.Things To Do In Santa Cruz

Week of 9-27-23



BEAT FARMERS By now, everyone is used to bands mixing any and every genre together. But in the ’80s, it was unusual for bands to blend elements like Americana, punk and jangle pop. There were some brave, underground bands that challenged people’s ideas of genre lines. One of the greats was Southern California’s Beat Farmers. The band flirted with mainstream success, but were ultimately a little too strange for pop radio. They were a lot of fun and their loyal fanbase knew that. They played Northern California all the time back during their original run. San Jose greats Grey Matter are reuniting for this show as well. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.


secure document shredding

MAC SABBATH Sometimes when I’m grabbing some late night burgers and fries, I think to myself, “Damn this is so metal.” Maybe my association with metal and burgers is due to the most metal band out there: Mac Sabbath, a demented version of Ronald McDonald and friends that play sick and twisted fast food-themed renditions of Black Sabbath tunes. Yeah, it sounds silly, but wait till you see Grimace bite the head off of a bat and spit its blood into the audience! I’m not saying that will happen at Mac Sabbath’s upcoming show, but it’s that kind of metal intensity. And burgers and fries. AC

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $31. 704-7113.



HARMONIZING VOCALS Robinson Rohe, Into the Night. Photo: Aidan Grant

ROBINSON & ROHE Fifteen years ago Liam Robinson and Jean Rohe got together over their mutual love for folk music, song-swapping and wordplay. However, they wouldn’t release their debut album, Hunger, until 2017. Their harmonizing vocals, sharp but playful lyrics and rich melodies are the perfect soundtrack for the forests of Boulder Creek and the intimate setting of Lille Aeske Arthouse. They will be playing songs off their latest album, Into the Night, released this past May and will bring audience members a “portrait of togetherness and honest, defiant joy in a messy world.” MAT WEIR

INFO: 8pm, Lille Aeske Arthouse, 13160 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek. $25/adv, $30/door. 703-4183. 



PRÓXIMA PARADA In December 2022, influencer Matt Firestine put Próxima Parada’s song “Musta Been a Ghost” on one of his TikToks, and it went viral. The attention has been intense, but the ever-sunny band—formed among friends at Cal Poly in 2012—met the massive swell with a strong foundation and a lot of joy. Nick Larson drives the project with his playful delivery of deep themes in a spirit reminiscent of funk and blues contemporaries like Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Lake Street Dive and Vulfpeck. Last year, as his life changed overnight, he said, “We’re just getting started.” ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 9pm, Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $17/adv, $22/door. 713-5492.


MOUNTAINFILM ON TOUR Each year the outdoorsy cinephiles of Mountainfilm, who are based in Telluride, pack up the proverbial reels from their Memorial Day festival and hit the road to bring the country a new selection of award-winning wilderness documentaries. Focused on environmental, cultural and social justice issues, this year’s films rove from a mini-history lesson on an unsung defender of Title IX to a profile of Hermosa Beach legend Frank Paine, who overcame his agoraphobia with the help of the surfing community. A portion of ticket sales will go to Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship, helping maintain the trails around the city where adventures happen daily. AM

INFO: 7pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. $20. 423-8209. 


POWER STRIP It’s not common to find a band that can cover classic rockabilly artist, Roy Orbison and the short-lived, Los Angeles punks, The Germs, but that’s the beauty of Power Strip. Formed in 2010, the dynamic duo of Sayaka Yabuki and Tait Reed–long-time locals might remember Reed from Noise Clinic–Power Strip is their version of a cover band but with a twist. This week these two highly seasoned musicians will play their most stripped down set yet with only guitar, violin, synth and vocals. As uncommon as it is to find a band with a repertoire like Power Strip, it’s just as rare to see Power Strip play these days, so grab a pint of Discretion and let the good times roll. MW

INFO: 5:30pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Soquel. Free. 316-0662. 



YELLOWJACKETS Combining crossover appeal with improvisational prowess, Yellowjackets has been pushing musical boundaries since its beginnings in the 1970s as guitarist Robben Ford’s backing band. When Ford went his own way in pursuit of a vocal-oriented style in 1983, the band focused on instrumentals and quickly garnered recognition as one of the top jazz-fusion outfits in the country. With 25 albums and 17 Grammy nominations to their name (plus 2 wins!), Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer and William Kennedy—along with their latest addition, bass player Dane Alderson—continue exploring the adventurous sonic landscape born of melding traditional jazz with funk groove and rock rhythm. AM

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $52.50/adv, $57.75/door. 427-2227.


ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS Modern society is overwhelming. Between the traffic noise, constant television in every room, restaurant and bar, multitudes of social media, emails, text messages, videos, soundbites, music streaming and more, it’s easy–and sometimes necessary–to mentally check-out, in order to process everything. But in the mess of modern life the skill of active listening often becomes dull or dwindles altogether. This Saturday, SubRosa Community Space and Free Skool Santa Cruz is offering a class on how to give all of your attention to someone and actively participate in listening and conversing for improved mutual understanding. MW

INFO: 1pm, SubRosa Community Space, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 426-5242. 



VALERIE JUNE There is no voice like Valerie June’s, and wow is it a good one. But June is more than her vocals—deep sound, moving in both its layered complexity and its tributes to musical traditions of the past. June’s songs scratch the itch for anyone seeking the spiritual experience of collective ecstasy that only beautiful music can create. She’s on the bill for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the greatest, freest (literally and figuratively) music festival in the Bay Area, but a Hardly Strictly set only lasts for so long. Those who crave more Valerie June can find her at the Rio Theatre. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8 pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. $34. 423-1854.


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