Music highlights for the week of July 5, 2017
When Froth first formed in 2011, it was a joke between vocalist Joo-Joo Ashworth and omnichordist Jeff Fribourg. They even had the idea of releasing a 20-minute record without any sound. Six years later, the indie rockers have three records under their belt—all with recorded music on them—with two of them on the massively popular Burger Records. Their latest album, Outside (Briefly), was released earlier this year on the U.K. label Wichita. But fear not: Froth might have changed labels, but the band’s music remains catchy and innocent. Opening up is local act Manorlady, a perfect pairing for fans of psychedelic, surf and indie rock. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $14/door. 429-4135.
On the eve of celebratory concert tour marking the 45th anniversary of Keystone Korner, the owner and guiding spirit of the iconic North Beach jazz club, Todd Barkan, was named a 2018 NEA Jazz Master, the nation’s highest jazz honor. The lineup includes bassist Ray Drummond and percussionist Kenneth Nash, who played the club’s opening tour in 1972, joined by sax great Charles McPherson, who played the last Keystone gig in 1983, which is the same year the IRS shuttered the venue. Saxophonist Azar Lawrence and bassist Juini Booth (who played on McCoy Tyner’s classic 1975 album Atlantis, recorded at Keystone), altoist Gary Bartz, and others join in. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
Two years ago, hip-hop fans questioned the future of Zion I when Baba Zumbi announced that his long-time producer and collaborator, Amp Live, was quitting the group. The duo had been writing music together since the ’90s, and many fans were skeptical about an Amp Live-less Zion I. Yet, one year later, Zumbi dropped Zion I’s 10th album, The Labyrinth, and all skepticism was thrown out the door. The recording is easily one of Zion I’s best in years, driven by heavy bass and flowing melodies, with a modern, electronic sound that showcases Zumbi’s ever-evolving ideas on what music should be. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-1854
A folk-rock duo out of San Francisco, Clearwings focuses on creating intimate and engaging live performances that showcase its melding of classic folk sounds and new styles. Comprising Raven Adams on vocals and Mark Phillips on guitar and vocals, Clearwings, which takes its name from a moth that is frequently mistaken for a bird, has an authenticity and depth that elevates the outfit above the crowded folk music scene. Keep your eyes and ears on this rising Bay Area standout. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. $10-$20. 703-4183.
LEFT COAST COUNTRY
What do you get when you combine four bearded Portland dudes with thrift-store shirts and an array of acoustic stringed instruments? Proof that quality bluegrass will find a home in every city in the U.S., and (more importantly) that it will adapt to its surrounding culture. The foursome call themselves Left Coast Country, because they inhabit the Pacific Northwest. The sounds they crank out bring to mind classic bluegrass, steeped in a laid-back indie-inspired Portlandia-appropriate vibe. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
Way back in 2003, promoter Tom Miller brought world guitar group Incendio to Henfling’s for a performance. The audience liked what it heard, and the gig was the first of many—ultimately leading to a visit to KPIG and a spot at the Strawberry Music Festival. All these years later, Incendio is widely renowned for its guitar-driven fusion of Latin, Middle Eastern, and Celtic styles. Hailing from L.A. and comprising Jim Stubblefield on guitar, JP Durand on guitar and guitar synth, Liza Carbe on bass and guitar and Tim Curle on drums, Incendio fills the space where world fusion, fingerstyle and improvisation collide. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
A legendary artist who’s credited with influencing rock and roll icon Jimi Hendrix, blues powerhouse Buddy Guy and many more, the Texas-born, Florida-raised Guitar Shorty has a fiery vocal style and raw, show-stopping guitar chops that send other guitarists heading for the door. Don’t sleep on this opportunity to see a living legend. CJ
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
MILD HIGH CLUB
At a certain point, young indie artists realized that ’70s soft rock bands like Steely Dan and Chicago were actually pretty cool. You can hear these groups’ breezy sounds all over new underground bands. L.A.’s Mild High Club doesn’t just regurgitate ’70s AM radio with tongue firmly planted in cheek; they warp it into something alien. Imagine any of the cool, jazzy ’70s yacht rock bands going psychedelic, landing somewhere between the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers and aliens taking over Earth. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
Hip-hop magazine XXL released their freshman class list a few weeks ago, and on it is Atlanta emcee Playboi Carti. With just a handful of singles and a mixtape, Carti has already amassed a noticeable following. The rapper knows how to craft an earworm. While his songs are never overly complex lyrically or rhythmically, he has utmost confidence and charisma that is infectious. His single “Magnolia” is catchier that any rap song has a right to be. AC
INFO: 6 p.m. & 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $27. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
CAESAR FRAZIER ORGAN QUARTET
Hammond B3 organ master. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Hair metal throwback favorites, now fronted by James Durbin. Friday at Beach Boardwalk
Funk, soul and “afro-disco.” Saturday at Moe’s Alley
Northern California roots music. Saturday at Crepe Place
Pop-rock out of Phoenix, Arizona. Saturday at Catalyst