Todd Hannigan There are a lot of surfer-songwriters around today, many of them extremely popular, especially in this region. But Todd Hannigan brings a level of musical sophistication to the genre unseen from many other artists. Often compared to Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, Hannigan’s acoustic sound has a wafting elegance that seems to come naturally from the Ventura native, and a rhythmic sense inherited from his travels to Australia, Indonesia, Ecuador and Africa. He made his name nationally with his work on Jack Johnson’s Thicker Than Water soundtrack, but on his own debut album, Volume 1, Hannigan displays fully the talent that has made him a fast rising name in the surf-folk world. Hannigan rides the New Year wave at Mai’s Café.
Cheap Trick If you’re a political figure, there is nothing cooler you can do nowadays than go one-on-one with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. But imagine if you’re a musician, and already a reasonably cool one at that, and you appear on the show not to spar with the bespectacled faux-conservative, but to do what you do best: shred a double-neck guitar. Your hipness levels would soar through the friggin’ roof! That’s exactly what happened when Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen joined in an all-star jam on the show’s theme song at the end of the mock news commentary program a few months ago. And not only that, but Nielsen wrote the damn song, too! Suffice to say, Nielsen, and by proxy Cheap Trick, are just about the coolest late-1970s rockers on the planet right now. But anyone who has ever listened to — and inevitably sang along with — hits like “Surrender,” “Dream Police” and, of course, “I Want You To Want Me,” already knows that. Ring in the New Year with Cheap Trick at the Canyon (and considering the tinnitus that’s likely to follow the show, we mean that literally).