Brooklyn band TAUK describes itself as “NYC’s finest dirty-funk band.” The four-piece forgoes vocals for an all-instrumental blend of funk, hip-hop, progressive rock, and jazz. The prog-rock element is strong on the band’s most recent album, titled Sir Nebula, with each of the records’ 12 songs averaging around 6.5 minutes in length. TAUK’s live show has been hailed as masterful and captivating, but the jam-bandy aspect of the music is kept in check through intense tempo changes and unpredictable organ riffs. The members have been making music together since the seventh grade, when they founded their first band, TEEL. Santa Cruz band 7 Come 11 opens, celebrating the release of its new album Light It Up. KATIE SMALL
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
For some early L.A. punk fanatics, surf-punk was the genre’s low-point. Certainly a lot of the bands and fans were, to put it bluntly, boneheads. But the case against this narrative is Agent Orange. The band’s debut record, Living in Darkness, is a classic, with personal lyrics that speak to universal struggles—not just those of 15-year-old skate-punks, but of any human being with a soul. The group never went mainstream, and has continued on with the same integrity and punk-rock fervor that it defined in its debut record back in 1981. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 429-4135.
One of the finer indie-folk acts around, the Cave Singers craft catchy roots-inspired songs that draw from folk giants like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, but have more in common with contemporary indie bands. Where some young roots bands try to recreate what was, the Seattle-based Cave Singers find ways to move things forward in a way that rings true to the band members and the times. The band tends to get lost in the divide between roots and indie rock, but it’s a hidden gem that deserves wider recognition. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 429-6994.
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS
It’s hard to be a one-of-a-kind band these days, but Southern Culture on the Skids has managed to do so for the better part of the last two decades. Blending rock, psychedelia, rockabilly, surf and psychobilly with a Southern kitsch aesthetic that includes fluorescent bouffant hairdos, plaid pants, hot rod flames, hillbilly humor and serious musical chops, the band stands alone. Its new album, The Electric Pinecones, sees the members dipping into their appreciation for folk-rock, early rock ’n’ roll and ’60s pop. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
TIM FLANNERY & KEITH GREENINGER
Tim Flannery gained public acclaim as a professional baseball player, and, later, as third base coach and color commentator for the San Francisco Giants. But Flannery is also a celebrated singer-songwriter whose love of music extends back to his childhood. Though he’s a bit under the radar as far as singer-songwriters go, Flannery is a Bay Area favorite who isn’t afraid to share openly of his struggles and joys through his music. On Saturday, he teams up with acclaimed Santa Cruz folk favorite Keith Greeninger, whose knack for distilling hard truths and big-picture insights into beautiful, sometimes gut-wrenchingly honest tunes has established him as a songwriting talent far beyond the local scene. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/gen, $40/gold. 423-8209.
THE LONELY HEARTSTRING BAND
Guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bass and intricate three-part harmonies make up the Lonely Heartstring Band, a group of masterful musicians that have carefully crafted a unique brand of bluegrass. The quintet is originally from Boston, where four of the five players recently graduated from the Berklee College of Music. On the band’s website, it claims to “embody the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future.” A little self-indulgent, sure—but as far as folk music is concerned, they might be onto something. KS
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6725 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
Whether you are a Fishbone fan or not, the 2010 doc Everyday Sunshine is a phenomenal walk through the band’s career. Scenes of the band playing to present-day tiny crowds are heartbreaking, especially when juxtaposed against the band’s innovative musical output. The group practically invented the hyper-kinetic version of ska that other bands would popularize in the ’90s, and its mix of funk, punk and alt-rock was far superior to anything the Red Hot Chili Peppers ever produced. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
SUNDAY 11/6 & MONDAY 11/7
Mystery Lights play Nuggets-era ’60s garage-rock, a genre that has probably in the range of one million bands currently. But this group offers something that few bands in 2016 can: an authentic, heartfelt feel to the music—particularly in the vocals. It’s no wonder Daptone (or rather Daptone’s Wick Imprint) signed the group. The group hails from Brooklyn, but the members’ formative years were spent in Salinas. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-6994.
CHESTER THOMPSON QUARTET
Santana’s loss has been jazz’s gain. After a three-decade run with Tower of Power during the band’s hit-making heyday (1969-73) and Santana through his Supernatural resurgence, organist Chester “CT” Thompson decided he’d had enough of the road. Over the past few years, he’s been reestablishing himself as a bandleader, releasing Mixology (Doodlin Records), his first album in more than 40 years. A commanding player who unleashes waves of sound on the B-3, CT is joined by his former Santana-mate Tony Lindsay, a tremendously soulful singer; drummer David Flores; and percussion maestro John Santos, who’s best known for his mastery of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, but is also an invaluable asset in straight-ahead jazz situations. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
Celebrated reggae songwriter and vocalist. Thursday at Moe’s Alley
Singer-songwriter and Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman. Friday at Don Quixote’s
Genre-shattering country rap artist. Friday at Catalyst
Experimental electronic compositions. Saturday at Radius Gallery
GARY BLACKBURN & UTURN
Local country-rock singer-songwriter and his band UTURN. Sunday at Don Quixote’s