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A KINK IN THE PLANS: Kinky Friedman, the original 'Texas Jewboy,' makes his first West Coast appearance in two decades on Aug. 4 at Moe's Alley.

Music Calendar

August 4 - 11, 2010

Wednesday | 8/4


The old adage that "everything's bigger in Texas" certainly applies to the personality of one Richard S. "Kinky" Friedman. Part-time author, would-be politician and one-of-a-kind musical satirist, Friedman is the original Jewish cowboy and has made a career of wearing his contradictions on his sleeve. Musically, his songs use a classic country western model and range from the mildly blasphemous "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" to the likely introspective "Arsehole From El Paso" and typically toe the line between slapstick humor and political spoofdom. Marking his first West Coast tour in 20 years, Friedman brings his infamous band the Texas Jewboys to make sweet mockery on the Moe's Alley stage. Moe's Alley; $20; 8:30pm. (Curtis Cartier)

Thursday | 8/5


Playing straight-ahead country-rock without a hint of pretense, the music of Great American Taxi is so steeped in '70s Americana that they oughta check for bushy mustaches at the door. Great American Taxi's scope is less celestially ambitious than that of their inspirations Gram Parsons, the Grateful Dead and Doug Sahm, but it's as rugged and durable as any example of the genre, making up in grit what it lacks in scope. Fronted by Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Great American Taxi takes the urban cowboy tropes of its forbears and adds a bit of country back into the equation. Moe's Alley; $10 adv/$12 door; 8pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Friday | 8/6


For anyone still under the impression that the Santa Cruz music scene is peopled only by spliff-toking dreadheads and indie bluegrass hipsters, there's a little show at the Catalyst that weekend that will offer a gurgling howl to the contrary. Metal—be it black, death, thrash or doom—is gaining local traction thanks to the efforts of a small but devilishly ambitious group of ax wielders and stick swingers. On Friday, two of the most active members of the SC metal scene—Eviscerate, with its brutal and cannibalistic death rites, and Fiends at Feast, the shrieking hellhounds of extreme black metal—will go head to head at the Cat's Atrium stage. Catalyst; $6; 9pm. (CC)


Started by a pair of British brothers, A Flock of Seagulls and their bizarrely teased hairdos have inspired decades of parodies. Their synth-heavy songs are as iconic as their style, and hits such as "I Ran (so far away)" define a generation. The electric guitar riffs are supported by the echoes of classical Casio keyboard, and their lyrics tug at the heartstrings of '80s children everywhere. Bands from three decades ago have broken up, reunited, found what works and what doesn't. A Flock of Seagulls topped world charts and found that the keyboard worked. The hair, not so much. Beach Boardwalk; free; 6:30pm and 8:30pm. (Kate Jacobson)

Saturday | 8/7


When the history books of punk rock are written—and a few already have been—it will be said that four-piece band X was the Sex Pistols of Los Angeles. Or maybe it'll be the Ramones of California or the Clash of the West Coast. Whatever the case, X and the four pioneers that started it back in 1977 will always walk as gods in circles where mohawks intermittently appear. No matter that original X bassist John Doe now plays a country twang version of his punk roots; it's all gospel to the ears of the faithful. Henry Miller Library; $15 adv/$20 door; 8pm. (CC)

Sunday | 8/8


Leye Felicite Tchaco sings in French, English and various African dialects, pooling world languages into Latin, African and jazz beats as compelling as the woman herself. Born in Ivory Coast, Fely has sold out venues across West Africa and can hit the high notes with the best of them, swinging her pop-sounding vocals through numbers ranging from danceable Caribbean rhythms to Afro-beats thick with longing. American audiences might not always understand the lyrics, but the allure is in the flow of the words and the marriage of cultures. Don Quixote's; $15; 7pm. (KJ)

Monday | 8/9


When you've got the likes of Dave Brubeck declaring an emerging artist "the most amazing talent I've ever come across," it's a signal to pay attention. For Taylor Eigsti, such superlatives are old hat: the pianist has been at it since the age of 8, when he opened for David Benoit. There are many precocious musical prodigies who have failed to deliver on their early promise, but Eigsti appears to be the real deal, proving to be an adept composer as well as a fluent player. Kuumbwa; $20 adv/$23 door; 7 and 9pm. (PMD)

Wednesday | 8/11


British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading is a rare survivor of the '70s; though long confined to a cult following, she has never burned out. That consistency has given Armatrading's career—which took off in the mid-'70s and early '80s with jazz-influenced rock singles like "Love and Affection," "I'm Lucky" and "Drop the Pilot"—the sort of longevity that many of her peers failed to achieve. She remains a restless and inspired artist, and her latest, This Charming Life, is ignited by a sense of having something to prove that's more typical in musicians half her age and shows Armatrading's music to be as charged and unpredictable as ever. Rio Theatre; $35 adv/$38 door; 8pm. (PMD)


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