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COWBOY CULTURE: New West pushes the frontiers of the gi-tar Friday at Don Quixote's.

Music Calendar

July 14 - 21, 2010

Thursday | 7/15


Among certain jazz aficionados, Ottmar Liebert is persona non grata: in these crowds, any mention of the populist flamenco guitarist will invite upturned noses. Liebert remains unfazed. Whatever respect he's lost among the muso crowd for popularizing flamenco and giving it an accessible sheen he's made up for in album sales and loyal listeners. While it's true that his amalgam of flamenco, jazz and bossa nova is something other than challenging, it serves a necessary purpose—the aural equivalent of comfort food. That might not be a recipe for artistic triumph, but there's no denying that Liebert satisfies a hunger for addictive flamenco. Kuumbwa; $27 adv/$30 door; 7 and 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Friday | 7/16


There's an expansiveness to the music of New West: the three-piece guitar ensemble explores the boundaries of the instrument, but not by being flashy or loud. Instead, New West is as interested in the contemplative space between the notes as in the notes themselves. This sense of understatement is intrinsic to the band's musical approach—comparisons to the early work of Wes Montgomery are not far off the mark, and the trio apply a light touch to both standards and original compositions. In this way, New West demonstrates that restraint can be just as arresting as ostentatious flair. Don Quixote's; $10; 8pm. (PMD)

Saturday | 7/17


Jamaican singer and composer Don Carlos is perhaps most notable as a member of the roots reggae band Black Uhuru, though he's been more prolific as a solo artist. Carlos helped form Black Uhuru in 1973, but made only one recording with them before striking out on a lengthy career of his own. After scoring a string of Top 10 hits during the '80s dancehall era, Carlos once again joined forces with Black Uhuru. However, his solo career never ended, and he continues to turn out quality reggae jams to this day. Moe's Alley; $25 adv/$30 door; 9pm. (Sean Conwell)

Sunday | 7/18


Originally formed by the rapper C-Bo, this Bay Area group became a minor success in the hip-hop world in 1999, when its debut album sold thousands of copies and reached No. 63 on Billboard's R&B chart. Current members Husalah and the Jacka are both converts to Islam, and their religion provides much of the subject matter for their music, in addition to typical hip-hop themes like drugs and violence. Sharing the stage with Mob Figaz will be the L.A. rappers Strong Arm Steady and Watsonville's Sincere. Catalyst: $24 adv/$29 door; 8pm. (SC)


Singer Mat Brooke made a rather unnoticed departure from indie harmony darlings Band of Horses back in 2006. His new band Grand Archives, however, is finally starting to turn heads of its own with a sound that takes the Horses' spacey Southern soundscapes and strips them down to the bare essentials. Brooke's voice wisps like wind through the reeds and the rest of the quartet adds just enough guitar and drum texture to warrant headphones. And after the group's two LPs, the Grand Archives and Keep in Mind Frankenstein, gained solid traction at Pitchfork and other hipster blogs, the quartet earned a coveted tour with Modest Mouse and a record deal with SubPop. Crepe Place; $8 adv/$10 door; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)


The clattering electric folk-rock of Chicago's Maps and Atlases is forceful and confident, the work of a band with a clear sense of its career trajectory. Frontman Dave Davison has a rich, mellifluous baritone that anchors rough-hewn songs in which the guitar lines serve less as melodic tools than rhythmic punctuation. On its full-length debut Perch Patchwork, the band clutters up some songs with excessively wonky prog-rock dross, but that reads more as an ambitious young band pushing its limits than a fatal flaw. Even when it leads them astray, the audaciousness of Maps and Atlases' artistic ambition is exhilarating. Kuumbwa; $13; 8pm. (PMD)

Monday | 7/19


At age 26, most jazz musicians are still years, if not decades, away from seeing their name in front of the word "Trio" or "Quartet." Gerald Clayton, however, isn't most jazz musicians. Son of Grammy-winning bassist John Clayton and nephew of woodwind virtuoso Jeff Clayton, the young musician exited the womb into the world of professional jazz. Even without his pedigree, however, Clayton's unique blend of complex and heady rhythms that draw from bebop, hard bop and acid jazz, have helped to distinguish him as one of the most naturally talented practitioners of nu-jazz and experimental jazz on the road today. Kuumbwa; $20 adv/$23 door; 7pm. (CC)

Tuesday | 7/20


"The Stars of Tradition" first appeared on the horizon in 2004 when they played together at the annual Desert Festival near Timbuctou. Their music is a union of sounds from the Wodaabe and Tuareg, two nomadic cultures who live side-by-side on the fringes of the Sahara desert in Niger. Their unique musical style of "Nomad Blues" is a soothing blend of hand-clapping, rich percussion and the hypnotic melodies of a bluesy guitar. Their vocals echo each other in two different languages in songs about the women, animals and hardships of desert life. Don Quixote's; $16 adv/$20 door, 7:30pm. (Maria Grusauskas)

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