The first time David Bowie was on television wasn’t for his music—he was interviewed on BBC Tonight as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men, which just goes to show that you never really know when or how the next international mega-star will be unearthed. It could even be at a show you heard about on the weekly music calendar of your friendly neighborhood entertainment provider. Only one way to find out…


Friday, September 9

The White Buffalo at Moe’s Alley

Singer-songwriter Jake Smith, AKA The White Buffalo, knows how to set a gritty-smoke tinged scene with his heartfelt and lyrically deep American folk-rock ballads. As Billboard Magazine puts it, “His voice is Eddie Vedder with more Jameson; Johnny Cash with more empathy.” In addition to creating a dedicated follow of fans for his live performances, he’s written music for on-screen projects like the TV series Sons of Anarchy and the 2013 film The Lone Ranger. We sat down with the bearded Buffalo the last time he came to town. Check out our interview here.

Show at 9pm. Tickets $19 in advance/$24 at the door.


Friday, September 9

The Jolly Llamas at The Blue Lagoon

What started out as a two-piece gypsy folk-inspired acoustic outfit has since morphed into a four-piece fast paced pop-punk indie rock dance party. These Santa Cruz locals got their name from their innate ability to make that back half of the audience do the weird tip-toe Llama neck crane in order to see all the fun (at least we’d like to think so), so show up early for a good spot. They will be joined by SF rock powerhouse The Go Ahead and locals Urban Theory. This show is a no-brainer for any Santa Cruz or Bay Area music fan on a budget.

Show at 9pm. Tickets $5 at the door


Saturday, September 10

Andre Nickatina at The Catalyst Main Stage

On paper, this really shouldn’t be a show that happens on a Saturday night during one of the busier weekends of Santa Cruz’s Indian summer. Andre Nickatina hasn’t had a wide release in over a decade and he doesn’t have a viral video. In fact, his most popular videos on YouTube aren’t even on his own channel. But F-I-Double L- M-O-E raised, and this Bay Area rap legend has never really been a typical musician. There’s a reason this show always makes our list when it comes to town. It’s loud, sweaty and fun, and it usually sells out.

Show at 9pm. Tickets $23 advance/$25 at the door


Sunday, September 11

Bleached at the Catalyst Atrium

Two twenty-something sisters bring California surf rock with next-generation flavor to The Atrium. Bleached’s sophomore album Welcome The Worms has a lot of industry heads chatting, especially after working with acclaimed Morrissey and Elton John producer Joe Chiccarelli. With some songs suitable for a beach boys luau and some more for a headbanger’s ball, Bleached is definitely not a reference to their catalog.

Show at 9pm. Tickets $12 in advance/$15 at the door