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COUNTER CULTURE: James McMurtry plays this Thursday and Friday at Don Quixote's.

Music Calendar

September 22 - 29, 2010

Thursday | 9/23


Grandaddy should be represented on any short list of most underrated bands of the past decade. Though the band started off strong with its 2000 release The Sophtware Slump, subsequent albums were less well received, and the band's undeniable mixture of forlorn folk-rock and cinematic synths became a footnote of millennial indie rock. Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle is taking another shot with Admiral Radley, a less ambitious but equally affecting four-piece he formed with members of Earlimart after Grandaddy's collapse. Fans of Grandaddy's wide-screen scope may be disappointed by Admiral Radley's modest ambitions, but Lytle's songcraft and idiosyncratic vision remains and is still deserving of attention. Crepe Place; $12; 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)


James McMurtry has no need for trends or gimmicks, and likely no patience for them, either. McMurtry is a serious man, and tackles weighty topics in his songs: Hurricane Katrina, soldiers dying on foreign soil, economic malaise. You can't fault him for lack of ambition. Yet none of this would matter if his music didn't rock as much as it does. A lean amalgam of blues, rock and soul, McMurtry's songs slink with the persistence of a snake in the grass. The music industry won't pay attention, but to hell with them—McMurtry is setting his sights much higher. Don Quixtoe's; $17 adv/$20 door; 7:30pm. (PMD)

Friday | 9/24


Pato Banton releases new studio albums on a rather relaxed schedule these days—he's only managed three in the last decade—but at this point in his career, studio albums are beside the point. Instead, Banton's attentions are better directed at preserving his status as a reggae icon, singer and toaster with few equals. Banton spends most of his time on the road, espousing familiar messages (song titles "Life Is a Miracle" and "Legalize It" typify those sentiments) and honing his live band into a fine-tuned machine. It's a wise choice: Banton has always been about getting the party started, and mere recordings can't capture his ebullient spirit and unmatched vocal skills. Moe's Alley; $17 adv/$20 door; 9pm. (PMD)

Saturday | 9/25


There's an image of flamenco in the popular media that goes like this: Spanish dancers in bright colors strike a pose, hair slicked back and secured with ruffled bows. While Travesuras doesn't travel with a troupe of dancers, it's the soundtrack to the fantasy. The group's energy could power half the city, and the whirlwind fingerwork of the musicians is a dance in itself. For Santa Cruz's listening pleasure, guitarist Ricardo Diaz is teaming up with world-renowned artists from France and Spain to spin out a the passionate story of Spanish dances. Kuumbwa; 8pm; $20 adv/$25 door (Kate Jacobson)

Sunday | 9/26


Bay Area blueslady Kaye Bohler is tying the knot with fellow musician John Paul, and everyone's invited. In what would be a perfect recipe for a bridezilla meltdown in the hands of amateurs but will no doubt be a great party because these are professionals, today's fete includes jams by the 11-piece Kaye Bohler Orchestra followed by a 3:30pm wedding ceremony and 4pm reception and jam starring the bride and groom themselves. Cocoanut Grove Ballroom; suggested donation $30; 1pm. (Traci Hukill)

Monday | 9/27


Seismologists countywide may find themselves springing from bed and scratching their heads when the Richter scale data comes rolling in around 10pm this Monday. Don't worry, kids, it's not the Big One, it's just DJ and U.K. dubstep producer Rusko detonating weapons of bass destruction from his arsenal of nuclear-powered subwoofers. By mixing dance-friendly electro synths and club samples with the ultra low-end sound of dubstep, Rusko has at 25 become the wunderkind of a still-young genre. His energy on stage is unmatched, giving anyone with an ass to shake few options but to do so relentlessly. Catalyst; $29; 8pm. (CC)


It's no surprise that the members of the Belleville Outfit found the path to success. The sextet pulled itself together from all corners of the South and cherry-picked genres from its members' favorite music histories. The result is a marriage of Americana and Eastern European folk, a wedding of troubadour tunes to violins in a ceremony catered by someone in New Orleans. The mix is pure toe-tappin', skirt-swirlin' spirit. Don Quixote's; $15; 7:30pm. (KJ)

Tuesday | 9/28


The freak folk foursome Animal Collective commands fanatical devotion across a huge swath of the indie music spectrum. The group's last full-length album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, was Pitchfork's album of the year in 2009, and the new Animal Collective–inspired film ODDSAC is the talk of the indie blogosphere. Josh Dibb, a.k.a. Deakin, is one of the group's mad scientists, known for making avant-garde remixes for bands like Ratatat and Goldfrapp. As a solo act, Deakin continues to weave the multi-layered psychedelic fabric that has defined his work with his day-job band, with perhaps a smidge of extra electronic hullabaloo. Brookdale Lodge; $10; 8pm. (CC)

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