Live Music: A music thing, soul, big band and more
Published - 02/24/14 - 02:43 PM | 3871 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Against all odds, Sprung Monkey — formed in 1991 — is still going full strength. Following a successful run that saw the band appear in an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as landing tunes in everything from TV’s “Smallville” to the film “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” the band split in 2002, re-emerging three years later. Currently playing behind its latest album “Dead is Dead,” the band appears at The Griffin on Feb. 21. The band doesn’t play as often as it used to, but longtime fans can rest assured Sprung Monkey’s hard-hitting sound remains intact.

• SPRUNG MONKEY plays at 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at THE GRIFFIN, 1310 Morena Blvd. 21 and up. $15.

Pairing tribute bands to two of the best-loved bands of the 1970s — Cheap Trick and Journey — the 710 Beach Club will be a virtual jukebox of hits on Friday, Feb. 21. On hand will be the cover acts, Cheapest Trick and Open Arms. While the latter has its following, there are few bands as fun and exciting as Cheap Trick live, so their doppelgangers get the nod. It’s hard to argue with timeless songs like “Surrender,” or “Dream Police,” and Cheapest Trick delivers. The quartet not only turns in worthy renditions but goes the extra mile. Band members not only dress the part, but the two performing as guitarist Rick Nielsen and drummer Bun E. Carlos are pretty much near-perfect replicas of the originals. There will be no surprises in the set list this night, but for sing-a-long fun, this show will be hard to beat.

• CHEAPEST TRICK performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at the 710 BEACH CLUB, 710 Garnet Ave. 21 and up. $5

Jazz and rock guitar fans will want to catch a set from Hank Easton at the Kona Kai Resort on Feb. 22. Easton is perhaps best known as the incendiary lead guitarist in the Steely Damned, also having released three solo albums to date — most recently, “Snapshots.” Easton is a solid performer with a nice voice, as well as tasteful pop rock originals and a slew of great covers in his set, with a particularly melodic playing style that truly accents the music. Easton’s sets include many highlights, but his medley of Steely Dan solos is hard to top.

• HANK EASTON performs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the KONA KAI RESORT, 1551 Shelter Island Drive. Free.

Though considered by some to be a blues combo, the Christian Hastings Band also includes a lot of soul. Appearing at Humphrey’s Backstage Live on Feb. 25, the group is led by guitarist Christian Hastings, featuring a mix of original songs and covers that can range from Bill Withers to Marvin Gaye. Hayes is a wonderfully expressive player, eschewing histrionics and overly busy fretwork for solid playing that enhances his music’s hooks. In addition to sideman work, Hastings has released two albums on his own. But this is a group that really cooks live, making this Wednesday-night gig the perfect midweek pick-me-up.

• THE CHRISTIAN HASTINGS BAND performs at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at HUMPHREYS BACKSTAGE LIVE, 2241 Shelter Island Drive. $5.

For jazz fans there are few tenor saxophonists in the league of the late Dexter Gordon. He passed away in 1990, having issued dozens of albums, starting with “Dexter Rides Again” in 1945 and continuing through to his biggest crossover project, the 1986 film, “’Round Midnight.” Perhaps more importantly, Gordon inspired a legion of young performers in his wake. Evidence of this takes place at Dizzy’s on March 2, when the venue will host a special tribute concert to Gordon, featuring saxophonist Gerard Nolan with bassist Bob Magnusson, pianist John Opferkuch and drummer Duncan Moore. If you’re a fan of the saxophone or a lover of jazz in general, this is one of the month’s calendar highlights.

• DEXTER GORDON TRIBUTE takes place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 2 at DIZZY’S, 4275 Mission Bay Drive. $15.
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