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Die-Die, Birdie Jesse Hughes (left) and Josh Homme, Eagles of Death Metal

Music Calendar

June 16 - 23, 2010

Thursday | 6/17


Though he now calls Santa Cruz his home, Al Frisby's Louisiana roots are still showing. The multi-instrumentalist with the Cajun sensibility bounds wildly between genres and instruments. From polka to Tin Pan Alley, from accordion to the Turkish Saz, Frisby is a master of many genres and a humbling number of instruments. It also helps that despite his virtuosity, he keeps his tongue planted firmly in cheek. This set, billed as "an evening of events with a one-man band," finds Frisby joined by a cast of collaborators, including Patti Maxine, Tammi Brown and Ukulele Dick. Don Quixote's; $10; 7:30pm. (Paul M. Davis)


Guitarist Mimi Fox has established her authority over the past two decades in the male-dominated jazz world, wowing listeners with her elegant guitar playing and tasteful sense of dynamics and arrangement. Beginning in the early '90s, Fox earned her chops playing with some of the best of the business, including Charlie Byrd, Charlie Hunter, Branford Marsalis and Diana Krall. Now taking center stage, Fox has proven herself to be not only an impeccable stylist but also an accomplished composer and a stunning improviser with a clear vision of what she plans to achieve and how to get there. Kuumbwa; $12 adv/$15 door; 7pm. (PMD)

Friday | 6/18


Sounding like neither the Eagles nor death metal, this Palm Desert trio led by Queens of the Stone Age ax-man Josh Homme might more accurately be called Canned Heat of Garage Rock or Little Richards of Hair Metal. Whatever you call it, the same penchant for distortion-addled power riffs and poorly subdued rock irony Homme displays at his QOTSA day job is still front and center with his lesser-known side project. And even if the group is still pitching the same tent from the 2-year-old LP Heart On, fans will attest that it's at the group's sex-and-beer-drenched live shows that these Eagles truly soar. Catalyst; $21 adv/$25 door; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)


Jim Putnam, the nasally inclined vocalist for L.A. trio the Radar Brothers, has an ace card in that his father, Bill Putnam, is the founder of Universal Recording and one of the 20th century's most pioneering inventors of modern recording equipment. So upon hearing Putnam Jr. croon out indie pop melodies in perfect falsetto form, one can't help but wonder if it's just the family studio magic playing tricks on the ears or if his voice is really that syrupy-sweet. Turns out it really is. And through five finely crafted albums, including March's freshly dropped LP The Illustrated Garden, the band establishes itself as more than simply a product of a musical trust fund. Crepe Place; $10 adv/$12 door; 9pm. (CC)

Saturday | 6/19


Magic Bullets evoke the sweep and energy of doomed-romantic jangle-pop so well that you might expect them to have sprung from the streets of Manchester rather than San Francisco. Clearly indebted to the Smiths and Belle and Sebastian, Magic Bullets separate themselves from bands with similar Manchesterphilia with their sharp sense of pop songcraft. Despite the obvious touchstones, there remains an anxious energy to their songs that encourages active engagement in the world rather than navel-gazing self-pity. There are few bands brave enough to go this route in the current indie rock economy, or to follow it with such unabashed sincerity and enthusiasm. Crepe Place; $8; 9pm. (PMD)


Since its birth in the '60s, the band known as the Skatalites has played on every continent and inspired a passionate global appreciation for ska music. The band itself traces its lineage back to a marching band in an all-boys school in Jamaica, where the founding members played the trumpet, sax and drums. Their music marks a convergence of the musical styles in Jamaica at the time, a calico of boogie-woogie, R&B, calypso and African rhythms. This year's tour celebrates the Skatalites' 46th anniversary orbiting the globe. Moe's Alley; $25 adv/$30 door, 8pm. (Maria Grusauskas)

Sunday | 6/20


An integral part of the Irish music scene for nearly half a century, Andy Irvine helped revive the traditional music of his country in the '60s as a member of Sweeny's Men. While Irish folk and Woody Guthrie were his main influences, his interest in Eastern European music also had a profound effect, not only on him but on Irish music in general. The Greek bouzouki, first introduced into Irish music by Sweeny's Men, was further popularized by Irvine in the '70s while he was playing with the group Planxty, to the point where it become an instrument commonly used by Irish folk bands. This versatile musician will surely bring a touch of the blarney to Santa Cruz. Don Quixote's; $18; 7pm. (Sean Conwell)

Wednesday | 6/23


"Wholemeal" is how this Australian folk band describes its music. Whether they're playing traditional folk, acoustic pop or roots music infused with country and soul, it's always sweet, sensitive and honest. After slowly building a loyal following both at home and in America, the Waifs had a smash hit with their fourth album, Up All Night, and they were soon supporting Bob Dylan on his 2003 Australian tour. Dylan liked the Waifs so much that he invited them to join his North American tour as well, and when Bob Dylan is that impressed with your folk band, you must be doing something right. Rio Theatre; $23 adv/$27 door; 7:30pm. (SC)

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