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Big Head Todd and the Monsters are one of four Fremont Theater shows this week 

Let's start with a warning: Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and omicron variant surge, many shows have been canceled or rescheduled as of late. While the information below was accurate before press time, things change. I recommend you always check with the venue to confirm that the show will go on.

That said, live music has still been happening, and the Fremont Theater has a packed slate this week. It's not music, but maybe you'd like to know about actor and stand-up comic Marc Maron on his This May Be The Last Time Tour performing on Friday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m.; all ages; $48 to $58 plus fees at seetickets.us). Maron has four hit stand-up comedy specials and the podcast WTF with Marc Maron.

Now onto the music. When Big Head Todd and the Monsters hit the scene in the mid-'80s, they quickly became college radio darlings. By 1993, they signed with Giant Records and recorded Sister Sweetly, which spawned three singles—"Bittersweet," "Broken Hearted Savior," and "Circle"—propelling the album to platinum sales. They've remained relevant though not hugely commercially successful, but with about a dozen studio albums to their credit and some 3,500 shows under their belt, they're practically an institution.

click to enlarge STILL ROCKING Big Head Todd and the Monsters storms the Fremont Theater stage on Jan. 29, sharing their community of joy. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Big Head Todd And The Monsters
  • STILL ROCKING Big Head Todd and the Monsters storms the Fremont Theater stage on Jan. 29, sharing their community of joy.

"Friendships have spawned because of our band," frontman Todd Park Mohr said in press materials. "Maybe a bit like the Grateful Dead, the line between audience and stage has over time become a bit blurred, and many lifelong friendships have been made in every direction. I'm very proud of that. Bringing people together and sharing a joy for a couple of hours is an important function of music. Music can cultivate community, even harmony. We need that!"

Get on the scene with the Monsters on Saturday, Jan. 29 (8 p.m.; all ages; $28 plus fees at seetickets.us).

"If I had any message for our listeners, it would just be, 'Thank you,'" Mohr added. "We're so fortunate to have lives making music. We're grateful to be in the situation we're in, and we're going to continue as long as we can."

See soul and R&B singer Allen Stone at the Fremont on Tuesday, Feb. 1 (8 p.m.; all ages; $29 to $35 plus fees at seetickets.us). This pastor's son was a gospel singer until as a teen he discovered Stevie Wonder's Innversions. The rest is history. With hits like "Unaware," "Bed I Made," and "Brown Eyed Lover," Billboard has praised Stone for his "disarmingly soulful vocals."

Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra closes out Fremont's week when they play on Wednesday, Feb. 2 (8 p.m.; $35.50 plus fees at seetickets.us). They played more than 3,000 Dead tributes in their 20-year career, specializing in re-creating set lists from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of touring.

"For us it's a chance to re-create some of the magic that was created for us over the years," keyboardist and vocalist Rob Barraco explained in press materials. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978, or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the '90s, we offer something they never got to see live."

Light your fire

Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents bring Dave Brock's Doors tribute experience, Wild Child, to The Siren this Saturday, Jan. 29 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 plus fees at eventbrite.com). Brock was born and raised in the Bay Area, but while attending Long Beach State University in the '80s, he landed the lead role in The Jim Morrison Rock Opera as The Doors lead singer. Produced by the late singer's sister, Anna Morrison Graham, and her husband, Allan, the show was a success, but after it eventually closed, Brock created his own live musical stage show and Wild Child was born.

click to enlarge LIZARD KING Dave Brock channels Jim Morrison as Wild Child, playing The Siren on Jan. 29. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WILD CHILD
  • Photo Courtesy Of Wild Child
  • LIZARD KING Dave Brock channels Jim Morrison as Wild Child, playing The Siren on Jan. 29.

His show has certainly opened doors for him. In 1992, director-producer Robert Zemeckis cast Brock as Jim Morrison in his comedy Death Becomes Her. In 2010, original Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger invited Brock to tour with them as their vocalist on their concert engagements, which he still does. That's about the highest honor you can have as a Morrison impersonator.

Reggae and more at the Rock

SLO Brew Rock hosts a reggae extravaganza with Fortunate Youth, Arise Roots, and Eureka Sound System on Thursday, Jan. 17 (7 p.m.; 18-and-older; check slobrew.com for ticket info). High energy roots reggae sextet Fortunate Youth delivers feel good, positive vibe music, which has made them a South Bay favorite. Arise Roots says their one goal is to "create a fresh reggae sound with a modern feel that appeals to all walks of life without compromising the true feel of roots reggae." Eureka Sound features "luscious harmonic compositions combined with the syncopated, heavy rhythms of roots reggae."

Local singer-songwriter Chris Beland plays an album release party at SLO Brew Rock this Friday, Jan. 28, with Dan Curcio opening (7 p.m.; all ages; free). Beland, a Santa Maria native, was introduced to music through his grandfather's Willie Nelson records. He went on to front a punk band, get into drugs, impregnate his girlfriend, check into rehab, discover spirituality, and become a full-time singer-songwriter with plenty of life experiences to draw from for his poignant songs. His eighth album, Northrup Station, drops this Friday.

click to enlarge 2020 VISION Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, touring in support of his EP he calls a "poetically emotive and an elegantly evocative pandemic scrapbook," plays SLO Brew Rock on Feb. 2. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARTIN SEXTON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Martin Sexton
  • 2020 VISION Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, touring in support of his EP he calls a "poetically emotive and an elegantly evocative pandemic scrapbook," plays SLO Brew Rock on Feb. 2.

See Martin Sexton at SLO Brew Rock on Wednesday, Feb. 2 (7:30 p.m.; 18-and-older; $35 plus fees presale at slobrew.com, $40 day of show, and $42 at the door). According to his bio, the singer-songwriter "is like an ultra-active antenna, adventuring through the static to grab a clear signal. When he dials in on one station, he then quickly shifts to the next one. This everchanging attention span drives his family crazy."

He's touring in support of his 2021 EP, 2020 Vision, which he calls a "poetically emotive and an elegantly evocative pandemic scrapbook."

"In one song, I'm building a treehouse with my son. In another song, I'm crossing America and seeing the beauty in people rising through adversity and loving each other," Martin explained.

Finally, mark your calendars for Bumpin Uglies playing SLO Brew Rock next Thursday, Feb. 3 (8 p.m.; 18-and-older; $17 presale plus fees at slobrew.com, $22 day of show, and $24 at the door). This is a bumping punk/reggae/ska band with a great horn section and super hooky songs such as "Crazy," "Bad Decisions," and "Morning After." Reggae act Artikal Sound System will open the show. They just dropped a soulful new single, "When I Wanna," which is off of their forthcoming new album, Welcome to Florida, out Feb. 1.

click to enlarge SPANISH TWANG Spanish guitarist Diego "Twanguero" Garcia will perform American folk, flamenco, and tango on Jan. 29, in Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TWANGUERO
  • Photo Courtesy Of Twanguero
  • SPANISH TWANG Spanish guitarist Diego "Twanguero" Garcia will perform American folk, flamenco, and tango on Jan. 29, in Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre.

More music ...

Twanguero comes to Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 29 (8 p.m.; $31.20 to $39 at pacslo.org). Diego "Twanguero" Garcia is a Spanish guitar player and Latin Grammy winner "known for his unique 'twang' sound that ranges from Spanish guitar to American folk, flamenco, and tango," according to organizers. "In riveting solo work and numbers backed by his electric trio, this eclectic evening will feature tunes from his Electric Sunset release, his Spanish Music Award-winning solo CD, Back Roads Vol. I, as well as his soon-to-be-released Back Roads Vol. II."

click to enlarge IVORY TICKLER The Sonny Leyland All-Star Quartet plays the Jan. 30 Basin Street Regulars concert at the Pismo Vets Hall, which will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CARL SONNY LEYLAND
  • Photo Courtesy Of Carl Sonny Leyland
  • IVORY TICKLER The Sonny Leyland All-Star Quartet plays the Jan. 30 Basin Street Regulars concert at the Pismo Vets Hall, which will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.

The Sonny Leyland All-Star Quartet plays the Sunday, Jan. 30, Basin Street Regulars concert at the Pismo Vets Hall (streamed on facebook.com/BasinStreetRegulars starting at 12:50 p.m. or youtube.com/user/BasinStreetRegulars. Donations welcome at paypal.basinstreetregulars). Leyland is a boogie-woogie pianist and amazing entertainer who spent years in New Orleans honing his skills in traditional jazz, blues, Western swing, rockabilly, and country music. Local jazz quartet Eloquent Quarter will open the show.

Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer and two Cal Poly Choirs will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Miossi Hall of the Performing Arts Center. Titled Beauty of the Day, the concert features a performance of Nico Muhly's composition of the same name in its world premiere performance by the combined choral groups (7:30 p.m.; $24 and $35 for the public, and $15 for students at pacslo.org or by calling (805) 756-4849). Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimsslo.com.

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