A jazz music phenom and a 20-year-old that can channel 90s-era badassary better than the originals are just some of the acts playing this week that will make you rethink your youth. What were you doing during your teenage years? I bet it wasn’t touring the world regaling people with your amazing talent! Check out the following live music shows in Santa Cruz and see what your life could’ve been.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Titus Andronicus is one of those band names that most people have heard before, whether it was in reference to the Shakespearean play or a giant man killing robot. Their sound is violent, turbulent, but not without planning or skill, and their name is only a small part of why this Glen Rock, Arkansas hardcore rock-and-roll band has been able to maintain such a strong following for the last 10 years. You can attribute the rest of their lasting popularity to the fact that they absolutely kill it live and have put out consistent quality albums since their debut in 2009 on XL recordings. 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $13/$15.
We’ve all seen the Youtube videos of the 10-year-old child who takes on War Pigs by Ozzy, or the young Russian reality TV contestant who can croon a Beatles hit as well as a singer twice her age, but have you ever seen an 11-year-old flawlessly play from the jazz catalogs from greats like Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, and John Coltrane? Check out this amazing young jazz savant as he plays the classics and selections from his own new recording, My Favorite Things, at Kuumbwa. 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $25/$30.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
This 20-year-old from Long Island, NY has been making quite the impression since her entry into the music scene only a year ago. Reminiscent of 90s-era alternative rock badass chicks like Fiona Apple and Courtney Love mixed with contemporary pop punk a-la Grimes, Melanie’s self-directed and styled videos have earned her major buzz. She recently earned a spot on Rolling Stones “Top 10 Artists You Need to Know in September 2015.” Come see her for yourself at The Catalyst. Tickets are off sale online but will be available at the door or Stub Hub.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Blazeen and Ancestree at Moe’s Alley
It’s a Santa Cruz reggae double bill at Moe’s Alley with local bands Blazeen and Ancestree. Blazeen, an 8-piece band with international and African reggae influences play music “for the peaceful warrior in all of us.” You can see Ancestree cruising around town in their sweet bus when they aren’t performing engaging and skillful reggae or trying to make the community a better place. 8 p.m. Tickets: $5/$8.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2
The Jolly Llamas at The Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival
The Jolly Llamas are joining forces with the Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival for an evening of folk rock and film that you won’t soon forget. While their name may sound silly, there is nothing ridiculous about the glorious, neck-craning sounds this local gypsy folk / surf rock group emits. Catch them before the screening of feature length film, Ocean Driven and various movie shorts. 7 p.m. Tickets: $16 at the door, $40 for the entire weekend.
Pictured: Melanie Martinez via Facebook.