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Wednesday | 15
Panda Bear was not only the first member of Animal Collective to release a solo album, he also established a precedent in the group for releasing more personal material in the solo format. 2004’s Young Prayer was a meditation on his father’s passing, while 2007’s Person Pitch was an intimate batch of melancholy Beach Boys-inspired tunes. His latest, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, sounds the least like a Panda Bear record. The songs are playfully written psychedelic post-punk tunes, but under the surface, Panda Bear talks about the anxiety of aging and the fragility of his own mortality. His beautifully layered vocals mixed with the dissonance of the instruments creates an uneasy feeling, tapping into the fear that everything you’ve worked your whole life obtaining could come crashing down at any moment. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz. $28.75. 423-5590.
One of Brazil’s great musical treasures, singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil has released a jaw-dropping 50-plus albums and been a global ambassador for Brazilian music since the Tropicalia wave of the 1960s. A versatile artist whose repertoire spans the range of Brazilian styles from bossa nova, samba and salsa to pop, rock and folk, Gil is also a political, cultural and environmental advocate whose activism stretches back decades, including a stint as Brazil's Minister of Culture. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $35/gen, $55/gold. 423-8209.
Thursday | 16
Most musicians only dream about rock star success with one band, let alone multiple projects, so Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala—better known as half of Antemasque and ex-Mars Volta and At The Drive-In—must feel pretty lucky. After Bixler-Zavala left the Mars Volta in 2012, not many were sure about the duo’s future. Last year, they unexpectedly announced Antemasque and dropped two songs. Their self-titled debut, released last July, is a powerhouse of piercing, experimental post-rock demonstrating why Lopez and Zavala continue to be at the forefront of modern music. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
OMAR SOSA QUARTETO AFROCUBANO
During his relatively brief sojourn in the Bay Area back in the 1990s, Cuban jazz pianist Omar Sosa provided an electrifying jolt of creative energy with a vision encompassing North African cadences, Santeria invocations, and hip-hop riffs. Since relocating to Spain in 1999, he’s increasingly turned to the music of his homeland, a direction reflected by his quartet featuring Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas, and Sosa’s Camagüey homeboys Ernesto Simpson on drums and vocals, and Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones and flute. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Friday | 17
There’s not a lot of information available about local foursome Beach Fuzz, besides the solid EP, Winnebago Tribe, on their Bandcamp that has a naked baby drawing ala 2001 for its cover. The group falls into the psychedelic camp, with heavy, stoner-esque Black Sabbath riffs driving the songs, but sprinkles with a variety of tripped-out noises. They play with vocal processors, spacey synths and lush harmonies and occasionally just go instrumental, letting the sludgy riffs do the talking. There’s a lot of 1967 “travel with your mind” inspired lyrics throughout, keeping up the moody vibe, like on the tune “Tiny Door.” (How am I supposed to fit through that tiny door, or your tiny window?) AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
It’s no secret Bay Area rapper Berner loves that Cali green. Not only has he been spitting fire about blazing it since the beginning of his career, but he also owns Cookies Clothing and Hemp2o water and is closely connected to Cookie Fam, the crew that was responsible for the Girl Scout Cookies strain of potent weed. So it wasn’t a big surprise to hear he was playing a 4/20 show at the Catalyst. Nor was anyone surprised when it sold out almost immediately. Luckily, Berner loves Santa Cruz (and all that it has to offer *cough*) as much as we love him, and signed up for two more pre-shows to kick off the weekend in a blaze of smoke. MW
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35 door. 429-4135.
Saturday | 18
A triple threat of songwriting, musicianship and performance, keyboardist Joanna Borromeo is quickly making a name for herself in the contemporary R&B scene. With a style reminiscent of Alicia Keys, Borromeo has a smooth voice, a soulful delivery, and a natural talent for writing and arranging. A Juno Award nominee in her native Canada, Borromeo is quietly attracting the attention of both fans and critics and emerging as an artist to watch. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $5. 427-2227.
Monday | 20
For guitar nerds, Laurence Juber is well-known as a top notch technical solo acoustic player who experiments with alternate tunings and finger tapping, creating some of the most fluid, gorgeous arrangements imaginable to come from a single man and one guitar. His cover renditions are also incredible. His all-Beatles album LJ Plays the Beatles, is considered a masterpiece amongst acoustic guitarists. For the average rock audience, Juber might be better known as the Wings lead guitarist from 1978-1980. He also spent much of the ’80s doing session work on film and tv, including Family Ties and Happy Days, before really diving in headfirst to his solo career. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $17/adv, $20/door. 335-2800.
IN THE QUEUE
Celtic rockers out of Los Angeles. Thursday at Catalyst
Rock band featuring Brian Bell of Weezer. Thursday at Moe's Alley
Bryn Loosley, Jacob Martin with Josh Stacy, and Keith Damron. Friday at Ugly Mug
Nashville-based, 12-kid, family roots band. Saturday at Rio Theatre
CHRIS WEBSTER & NINA GERBER
Celebrated singer-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire. Sunday at Don Quixote’s