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Celebrate Earth Day on April 27 with The Mighty Croon Dogs, Jill Knight, and more 

With a Climate-Change-Denier-in-Chief in the White House, record breaking temperatures, increasingly violent storms, melting glaciers, and worsening ocean acidification, it's easy to become overwhelmed about our impending environmental disaster, and maybe even feel like it's all pointless and give up. But Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist leading a worldwide school strike to demand action on climate change, isn't giving up. She knows the time to act is now, and though you might not be able to change the world, you can change your world. The place to learn how is at this year's Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 27, in Laguna Lake Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (all ages; free; more info at earthdayslo.org).

After an opening welcome by Mona Olivas Tucker, the chair of the yak tityu tityu yak tilhini—the Northern Chumash Tribe of SLO County—you can expect a public drum circle led by Tim Costa, followed by great music by the likes of contemporary dance band Back Bay Betty, amazing Americana singer-songwriter Jill Knight & The Daylights, alt-rockers Dudeo Parez, and headliners The Mighty Croon Dogs, a band that can do just about anything. In between, the Desert Coast Dancers will also perform.

click to enlarge MUSICAL ANTICS The always amazing Mighty Croon Dogs headline the 2019 Earth Day Celebration at Laguna Lake Park on April 27. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIGHTY CROON DOGS
  • Photo Courtesy Of The Mighty Croon Dogs
  • MUSICAL ANTICS The always amazing Mighty Croon Dogs headline the 2019 Earth Day Celebration at Laguna Lake Park on April 27.

More importantly, there are a lot of opportunities to learn by visiting information booths by A.M. Sun Solar, Bliss River Organics, the Cal Poly Surfrider Foundation, Central Coast Vegans, the Cuesta Sustainability Resource Center, ECOSLO, Green Goods, Pacific Wildlife, the Sierra Club—Santa Lucia, SLO Veg, and three dozen more enviro-conscious organizations.

Vendors will have healthy foods, juices, beers, and wines for purchase. There's also free bike valet parking. Ride over with the family and make a day of it! Be like Greta and create the world you deserve.

The Fremont five

The Fremont Theater (tickets at Boo Boo Records or fremontslo.com) has another fat lineup this week, starting with country star Aaron Watson playing on Thursday, April 25 (8 p.m.; 16-and-older; $30.83). His 2017 album, Vaquero, hit the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart. His 18-year career has yielded over a dozen critically acclaimed albums. Kylie Frey opens.

Party Favor plays the Fremont on Friday, April 26 (9 p.m.; 16-and-older; $27.31), with Wuki and Tik Tak opening. Party Favor is EDM DJ and producer Dylan Ragland's stage name. He's known for great dance tracks such as "Bap U," "In My Head," and "Shut It Down."

Shallou and Slow Magic co-headline their Into the Wild Tour this Saturday, April 27 (9 p.m.; all ages; $24.96). Shallou is a Maryland-born musician and producer who came to electronic music after moving to Chicago, where he recorded his debut EP, All Becomes Okay, in his bedroom. Slow Magic is an EDM act whose start came in 2012 with the release of the critically acclaimed album, Triangle.

click to enlarge STYLING Chicano Batman plays the Fremont Theater on April 28, delivering their Brazilian Tropicalía, early '70s psychedelic soul, and romantic pop sounds. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICANO BATMAN
  • Photo Courtesy Of Chicano Batman
  • STYLING Chicano Batman plays the Fremont Theater on April 28, delivering their Brazilian Tropicalía, early '70s psychedelic soul, and romantic pop sounds.

I'm most excited about the return of Chicano Batman on Sunday, April 28 (8 p.m.; 16-and-older; $33.17), with Brianstory opening. LA-based Chicano Batman knows how to put on a show! From their matching formal wear to their super cool blended Brazilian Tropicalía with early '70s psychedelic soul and romantic pop, they cook up some infectious and irresistible sounds.

Frontman Bardo Martinez explained in press materials their aesthetic: "We're making a particular reference that some people understand—Los Ángeles Negros, Los Pasteles Verdes. In the '70s, it was a big thing where all these cats were playing romantic ballads, but they were funky as hell."

Next Thursday, May 2, Gungor and their End of the World Tour plays the Fremont (8 p.m.; all ages; $30.83 to $42.56), with The Brilliance and Propaganda opening. Gungor is husband and wife duo Michael and Lisa Gungor, who've been compared to Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and Sufjan Stevens.

Dream pop

Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents' big show this week is Baltimore-based dreamy pop duo Beach House, featuring French-born vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand—the niece of Michel Legrand and Christiane Legrand—and Baltimore native guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist Alex Scally.

click to enlarge DREAMERS Pop duo Beach House, featuring Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, play the Alex Madonna Expo Center on April 30. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BEACH HOUSE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Beach House
  • DREAMERS Pop duo Beach House, featuring Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, play the Alex Madonna Expo Center on April 30.

Their self-titled debut was released to much acclaim in 2006, and they followed up with Devotion (2008), Teen Dream (2010), Bloom (2012), Depression Cherry (2015), Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015), B-sides and Rarities (2017), and their most recent, 7 (2018).

Legrand's voice has been frequently compared to Nico and sometimes '80s psyche rock singer Kendra Smith of Opal. This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, and Big Star are a few of their influences. The duo adds percussionist Daniel Franz to their live shows.

See Beach House at the Alex Madonna Expo Center on Tuesday, April 30 (6 p.m.; all ages; $37 at Boo Boo's and ticketfly.com).

Numbskull and Good Medicine is also bringing Wild ChildA Jim Morrison Celebration to The Siren on Saturday, April 27 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $18 presale at Boo Boo's and ticketfly.com or $20 at the door).

Featuring singer Dave Brock, Wild Child has been recreating Jim Morrison's sound and vibe for more than 20 years.

"The band also utilizes the same musical instruments live as The Doors did over 40 years ago," press materials read.

Support survivors

Rise Up and Rock: A Benefit Concert Supporting Survivors is at the SLO Brew Rock Event Center this Saturday, April 27 (2 p.m.; all ages; presale $15 student, $25 general, kids 12 and under free at slobrew.com; or $20 student and $30 general at the door).

This uplifting day supports RISE: Respect, Inspire, Support, Empower, a nonprofit organization "that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones," according to their website. "All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English."

The Bogeys open the show at 2:30 p.m. Comprised of Cal Poly students and Whole Foods workers, the alt-pop band mixes '80s synth pop sounds with '60s surf rock.

Lady rockers Hot Tina go on at 3:30 p.m. These SLO music scene veterans are influenced by "Joan Jett and Blondie, a little Misfits, AC/DC, or Iron Maiden with a dash of Roseanne Cash and Loretta Lynn." according to their bio. I've seen them a bunch, and they rock hard!

click to enlarge BIG BAND Brass Mash headlines a four-band fundraising show for RISE, on April 27, at the SLO Brew Rock Event Center. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BRASS MASH
  • Photo Courtesy Of Brass Mash
  • BIG BAND Brass Mash headlines a four-band fundraising show for RISE, on April 27, at the SLO Brew Rock Event Center.

Brass Mash, a horn-driven cover band that takes popular tunes, mashes them together, and arranges them for horns, starts at 5 p.m. They're one of the most fun local live bands around!

The SLO Grrrl Music Collective is also supposed to make an appearance. Most of your ticket cost ($20 of the $25 general and $10 of the $15 student) goes to RISE. Be part of the solution and have a great time, too.

Bloch party

The SLO Master Chorale presents a weekend festival of music and art by Ernest Bloch, a Swiss contemporary composer who lived and worked for much of his career in California. A seminar, photography exhibit at SLOMA, and concert are all scheduled.

click to enlarge BEING ERNEST The SLO Master Chorale performs Ernest Bloch's masterwork, Avodath Hakodesh, on April 28, in the Performing Arts Center, as part of a three-day celebration of the Swiss composer and photographer. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO MASTER CHORALE
  • Photo Courtesy Of The San Luis Obispo Master Chorale
  • BEING ERNEST The SLO Master Chorale performs Ernest Bloch's masterwork, Avodath Hakodesh, on April 28, in the Performing Arts Center, as part of a three-day celebration of the Swiss composer and photographer.

More than 100 singers accompanied by a full orchestra will perform Bloch's masterwork, Avodath Hakodesh, or "Sacred Service," commissioned by Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco in 1929, at the main event of the weekend, on Sunday, April 28 (3 p.m.; all ages; $10 to $38 at pacslo.org or (805) 756-4849), in the Harold Miossi Hall of Cal Poly's Performing Arts Center. An exhibition of Bloch's photography will be on display in the lobby beginning at 2 p.m. for ticket holders.

Cal Poly Professor Emeritus Eric Johnson, an expert on the photography of Bloch, will also offer two free workshops. On Friday, April 26 (3 p.m.), Johnson will present "A Composer's Vision" on Bloch's life, music, and photography, and his relationship with Alfred Stieglitz, father of modern photography, in the Davidson Music Center, room 218. On Saturday, April 27 (7 p.m.), Johnson will host Bloch's granddaughter and great-granddaughter, who will share stories of Bloch, his art, and his creative process at the SLO Museum of Art.

More music ...

Two time Latin Grammy Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/composer Diego Garcia (aka Twanguero) plays with his band at The Siren this Friday, April 26 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $10 presale at ticketfly.com and Boo Boo's or $15 at the door). Expect a blend of Flamenco, rock, and blues.

Reggae rockers The Resinators and reggae and island-influenced singer-songwriter Skyler Lutes play the Frog and Peach on Friday, April 26 (9 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). Get irie!

click to enlarge HOT JAZZ KIDS The Tevis Ranger Junior High School Jazz Band will play hot swingin' jazz at the Basin Street Regulars' April 28 concert, in the Pismo Vets' Hall. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TEVIS RANGER JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND
  • Photo Courtesy Of Tevis Ranger Junior High School Jazz Band
  • HOT JAZZ KIDS The Tevis Ranger Junior High School Jazz Band will play hot swingin' jazz at the Basin Street Regulars' April 28 concert, in the Pismo Vets' Hall.

The Pub Crawlers from Sacramento and the Tevis Ranger Junior High School Jazz Band from Bakersfield will be playing hot swingin' jazz at the Basin Street Regulars at a Sunday, April 28, concert (1 p.m.; all ages; $10) in the Pismo Vets Hall.

The SLO Wind Orchestra presents Enchanting Chamber Music with the Atascadero United Methodist Choir at the United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 28 (3 p.m.; all ages; donations appreciated). Hear music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Vaughn-Williams.

LA based singer-songwriter Miss Valeri Lopez plays three local shows this week, starting at the Morro Bay Wine Seller as part of the Songwriters at Play showcase on Monday, April 29 (6:30 p.m.); then at Bliss Café this Tuesday, April 30 (from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.); and finally at Branch Street Deli on Wednesday, May 1, for another Songwriters at Play showcase (6 p.m.). All the shows are free. Accompanying herself on guitar or banjo, she writes sweet, well crafted songs that'll make you smile.

Stellar singer-songwriter Jude Johnstone plays Painted Sky Studios on Monday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $20 at Boo Boo's, Ball & Skein, or by calling (805) 927-8330). Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Mary Black, Stephen Bishop, Jennifer Warnes, Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Cash, and more have covered Johnstone's songs. Bob Liepman (cello) and Sal Garza (violin) will accompany her.

Portland AmeriCeltic band Castletown returns to the Frog and Peach on Tuesday, April 30 (10 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). They're touring in support of Traditions. Δ

Keep up with New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey via Twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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