.Music Picks: August 21-27

Santa Cruz County live entertainment picks for the week of Aug. 14




Life wasn’t always easy for Reverie, but at least growing up in L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood, there was always hip-hop. At 18, she started rapping over her brother’s beats, transforming notebooks of poetry into vivid, nimble bars. Even then, her style was confident, with an ear for hip-hop’s underground and an eye on the horizon. Now, 10 years later and with international acclaim behind her, Reverie is an integral part of L.A.’s underground scene. At the Catalyst she brings longtime friend and collaborator Gavlyn, a fellow Latinx artist from the city of angels. MIKE HUGUENOR

9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $15. 429-4135. 





Leif Karlstrom and Adam Roszkiewicz are the multi-instrumentalist talents behind Small Town Therapy, an acoustic duo that composes string duets which sweep the musical range, from sweet Celtic ballads to jaunty, old-timey fiddle-offs and airy improvisations. Watching the two collaborators is like seeing a lifetime of letters between old friends come to life; engaged in a conversation with no end, engrossed by the high peaks of harmony and valleys of discord, their allure magnified by two stories entwined, yet telling only one tale. AMY BEE

9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.  


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Dave Alvin founded blues-rock group the Blasters in the late ’70s. Jimmie Dale Gilmore started hippie country band the Flatlanders in 1972. Both musicians have continued on with successful solo careers in their respective fields. That’s what makes their collaborative album Downey to Lubbock so interesting. They don’t seem like an obvious pairing, but they work well together, mixing the full range of American roots music into a single album of mostly covers, with two spectacular originals, switching off vocals like old friends at a jam session. AC

8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $30 adv/$35 door. 479-1854. 



Sean Green was dragging a fake dead body around North Hollywood when police handcuffed him. In his defense, he was just doing his part on the unaired reality TV show America’s Biggest Asshole, but trust me, that line only works so many times. In 2011, Green quit his Quiznos job in Pennsylvania to pursue comedy in L.A., where he quickly found himself working at another Quiznos. Since then, he’s written for MTV, Vice, and ESPN+, hosted the Sports Gambling Podcast, and finally got out of the toasted sub game. MH  

7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. DNA’s Comedy Lab, 155 S River St, Santa Cruz. $20 adv/$25 door. 900-5123.





Malima Kone, who hails from Burkina Faso, West Africa, belongs to the jeli tradition of the Bwaba people, meaning that he’s a storyteller. His foray into music began at the age of 3. By 9, he was playing the kora (a 21-string African harp) with his uncles and father, learning everything by tradition. Today, he lives here in Santa Cruz, and not only carries his history and African heritage with him, but also incorporates the music into other global influences like reggae, soul, jazz—not to mention that he sings in five languages. AC

8 p.m., Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20-40 adv/$30 door. 427-2227. 



Eclectic rockers the Soft White Sixties play around with glam-funk styles and faux-60’s soul while steadfastly maintaining Stones-style rock grooves over analog synths and thick hazy guitars. Lead vocalist Octavio Genera struts with a deep, sexy croon and swoops up into a gritty, almost-falsetto known to make listeners weak in the knees. His rock-star swagger never gets in the way of topical lyrics reporting on the current social climate, from gentrification to immigration. Soft White Sixties recorded its newest album Alta California with a Spanish version also made available. AB

8:30 p.m., Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15 adv/$18 door. 704-7113.



Since 1987, Los Cafres has given the world their spicy blend of Argentinian reggae. While still sticking to the genre’s island-roots style, Los Cafres adds their own flavors, creating a musical gumbo of sound, rich in love that cooks at a slow, healthy simmer. After three decades of music, this eight-piece shows no signs of slowing as it continues a Three Decades Tour through the U.S., Mexico and Chile and continue to release new music, like “Tu Meta,” which dropped on Aug. 2. MAT WEIR

9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $32.50. 423-1338.





Both a birthday celebration and a going away party, this concert marks a personal milestone and a major change of scenery for Hammond B-3 wizard Wil Blades. For the past two decades, he’s been a leading force on the formidable instrument in the Bay Area, playing funk, soul, jazz, and hard bop. A few weeks ago he planted his flag in Los Angeles, eager to seek out new opportunities. While he’ll still be performing regularly around the region, Blades is leaving in style, with a stellar cast of collaborators, including legendary drummer Mike Clark and New Orleans alto sax star Donald Harrison Jr. The program also includes left-field L.A. guitarist Jeff Parker, and Berkeley drummer Scott Amendola. ANDREW GILBERT

7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $26.25 adv/$31.50 door. 427-2227.





Have you ever heard of the “sound of a comedown in the blue light of the dawn?” Never fear, Maggot Heart is here to make sure the heavy, paranoid vibes are ominous and real. The brainchild of Linnéa Olsson, Maggot Heart is music for wild rides down a dark, empty freeway with nowhere in mind but a need to get out. Mixing the energy of early Nick Cave and the rocker sounds the Gun Club, Maggot Heart reanimates the throes of deathrock over a rolling river of doom rhythms. MW

8 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 423-7117. 


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