Music Picks: January 2-8

Live music highlights for the week of Jan. 2, 2019

The Monophonics play Moe's Alley on Jan. 4.

Live music highlights for the week of Jan. 2, 2019




Led Kaapana is a name synonymous with Hawaiian slack key guitar music, so much so that people view him as one of the progenitors of its tradition. But in reality, he’s a bridge between the old-style traditions and popular music of the past four decades. As a kid, Kaapana grew up playing traditional music in a small, mostly isolated Hawaiian village. But he loved rock ’n’ roll and other newer styles of music. You can hear all of that in his phenomenal guitar playing. AARON CARNES

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17 adv/$20 door. 479-9777.



If you can hear the sounds of laughter, want to abolish the government, and/or burst out into hilariously inappropriate song everytime you hear the words “code blue,” then Jan. 3 is the date for you. Southern California punk godfathers T.S.O.L. return to the Catalyst with another of Orange County’s punk rock originators, Love Canal. It might take place in 2019, but it seems straight out of 1982. Local act Enemy of My Enemy and Monty Montgomery and His Kooks will kick off this punk rock reunion show. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18 adv/$23 door. 423-1338.





In early 2018, Bay Area psych-soul act Monophonics released a six-song covers EP, in the hopes of showing people a little more about the kind of cosmic funk that inspired the band in the first place. It’s a pretty diverse collection of artists they cover, like the Invisibles, Black Merda and Nu People. They bring their own distinctly Bay Area psychedelic groove to the music, which will have you waving your hands in full-on-acid-trip motion while you strut your stuff. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $17 adv/$20 door. 479-1854.



James Nash is a guitarist equally inspired by bebop as he is by rock and folk. Nash boils many musical traditions down to their uniquely American essence, then filters it all through his own distinctive voice. Though he was considered one of the 50 most transcendent acoustic guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine, Nash is equally articulate on his trademark Stratocaster, on which he squeezes out a juicy tone. Agile on a groove, Nash is backed by a stellar cast of support players including Joe Satriani’s drummer and Tom Waits’ pedal steel player. MIKE HUGUENOR

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Michael’s On Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $15. 479-9777.



We could say that the Rare Forms are for fans of dark garage rock like Dead Moon, rock ’n’ roller ragers such as Turbonegro, or dangerous music in the vein of the Stooges. Or we could say that the singer reminds us of classic Siouxsie Sioux in her Banshees prime. We might even admit we are extremely looking forward to this show. All of that is true. But seeing is believing, so don’t miss out on an explosive night of power rock ’n’ roll guaranteed to kick off the new year in, ahem, rare form. MW

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.





The Rolling Stones recently announced a 2019 tour, but if you want to see them up close instead of on a stadium jumbotron, the Beggar Kings are your best bet. Made up of a cast of Bay Area Stones contemporaries, the Kings boast members of the Doobie Brothers, Moby Grape and Quicksilver Delivery Service, among many others, making them far more than the average tribute band. Pulling exclusively from the holy grail of Stones material (Exile On Main Street and Sticky Fingers), the Kings promise all killer, no filler, some spiller (“Tumbling Dice”), and a side of chiller (“Wild Horses”). MH

INFO: 9 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.



Famed trumpeter Jon Faddis will join Latin big band Pacific Mambo Orchestra on stage for a night of salsa, cha cha cha, Latin jazz and good times. PMO has a great line up of established musicians showing off their distinguished chops in energy-charged musical numbers that range from Latin big bands of the ’40s to more modern genres, including a light fusion of R&B and hip-hop. A vibrant percussion section powers PMO’s cadre of brass and two lead vocalists, who ooze confidence as they perform melodies as varied as the instruments. AMY BEE

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $42 adv/$47.25 door. 427-2227.





Coco Montoya earned his blues PhD during a decade-long tenure in John Mayall’s rigorous Blues Breakers academy. An effective singer and scorching left-handed player who repays his debt to Albert Collins on every show, Montoya has released a series of strong albums under his own name since his 1995 debut Gotta Mind To Travel. His latest album, 2017’s Hard Truth, easily ranks among his best, with smart, catchy tunes and searing lead guitar work. He’s joined by his longtime band, a formidable unit featuring bassist Nathan Brown, keyboardist Brant Leeper and drummer Rena Beavers. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20 adv/$25 door. 479-1854.





Muriel Anderson, the premiere fingerstyle guitarist, is already a sight to see when she plucks delicate strands of folk, classical and world music on her Doolin harp guitar. It’s a beautiful beast of wood and string, and she commands it expertly. Now, a new element of visual stimulation has been added to Anderson’s program, named, “Wonderlust.” An AV backdrop of photo-artist Bryan Allen’s vivid imagery plays alongside Anderson’s music, creating a whole new level of perception and luminosity to both of their work. Together, they take the audience on a trip to space, then a virtual tour around the world, hoping to encourage unity and acknowledge our shared humanity. AB

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17 adv/$20 door. 479-9777.

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