two met at a Las Vegas open mic and decided to combine forces as the acoustic soul, hip-hop duo, CAMRA. Really, CAMRA highlights the best of both performers. They each bring a piece of their excellent solo work to the table, bouncing off of each other to create something truly spectacular, thoughtful and heartfelt. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Art Bar & Café, 1060 River St., Unit 112, Santa Cruz. $5. 428-898.
IN THE QUEUE
Contemporary blues standout. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. Wednesday at Crepe Place
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Progressive metal out of North Carolina. Thursday at Catalyst
Folk-rock sensation with a cult following. Friday at Kuumbwa
Singer-songwriter who co-wrote Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me.” Tuesday at Don Quixote’s