Our picks for the best live music for the week of January 10, 2018.
For years, So Stressed was the kind of super DIY band that would avoid clubs with actual sound systems. Then somewhere along the way, they became a buzz band, getting coverage from Noisey and NPR, among other national outlets. As they’ve blossomed into a touring band that produces records on more than just burrito money, they’ve fine-tuned their highly cathartic post-punk sound. Their latest, Please Let Me Know, is an unflinching document of the breakup of a relationship. The album is aggressive, but always feels aimed inward and full of anxiety. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
Muriel Anderson is one of the finest guitarists you’ll ever see. A technical master, she was the first woman to win the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship and she plays with a flair and feel that leaves you shaking your head in amazement. In addition to playing six-string guitars, Anderson also plays a wild-looking harp-guitar that has an unexpected elegance. If you’re new to Anderson’s music, do a YouTube search for her lovely version of Don McLean’s “Vincent” and keep a handkerchief handy—you may need it. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michaels on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-9777.
It’s not hard to understand why people these days are obsessed with speakeasies. There’s no fun like the uninhibited type that comes from pure defiance of social norms. Prohibition may be over, but the upbeat jazz that populated these underground clubs lives on. In Santa Cruz, Speakeasy 3 brings the lively, snappy prohibition-era sound, which is, on one hand, the mindless pop tunes of its era, perfect for dancing your cares away. But it’s not hard to miss the rebellion immersed in the music. Don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t hang out in filthy nightclubs. Speakeasy 3’s music suggests otherwise. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
Whether you know him as one half of the Atlanta duo Outkast, as Sir Lucious Left Foot, or by his primary stage name, Big Boi’s music has dominated the hip-hop scene for more than two decades. This week the ATLien returns to the Catalyst with his Daddy Fat Saxxx Tour that is guaranteed to be the most talked-about hip-hop tour in town. The “Renaissance Man of Rap” is touring off his wildly anticipated third solo LP, Boomiverse, released last June. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 429-4135.
Johnny Cash called John McCutcheon “the most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.” And that guy had been everywhere! He’d been to Reno, Chicago, Fargo—oh, never mind, you know the song. The point is, you’ve never really heard the hammer dulcimer until you’ve heard McCutcheon play it. After more than 30 records, several Grammy nods, and a lifetime devoted to America’s folk traditions, this guy is quickly heading for national treasure status. Part of the proceeds will go to benefit the Resource Center for Nonviolence. SP
INFO: 9 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $29/door. 479-9421; snazzyproductions.com.
In 1998, Ozomatli dropped its self-titled debut album. The band broke new musical ground, blending reggae, hip-hop, Latin and rock, and the pop world liked it immediately. The band became a festival favorite and a model of what social activism around farm workers’ rights and immigration reform can look like when melded with dance-inducing grooves and a global perspective. That debut remains a classic ‘90s-era album. The band’s latest release, 2017’s Nonstop Mexico to Jamaica, is a reggae-infused collection of cover tunes of celebrated Latin artists, including Selena, Cafe Tacuba and Mana. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $23/adv, $27/door. 423-1338.
LEW TABACKIN TRIO
Lew Tabackin, 77, is a jazz master who thrives on contrasts. On tenor saxophone, he’s a freight train, a fierce full-throttle improviser whose thick, muscular sound sometimes calls to mind tenor patriarch Coleman Hawkins. On flute, he’s a sinuous sketch artist who can render a curvaceous melody with a delicate, sinewy line. On either instrument, he’s a riveting performer who never wastes a note, distilling more than five decades of experience in jazz’s top ranks. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
Renowned vocalist Norah Jones caught the music world’s attention in 2002 with her stunning debut, Come Away with Me. Jones has since revealed herself to be a multi-faceted artist with a wide musical range and a handful of diverse music projects. One of those projects, an all-female trio called Puss n Boots, is a collaboration with Santa Cruz native Sasha Dobson. The daughter of local jazz legends Smith and Gail Dobson, the Brooklyn-based Sasha returns to town on Tuesday with a collection of new original tunes and an emerging sound that layers electronic pop and her remarkable voice. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michaels on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-9777.
IN THE QUEUE
Renowned Bay Area drummer. Friday at Kuumbwa
Soft-rock tribute band. Friday at Catalyst
Tribute to the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers. Saturday at Don Quixote’s
KEITH GREENINGER & DAYAN KAI
Standout singer-songwriters with Santa Cruz roots. Sunday at Michael’s on Main
Underground rapper from Memphis, Tennessee. Tuesday at Catalyst