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Picks for the week of January 23-29, 2008

Tuesday Jan. 29
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

EVER since his song "New York, New York" became a unifying anthem following 9/11, Ryan Adams has moved from being "the next big thing" into "a big thing." With Grammy nominations, work with Elton John and an amazing amount of quality material, Adams has earned the right to be called a rock star. His alt-country leanings meld with his punk-rock upbringing in a way that resonates with music fans of almost any taste. A songwriter as prolific as he is is bound to come up with some gems, but Adams has found a formula for writing that few musicians are ever able to discover. The ability to crank out so many good songs is enough to solidify Ryan Adams' mark on popular music for quite a while.

Steel Pulse
Thursday Jan. 24
VooDoo Lounge
14 S. Second St
San Jose


THIS is definitely going to be an intense show, but if you've been keeping up with the resurgent San Jose live music scene, then you should be all right ... well, everything but your eardrums. Scripted was formed almost two years ago from the sonic wreckage of defunct local outfits Called to Ruin, Reaction 31 and Moulder's Lounge that fought pitched battles for hard-rock supremacy back in the Cactus days, but were ultimately driven under by downtown's deranged thirst for ultralounges and DJs. Well, Scripted formed to rectify that heinous malady with emotionally powerful vocals and intense guitar riffs overlaying drums that recall the best cuts from alt- and hard-rock heavies, soaked in the gas fires of metal. This veteran four-piece tested San Jo's waters more than a year ago and, after ripping out heavy hard rock for the past year, are ready to release their debut CD. Good Hustle, Trikk Baby, Audio Dru and Down n Durdy also perform.

Steel Pulse
Friday Jan. 25
Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel
Santa Cruz
831.423.8209 $25

Bob Brozman and David Lindley

THIS meeting of the minds of two Santa Cruz favorites—kooky multi-instrumentalist David Lindley and ace guitar gun Bob Brozman—is bound to be an event where the instrumental fireworks are only matched by the freewheeling eclecticism. Brozman is known for the worldwide scope of his musical vision, but has recently returned to his blues-based roots with his latest release, Post-Industrial Blues. Former El Rayo-X majordomo Lindley is far more erratic—it's hard to know exactly what he has up his sleeve—but this master of countless stringed instruments (banjo, lap steel, violin, bouzouki and oud, to name a few) never disappoints.

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