Live music highlights for the week of August 29, 2018.
BAD BAD HATS
Can you describe your band in three words or less? Minneapolis trio Bad Bad Hat can; they call it “sweet and sour.” In other words, ultra-catchy pop songs that straddle the line between innocent, feel good melodies and sad, reflective lyrics. It’s a combination not too uncommon with indie-pop bands, but when a band like Bad Bad Hat gets it right, it makes you feel all the feels. The band’s latest record, Lightning Round, is simultaneously more polished and looser than the one before it. It’s like a whole different category of sweet and sour. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $14/door. 429-4135.
If the Dangaleros backstory is to be believed, the “despicable six” members were so isolated in rural Mexico that they had to form their own rock band to have something to do. And these six couldn’t be more different: border patrol agents, outlaws, cartel members, etc. You know the desire to rock was high if these guys could set aside their differences! Sure, this might all be fabricated, but in any case this six-piece puts on a fun show with a rock-oriented sound that dips into punk, funk, and spaghetti Western desert rock. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15/adv, $18/door. 335-2800.
STEVE WILSON & MONTEREY ALL-STARS
Santa Cruz trombonist/vocalist Steve Wilson, a key part of Cabrillo College’s jazz program for four decades, presents a prodigious band as part of Kuumbwa’s Live & Local series. Featuring well-traveled bassist Steve Uccello, Los Angeles-transplant Gary Meek on saxophones and piano, and veteran drummer Andy Weis (who leads a larger version of this ensemble at the Monterey Jazz Festival next month), the Monterey All-Stars combo lives up to its name. A versatile multi-instrumentalist who has toured and recorded with powerhouse drummer Dave Weckl and Brazilian stars such as Flora Purim, Airto, and Oscar Castro-Neves, Meek has added a vivifying jolt of energy to the Monterey Bay scene since relocating here in 2009. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $21/adv, $26.25/door. 427-2227.
Khan is a local hip-hop artist who’s been putting out EPs and mixtapes for years now. His latest EP, Occupied—a collaboration with Santa Cruz producer Ghost Hour—is sublime boom-bap. Khan has put together an evening of hip-hop/soul at the Crepe Place called “Rotations” that includes Gilroy “femcee” 1 .A.M., spinner of old-school rap DJ Los the Nexus, sweet soul singer Genoa T. Brown, and poet-turned-rapper Joseph Jason Santiago Lacour. Word on the street is there’ll be a secret surprise guest as well. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994
Since last December, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been dropping monthly singles for his project Hamildrops, which are basically covers of songs from the Hamilton soundtrack. This March, L.A. pop-punk band the Regrettes released their rendition of “Helpless” which is so far one of the best contributions. Like the rest of the Regrettes songs, it’s got both attitude and vulnerability. This is most apparent on the group’s debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool. Earlier this year, the group released the more all-over-the-place, but still awesome EP Attention Seeker.
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $14/adv, $16/door. 429-4135.
Are you ready to see two legendary reggae groups Voltron into one and then blow your mind away? Israel Vibration is a classic roots reggae singing group that formed in 1970 and started releasing classic Rastafarian albums in the late ’70s. The Roots Radics are a backing band that have played with everyone (Bunny Wailer, Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs, etc). They’ve backed Israel Vibration on a couple of albums. And now—lucky you—they are backing the group live in concert. This will be the most reggae thing you do this week. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $40/door. 479-1854.
THE JELLYMAN’S DAUGHTER
Hailing from the foothills of Edinburgh, the Jellyman’s Daughter is a duo that blends American indie-rock à la Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Andrew Bird with the Scottish twang of their homeland. Comprising Emily Kelly and Graham Coe, the duo is currently touring its forthcoming album, Dead Reckoning, which drops Sept. 21. The release has already garnered praise as an album that “evokes the misted plains of Great Britain … [and] remains loyal to the tradition of their homeland while expertly combining these sensibilities with a modern indie-folk twist.” CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8 p.m. Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. $10-$20. 703-4183.
An indie-folk rocker with finger-picking guitar skills to boot, Willy Porter has been holding down a quiet corner of the music world since his 1994 breakthrough album, Dog Eared Dream. Born in Mequon, Wisconsin, Porter garners comparison to guitar great Leo Kottke and was described by the Village Voice as capturing “the street corner ethic of acoustic performance perfectly.” In addition to boasting serious guitar chops, Porter is a thoughtful songwriter and an engaging performer. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-9777.