Live music highlights for the week of September 13, 2017.
New Wave hit hard at the beginning of the ’80s. But in no time, all the bands that defined the genre splintered off into all sorts of interesting new directions. Australian band the Church had a catchy New Wave-y hit (“Unguarded Moment”) off their first album. But it was on their second, Blurred Crusade, that they really found their sound as a dreamy psych-pop band. If you talk to any Church fan, chances are they’ll proclaim this lush, ethereal record the best the band ever did. At this show, the Church will be playing Blurred Crusade in its entirety. A second set will feature cuts off their new record, and other songs from their catalog. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $27.50/adv, $30/door. 429-4135.
Ever since shedding his career as a sought-after studio artist in 2005, flamenco/jazz guitarist and soul-powered vocalist Raul Midón has steadily evolved into one of the most dynamic and consistently rousing solo acts in American music. He can thrive in formidable company, like his featured spot on last year’s extensive tour with trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane in the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band. But he soars highest and most fearlessly when he’s alone, as on his recent release Bad Ass and Blind, a thrown-down gauntlet of an album that Midón backs up with guts, style and jaw-dropping technique. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $27/adv, $32/door. 427-2227.
Snowball II just released its third album. Oh wait, that sounds totally normal. Let me start over—Snowball II just released its third album in a single year. Producer and bandleader Jackson Wargo recorded almost all of the parts himself, and mixes in every subgenre of ’80s and ’90s indie rock that ever existed. Everything from shoegaze to power-pop, though the band tends to keep things on the catchier side. I’m guessing that Wargo has a Merlin-sized beard, ’cause I don’t know how he’d have time to tend to any basic hygiene tasks while writing and recording so much damn music. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
When Les Nubians hit the international music scene in 1998 with their debut album Princesses Nubiennes, the duo instantly established itself as a groundbreaking, genre-defying, multi-cultural and talented outfit. Comprising sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart from Paris France, the Grammy-nominated band has been based in Paris and Bordeaux, France; Chad, Africa; and now, Brooklyn, New York. With roots in slam poetry, a cappella singing and backup vocals for other artists, the Faussart sisters remain one of the most exciting and well-respected French-language, Afropean groups around. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
LEE BENOIT FAMILY BAND
What kind of music do you think of when someone says, “New Orleans?” That’s a trick question—as in, there’s literally a hundred correct answers to that question. One that might have popped into your head is “Cajun music,” which sounds like a mix of hyper country, R&B and swinging jazz. If someone says you need to check out a Cajun artist, you should do yourself a solid and check out Lee Benoit. His Family Band is one of the most active touring Cajun bands riding around the country right now. And man, can they rip up a dance floor. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
LOUISIANA LOVE ACT
This Friday get ready for an all-star line-up of world class musicians, battered and spiced with the flavor of Nola. The Louisiana Love Act features the writing of Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, with the musicianship of Melvin Seals, Pete Sears (Hot Tuna), Jimmy Vivino (The Levon Helm Band), Greg Anton (Zero) and Phil Colombatto (Sono-Mama) with a blazing Cajun horn section. Part funk, part jazz, part blue and all booty-shaking fun, the Louisiana Love Act is the jam band you never knew you needed. Isn’t it time to put a little love in your life? MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
A “power funk” nine-piece out of Brooklyn, Turkuaz brings deep funk to mainstream audiences by blending driving horns, floor-rattling bass grooves, spot-on drumming and catchy vocals with pop and soul sensibilities. Putting on what’s been described as “bombastic live performances,” the outfit has made a name for itself as one of the standouts of the dance/funk scene across the country. Add to the mix an attention-grabbing stage show that includes colorful outfits and choreographed dance moves, and you’ve got a dance party extraordinaire. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $22/door. 423-1338.
Hailing from San Francisco, by way of the Iowa prairie, Dagmar is a delicate balance of styles and influences that absolutely works—the type of band that makes you stop what you’re doing and tune in to its music. The duo pulls inspiration from contemporary classical artists like Philip Glass; indie-folk outfit Fleet Foxes; the soul-baring songwriting of heartland folk and soul music; and, perhaps most appealingly, the tight, complex harmonies of the Medieval era. Described as a “vulnerable vocal-driven exposition,” Dagmar is a group to keep your eyes and ears on. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. $10-$20. 703-4183.
IN THE QUEUE
Award-winning blues singer/bassist/songwriter. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
DAVE KING TRUCKING COMPANY
New York-based jazz outfit led by drummer Dave King. Thursday at Kuumbwa
HANK & ELLA WITH THE FINE COUNTRY BAND
Local classic country duo and their ace band. Saturday at Crepe Place
Hawaiian music standout from Palolo Valley on Oahu. Tuesday at Don Quixote’s
Lo-fi rock band out of Purchase, New York. Tuesday at Catalyst