Santa Cruz Good Times

Jan 26th
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Santa Cruz Music Calendar

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Wednesday | 21

Over the course of 20-plus years and roughly a dozen studio, live and demo albums, G Love & Special Sauce have found their niche and played up their unique style of music for everyone who wants to hear it. Blurring the lines of hip-hop, alternative and blues—to say nothing of the elements of psychedelic, funk and soul that have slipped into their tunes—the band has become something of an irresistible force for their passionate fan base. Last year’s Sugar was their first-ever release to debut in Billboard’s Top 50, thus assuring that their slow-and-steady rise in popularity is still on the upswing. BRIAN PALMER
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25. 423-1338.

Thursday 22 | Friday 23 

cal davephilalvinAMERICANA
It’s no secret that Dave and Phil Alvin, the brothers behind roots rock band the Blasters, had a falling out. For years, their contentious relationship was a tidbit of Americana gossip passed between fans and people in the know. But a near-death experience for Phil reunited the brothers in a way that only a near-death experience can do. The two combined musical forces, hit the studio to record a new album together—the first in 30 years—and are now on the road touring, including a two-night stint at Moe’s Alley. “We hadn’t made a full album together since 1985,” Dave has said, “but as you get older, you realize you’re not immortal, and you’ve only got so much time.” CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.

Saturday | 24

The descriptions used to try and pin down psych-rock outfit LA Witch are great: ‘scuzzy, dark, country minimalism,” “haunted surf rock,” “dirty, distorted country.” Clearly, the band has a sound that’s tricky to wrap adjectives around, with spooky vocals, a thread of classic country guitar, fuzz effects to boot, and pulsing, trans-inducing drums. If you’re a fan of the Black Angels or Goat, check out this trio of women—Sade, Irita and Ellie—who are making a very cool and unusual noise in the underground. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

cal TheCoupHIP-HOP
To the casual listener, Oakland’s Coup seems to be having one big party on stage. And it’s true, they approach hip-hop by way of Parliament, Outkast and Prince—with a little flair of punk rock—but they have also been one of the most radically political hip-hop groups going since their inception in 1991. In fact, their original album cover for Party Music was the image of the group posturing in front of an image of the twin towers burning. (It was pulled because by a bizarre coincidence, 9/11 happened just before it was supposed to hit shelves.) The group, a full live band led by the witty, charismatic Boots Riley, put on aggressively funky shows. It’s rebellious party rap at its finest. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

cal stan2ROCK
Songwriter, guitarist and the original vocalist for the group Wall of Voodoo, Stan Ridgway is a modern legend in rock circles. He’s been compared not only to Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Randy Newman, but also to Raymond Chandler and Quentin Tarantino because of his penchant for telling evocative, slightly left-of-center tales. As a solo artist for well over two decades now, his place as one of the heavyweights of modern storytelling in rock music is firmly cemented. BP
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $15. 603-2294.

Sunday | 25

cal mollyjohnBLUEGRASS
Molly Tuttle, contributing member of celebrated bluegrass outfit the Tuttle Family Band, has been racking up the musical accolades for years, including numerous awards, appearances on A Prairie Home Companion and MerleFest, and best vocalist and guitarist nods from the Northern California Bluegrass Association. On Sunday afternoon, she teams up with John Mailander, a San Diego-based multi-instrumentalist who has shared stages with the Alison Brown Quartet, Tony Trischka, and Victor Wooten. Together they create original music that draws from the past while moving acoustic styles forward. CJ
INFO: 2 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10/adv, $12/door. 603-2294.

cal TimFlanneryandthelunaticfringeAMERICANA
Yes, this is the same Tim Flannery that played for the San Diego Padres from 1979-1989, and was the San Francisco Giants third base coach from 2007-2014. But he’s no Johnny-come-lately in the music scene. He’s been playing music in some capacity since the eigth grade. He started the band Buff’d Out, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, shortly after retiring from the Padres, but could only play “Cheeseburger in Paradise” so many times before forming the Lunatic Fringe and writing original tunes. Eleven albums later, they’ve become a respected name in the Americana scene with their gentle, spirited blend of country, folk and rock ’n’ roll. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $26.50. 423-8209.

Monday | 26

cal pattismithPUNK
Punk rock’s original poet is back. Patti Smith scored a hit with “Because the Night” in 1978, but she’s best known for her groundbreaking music in the late ’70s as part of the CBGB’s scene that also gave the world the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. She combined originals and covers in a whirlwind of visceral rock ’n’ roll and spoken word, erupting in emotionally fierce spasms. Artists claiming her as a central influence run the gamut, including Madonna, Courtney Love, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and the Smith’s Johnny Marr. AC
INFO: 8:30 pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $66.50. 423-8209.





Soulful, experimental, electro-funk grooves. Friday at Don Quixote’s


Local punk and rockabilly band. Friday at Crepe Place


Country folk collective out of Portland. Saturday at Ugly Mug


One-two punch of British blues. Sunday at Moe’s Alley


1980s-inspired heavy metal outfit from Toronto. Sunday at Catalyst

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> Music Club Grid PDF >
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> Community Events Calendar >
> Post Community Events free >

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography


Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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