UK’s Crystal Fighters have a wild backstory. Original singer Laure Stockley found an unfinished opera manuscript her grandfather wrote while going insane in his Basque home. The band name is taken from the opera, and she and her friends attempted to write the music to it. Needless to say, it was pretty experimental. One element they were trying to tap into was the dance music of Basque, fusing it with traditional folk, electronic dance elements and a lot of pop. Stockley isn’t even in the band anymore, but they’ve made something incredible from her initial idea. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $16/adv, $18/door, 479-1854
PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS
Consisting of Double K and Thes One—or Michael Turner and Christopher Portugal respectively—the dynamic duo People Under the Stairs is one of the most influential rap groups in the underground scene. From their start in L.A. in 1997 to their latest album, 2015’s The Gettin’ Off Stage, Step 1, PUTS have earned California love and respect from their hometown to the Bay Area. This Wednesday, get there early to check out wordsmith Melina Jones and Santa Cruz’s own Sultan of Slang, Eliquate. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
Hailing from the Santa Cruz mountains, the Naked Bootleggers are part of our increasingly impressive local roots scene. With a sound planted firmly in acoustic tradition with thumping bass, hot-picking, and a high-lonesome sound full of harmonies, hope and heartache, these guys are one of the standout bands of Santa Cruz and beyond. Comprising Don Mackessy on banjo, Ona Stewart on guitar, S.T. Young on guitar and harmonica, James Mackessy on bass, Jeremy Lampel on mandolin and vocals, and a collective effort on vocals, the Naked Bootleggers bring old-time spirit to a new generation. Also on the bill: Little Fuller Band and Willie Tea Taylor. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
As far as new reggae artists go, you can’t do much better than Chronixx. His father is Chronicle, a veteran dancehall performer), and he’s emerging as one of a handful of young Jamaicans that are revitalizing the genre, and gaining some much needed international attention for the music in the process. Chronixx mixes roots grooves, dancehall flow, and infectious pop hooks. He also brings deeply spiritual and thoughtful lyrics to his song, something all but missing the past couple of decades. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25. 429-4135.
In 2007, producer extraordinaire T-Bone Burnett put together Moonalice because he wanted a band with that sweet old psychedelic ’60s sound. The band, which plays both covers and original tunes, has been a runaway success and proven to be a pioneering, media-savvy act. It has its own radio station on Moonalice.com; it has free, custom posters for every gig; all concerts are broadcast live and made available for download; and they have a massive social media audience that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Comprising veteran rock and jam band musicians Roger McNamee, Pete Sears, Barry Sless, and John Molo, Moonalice is doing its own thing and revitalizing the ’60s sound along the way. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
An ace bass player with a deep sense of the blues, Lisa Mann is a rising star of the electric blues scene. Raking in numerous awards, including a Muddy Waters Award from the Cascade Blues Association for Contemporary Blues Act of the Year, the West Virginia native brings a strength and soulfulness to her music as she shares tales of love gone wrong, love gone right, and life’s struggles and joys. Drawing inspiration from blues greats Etta James, Koko Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, Mann is an exciting, stereotype-shattering artist with a bright future. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. The Pocket, 3102 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, $7. 475-9819.
JOHN KADLECIK BAND
For those who can never get enough of the Grateful Dead, the John Kadlecik Band is here for you. Then again, Deadheads and jam band connoisseurs probably already know this, considering Kadlecik was a founding member of the Dark Star Orchestra. In 2009, he left DSO to join the remaining members of the Grateful Dead when they started up their latest evolution in Further. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
Donna Amini has dabbled with a lot of styles, and played a lot of shows. Until recently, she put a halt to playing live so she could hone her sound a bit more, and craft a full-length record. That album, Night Underground, was released on April 1, and it’s quite haunting. All her years tinkering with everything from acoustic to experimental music to punk have led her to a sound that combines some chilling indie-folk music with subtle Persian undertones. The music is emotive and mysterious enough to satisfy any fan of moody indie rock. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
KENNY BARRON TRIO
After a five-night SFJAZZ engagement performing with an array of fellow jazz stars and master Brazilian musicians, piano legend Kenny Barron heads south for a date with his sleek and smart trio featuring stellar Japanese bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and captivating drummer Johnathan Blake (the group featured on his gorgeous new Impulse album Book of Intuition). Since gaining international attention as a teenager anchoring Dizzy Gillespie’s quartet in the early 1960s, the NEA Jazz Master has exemplified jazz’s urbane sensibility, whether performing as a sideman (with the likes of Stan Getz, Ron Carter, and Yusef Lateef), exploring the music of Thelonious Monk (in the collective quartet Sphere), leading his own bands, or nurturing jazz’s next generation (now as a professor at Juilliard). ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $40/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
New England-based Sublime tribute band. Wednesday at Catalyst
Celebrated singer-songwriter from Western Massachusetts. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s
AN AMERICAN FORREST
Western Americana out of Enterprise, Oregon. Wednesday at Crepe Place
Genre-defying Russian-American party band. Thursday at Moe’s Alley
Desert blues singer-songwriter out of Agadez, Niger. Sunday at Kuumbwa