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the expendables

No one is going to mistake what the Expendables do for high art, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better party to ring in the new year—even if you end up celebrating a night early, during the show on the 30th. Melding reggae, heavy-metal riffage and a slight surf twang that befits their local roots, the band (Adam Patterson, Geoff Weers, Raul Bianchi and Ryan DeMars) take the post-Sublime rock-reggae amalgamation to another level. Part of the band's appeal is its utter and gleeful shamelessness; to quote Slightly Stoopid singer Miles Doughty, "The Expendables are the best thing to happen to metal since the '80s, the rise of hair metal dub," and he may not be lying. You can't help but feel that the band is doing it all for the laughs, and that infectious spirit shines through during its live sets. Catalyst; $20 Wednesday; $25 advance/$30 door Thursday; 8pm. (PD)

tuesday30   youssoupha sidibe

Walt Whitman once sang the body electric. Through his masterful kora playing, Youssoupha Sidibe sings the body unchained, wrested from its mortal bonds through sheer, beatific joy. Western listeners are largely aware of Sidibe through his work with the likes of Bela Fleck, Michael Franti and india.irie, but in his native Senegal (and among savvy listeners of African music) he is recognized as a contemporary master. Sidibe's signature—integrating traditional Sufi devotional chants with reggae rhythms—is an inspired artistic choice, one that moves both body and soul. Moe's Alley; $10 advance/$12 door; 9pm. (PD)

wednesday31Sourgrass

Jay Palmer of Sourgrass is best known as the one-man funk machine that steals shows like O.J. steals sports memorabilia. What Mick Jagger did for the Rolling Stones, Palmer does for his crew by igniting the stage with a fervent, sex-soaked performance that bleeds over into the crowd and always adds up to a good time. And with a killer band of groovy funksters backing him up and no less an occasion than New Year's Eve on which to unleash its full fury, this band is intent on proving why it's one of Santa Cruz's most adored local acts. Moe's Alley; $12 advance/$15 door; 9pm. (CC)

 wednesday31harry and the hit men

Motor City might be in a bad way these days, but Motown hangs in there, and Harry and the Hit Men are its most zealous local ambassadors. Busting out tight, highly danceable R&B standards like "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and "Heatwave," the Santa Cruz sextet features a trumpet, trombone and bass trombone—proof positive of its commitment to the form. Not to say Harry and the Hit Men is trapped in any single genre. The band also occasionally indulges its penchant for psychedelia in drawn-out improvisational jams that keeps the audience wondering what will come next. Crepe Place; $5; 9pm. (Traci Hukill)

wednesday31the sun kings

Here's a Beatles tribute band just the way you want it—focused on the music of the lads from Liverpool, not the suits and haircuts. The Alameda five-piece (Paul's keyboard and bass duties are divvied up between two members) renders spot-on covers of tunes spanning every Beatles era from Please Please Me to Abbey Road, with an emphasis on the latter-day music that gets the Bay Area's Beatle fans all happy inside. Between Drew Harrison's Lennon vocals, Michael Barrett's McCartney impersonation and sterling musicianship by the rest of the band, it's a party in the making. Tonight's fete at Don Quixote's includes free champagne at midnight and more than enough good cheer to go around. Don Quixote's; $25; 9pm. (TH)

---------------BOX TicketWindow

ORGONE
JAN. 2 AT MOE'S ALLEY

THE TUBES
JAN. 3 AT CATALYST

I WAYNE and CHEZIDEK
JAN. 4 AT MOE'S ALLEY

PHAROAH SANDERS
JAN. 5 AT KUUMBWA

ELLIOT MURPHY
JAN. 8 AT DON QUIXOTE'S

FINN RIGGINS
JAN. 9 AT CREPE PLACE

3 INCHES OF BLOOD
JAN. 14 AT CATALYST

MEAT PUPPETS
JAN. 16 AT RIO THEATRE

AMY RAY
JAN. 30 AT RIO THEATRE

NOFX
FEB. 17 AT CATALYST 

 

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