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Wednesday | 1
An “evolved version” of Bay Area Cajun band Courtableu, Big River plays what its member like to call “Louisiana rhythm and blues.” Comprised of longtime Bay Area Cajun superstar Maureen Karpan; fiddler and Bakersfield honky-tonk scene veteran Richard Chon; Bay Area drummer Sam Siggins, who was a member of the California Cajun Orchestra; bassist Patty Hammond from the R&B band Kickin’ the Mule; and guitarist Lu Salcedo, a student at the California Jazz Conservatory, the outfit also blends other Southern dance styles including zydeco, New Orleans blues and boogie, R&B, and pop. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.
What’s more rock ’n’ roll than a couple of people jamming out in the garage? What if the musicians were a couple of tattooed females, strong as whiskey and twice as deadly, breaking down gender stereotypes? Welcome to the world of Die Nasty. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Take a Ride, the Seattle garage-punk trio starts with a healthy base of the New York Dolls and Dead Boys, and builds on layers of Texas Terry, G.G. Allin and Bikini Kill. For only $5, even the poorest punks can spange for a ticket. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5/door. 423-7117.
Thursday | 2
If Anthony Ferraro came of age in the ’70s, he would probably have been a lounge singer—and a successful one at that. The keyboardist, who also plays in the group Toro Y Moi, crafts some really laid-back, soulful, electro-pop, future-funk tunes, but always with the ease of lounge music. Even when he croons in falsetto lines like “there’s no justice for the ones who are in love,” you can’t help but snap your fingers and say, “Yeah, man. I dig it.” The recent UC Berkeley grad is classically trained and even has a tattoo of French composer Hector Berlioz on his arm. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-6994.
Founded two decades ago in the Bay Area by L.A.-born multi-instrumentalist Javier Muniz (timbales, guitar, and tres) and Puerto Rican vocalist Ishmael Huggins Diaz, Broken English is a Latin dance band with a pan-Caribbean vision. Drawing on rhythms from soca and samba to reggae and merengue, this flexible ensemble can also deliver scorching salsa inspired by Puerto Rico, Cuba, Miami and New York. Whatever the rhythmic dialect, these gatos speak fluent groove. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.
Local reggae-rock act the Leftovers plays chill grooves designed for kicking back in this beautiful town of ours. The band’s song “Santa Cruzin’” has the catchy and memorable hook, “I want you / to come Santa Cruzin’,” and is full of reminders of how good we have it to live here. Complete with guitars, percussion, several vocalists, and two keyboardists, this is an enjoy-the-moment type band with an appreciation for the laid-back local life. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. The Crow’s Nest, 2218 E Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $5. 476-4560.
Friday | 3
ROCK ‘N ROLL
Mark Sultan, a.k.a. BBQ, is half of the zany underground group King Khan & the BBQ Show, which was stoked from the coals of the ’90s Canadian group the Spaceshits. The meat of Sultan’s solo project comes from the same wild animal as his other bands, albeit a different cut. Doo-Wop, Buddy Holly, Iggy Pop and tons of tambourine are only some of the sounds he has grilling up, and his combinations are so well done that one might want to kiss the cook. But we suggest asking first. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $13/door. 429-4135.
As much as Bob Marley is remembered as the figurehead of reggae, Black Uhuru did a lot in the ’80s to grow the music’s popularity. They won the first Grammy for best reggae album in 1985, when they were led by Michael Rose. When Rose left the group in the mid-90s, they were never the same, but having gotten his start as a solo artist in the ’70s, it wasn’t an odd move for him. All through his career, Rose has been known for his vocal range and intensity. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.
Saturday | 4
Craig and Keith Rayburn went down two different paths in their adult lives. Craig became a teacher who played music on the side, and Keith a doctor. But the two brothers started out as young musicians playing rock and roots music together, and have recently returned to doing that, as the Rayburn Brothers. When they get together, they harmonize magnificently. Together with their backing group they play a style of easy-listening folk-rock popular in the ’70s with groups like the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne, with a touch of Latin and world beat. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.
IN THE QUEUE
Bluegrass and roots out of Portland. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
SUN KINGS BEATLES TRIBUTE
Boardwalk regulars pay tribute to the Fab Four. Friday at Beach Boardwalk
Local power-pop experimentalists. Saturday at Crepe Place
Reggae legend. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
Santa Cruz-based psychedelic funk outfit. Monday at Crepe Place