“No one ever ages quite like they envision.” This is the fitting opening to Your Friend’s mysterious “Gumption,” a song that, like much of the band’s material, weaves and stumbles with eerie melodies and hypnotic rhythms. The video is similarly surreal. Slow-motion shots of sole member Taryn Miller walking through a snowy field, only to find a wrecked car and a body tossed aside—and the body is her. The music is simultaneously minimalistic and somehow washed out and layered all at the same time. It’s slow, dark music that gets under your skin. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
CHICO FREEMAN’S PLUS-TET
Before there was Joshua Redman, there was Chico Freeman. The son of revered Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, Chico was one of the most celebrated and prolific young tenor saxophonists of the late 1970s and ’80s, a player with one foot in the avant-garde and one foot in the post-bop continuum. After recording a steady stream of bracing albums under his own name and backing masters such as Jack DeJohnette, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones, he seemed to drop off the scene, and has been rarely heard in the U.S. for most of the 21st century. Turns out he’s been living and working in Europe, and he’s roaring back into action stateside with a new album, Spoken Into Existence, and a new band featuring pianist Luke Carlos O’Reilly, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Michael Baker. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Formed in Santa Cruz, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra has, in a few short years, established its presence on the national roots scene, picking up a nod from NPR, mentions in international roots publications, and inspiring a directive to “serious roots connoisseurs” from the Portland Tribune that the band should be on the top of their lists. Aside from all that, however, is the music. O’Reilly and the gang play honest, soulful, heart-wrenching music that digs deep into the blues, folk, and shadow places that hide the raw materials for great art. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
LIL UZI VERT
Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert says his unusual sing-song delivery was a result of listening to a lot of emo and hard rock as a kid. He’s also noted for having bleached blonde dreadlocks, a surfer image, and elaborate animated album covers—all pretty major departures from the standard hip-hop tropes. His beats, though, are pulsing trap bangers that any fan of real hip-hop will crank up on their stereo with eager delight. However atypical or traditional Uzi comes across, he’s quickly becoming one of 2016’s hip-hop breakout stars, and is likely an indicator of where the genre is heading. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $33/adv, $35/door. 429-4135.
Born Fitz Cotterell in Clarendon, Jamaica, Prezident Brown’s style is frequently likened to that of Tony Rebel’s. Brown was featured on Steel Pulse’s Rage and Fury album, and has built a large fan base since the mid-’90s. A champion of the new roots and reality consciousness reggae movement, Brown entertains, informs and inspires. His fourth and most popular album, To Jah Only, was intended to serve as a “vessel of healing.” Addis Pablo opens the night, each singer will be backed by a live band. KATIE SMALL
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
For 20 years, Galactic has been holding down the funk and pushing the boundaries of New Orleans music. Hailing from the Crescent City, the band, which leans heavily on collaboration and creative exploration, blends soul, jazz, classic funk, hip-hop, electronica, world music and more to create an ever-evolving sound that challenges easy description. Regardless of which musical direction the band takes things in, you can rest assured that it’s going to be tight, forward-thinking and danceable. Also on the bill is celebrated Bay Area rapper and producer Lyrics Born. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 423-1338.
ROCK ’N’ ROLL
The Beggar Kings are a Rolling Stones cover band with legit ties to ’70s-era rock. The group is made up of a rotating cast of 14 players, including former members of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Doobie Brothers, Moby Grape and more. The Beggar Kings forgo the eyeliner and theatrics and pay tribute through their realistic recreation of the Stone’s hits. Formed in the summer of 2015, their first shows strictly featured RS albums Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. At Saturday’s performance they’ll break into new territory with the Beggars Banquet LP & Let It Bleed, performed “in their original order, instrumentation, nuance and detail.” KS
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/gen, $30/gold. 423-8209.
JERRY CELEBRATION BAND
There’s a lot of love for Jerry Garcia and the Dead in Santa Cruz, and no shortage of cover bands. UCSC is home to the Grateful Dead Archive, we have regular tributes and performances that bring together local Deadheads, and, if you stick around Pacific Avenue long enough, you’re bound to hear a busker plucking out “Friend of the Devil” or “Ripple.” On Saturday, an all-star cast of Bay Area artists, including members of Slugs & Roses, the China Cats, Front Street, Mars Hotel, Cryptical, Live Dead, Workingman’s Ed and many more bring the love to Felton for an acoustic and electric tribute. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
What an exciting, romantic time mid-20th century Paris was. Just close your eyes and picture sipping coffee, working on your next fantastic idea for that surrealist film you’ve been imagining and listening to accordion-fueled gypsy jazz in the background. OK, this may all be some bizarre fantasy, but the music is alive and well. SonoMusette brings to the stage what sounds like a time capsule of this music, inspired by Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and other masters from this period. The group is a small ensemble with guitar, piano, upright bass, accordion, drums, and the splendid French vocals of Mimi Pirad. La musique est la vie. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
IN THE QUEUE
New York-based singer-songwriter Laura Pergolizzi. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
Indie rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Thursday at Catalyst
THE DAN RYAN
Psychedelic folk-rock outfit opens for Your Friend. Thursday at Crepe Place
TROUT FARM FAMILY FUNDRAISER
Benefit featuring Mofongo, Cruz Control and Wild Stallions. Friday at Don Quixote’s
HAROLD LOPEZ-NUSSA TRIO
Standout Latin jazz pianist from Cuba. Monday at Kuumbwa