.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: April 12-18

Jesse Daniel, AJ Lee and Blue Summit, the Residents and More


SYLVIE WTH CAREER WOMAN Ben Schwab juggles multiple projects simultaneously: In the duo Golden Daze, he and bandmate Jacob Loeb evoke flower-scented folk harmonies akin to Fleet Foxes. In Michael Collins’ L.A. outfit, Drugdealer, Schwab helps meld psych-pop yacht-rock. Sylvie, meanwhile, is Schwab’s baby. Working out of his garage studio, he’s in complete control as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and engineer. Schwab’s heart-on-the-sleeve ballad “Falls On Me” delves into a breakup and, subsequently, a period of personal growth. An ensemble of piano, bass, drums and slide guitar yields a soft-rock vibe of Seals & Croft and a tempo resembling a dimly lit grand ballroom. 17-year-old Los Angeles singer-songwriter Melody Caudill’s project, Career Woman, has been in the works since she learned how to play piano at 4. Caudill picked up the ukulele at 13, then the guitar. With inspirations from artists like Priscilla Ahn, Phoebe Bridgers, and Elliott Smith, the prodigy pens tunes laced with writes with juxtaposition buoyancy and vulnerability. $18/$22 plus fees. Wednesday, April 12, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. folkyeah.com

JESSE DANIEL WITH TWO RUNNER “Make the kind of music you want to make, and do what’s true to yourself, and the right people will find it, and they will be into it,” Jesse Daniel told me about a year ago before he performed The Catalyst. That sold-out show turned out to be the Santa Cruz County native’s recently released My Kind Of Country Live at The Catalyst—fun fact: It’s the first album recorded at The Catalyst since Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Touch The Night – Santa Cruz 1984. Don’t be fooled by Daniel’s aw-shucks sensibility; his sound, informed by various influences from Merle Haggard to X’s John Doe to traditional Texas two-step, adds up to high-energy live performances without a moment to breathe. Throughout the years, Daniel and his band have toured and shared stages with Tyler Childers, Sierra Ferrell, Charley Crockett, American Aquarium, Turnpike Troubadours and many others. In 2022, he clocked over 50,000 miles. He aims to surpass that in 2023. “The Catalyst was kind of as big as it gets in my world,” Daniel says. “To headline the main stage, let alone sell it out and make a record there, is a huge accomplishment for me, and I’m forever grateful to my Santa Cruz County friends, fans and family for supporting what we do.” $24/$27 plus fees. Friday, April 14, 8pm. The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

AJ LEE AND BLUE SUMMIT WITH WOLF JETT While AJ Lee grew up immersed in the bluegrass world, by the time she assembled AJ Lee and Blue Summit in 2015—based out of Santa Cruz at the time—she had expanded her influences to include folk-rock, soul, blues and even jazz. The evidence runs throughout their 2019 debut, Like I Used To. Two years later, I’ll Come Back jumps even further from traditional bluegrass, focusing more on the connection between the bandmembers. This connection might even be likened to what the Grateful Dead achieved. Lee is already considered a veteran of the bluegrass scene—she’s a nine-time winner of the Northern California Bluegrass Awards for best female vocalist. Her musical wisdom surpasses her 25 years on the planet. “Put Your Head Down,” one of Blue Summit’s newer tunes, is a testament to Lee’s songwriting talent. The band’s carefully crafted instrumentation, which conjures a frenzy of franticness, is described by the band’s violinist Jan Purat as “chill and fiery.” $15/$20 plus fees. Friday, April 14, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

OBJECT COLLECTION: HOUSECONCERT – ‘PARANORMAL-DOMESTIC ACTIONS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER’ Written and directed by Kara Feely, composed by Travis Just, performed by Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, Kara Feely, Travis Just, Daniel Allen Nelson, Nicolás Noreña, James Oldham and Timothy Scott, Object Collection’s history is intimately connected with house concerts. The ghosts of Jack Smith, Sam Rivers and all those who blended their art with their homes will be summoned, igniting the most basic form of a community: “A performance at the end of time, the last house concert of them all. Or the first, before everything. Casual, using whatever is at hand. After everything has been done, we do this anyway because this is what we do with our guests in our house. Getting amongst it.” $22/$16.50; $11/students. Friday, April 14 and Saturday. April 15, 8:30pm. Indexical, 1050 River St., #119, Santa Cruz. indexical.org

SMOKE CHASER The Bay Area sextet peddles madly catchy tunes fueled by towering vocals, spellbinding rhythms and psychedelic excursions. Malinda DeRouen, the Suborbitals’ Ryan Masters and members of a spectral East Bay digital collective, Smoke Chaser, erupted onto the scene in 2022 and are planning to release their full-length debut, Alazapul, this summer. The group’s first single, “Highway One,” is described as “a celebration of sex, Big Sur and Henry Miller,” and it’s already scored radio play in the Monterey Bay area. With lyrical moments like, “Henry Miller says he’s gonna live again if only to have a lot more sex,” it’s hard not to listen. Free. Saturday, April 15, 7pm. Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Hwy 9, Brookdale. brookdalelodge.com

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DREAMING OF YOU: SELENA TRIBUTE 2023 “With a positive attitude, you can be anything you want to be,” the late great singer Selena said. It’s a perfect mantra to inspire the community and come together to pay tribute to the legend. DJ Moi will spin tunes spanning the iconic songstress’s career. Additionally, there will be live performances from local bands, a lookalike and lip-sync contest, various art activities for the kiddos and food and drink from over a dozen food trucks and vendors. Bring the whole family and celebrate Selena and the community—Courtesy of Arte del Corazon. Free (donations appreciated). Saturday, April 15, noon-5pm. Romo Park, 335 Main St., Watsonville. artedelcorazon.com

THE RESIDENTS Since the mid-1960s, Bob, Carlos, Randy, Chuck and Hardy Fox, aka the Residents, have released so many records no one is quite sure of the exact count—or, maybe, they simply stopped counting after 50. Anyway, the experimental avant-garde rockers, known for sporting large eyeball masks—or other unsettling disguises—during performances to shield their identities, take unsaid pride in creating some of the oddest music ever to claim to be pop. “The whole idea of identity when you’re dealing with the Residents is not quite normal,” Homer Flynn, a representative of the Cryptic Corporation and the band’s official spokesman, told The Brooklyn Rail. “There’s personal identity, and there’s personal identity. The Residents know who they are, and they’re comfortable with that.” Fair enough! $30/$45 plus fees. Saturday, April 15, 8pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. folkyeah.com

VIVE OAXACA GUELAGUETZA Guelaguetza—a Zapotec word that means “a commitment of sharing and cooperation”—is a celebration that “honors the gods for sufficient rainfall and a bountiful harvest.” Senderos’ festival returns with a packed lineup of entertainment dedicated to showcasing the culture of Oaxaca. This year’s celebration features special guests from Mexico’s largest state. The roaster includes Danzantes from La Villa De Zaachila, Bailarines from Huajuapan de León y Tlaxiaco, Banda de Centro de Integración Social No. 8 and Banda Filarmónica Infantil Juvenil “Macedonio Alcalá.” $10; Free/kids 5 and under. Sunday, April 16, 10am-4pm. Branciforte Small Schools, 840 N. Branciforte Ave., Santa Cruz. scsenderos.org/events

WHISPERS FROM OTHER WORLDS Retired Director of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, and science journalist Nadia Drake will discuss life beyond Earth. The lecture will first frame the discussion of looking for extraterrestrial life in the context of the famed 1961 Drake equation, a framework that connects physical, chemical and biological processes with the development of detectable civilizations within our galaxy. The speakers will then cover three ways in which NASA’s science program focuses on identifying signatures of life elsewhere in the universe. A moderated discussion and Q&A will follow the presentation. Free. Monday, April 17, 6:30pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. astrobiology.science.ucsc.edu

REUNION! TRIO: BRUCE FORMAN, JOHN CLAYTON AND JEFF HAMILTON “I have been able to bring their instruments together again,” renowned guitarist Bruce Forman says. “And I’m doubly gratified that all of us involved—John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, myself—have played together in myriad situations.” Forman elaborates: “I recently became caretaker of Barney Kessel’s guitar. Besides being a music icon, Kessel was my mentor and friend. Since his death, I’ve played the guitar when visiting his widow and did so until she was compelled to put it up for auction. Due to a recent occurrence—more like a paranormal intervention—I’ve gotten it back. Forman has long since dreamed of reuniting instruments played by Barney, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne (the Poll Winners) with their protégés. Besides being jazz giants, they were also studio stalwarts who played music on movies, TV and popular hits” by everyone from Elvis to the Beach Boys. $42/$47.25; $23.50/students. Monday, April 17, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

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