Music Picks Oct 26—Nov 1

Live music picks for the week of October 26, 2016






The last time I saw Portugal the Man perform, my friend and some random 6-foot-3 guy standing in front of me both fainted within seconds of each other during the first song. This was 2011, when the band was touring their most psychedelic album—we were standing dangerously close to a fog machine, the Fillmore was sweaty and packed, and the show had started with a screening of a surreal, 13 minute-long film. Set in the band’s hometown in Alaska, the film culminates with a graphic depiction of the lead singer blowing his head off with a shotgun, followed by his pack of sled dogs tearing into the carcass. PTM pulls out all the stops when it comes to visual performance art; the band recently collaborated with Yoko Ono, and is now touring Evil Friends. While the album, the outfit’s eighth, has a heavier rock vibe, the live show is likely to be just as intense. KATIE SMALL

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $30. 429-4135.



Guitarist Wayne Krantz had something of a breakout year in 2006, impressing rock fans with his work on Donald Fagen’s album Morph the Cat and jazz heads through his collaboration with saxophonist Chris Potter on Underground. But he’d already earned a devoted following on the New York scene over the previous decade with his audacious improvisational flights, personal harmonic vocabulary and command of intricate metric structures. Building on Good Piranha, Bad Piranha, his consistently jaw-dropping 2014 album covering unlikely pop tunes, he plays Santa Cruz as part of his Undercover Pop Tour, deconstructing songs by artists like Bob Dylan and Talking Heads, Mos Def and Prince, Jethro Tull and Talib Kweli. For his West Coast gigs, he’s touring with longtime collaborator Zach Danziger on drums and Kneebody multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood on bass. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.





Ever wondered what “droogs” in A Clockwork Orange would sound like if they formed a band? It’s hard to say for sure, but my best guess is England’s first-wave punk band the Adicts. The group is actually best known for dressing as droogs, while musically it’s strictly fun, light-hearted, hook-laden, middle-finger-to-the-establishment punk rock. It was one of the biggest punk groups in its day. By the ’80s, the band got picked up by Sire, changing its name to the less offensive ADX. That relationship didn’t last, but the Adicts did, and the guys keep on rocking out with pure ultra-violence. AARON CARNES

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20. 429-4135.


FRIDAY 10/28



This Halloween weekend, the Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men present a “Monster Mash” party and costume party. One of the area’s finest roots outfits, the band, which hails from the Santa Cruz Mountains and is led by brothers Jamie and Kellen, plays pop-infused roots and folk music inspired by a childhood spent listening to classic rockers, including Tom Petty, Neil Young, and the Beatles. Joining the band is folk singer and Santa Cruz newcomer-by-way-of-New-York Nels Andrews and his Acoustic Duo. Proceeds benefit Monarch Community School. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 427-2227.



If it’s not obvious what kind of music a band calling itself “Mystic Braves” would play, please refer to the title of the band’s latest LP, Days of Yesteryear. Yes, this is clearly music of the retro variety. Specifically, the ’60s Summer of Love. Think of the Monterey Pop Festival and imagine a conglomeration of every single band on the lineup mashed into one single groovy, psychedelic rock band—with an extra helping of the Doors’ Ray Manzarek’s signature organ sound. If you love cool old tunes played by cool young dudes, you won’t be disappointed. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.





Warrior King is a Jamaican-born reggae star who started his career performing in local talent shows. By 2001, he had become a chart-topping standout of the genre with his hit song “Virtuous Woman.” A social justice advocate, Warrior King blends singjaying—a combination of deejaying and singing—with conscious lyrics focused on education, tolerance, and the “upliftment” of women. As he puts it, “As a Rastafarian, you just don’t sing music, you sing music with a purpose and a mission. I carry my music … and the message of love, to all people of all races.” Saturday is an album release party for his new full-length album Rootz Warrior. Online pre-sale tickets include a copy of the book On the Road with Bob Marley by Mark Miller. CJ

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.



Painted Mandolin is a Jerry Garcia tribute band that celebrates Garcia’s acoustic side as it takes on tunes from his early jug band days, his time with Old and in the Way, the rootsier side of the Grateful Dead and the hot-picking of the Garcia Grisman Band. Comprising guitarist Matt Hartle of Spirit of 76, China Cats, and Shady Groove; guitarist Larry Graff of the Banana Slug String Band and Slugs n’ Roses; bassist Roger Sideman of China Cats; and David Gans and Sycamore Slough String Band, and celebrated violinist and mandolin player Joe Craven of the Garcia Grisman Band and the David Grisman Quintet, this band showcases the acoustic counterpoint to one of rock music’s late, great heroes. Saturday sees the band hosting a Halloween Extravaganza. CJ

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.

SUNDAY 10/30



New York-based Stolar isn’t a household pop star, but he writes songs like he is. These are big anthemic, spine-tingling ear worms. And just like the best of pop music, he colors outside of the genre lines with elements of R&B, rock, and soul. Last year, he wrote and released the inspirational tune “My Own Way.” This isn’t his only song with a positive message—he’s also been outspoken about the power of mental health in his music. This is the ideal time to see him, as word is that Stolar might be releasing some music on a major label soon. Local rock-pop extraordinaire Henry Chadwick shares the bill. AC

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way. Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.


MONDAY 10/31



Yes, the name is a nod to Pulp Fiction. Yes, the band is from the same country as Justin Bieber. But whether or not DJs are “real musicians” is a matter of opinion. Zeds Dead formed in 2009 with the intention of “capturing the ecstasy and camaraderie of house, the heart-pummeling thrill of drum and bass, the beauty of ambient music, and the heaviness of electro.” The EDM duo recently released its debut album, featuring collaborations with Elliphant, Twin Shadow, Diplo and other famous people. The duo’s live shows make abundant use of seizure-inducing strobes and eardrum-crushing bass. For anyone looking to get hyphy on Halloween, the party’s on Pacific. KS

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $35. 429-4135.



Hawaiian slack key guitar master. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s


Legendary British folk-pop duo. Thursday at Kuumbwa


Doc Martin, Jeno, Dimond Saints, Giraffage and more. Friday and Saturday at Catalyst


Socially conscious, Santa Cruz-based roots outfit. Sunday at Kuumbwa


Halloween dance party with local favorite. Monday at Moe’s Alley

To Top