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03.03.10

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Phaedra

THE SUN ALSO ROCKS: Hometown favorite Sleepy Sun brings its amps to the Catalyst.

Music Calendar

March 3 - 10, 2010


Thursday | 3/4

MARK LEVINE AND THE LATIN TINGE

Jelly Roll Morton identified "Spanish tinge" as the powerful ingredient that spiced his tunes in the dawn of jazz. Decades later, Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge infuse classic jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms in a way that would make the jazz father proud. Levine's light-handed piano melodies dance across the top of complex, layered beats of congas and bells. Above it all flutter the flute notes that uncannily evoke dappled streets of Havana with sunshine and a smile. The late Brazilian composer Moacir Santos is the quintet's latest muse, adding sambas and bossa novas to a lively conversation between percussion, piano and flute. Kuumbwa; $12 adv/$15 door; 7pm. Jazz & Dinner: $24.60 adv; 6pm. (Maria Grusauskas)


Friday | 3/5

ALLEN TOUSSAINT

Is there any doubt that Allen Toussaint should be canonized as an American treasure? In the aftermath of Katrina, Toussaint was held up as an exemplar of the incomparable richness of New Orleans music for his contributions to the sound of Crescent City soul. During the '60s and '70s, Toussaint played a seminal role in defining the form, adapting to the times while placing his indelible imprint on each trend as it emerged. Toussaint has never been as prolific as he was in those days, but he's remained a powerful influence on New Orleans soul and R&B. Kuumbwa; $27 adv/ $30 door; 7 and 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)

SAMBADÁ

Over the past decade, Sambadá's repute has slowly grown outside of the confines of Santa Cruz, earning the band a loyal following up and down the West Coast. With the release of its latest, Gente!, the band is threatening to break through to the big time. Between a slew of high-profile slots later this month at SXSW and press in national (and unlikely) outlets such as the Financial Times, Santa Cruz's multiculti dance music outfit is reaping the benefits of years of hard work. This two-night set at Moe's Alley qualifies as belated CD-release shows for Gente!—and an opportunity to catch them in an intimate setting while you still can. Moe's Alley; $20; 9pm. (PMD)


Saturday | 3/6

THE PACK

It was the love of a certain iconic sneaker that catapulted Berkeley hip-hop set the Pack—a.k.a. the Wolfpack—into the limelight. Today, rap fans can hear the track "Vans" remixed and sampled by everyone from Too $hort to Kanye. But the mic manipulation skills displayed by Young L, Stunnaman, Lil Uno and Lil B extend far beyond odes to fly kicks. Over signature head-nodding, lo-fi beats and keys, the set throws down consistently clever wordplay typically involving (but not limited to) money, hoes and clothes. Having just landed a high-profile gig at the SXSW festival in Austin, the boys will be warming up their laid-back hyphy stage show in a familiar haunt at the Cat. Catalyst; $14 adv/$17 door; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)

EOTO

By now, the bass-wobbling sound of dubstep has moved beyond electronic music, insinuating its dirty, low-end leanings into hip-hop, rock and even jazz. Michael Travis and Jason Hann, hippie icons and drummers for psych jam gods the String Cheese Incident, have been plumbing the depths of dubstep for some time now, insisting that rock drummers can take the style to new highs (or, in dubstep's case, new lows). By combining live drumming with live sampling and beat-making, Travis and Hann as EOTO are a must-see act near the forefront of the bass music movement. Don Quixote's; $15; 9pm. (CC)


Sunday | 3/7

MIKE DOUGHTY

In the '90s, Mike Doughty was a minor MTV star as the frontman of Soul Coughing, the boho-jazz-hip-hop group that was inexplicably drafted into the alt-rock nation. While Doughty had a knack for hooky, unexpectedly poppy songcraft, it was clear that his many idiosyncrasies could not be contained by rock radio formatting. Since going solo in 2000, Doughty has eschewed pop moves in favor of following his own muse. It's taken him to places that have taken some longtime listeners aback: from stripped-down acoustic folk to boisterous rock and from jazz to electronic music. But even as Doughty has grown out of his stylistic constraints, certain things have remained—namely his interest in wedding twitchy Beat Poet-vocals to hip-hop-inflected grooves. Crepe Place; $16 adv/$20 door; 7 and 9pm. (PMD)

SISTER CAROL and YELLOW WALL DUB SQUAD

In celebration of International Women's Month, Moe's Alley is hosting a night of reggae music featuring female musicians from Jamaica, Israel and the United States, including the legendary Sister Carol. For the last 30 years, Sister Carol has been blazing a trail for women in reggae and has established herself as a unique and vital voice in the mostly-male dancehall scene. Joined by the Yellow Wall Dub Squad with its rock-steady grooves, the roots-fusion stylings of Queen Makedah, the spitfire rhymes of Miss Banks and Santa Cruz's own DJ Donette G, the night is shaping up to be a conscious party indeed. Moe's Alley; $12 adv/$15 door; 9pm. (Cat Johnson)


Tuesday | 3/9

SLEEPY SUN

At times a wailing psych-rock kick to the groin, at others a cold acoustic ice pack to numb the pain, Santa Cruz/San Fran sextet Sleepy Sun both giveth and taketh away. Lately, however, the band has been all about the giving, playing endless shows and dropping a handful of 7- and 10-inch records stemming from last year's buzzed-up rock symphony Embrace. Seeing the crew plug into the Catalyst's pounding sound system on its home turf is something every self-respecting Santa Cruzan should witness. Catalyst; $5 adv/$8; door; 9:30pm. (CC)


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