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04.21.10

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Phaedra

Music Calendar

May 5 - 12, 2010


Wed-thu | 5/5-6

RED SPAROWES

Lyrics are overrated. Ask fans of bands like Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky and they'll tell you to give them several layers of heavy guitar riffs and plenty of white noise so they can stare at their shoes and headbang all day. Los Angeles quintet Red Sparowes understands this crowd well and rawks accordingly, weaving epic and cinematic anthems complete with building drum crescendos, mournful minor keys and layered string thrashings. Red Sparowes is also not a band that can be digested in a single hearty serving. The music is sprawling, with themes emerging not in individual tracks but in entire albums and live performances. Crepe Place; $12 adv/$25 door; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)


Friday | 5/7

HOT BUTTERED RUM

Good-humored without resorting to kitsch, virtuosic without being stuffy, Hot Buttered Rum is quite skilled at walking the tightrope from which so many bands have tumbled. The ostensibly bluegrass outfit has an impossibly diverse set of influences, from gypsy jazz to '80s pop, and knows just when and where to deploy them. It's not merely the influences and presentation, however: the band also makes use of unexpected instruments like flute and clarinet—pieces rarely found onstage with a bluegrass band. The result is an open panorama of sound that takes bluegrass as an inspiration but never a boundary. Moe's Alley; $12 adv/$15 door; 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)


Saturday | 5/8

  FOREVERLAND

In memory of the now-departed King of Pop, Michael Jackson cover band Neverland has renamed itself Foreverland. Turns out it takes a 14-piece outfit to pay tribute to Jackson—including no fewer than four singers, four horns and a six-piece rhythm section—but Foreverland pulls it off with panache. The band isn't content with offering a passable simulation of Jackson's recordings, either; it's intent on also paying tribute to Jackson's larger-than-life stage performances. How this is accomplished on modest stages like Don Quixote's is anyone's guess, but the band sells it with enthusiasm, musical chops and more than a little moxie. Don Quixote's; $10; 8pm. (PMD)

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH

Comparing folk musicians to Bob Dylan is both supremely flattering and enormously lazy. Yet hearing Swedish troubadour Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. the Tallest Man on Earth, croak out witty storyteller yarns, it's hard not to conjure images of a young Blind Boy Grunt behind a whiskey-flavored microphone. There is something uniquely Swedish about Matsson's musical protagonists, however, and an icy, windswept shudder runs through his lyrics and agile guitar strumming. Suffice to say that few artists can turn the heads of music's Pitchfork-reading elite with nothing more than an acoustic guitar—and this is one of them. Brookdale Lodge; $13; 9pm. (CC)


Sunday | 5/9

  STANTON MOORE TRIO

Best known for his work with the limber funk outfit Galactic, Stanton Moore also has a notable solo career under his belt. A drummer with plenty of tricks in his back pocket, Moore displays stunning flexibility, and his wide range of influences come to the fore with the Stanton Moore Trio. On his latest solo release, Groove Alchemy, he wades deep into Southern-fried, organ-steeped funk and jazz. This show serves as a double-CD-release show, as Trio guitarist Anders Osbourne has a new solo release as well, American Patchwork, which is certain to be represented in the evening's set list. Moe's Alley; $15 adv/$20 door; 8pm. (PMD)

WIZ KHALIFA

Spewing rhymes like he's "spittin' flames," the young Wiz Khalifa is no doubt on fire. The skinny, tattoo-covered kid from Pittsburgh is perhaps one of the hardest-working hip-hop artists on the East Coast. Named New Artist to Watch by Rolling Stone magazine in 2007, Khalifa released his debut album Show and Prove the same year. Blazing away with sharp mind and sharper tongue, Khalifa's second album, Deal or No Deal, hit No. 1 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart the day it dropped. He visits Santa Cruz as part of a 40-city tour of the States. Catalyst; $12 adv/$16 door; 9pm. (Maria Grusauskas)


Monday | 5/10

STANLEY CLARKE & HIROMI DUO

Stanley Clarke has been an influential bassist ever since playing in Chick Corea's jazz-rock fusion group Return to Forever. In the nearly 40 years since, he has focused mainly on rock, funk and film scores, playing jazz only occasionally. Now Clarke is once again planting his feet firmly on jazz ground alongside the acclaimed young pianist Hiromi Uehara. While both musicians have interests that lie beyond jazz, they aren't a fusion group. Instead, they are a straight-ahead duo, restrained yet energetic, playing originals and standards with equal skill. Kuumbwa; $28 adv/$30 door; 7 and 9pm. (Sean Conwell)


Tuesday | 5/11

DAVID KNOPFLER

Classic rock aficionados may know David Knopfler as a founding member and rhythm guitarist of Dire Straits, but he has had a remarkable (albeit little-known) career since leaving the band in 1980. His albums, from 1983's Release to 2006's Songs for the Siren, have been warmly received by both critics and fans, while demonstrating his impressive and ever-growing talent as a songwriter. Knopfler's dreamy pop rock bears a very strong resemblance to the music of Dire Straits, but it is deeper, more sophisticated and some say, better. Don Quixote's; $15; 7:30pm. (SC)


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