CHUCHO VALDES
A&E

Music Picks May 17—23

Live music highlights for the week of May 17, 2017

CHUCHO VALDES

Live music highlights for the week of May 17, 2017

 

WEDNESDAY 5/17

COUNTRY

BREA BURNS & THE BOLEROS

A country and honky tonk outfit out of Phoenix, Arizona, Brea Burns and the Boleros features ace musicians from the city’s classic country and rockabilly scenes. Born in Southern California, Burns is a talented artist and frontwoman who draws comparisons to Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson—pretty good company for a rising star. She had a solid foundation to spring from, as her mother was a songwriter and musician, and her father a longtime music industry veteran. Also on the bill: the Western Wednesday All-Star Band, with special guest McCoy Tyler. CJ

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.

WEDNESDAY 5/17

INDIE ROCK

KING TUFF

Established by Kyle Thomas—who has since taken on the band’s name—King Tuff initially failed to draw much of a following. So Thomas moved to other projects, like playing with indie legends Dinosaur Jr., metalheads Witch, and prolific rocker Ty Segall. But when his second, self-titled album was released in 2010, it firmly established King Tuff as his own entity on the indie scene. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.

FRIDAY 5/19

HIP-HOP

BLACKALICIOUS

In 2015, there was a certain potency to Blackalicious’ album Imani Vol. 1—the first album the bay area hip-hop duo had released in a decade. It was timely, politically unapologetic, and even a celebration of sorts. (“Darker than the random check of passengers/traveling first-class/blacker than the President/well half of him”). In 2017, considering everything going on with the nation, the record seems darker, and at the same time more necessary. The duo has almost single-handedly redefined how a rap group can be both experimental and accessible, and they still have a lot to say. AARON CARNES

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.

FRIDAY 5/19

ROOTS

MARTY O’REILLY

A four-piece that formed in Santa Cruz in 2012, Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra trips through Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker-inspired blues, rock and roll, and American roots music to emerge with a gritty, soulful sound of its own. Led by O’Reilly, who boasts a gorgeous voice and solid instrumental chops, the band raises the bar on the local roots singer-songwriter scene. Exploring topics of love, heartache, loss and joy with passion and precision, O’Reilly and company have established themselves as ones to watch on the larger American roots landscape. CJ

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.

SATURDAY 5/20

SKA

DAN P & THE BRICKS

One of Santa Cruz’s most popular local bands was ’90s ska-rock-pop ensemble Slow Gherkin. The town is also home to Dan Potthast, lead singer of St. Louis’ biggest ska band of all time, MU330. For some reason, it took until 2009 before these monsters of ska joined forces to create the ultimate local ska Voltron. There’s even non-Gherkin/MU330 members in the group, 10 people total. This is the perfect band to see if you’ve grown embarrassed by your ska past, but you secretly miss skanking at shows. You will be among friends here. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.

SATURDAY 5/20

SURF-PUNK

FRIGHTS

The song “Kids” off of the Frights’ latest record talks about how, when you still live with mom and dad, you hate everything they say and do. But once you move out, you realize that they were right about a lot of things. Musically, the Frights embody this mix of childish rebellion and grown-up self-restraint with a healthy mix of punk, pop, garage, and surfy earworms. They wail and scream and gently hum along tender melodies. The new record might actually be a bit scatterbrained for some fans, but if they can appreciate the diversity of sound, they are in for a crazy ride. AC

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $13/adv, $15/door. 429-4135.

SUNDAY 5/21

AMERICANA

DANGERMUFFIN

Remember when Americana was a sub-genre? Now that sub-genre has sub-genres of its own, including “alt-Americana,” “indie Americana” and now “coastal Americana.” I recently heard the phrase used to describe the Charleston, South Carolina-based band Dangermuffin. While I have no idea what the band name is about, I must admit, I really dig the coastal Americana tag. It makes me think that we need one to describe the Santa Cruz roots sound. Anyway, Dangermuffin is a rootsy four-piece that digs into folk, roots, traditional fingerpicking, jam tradition and even reggae to create something upbeat, catchy and, yes, coastal. CJ

INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.

MONDAY-TUESDAY 5/22-23

AFRO-CUBAN

CHUCHO VALDES: SOLO PIANO

Even in Cuba, where prodigious pianists are one of the new things not in short supply, Chucho Valdés stands head and shoulders above his virtuosic peers. At 75, he embodies the nation’s creatively fecund musical traditions with a sound springing from his Afro-Cuban heritage, European classical training, and love of American jazz. Playing solo, he’s a dominating force of nature whose huge hands coax a jaw-dropping array of sounds from the instrument, with thunderous low-end rumbles, lightning runs up the keyboard, and luxuriant, ringing harmonies. With six Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, he’s continued to evolve since leaving Irakere, the legendary band he co-founded in the early 1970s. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $50/adv, $60/door. 427-2227.

TUESDAY 5/23

HORROR PUNK

STELLAR CORPSES

For the last 12 years, Santa Cruz’s undead sons the Stellar Corpses have built an international audience of punks, goths, psychobillies and horror fans with their delightfully ghoulish lyrics and catchy beats. The band unleashed its third record, Dead Stars Drive-In, upon the Earth in 2012, which is coincidentally the same year the Mayan calendar ended. But since the world continued to exist, the Corpses continue to tour around it. MW

INFO: 8:30 pm. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $10/door. 429-4135.


IN THE QUEUE

ANUHEA

Hawaiian pop music favorite. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley

LARRY JUNE

Bay Area hip-hop. Wednesday at Catalyst

VETIVER

Indie-folk and rock. Thursday at Moe’s Alley

AMY LAVERE & WILL SEXTON

Roots songwriter and bass player and her guitarist/husband. Gary Blackburn opens. Thursday at Don Quixote’s

WACO BROTHERS

Alt-country standouts. Sunday at Crepe Place

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