Sure, Labor Day is over and we are back to the daily grind. But, this is Santa Cruz, where no one really works, and it is freaking HOT outside. One hundred degree weather? Really? So, get indoors and see some amazing live shows. This week we have a mix of nationally touring and talented local acts to check out.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Bursting out of LA and onto the mainstream in 2012 with his Ill Mind series, Hopsin has been touring, creating videos, and rocking sold out shows without looking back. Known for his ruthless and poignant critique of pop-culture, hip-hop, religion, and his millennial cohorts- Hopsin pulls no punches when it comes to his lyrics. He will be stopping at The Catalyst as part of the Funk Volume Tour with Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton. 9 p.m. Tickets: $25/$27.50.
Santa Cruz Reggae Allstars at Moe’s Alley
Santa Cruz Reggae Allstars is a smorgasbord of members from various bands and the jamming community that come together after regular gigs around town. They incorporate many genres of music and the surf roots culture of Santa Cruz into their changing repertoire. Contrary to popular belief, the name refers to a style of reggae that has grown in Santa Cruz since the days of Bob Marley’s famous visit, where he aptly referred to it as “Rasta Cruz.” Info: 9 p.m. Tickets: $7/$10.
LIGHT is self-described as “improvisational, face-melting, and always funky, mixing a high degree of musicianship with straight-up rage.” And I can tell you from experience, they are not joking. These Santa Cruz locals put on quite a show. The band works off written pieces, yet their chemistry and musicianship allows for enthralling improvisation. Info: 9 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
The Go Ahead is a four piece, high-energy rock band straight from the gritty streets of San Francisco. Kyna Wise belts out vocals with insane range, fronting a band pulling from influences such as Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, Fiona Apple and many more. Limiting their sound simply to ‘rock’ does not do the band justice. The blending of powerhouse grooves, soul-shaking bass, jaw-dropping guitar lines, and melodies packed with sheer emotion make this band an experience unlike any other. Info: 9 p.m.
Pawn Shop Soul at The Boardwalk Bowl
Founded in 2013 by veteran soul, funk, and jazz musicians, Pawn Shop Soul features a full horn section, something not often seen in this millennium. Satisfying both the body and soul, Pawn Shop Soul provides high-energy dance music in the tradition of artists from Stax, Volt, Chess and many others. They currently call Santa Cruz home. Info: 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
One of underground hip-hop’s most celebrated acts, Blackalicious, stops here in Santa Cruz during an international tour in support of their upcoming album, Imani, Vol. 1. Blackalicious is made up emcee Gift of Gab and DJ/Producer Chief Xcel, who have been grinding together for more than a decade. Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the “positive tip.” In other words, their lyrics are often spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynous. Info: 8 p.m. Tickets: $18/$22.
PHOTO: Blackalicious via Facebook.