Pianist Jason Moran

Music Picks: Jan. 22-28

Live music picks in Santa Cruz County for the week of Jan. 22, 2020




Arena anthems are all well and good, but if your life was a soundtrack, how often would you hear “Eye of the Tiger?” Honestly, we all wish our lives were nothing but Rocky moments when really we’re more like a bunch of Daniel Johnstons, hanging out in our garage, yelling at our moms, and making moody jingles for every little thing that happens. Fog Lake is that somber, lo-fi band that’ll make up the bulk of your soundtrack and help you take meaning from it: lonely, melancholy, lyrical tunes accentuating the unbearable emotional acuity underneath all our average everyday happenings.

8pm Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton Music Hall. $10/adv, $12/door. 704-7113. 





It was the early 2000s. Y2K had passed uneventfully, and Limp Bizkit was still one of the world’s largest bands. Clearly there was some pent up rage that needed releasing. Enter Source Tags and Codes, the third album by …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Dark and angular, peppered with some unexpected moments of pop clarity, Source Tags was the sound of the coming maelstrom, the bubbling dread of the techno-dystopian millennium to come, and a major flashpoint for indie rock in general.

9pm Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 429-4135.




Who’s ready for some hootin’ and a hollerin’? Ben Lomond native turned Austinite Jesse Daniel returns to Santa Cruz for a night of honkytonk, outlaw country, and lonesome, highway-soaked blues. Last year proved to be a major one for Daniel and his better half—co-writer, singer and tattoo artist Ms. Jodi Lyford—as he seemed to not only be touring endlessly, but also filmed a couple of music videos, moved to Texas and and managed to record his highly anticipated second album Rollin’ On. With the new year still fresh, Daniel and the gang has hit the road again in support of the new tunes, which are set to be released on March 27. MAT WEIR

7:30pm Michaels on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10/adv, $12/door. 479-9777.





Local sort-of-bluegrass acoustic ensemble Coffee Zombie Collective know you like to pretend you’re a hipster with your sealed first edition of Neutral Milk Hotel’s On Avery Island hanging up on your wall. They also know that as soon as they fire up their goofy acoustic reggae-tinged rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” or their old timey, foot-stomping interpretation of ’80s classic “Send Me An Angel,” you will gleefully sing every word. Don’t worry, they won’t totally demolish your street cred, giving you the opportunity to sing along to Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” and Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.” AARON CARNES

8:30pm Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $15/door. 479-1854. 





Do you like hilariously inappropriate songs? Or hilariously appropriate songs, like “I Wanna Rock (Socially Responsibly),” with such updated lyrics as “I wanna rock, but that means being inclusive” and “If you don’t wanna rock, that’s ok, this is a judgement free zone?” Look no further than Phil Johnson, who will be filming his latest comedy special, Burning Sensation, filled with jokes about race, sex, religion and…doughnuts? This uncensored comic says his underlying theme is “the intent behind words,” which makes us really curious about the doughnut part. MW

7 & 9:30pm. DNA’s Comedy Lab, 155 S. River St., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 900-5123. 




Nadia Lucia has one of the best local projects you don’t know about. Her one-person band Kite Hands Glowing play quiet songs—almost lullabies—that evoke huge emotions and tell stories that span time and space. She wrote her last album, Lucia, for her grandmother, her mother and her great-grandmother. How is she connected to their story? What is the deep truth buried within the gentle fog that rolls into the California coast. The record searches for identity while basking in the simplest and most spiritual moments of life and letting it all blow away, like the wind. AC

9pm. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $7. 429-6994. 





Extra, extra, read all about it! Canadian troupe the Paperboys combine Celtic jigs with Mexican folk, Cajun dance music, and island ska! Audiences worldwide held in thrall for quarter-century! “Audio alchemy, or musical magic?” ask baffled scientists. “Neither!” insists frontman Tom Landa—but what is he hiding? “Moving mountain melodies a-plenty,” say reviewers—but what are they hiding? “Can’t capture power of live show in review,” audiences say—but what are they hiding? Truths promised to be revealed at Michaels on Main! MH

1pm. Michael’s On Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17 adv/$20 door. 479-9777.




Instead of dueling banjos, Scroggins and Rose duke it out with mandolin and violin, creating an expressive, lively back and forth that masterfully spins tradition on its head with a good dose of bluegrass and whimsy. Often Scroggin’s mandolin starts the conversation, friendly and familiar plucks on the string, before Rose’s fat violin tones interject and they’re off, until both instruments come together with newfound harmony. No matter how far they fall down the spiral of stringed discordance, they always find their way back together, like they know the secret to world peace. AB

8pm. Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek. $25. 703-4183. 




Pianist Jason Moran was a highly regarded young jazz progressive in the mid-1990s when he started playing with guitarist Marvin Sewell in Cassandra Wilson’s band. He credits their friendship with providing deep insight into the blues, that at its best embodies an African-American aesthetic that’s an existential response to life’s tribulations and pleasures. They played their first duo concert last year at the Smithsonian and make their West Coast debut at Kuumbwa, Sewell’s first Bay Area performance since a run of gigs with African-American/ Native American soul singer Martha Redbone’s Roots Project. ANDREW GILBERT

7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $36.75/adv, $42/door. 427-2227.

Amy Bee contributes to the Sacramento News & Review and Good Times Santa Cruz. Her work has appeared in Salon, The London Reader, and Indiana Voice Journal, as well as others.

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