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04.07.10

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Phaedra

Portugal.The Man

Music Calendar

April 14-21, 2010


WEDNESDAY | 4/14

PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal.The Man is a band made up of four guys from Wasilla, Alaska—but don't hold it against them. About the only thing they share with the folksy former governor who made the town famous is that they both might know several tasty recipes involving caribou. What's more delicious than the group's gamey culinary offerings is its musical smorgie: a pinch of '70s psyche jams, a dash of Bowie-esque space rock and a dollop of gooey synth sweetness, all washed down with a tumbler of cold falsetto, courtesy of vocalist John Baldwin Gourley. So is this a musical concoction that one could call "mavericky?" You betcha! Rio Theatre; $15; 8pm. (Curtis Cartier)

THURSDAY | 4/15

MARIAH PARKER'S INDO LATIN JAZZ QUINTET

Mariah Parker has long been content to back up stars the likes of Pauline Oliveros and Dumisani Maraire. But with the release of her full-length album Sangria, the composer and pianist takes the spotlight. Informed by a broad scope of influences, from Middle Eastern classical to Afro-Cuban salsa and beyond, Parker's music is thoroughly contemporary jazz, the product of an emerging global culture. Backed by her ace Indo Latin Jazz Quintet, Parker is a global citizen making music for an interconnected age. Kuumbwa; $12 adv/$15 door; 7pm. (Paul M. Davis)


FRIDAY | 4/16

YANN TIERSEN

If Frédéric Chopin had grown up in the age of Björk and Radiohead and had access to instruments like electric guitars, distortion effects and the keyboardlike ondes martenot, he might have made music like that of Yann Tiersen. Since 2001, when the young composer wrote the score for Jean-Pierre Jeune's now-classic film Amélie, the French-born Tiersen has been known for his moody and often minimalist pieces for piano, accordion and guitar. As deft as he is at stringing together orchestral movements in the vein of his 18th-century heroes, his sizable indie cred stems from the subtle incorporation of electronica, world music and rock that he drops into his epic soundscapes. Rio Theatre; $18.90; 8pm. (CC)


SATURDAY | 4/17

PHOENIX

Despite the name, the ascent of French pop rock quartet Phoenix into the indie stratosphere has been less of a fiery rocket skyward than a sweaty uphill climb. Now that the group is soaring, however, it's easy to look down and make out 11 years of inventive and shamelessly catchy New Wave indie pop. Singer Thomas Mars still yelps out playful and clever lyrics in an accent that's not quite French, but certainly isn't local. And, like any group of talented musicians ought to, over time, the band has added new dimensions of depth and texture with every eagerly awaited release. Catalyst; $25 adv/$29 door; 9pm. (CC)

THE MEDFLYS

In the 1980s, the Medflys were at the top of the Central Coast's New Wave game. Known for its arch humor and way around a pop hook, the band offers a glimpse back to an era and sound that countless young bands emulate to this day. Even though the band members are scattered over the world now, from Australia to Boise, they're returning to their Central Coast home base for this 30th anniversary celebration show. To sweeten the deal, proceeds from this and a Monterey show on Friday will go to the local chapters of the Surfrider Foundation. Don Quixote's; $15; 8pm. (PMD)


SUNDAY | 4/18

BRUCE COCKBURN

Looking back on Bruce Cockburn's wildly prolific career (26 albums to date), it's hard to miss the parallels between his music and the movements of a generation. His introspective, spiritual song-style of the late '60s morphed into his electric Flying-V era, which was followed by an increased awareness of global issues in the '80s, a more mature round of introspection and increased activism in the '90s, a much needed musical break, and a creative re-emergence in the early 2000s. The Ottawa-born singer/songwriter/guitarist's exquisite style has won him numerous awards while the man is internationally celebrated for his humanitarian efforts, about which he simply says, "To not sing your truth is wrong." Rio Theatre; $25; 7:30. (Cat Johnson)


MON-TUE | 4/19-20

THE EXPENDABLES

Santa Cruz takes its 420 cannabis celebrations very seriously, so it is fitting that a homegrown rock band like the Expendables is slotted to ring in this year's hazy holiday. Their surf-rock sound is a carefree blend of reggae beats, clever guitar rifts and lyrics that carry the sweet nostalgia of growing up in Santa Cruz. Familiar scenes of sunshine, surf and backyard parties give this band a uniquely local flavor cherished by natives and outsiders alike. Kicking off a tightly packed tour around the United States, the Expendables visit their old stomping ground to pay homage and rally the ganja troops. Catalyst; $20 adv/$25 door; 8pm. (Maria Grusauskas)


WEDNESDAY | 4/21

EXENE CERVENKA

As a member of seminal L.A. punk band X, Exene Cervenka established a vision of punk feminism at a time when the genre was overwhelmingly male-dominated. Cervenka then flipped the script a second time as a member of X sideproject the Knitters, arguably the first band to mash up punk sensibility and country music. Her first solo release in nearly two decades, 2009's Somewhere Gone, finds Cervenka in a ruminative space, indulging in spare folk song-sketches that stand as some of the most direct and stunning work of her storied career. This tour finds her playing record stores in support of independent music outlets. Streetlight Records; free; 5pm. (PMD)


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