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Jul 31st
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Wednesday | 30

cal EvangenitalsEVANGENITALS
The Evangenitals is an amazing band name, but it was originally intended for an adult toy company, as Julie Crockett and Lisa Dee were administrators at an adult store. They instead used the name for a joke band, which evolved into something more serious.  Their latest album, Moby Dick; or, The Album, is inspired by the famous book. The title track retells the entire novel. The rest is more abstract. The album’s single, “Turbulent Flow,” is a weird, campy synth-pop tune, yet most of their music falls somewhere on the spectrum of old timey tongue-in-cheek Americana and avant-garde free-form rock. It’s poetic, heartfelt and political, but cheeky, silly and at times experimental, in a Tom Waits sort of way. Aaron Carnes
INFO: 9 p.m. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.

Thursday | 31

Brooklyn has an impressive blossoming Afrobeat scene. But it was in Africa itself that the drummer and founder of Zongo Junction was inspired to dive into the music. He returned to the states in 2009 after a six-month trip in Ghana, to start the band with several like-minded New Yorkers. Their music is fun, driving and incredibly danceable, mixing the traditional West African beats with funk, jazz and psychedelic soul. They sport somewhere between nine and 12 members, depending on whom you ask. Either way, that is a lot of members, and most of them are either on percussion or horns. Zongo Junction is busy touring, hot off the release of their second LP, No Discount. AC
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.

Friday | 1

In honor of what would have been the legendary Grateful Dead frontman’s 72nd birthday, the Wheel Company will be putting on this special event. Joining forces for the evening will be a number of the area’s Grateful Dead luminaries, including Shady Groove’s Jerry Brown, the China Cats’ Scott Cooper, Spirit of 76’s Matt Hartle, and Slugs & Roses’ Larry Graff. Vocalist Tammi Brown, pianist Steve Sofranko, bassist Roger Sideman and drummer Paul Garcia will also be appearing, as will Mik and Kat from the Garcia Project. Brian Palmer
INFO: 8 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door.

Hod Hulphers is a brainy, goofball Santa Cruz songwriter who falls somewhere between the Mountain Goats and Nick Cave. Solo, he performs folk-ish songs as “And Hod.” Backed by his group, which includes Dan Potthast and members of Slow Gherkin, he is “Hod and the Helpers.” They rock a little harder, and cover more genres than folk, though it’s all in the service of Hod’s sardonic songwriting. Hod & the Helpers released a seven-and-a-half-minute video earlier this year for their song “The King Song,” a truly bizarre hip-hop-folk-soul tune with the brilliant, boastful refrain: “You can’t vote me in/you can’t vote me out.” AC
INFO: 6:30 p.m. Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1964.

Saturday | 2

cal gentlemanGENTLEMAN
Though German reggae is not something you’re probably used to hearing, you should give it a listen. Born in Germany, but inspired by frequent trips to Jamaica over the past two decades, Gentleman, aka Tilmann Otto, has created his own distinct blend of traditional reggae and more modern hip-hop beats and grooves. While Gentleman's 2004 album Confidence and 2010 album Diversity both reached No. 1 on the German music charts, Otto wrote most of his lyrics and set down his vocals in Kingston, Jamaica for his newest album New Day Dawn. This latest album is purely Gentleman, featuring no collaborations or other artists, with the sound of a grand piano inspiring much of the album’s heartfelt sound. Sydney Moorhead
INFO: 9 p.m. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $28/adv, $32/door. 423-1336.

cal bsideplayB-SIDE PLAYERS
In a week of anniversaries, the B-Side Players are touring in support of their 20th. Since forming in 1994, the San Diego band has racked up almost a dozen San Diego Music Awards, and they have won legions of fans over with their electric live shows, which incorporate everything from funk to Cumbia, and rock to jazz. They have released seven albums, with their most recent being 2012’s Revolutionize, and since they are a nine-piece outfit, their penchant for creating a rich sound with a lot of different textures is practically their trademark.  BP
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

Sunday | 3

cal realestateREAL ESTATE
For a few years, Real Estate was an ’80s-inspired indie band from New Jersey that played accessible, guitar-driven pop songs. But the band took a turn into the introspective on their latest release, Atlas, with lyrics that explore loneliness, growing older and “crippling anxiety.” But not to worry—rather than drifting off into Eeyore land, the new material feels mature and engaged, reflecting the evolution of a young suburban band—Real Estate formed when its members were in high school—into an outfit discovering both the pain and beauty that come with experience.  CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 423-1338.

cal smitherCHRIS SMITHER
A masterful song crafter, Chris Smither builds his music from the strings up, layering smooth melodies and catchy lyrics on top of guitarwork that rivals that of the finest fingerpickers around. A triple threat of technique, writing and singing, Smither has been playing folk blues since the 1960s folk revival, and is revered by disciples of the genre. It’s somewhat mysterious why he flies under the radar of widespread recognition, but thank your lucky stars that you can still catch him in an intimate venue.  CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/gen, $40/gold. 427-2227.


Acclaimed reggae group with a pop-friendly sound that combines elements of R&B, rock, jazz and world music.
Wednesday at Moe’s Alley

A New Orleans-inspired saxophonist and Santa Cruz native, John Bouwsma blends traditional jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul.
Thursday at Kuumbwa

Brooklyn-based band that covers musical ground from saloon jazz and New Orleans second line to country swing and rockabilly. Thursday at Crepe Place 

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