Live music highlights for the week of March 28, 2018.
THE DICKIES & THE QUEERS
What’s better than seeing one classic punk band? How about two? As punk rock rolls into its 40s, it’s always a treat to see any band that helped to create and define the genre. This Wednesday, seminal L.A. punks the Dickies join forces with New Hampshire originals the Queers to melt some faces and prove that when it comes to being a snotty punk, age is just a number. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 429-4135.
According to lead singer Patrick Stickles, the latest Titus Andronicus record, A Productive Cough, is a departure from their previous work in that it contains no “punk bangers.” That’s an odd statement, considering that the group is best known for its 2010 rock opera The Monitor, which centers around the theme of the American Civil War. The album even opens with a sample of Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum address. But, for all the album’s grandiosity, much of the music on it and their other records was punk. So in that sense he’s right. A Productive Cough, meanwhile, sounds much more like swinging, drunken sing-along bar music. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 429-6994.
San Francisco’s unofficial musical ambassador of gypsy rock, Diego’s Umbrella creates floor-rattling rock ’n’ roll that hits listeners from the word go. But the band is no one-trick pony. Underneath all that rock ’n’ roll are carefully crafted vocal harmonies, tight fiddle runs, and an appreciation of international music tradition—in particular the raucous, high-energy Roma traditions, styles and techniques that have been carried down for generations. Also on the bill: Monkeyhands, a local six-piece that traverses funk, ska, blues, reggae and more. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
This West Coast ensemble leans into the bluegrass realm, but steers clear of the rules of traditional string music. These guys have been playing music since the mid-’80s and create gorgeous songs with an emphasis on lush vocal harmonies. There’s a late ’60s aesthetic to the music—a little bit folk, a little bit rock, intrigued by tradition while simultaneously bucking against it. It’s some feel-good folk-rock music. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-9777.
An acclaimed reggae artist who has been touted as one of the best songwriters to come out of Jamaica in recent decades, Tanya Stephens is her own woman. A prolific artist, Stephens sings honest and fearlessly about life, the people around her and her unique perspective on the world, intelligently tackling social issues, including homophobia. A pioneering artist in the reggae/dancehall genre, Stephens first hit the scene with her late-’90s hit song “Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet.” She has since released numerous albums, launched an acting career, opened a restaurant and co-founded a record label. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
Among the plethora of Grateful Dead cover bands in the world, Painted Mandolin is a unique gem. Considering Jerry Garcia had 30 years of recorded material, it’s a breath of fresh air to see people covering his full repertoire of tunes, from his days in Old and In the Way to his folk days duetting with David Grisman—and, yes, even some Dead tunes. Just don’t expect this to be your normal GD cover show, as this night of acoustic songs stars a supergroup of musicians including Joe Craven, who played with Garcia and Grisman, Matt Hartle and Roger Sideman (China Cats), and Larry Graff (Slugs N’ Roses). MW
INFO: 8 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20. 427-2227.
JAAP BLONK & NINA DANTE
If contemporary electronic music is your thing, strap in, friend, you’re in for a treat. Jaap Blonk, an internationally renowned sound poet, electronic musician and composer based in Holland, is joining forces with soprano Nina Dante, a vocalist with the Chicago-based Fonema Consort, for an evening of “invented languages and electronically augmented extended vocal performance.” Though one can’t be certain what exactly to expect, chances are good that it will be mind-opening, musical-boundary-stretching and thought-provoking. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Wind River, 421 Wild Way, Santa Cruz. $10/student, $15/gen. indexical.org.
JOEY DeFRANCESCO + THE PEOPLE
Joey DeFrancesco possesses more than enough technique and imagination for three organists, but the Hammond B-3 maestro isn’t content to rule the console. Touring in the wake of last year’s Grammy Award nominated Project Freedom, he’s also contributing on keyboards, trumpet and vocals. The album is DeFrancesco’s soulful manifesto about music’s role in society, and includes his expansive interpretations of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and the spiritual “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” He’s joined by the People, a quartet featuring drummer Jason Brown, guitarist Dan Wilson and saxophonist Troy Roberts. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $32/adv, $37/door. 427-2227.
L.A. quartet Sure Sure takes art-rock influences like Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend and mixes in dancey backbeats, odd chords and catchy pop hooks. The four-piece mixes an assortment of random instruments—they supposedly live in a crazy band house lined with cables and instruments—into a nice blend of weirdo pop music. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
Blues-driven stoner sludge. Wednesday at Crepe Place
TROUT STEAK REVIVAL
Colorado bluegrass outfit out of Denver. Thursday at Catalyst
Singer-songwriter and her band, Force of Nature. Friday at Kuumbwa
Producer showcase featuring Tahaj the 1st, Brycon, and Baghead. Friday at Crepe Place
AJA VU/STEALIN’ CHICAGO
Tribute to Steely Dan and Chicago. Saturday at Flynn’s Cabaret