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Aug 21st
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Santa Cruz Music Calendar

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Thursday | 14

cal luningDAVID LUNING
As crass a production as American Idol is, if you can make it to the Top 100 and have Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban fall over themselves in an effort to see which of them can praise you more effusively, you’re an artist worth looking into. David Luning’s debut album, Just Drop on By, sucks you in with its delightfully genre-blurring sound, mixing everything from rock to alt-country in a heavenly combination that is at once rootsy and electrifying. Filled to overflowing with the sort of razor-sharp insight that is the calling card of a truly great singer-songwriter, Drop—and Luning himself—is worth checking out. BRIAN PALMER
INFO: 9 p.m. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

cal bigdataBANG DATA + ONECHOT
As someone almost entirely unfamiliar with Spanish, having taken French through most of high school and college, I wasn’t sure how I was going to connect with Bang Data. Yet, due to their effortless flow between English and Spanish lyrics, this band can speak to anyone regardless of fluency in either language. Hailing from the Bay Area, lead vocalist MC Deuce Eclipse is recognized for collaborating with the popular Zion I, and Bang Data has recently received wider acknowledgement when their self-titled song “Bang Data” was featured on an episode of the critically acclaimed Breaking Bad. Reggae band Onechot will be opening for Bang Data, providing attendees with Spanish lyrics that reflect a sense of optimism and social consciousness, as well as tight rhythms. SYDNEY MOORHEAD.
INFO: 9:00 p.m. Moe's Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.

Friday | 15

Drawing inspiration from Delta blues legends Charlie Patton and Blind Willie Johnson, as well as folk stylists John Fahey and Nick Drake, singer-songwriter Marty O’Reilly sits at the intersection where genres fall away and acoustic guitar tradition is distilled down to its essence: someone plucking out a tune, singing about life as they see it. O’Reilly’s trio, the Old Soul Orchestra, is rounded out by Jeff Kissell on the double bass and Chris Lynch on the fiddle. Also on the bill: The Carolyn Sills Combo, a well-versed, classic country throwback capable of tearing through Western swing, rockabilly, honky tonk and more. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8:30 p.m. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 423-1338.

Saturday | 16

cal littlestbirdsLITTLEST BIRDS
Boasting a bit of a world’s collide aesthetic, the Littlest Birds is a musical duo built around a cello and a banjo. That’s all. But, who needs anything else when you sound as good as these two do. Comprising Sharon Martinson on clawhammer banjo and David Huebner on cello, the Littlest Birds play folk and Americana songs, but both Martinson and Huebner have backgrounds in classical music which adds a polish and compositional depth to their sound. Hailing from the eastern Sierras, the two are veterans of the road, having played in 34 states and appearing at a growing number of festivals and radio shows. On Saturday, they perform at the Abbey. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. The Abbey, 350 Mission St., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-1338.

cal philthyrichPHILTHY RICH
Most of the folks that have heard about Oakland rapper Philthy Rich probably read an article online describing one of his many run-ins with the law. The dude has been shot and arrested multiple times. Plus, he’s got serious beef with other rappers. (He’s even written entire diss songs for his rap rivals.) He’s hardcore, no doubt about it, but Philthy’s music is worth checking out for anyone into the whole laid back weed-soaked West Coast hip-hop sound. His flow is easy and smooth, but expresses some harsh realities in his words—which we know to be true, based off of the several articles online about his arrests. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. The Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, $16/adv, $20/door. 423-1338.

Monday | 18

There’s something about the Mumford and Sons being Brits that makes their whole spin on working class southern Americana a tough pill to swallow. Yet somehow, the very notion of Australian bluegrass just makes perfect sense. Mustered Courage, having only been playing a couple of years, have already made ripples in Australia’s country music scene. (Yes apparently there is an Australian country music scene), and are doing their darndest to take their banjo plucking pop tunes to the rest of the world. They are like a down-under Old Crow Medicine Show, but a little mellower, and with an almost Barbershop Quartet level of vocal harmonies. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.


Dating back over 150 years, Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans are a vital part of the city’s history and culture. Created as a way to express solidarity with Native Americans, each “tribe” is led by a Big Chief, who serves as both designer and leader of the tribe. The son of a Big Chief, saxophonist Donald Harrison was raised in and around the tradition and has taken up the family mantle as he leads a musical tribe of his own, Congo Square Nation. But Harrison, who has played with Jack McDuff, Art Blakey and more, adds a twist to the music, incorporating elements of hip-hop, soul, rock and jazz into a style he calls “nouveau swing.” CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $27/door. 427-2227.

 Tuesday | 19

cal againstmeAGAINST ME!
With 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Against Me! is proving they can still surprise after more than 15 years as a group. Apart from singer Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) coming out as transgender in 2012, the band now features an almost entirely new lineup, and Blues surely has the distinction of being one of the only—if not the only—concept album in the world about a transgender prostitute. Not surprisingly, the album contains a simultaneously fictional and autobiographical aesthetic that is hard not to appreciate, even if punk or metal music aren’t your genres of choice. BP
INFO: 8 p.m. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $16/adv, $18/door. 423-1338.


In the spirit of the Punch Brothers and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, MilkDrive is a string band out of Austin. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s

Considered one of the best drummers of all-time, jazzman Dave Weckl is on the road with his ‘Acoustic Band’. Friday at Kuumbwa


Back in the day he lit up the charts with hit songs including “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Friday at the Beach Boardwalk


Post-grungers out of Kansas City, Missouri, with a new album coming down the pipe. Friday at the Catalyst


An unofficial reggae ambassador out of St. Croix. Saturday at Moe’s Alley

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