Live music highlights for the week of Feb. 27, 2019
Maybe you know him from the skater film The Search for Animal Chin. Or maybe “Organism,” his funky boom-bap track on Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland soundtrack. But if you follow skateboarding, then you know Tommy Guerrero. A member of the original Bones Brigade, Guerrero has been a musician almost as long as he has a skater, casually dropping tropicalia-inflected skater gems like 2003’s Soul Food Taqueria over a two-decade career. This show promises to be a “very special debut performance” of his live band. Coming from Guerrero, that’s that an exciting prospect. MIKE HUGUENOR
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12 adv/$15 door. 479-1854.
OM is the most sacred symbol, chant, mantra, and primordial sound in Hinduism. It represents the highest form of consciousness, the Atman. So it was an appropriate name for Al Cisneros when he formed a new side project with fellow Sleep bandmate and drummer Chris Hakius way back in 2003. Sixteen years later, Uncle Al is still delivering wholy meditative music with the current Om line-up of Emil Amos and Robert Lowe. Birthed in the heavy metal community, Om now instead caravans through the desert of world sounds, blending Middle Eastern and Asian melodies and often forgoing distorted guitars for tamburas and other delights. MAT WEIR
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $22. 423-8209.
Melodic meditations and sad-but-quirky laments unfurl like seedlings in fertile soil on singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx’s debut album, I Need to Start a Garden. Her tender vocals come from the sultry depths, where deep roots grow and reach out toward the skies in nearly cathartic, operatic beauty. Trombones, piano and ambient sounds add whimsy to otherwise straightforward acoustic guitar parts, allowing Heynderickx to play between somber introspection and anthem-like assertions. It’s a great mix of moods, like a backyard garden full of brilliant wildflowers. AMY BEE
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 423-1338.
ETIENNE CHARLES & CREOLE SOUL
While jazz’s foundational Caribbean roots run primarily from Havana to New Orleans, the entire Caribbean basin has contributed to the music’s ever-evolving rhythmic continuum. Trinidad-born trumpeter Etienne Charles has distinguished himself with a celebratory sound drawing on his homeland’s music, a connection he expanded through research funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship. He’s gathered various musical styles that manifest during Trinidad’s huge Carnival celebrations on his recent project Carnival: The Sound of a People. He’s touring with an all-star band, including Haitian-American alto saxophonist Godwin Louis and pianist Sullivan Fortner. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $31.50 adv/$36.75 door. 427-2227.
Sam Amidon’s folk-based originals are damn pleasing to the ear. It could be because of his long career of diving deep into the well of American music. As a solid singer, banjo, fiddle, and guitar player, he has the know-how to take what is familiar and improvise the hell out of it, making music that sounds ageless and Avant-Garde. His songs end up not just mesmerizing, like transcendent incantations of the heart and soul, but invigorating. Even the most bored, heard-it-all music nerd would perk up at Amidon’s music, and maybe even listen to a whole album. For fun! AB
INFO: 9 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $15. 479-9777.
Yeah, we know there’s probably at least a couple reggae shows in Santa Cruz this week alone, but this is most certainly a show you won’t want to miss. We’re talking living legends here. The Wailing Souls are one of the few living groups that date back to 1960s Jamaica. They have many classics from the ’60s and ’70s, but also have had a vibrant career since. Their songs on 1992’s Cool Running soundtrack are some of their most commercially successful, like “Shark Attack.” And they slap! AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.
Partner is all about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Nothing new right? They are also, as their bio claims, “100% queer.” But how about instead of all these labels, we just describe the duo as one of the most fun rock bands out on the circuit right now? Partner’s music will bend your mind between minimalist punk band, hyper-produced ’90s alt-rock, and the powerhouse edges of deep headbanging metal. The band sings about literally every aspect of their lives, like the kind of silly, but also very serious “Gross Secret.” (“If you only knew some of the things that I do.”) AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $13 adv/$15 door. 429-6994.
THE GOSSAMER STRINGS
These days, ’80s nostalgia is as dated as the ’80s themselves. True nostalgics reach further back, before the ’60s nostalgia of Mad Men, and even before the Germanic ’30s and ’40s nostalgia of the Trump administration. True nostalgics reach all the way back into a nebulously gilded region of the past known as “old time.” With their gently twanging vocal harmonies, the Gossamer Strings are a duo who proudly proclaim themselves “old-time music,” a Coen Brothers-esque notion if there ever was one. Whatever you call it, they play beautifully together, crafting modern mountain tunes for the nostalgic in all of us. MH
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10 adv/$12 door. 335-2800.
Anyone who’s been crying out that punk is dead clearly hasn’t turned their head toward Scotland in the last few years. Ok, maybe the Murderburgers aren’t “new,” considering they’ve been around about a dozen years. But they can be considered the godfathers of the new Scottish punk movement. Signed to Asian Man Records, this group of Glasgow and Edinburgh rockers will be dropping their latest full-length album, What A Mess, in April. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 423-7117.