The best live music for the week of July 12, 2017
CALICO THE BAND
Calico is generally thought of as being a printed cotton fabric or a multi-colored animal. Calico the Band, on the other hand, is short for California Country—and this band delivers. With a Los Angeles-by-way-of-Bakersfield sound that draws from the Byrds, Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield and even Fleetwood Mac, this duo, comprising Kirsten Proffit and Manda Mosher, crafts harmony-rich, catchy tunes that feel familiar and fresh. And by tipping a hat to the state’s rich country tradition, the women take the modern Southern California country-rock movement to exciting places. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
It’s hard to pin down any one genre in the music of local six-piece Pan Dulce. The band’s CD Baby page uses words like “ska,” “reggae,” “funk rock,” “party music,” and “Lana Del Rey.” It’s all true, even the bit about melancholy dream-pop à la Del Rey. It’s a true blending of normally ill-fitted ingredients whipped together to create something that you can dance and cry along to with equal intensity. The group headlines Moe’s Alley with Sacramento reggae band Zuhg, and San Jose cumbia band Corazón Salvaje. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.
Since her 2008 debut, The Strong One, Etana (Swahili for “the strong one”) has become one of the biggest female vocals in reggae music. Born outside of Kingston, Jamaica in August Town, Etana moved to South Florida with her family when she was nine. During her college years, she began experimenting with music and found her voice soon after. As an adult, she moved back to Jamaica, where she was picked up by VP Records, the world’s largest distributor of reggae music. Nine years later, with four albums under her belt, Etana’s powerfully sultry voice continues to deliver irie praise to the hearts of audiences worldwide. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
In Jamaica, roots reggae is a powerful tool, the voice of the oppressed. It’s precisely for this reason that the music has lasted so long, and spread far beyond its home country. The rebellious spirit of giving voice to the voiceless has stayed with the music, as is the case with Thomas Mapfumo, a Zimbabwe artist who has mixed the Jamaican grooves with the traditional mbira music he grew up with. He uses the music as a vehicle for civil rights advocacy for the people of Zimbabwe. He’s been making powerful protest music since the late ’70s. Nowadays, he lives in exile and uses music to comment on global corruption in government. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
JESSE DANIEL & THE SLOW LEARNERS
Playing a mix of original songs and country classics, Jesse Daniel and the Slow Learners embodies the punk rock ethos, jamming out what they want, when they want. You might even hear a country-fried cover of your favorite punk classic wedged in-between Haggard or Jennings. Daniel released his debut solo EP, American Unknown, in December 2016, which features the singer/songwriter playing all of the recorded instruments. This weekend’s show is a benefit for True North Tattoo, with a raffle for participants to win prizes like gift certificates for new ink. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
A self-described “junkbox blues” duo, Hillstomp is like no other band I can think of—unless you go back to the good ol’ days of Doo Rag, with its upturned cardboard boxes and vocals run through vacuum parts. Hillstomp takes a similar approach, with drummer John Johnson playing buckets, a barbecue lid and various cans, while slide guitarist Henry Christian wails away on his six-string, crafting dirty, raw, irresistible blues riffs that bring the junkbox sound home. On Saturday, Johnson and Christian are joined by local roots outfit the Naked Bootleggers and others for what promises to be a rafter-rattling affair. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
A throwback to the golden age of jazz vocals, Jane Monheit is one of the great voices of our time. Known for a pitch-perfect delivery that spans styles with ease, Monheit breathes new life into standards and pulls back into the spotlight a genre that once epitomized pop music. For the “Ella Fitzgerald Songbook Sessions,” Monheit pays tribute to one of the defining artists of all time, and honors one of her own primary influences. As Monheit puts it, “What I really got from Ella is her warmth, her charm, the joy she puts in her music. Ella showed us that it can be about total joy.” CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $45/door. 427-2227.
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
One of the best bands—with one of the best names—in current rock music returns to the Catalyst after seven long, excruciating years. Led by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age fame, the Eagles of Death Metal is a non-stop rock ’n’ roll party band that delights audiences with tongue-in-cheek songs and onstage antics. More recently, the Eagles gained media attention when they were playing the Le Bataclan in Paris on November 13, 2015, during the horrific terrorist attacks that took place there. The band recently revisited the attacks and documented their return to Paris in the Colin Hanks documentary, Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25. 429-4135.
REEL BIG FISH
Remember when Reel Big Fish were on MTV with a tongue-in-cheek ska-punk hit single about a band selling out by signing a major record deal? So many things in that sentence sound about as old as “pagers” and “TV Guide,” and yet Reel Big Fish’s popularity hasn’t waned. Earlier this year, Thrillist ran an article positing that ska was “coming back,” citing Reel Big Fish’s success as proof. What they didn’t understand is that the smart-alecky Orange County ska-punk ensemble has spent the last two decades packing clubs around the world with eager skanking kids on an annual basis. They’re not back. They haven’t gone anywhere. AC
INFO: 6 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $28/adv, $30/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
BAND OF HEATHENS
Rock band out of Austin. Wednesday at Catalyst
POSSESSED BY PAUL JAMES
One-man folk band. Thursday at Lillie Aeske
Santa Cruz-based indie rocker. Friday at Crepe Place
Jazz-tinged blues. Sunday at Moe’s Alley
CLAUDIA VILLELA QUINTET
Brazilian-born singer, composer and pianist. Monday at Don Quixote’s