.Music Picks July 18-24

Live music highlights for the week of July 18, 2018.




This two-piece cello and drums combo delivers a unique and haunting sound that dreamily floats between beauty and menace. Their debut album, Bottom of the Barrel, was released last year, and the duo is already hard at work on their second, in between constant touring. Make sure to catch them at the Crepe Place while you still can see them up close and personal in an intimate venue. MAT WEIR

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




Bombino aka Omar Moctar is a Nigerian singer-songwriter. More specifically he is Tuareg, from a semi-nomadic Muslim people found throughout the Saharan desert. His music is fantastic in its melding of personal pain and geopolitical struggles, which are not easily separated anyway. He’s well versed in traditional middle eastern styles of music along with blues, reggae, rock and genres of music you’ve never really heard before. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced his most recent record, Deran, a heartfelt blend of musical traditions. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.




As a founding member of the ’60s rock group Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, as well as the 1980s band Too Much Fun, Bill Kirchen has been rocking the music industry for 51 years. Known as the “Titan of the Telecaster,” he has gained an impressive fanbase of fellow musicians like Nick Lowe, the late Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello and more. This Thursday, he’ll be joined by Commander Cody pedal steel guitarist Bobby Black and pianist Austin de Lone for a night filled with hot licks and and boogie-woogie blues. MW

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s On Main, 2591 S. Main St., Soquel. $20. 479-9777.




A giant of Americana/southern rock, singer-songwriter Paul Thorn was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, the son of a preacher. His upbringing is woven throughout his music, as he traverses gospel, country and blues with a natural gait—a combination of swagger and humility. A pro at crafting uplifting, infectious, hopeful music designed to move the soul, Thorn has been on a tear lately, with albums that provide hope, light and connection during trying times. His latest, Don’t Let the Devil Ride, is a return to his gospel roots. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $26/gen, $40/gold. 423-8209.




Midtown Social is a nine-piece collective that draws on the Bay’s funk history of Sly And the Family Stone and Tower of Power, with the smooth vocal influences of Motown and Stax. If that’s not enough, tongue-in-cheek Santa Cruz funksters Ginger & Juice will be slaying the sounds, so make sure you get there early to pick up what they’re putting down. MW

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.




Rise Against was one of the biggest and most political hardcore bands to emerge in the early 2000s. The band was formed by Dan Wleklinski and Joe Principe, formerly of Chicago punk rock band 88 Fingers Louie, who tore up clubs in the ’90s as punk grew more poppy and mainstream. The band reunited in 2009, and it went so well that they recorded a new album last year, Thank you for Being a Friend. It’s everything you hoped it would be: No-holds-barred, high-octane hardcore riffs juxtaposed with hooky gritty melodies. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $20/door. 429-4135.




Purveyors of vintage country and original Americana music, husband and wife duo Hank and Ella are a favorite of local roots music enthusiasts. Along with their backing “Fine Country Band,” the duo takes things back to a time before rock and roll, when boogie woogie, honky tonk and country music ruled the airwaves. This Saturday, Hank and Ella celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album, which covers themes of love, loss, hard work and good times, at Flynn’s Cabaret. CJ

INFO: 8 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15/adv, $20/door. 335-2800.




Is Burger Records a label or a style? Ok, technically it is a record label, but it’s got such a unique sound that it’s become linked wholeheartedly to the millions of young, jangly, lo-fi garage bands cross-crossing the country slinging $5 cassettes to kids who are just now learning the joys of cruising around wearing a Walkman. Talkies headlines this should-be-insanely-fun evening, billed as a Burger Records show. Technically they are the only band on the label (and the band’s latest super poppy, garage-rock album Kowtow was released by Yippee Ki-Ya Records/Electrify Me Records.) But you get what they mean by it being a “Burger Records show.” Bring $20 so you can buy a tape by every band on the bill (Talkies, Mean Jolene, Lower Self), and be prepared to lose your mind. AC

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




An internationally renowned group, the Django Festival All-Stars perform the music of gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt, who is widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Keeping French gypsy jazz traditions alive, while revitalizing them for a new generation of fans, the band is led by legendary guitarist Dorado Schmitt and now features Dorado’s son Samson on lead guitar, as well as Ludovic Beier on accordion and Pierre Blanchard on violin. CJ

INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $36.75/adv, $42/door. 427-2227.


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Cat Johnson
Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on community, collaboration, the future of work and music. She's a regular contributor to Shareable and her writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Yes! Magazine, No Depression, UTNE Reader, Mother Jones and Launchable Mag. More info: catjohnson.co.
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