Live music highlights for the week of Jan. 9, 2019.
With a sinuously androgynous counter-tenor (think Thom Yorke or Wayne Newton) and plenty of warm, distant reverb, Hull’s music is hauntingly beautiful—just familiar enough to be evocative, while fearlessly searching out its own path. On this year’s Denmark Sessions, Hull sounds like some childhood memory playing out in another room, the shearing winds of time blowing through the hallway between. It is the aural equivalent of a billowing curtain, rising just enough to show the edges of an unknown field beyond. MIKE HUGUENOR
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
It’s freezing outside—snow drifts across the Arctic tundra, icicles hang from eskers, and it looks like we’re gonna be snowed in here for a while. That’s probably what they’re saying in Norway right now, anyway, and SVER brings a bit of that winter wonderland to SC with high-spirited Norwegian folk music. Fiddles, accordions and soft-but-robust percussions encourage all to come inside, gather, warm yourself with a hot (and preferably spiked) beverage, and show off your snowflake-adorned sweater that’s way too heavy for our weather. SVER will showcase both their dreamy, icy soundscapes and toe-tapping, fire-fueled ditties. AMY BEE
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12 adv/$15 door. 335-2800.
Aki Kumar, aka “The Only Bombay Blues Man” added fresh ingredients to the American musical melting pot with his first album, Aki Goes to Bollywood, which infused Chicago-style blues with retro Bollywood classics. His newest album, Hindi Man Blues, further asserts Kumar’s place in the blues genre, keeping the Bollywood flavor going, but adding original pieces that include political commentary and a song written by his mother. June Core and Rusty Zinn will be joining Kumar at Moe’s for some original R&B compositions, as well as assisting in spreading his blend of infectious Bollywood blues pop. AB
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10 adv/$15 door. 479-1854.
DIGGIN’ IN THE CREPE
You know that whole thing where the Crepe Place doesn’t often feature live hip-hop? Guess what, they are personally making it up to you with a stacked lineup of regional underground rappers that will blow your socks off. The featured performer will be SF’s slinky Professa Gabel, whose latest record Ouch is a lo-fi booty shaker. Also be sure to check out some grade-A local talent like Steezy Sins (Salinas), 1AM (Gilroy) and the rising talent from Santa Cruz that is Alwa Gordon. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
At first glance this might seem like a strange booking for Kuumbwa, which doesn’t tend to pay much attention to smooth jazz. But guitarist Chieli Minucci has a long and distinguished career, and he’s lined up a strong cast of players to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Special EFX. Founded with Hungarian-born drummer George Jinda, Special EFX recorded prolifically throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Minucci has led the band himself in recent years, while also recording with pop stars like Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez and contributing to film soundtracks including No Country For Old Men. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $31.50-$47.25. 427-2227.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY 1/11-12
For years, this meticulously fine-tuned group of Los Angeles mariachis have perfected the art of sensuously covering everyone’s favorite hair-metal tunes, from Ozzy Osbourne to Motley Crue. For those who have never experienced the hard-rocking, hilariously entertaining, soul-moving and pelvis-gyrating extravaganza that is Metalachi, I have a couple words of advice. First, don’t tell anyone, nobody needs that sort of judgement in their life. Next, make sure to pick up a ticket for one (or both!) of their Moe’s Alley shows this January. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15 adv/$20 door. 479-1854.
ECHOES & ARTIFACTS
As a songwriter, Allyson Makuch doesn’t like to dress up her music with unnecessary fluff. Her songs, which are performed passionately in acoustic splendor with multi-instrumentalist Rory Cloud, cut right to the sometime uncomfortable marrow of her deepest emotions. The name of their musical collaboration, Echoes and Artifacts, reflects the transcendental lens through which they view songs: the past echoing for an eternity, or at least as long as people take the time to listen. This duo plays their instruments with the awareness of the power they wield with their acoustic guitars, and takes no detours in expressing something authentic and heartbreaking at its core. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Lillie Aeske, 13160 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. $20. 703-4183.
BLAKE MILLER & THE OLD FASHIONED ACES
Bust out the ‘gator and make space for the accordion, because Blake Miller and the Old Fashioned Aces are seasoning Santa Cruz’s new year with their cajun spices. Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, this trio puts the “raw” in “crawfish,” keeping their tunes as traditional as an étouffée. As a bonus treat, this same afternoon is Michael’s on Main’s “Louisiana Picnic Dance,” a 2 p.m. matinee show with a Louisiana feast (for a separate charge of $18.95). MW
INFO: 2 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $12 adv/$15 door. 479-9777.
MONDAY & TUESDAY 1/14-15
Plenty has been written about Patti Smith’s debut Horses, though none of it adequately captures those first moments when, like a voice out of nowhere, she sings, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” An indispensable part of both 20th-century feminism and rock, Smith has had her share of sins along the way, all of which she gleefully claims as her own. A renowned author as well as punk icon and poet, Smith comes to Santa Cruz for two nights at the Rio. Make your peace now with whatever sins you gotta commit to get tickets. MH
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $76.50. 423-8209.