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minus the bear
ALL COSTUME, NO DRAMA: SambaDą rings in the magic hourat Moe's on Halloween night.

Music Calendar

October 27 - November 3, 2010

Wednesday | 10/27


Despite abbreviating their name in a way reminiscent of fried chicken merchant KFC, the members of Royal Trux are just as heady and heavy as they were back in the '90s, when they were known as the enfants terribles of the alt-rock scene, peeling off heaping layers of guitar fuzz, attitude and sleaze. It's heartening to know that even middle age can't slow down RTX, and the members are still up to their old tricks, delivering righteous riffage amid swamp-bog psychedelia. Certainly not for the faint of heart, but definitely recommended for folks who remember that bad behavior and rock & roll go hand-in-hand. Crepe Place; $10; 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Thursday | 10/28

Vieux Farka Toure

If Ali Farka Toure had his way, his son never would have followed in his professional footsteps. The Malian superstar found the music business a harsh place and discouraged his son from pursuing a musical career. But Vieux Farka Toure had his own plan: he secretly learned guitar and sought musical mentorship in fellow countryman and kora player Toumani Diabate. The young Toure's talent and determination eventually convinced his father of the inevitability of a career in music, and Vieux has since proven to be a remarkable global talent in his own right, playing rock, blues, electronic and reggae-influenced tunes all deeply rooted in Malian musical tradition. Rio Theatre; $15; 8pm.(Cat Johnson)

Friday | 10/29

7 Walkers

The three-decade trip known as the Grateful Dead has been curated and catalogued and tucked into UC—Santa Cruz, and if archivers had their way Bill Kreutzmann and friends would be frozen in amber next to Jerry Garcia's skivvies. Instead Kreutzmann has gone on to form 7 Walkers, a funk-rock collaboration jamming out new Robert Hunter originals like it was 1965. The heartbeats of Kreutzmann's drumkit mesh with Louisiana voodoo guitarist Papa Mali's chilled-out reggae twangs with the symmetry of artists who know that blues and rock were made for each other. Moe's Alley; $25 adv/$30 door; 9pm. (Kate Jacobson)

Saturday | 10/30

Harry & The Hitmen

The dapper dons in Harry & the Hitmen turn out psychedelic-inflected classic soul music with the verve and style of the greats. Unapologetic throwbacks, the members of the band unearth dusty Motown grooves and inject some interstellar jam-band flights of fancy. Harry & the Hitmen bring a bit of much-needed spectacle to Santa Cruz stages, employing their own lighting designer and engaging in heavily produced and choreographed sets. It's a refreshing sight to see some local boys abandon the Santa Cruz tuxedo (hoodies and Converse) for something a bit more refined and classic. Crepe Place; $10; 8pm. (PMD)

Sourgrass & Wooster

Sourgrass isn't your grandaddy's funk band. Lead singer Jay Palmer may have been a screamo in a former life, but the band still qualifies as funk under the statute of rhythm: thou shalt give thy bassist license. Teaming up with the Santa Cruz natives of Wooster was a good choice; a certain Jason Mraz type of bubble sometimes surfaces in the vocals, and this mellower cousin to Sourgrass' brand of funk-rock adds the sway to the floor-stomping, promising a riotous amalgam of stage-sharing on this eve of Santa Cruz's high holy day. Catalyst; $11 adv/$15 door; 9pm. (KJ)

Sunday | 10/30

Cafe Musique

With musical backgrounds that range from classical and folk to bluegrass, rock and world music, the members of Cafe Musique bring a keen understanding of the elements that run through all music. Hailing from San Luis Obispo, Café Musique weaves a sometimes lively, sometimes melancholy musical tapestry of European Gypsy music, jazz, tango, folk, swing, classical and original tunes. Bridging the old and the new, Café Musique gives a nod to the musical traditions of the past and brings them into the present with a unique blend of genres and styles. Don Quixote's; $10; 1pm. (CJ)


One of Santa Cruz's most dependable live acts, SambaDą celebrates All Hallow's Eve with a night of high-octane samba, salsa, reggae and hip-hop. It's a formula that has worked for the band over the past decade, garnering it a fanatical following on the road. Brainchild of local Brazilian expatriates Papiba Godinho and Dandha da Hora, SambaDą's percussive stew drives a brand of polyglot funk and Brazilian soul that has become the group's unmistakable trademark. The band's intense and irresistibly joyous celebrations of dance and life are the perfect accompaniment to celebrating Santa Cruz's most-loved holiday. Moe's Alley; $17 adv/$20 door; 9pm. (PMD)

Monday | 11/1

Nellie McKay

Nellie McKay is a bit of a professional chameleon. The multifaceted singer/songwriter/actor/comedian is as likely to play Carnegie Hall or Broadway as she is to appear on A Prairie Home Companion or the set of a film. Her music is equally hard to pin down, with her sharp social conscience and at times cutting lyrical commentary wrapped up in the sparkle and style of a songbook-era pop starlet. Touring in support of her latest album, Home Sweet Mobile Home, McKay is a rare talent brimming with wit, comedic timing, political insight, charm and a natural flair for music. Kuumbwa; $25 adv/$28 door; 7 and 9pm. (CJ)

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