.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: Jan. 18-24

Jane Smiley, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Reverend Horton Heat and More


BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ PRESENTS JANE SMILEY ‘A DANGEROUS BUSINESS’ Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres) will read and sign copies of her new novel A Dangerous Business. The rollicking murder mystery is set in Monterey in the 1850s, in which two young prostitutes follow a trail of missing girls. Roxane Gay says, “The forthcoming Jane Smiley novel A Dangerous Business is outstanding. Her sentences are sublime. The vivid historical details and vibrant characters bring Smiley’s setting to glorious life. This seductive entertainment is not to be missed.” Free. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7pm. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. bookshopsantacruz.com

KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE WITH MONEY CHICHA 2023 marks KDTU’s 25th anniversary! From performing as Sexual Chocolate—Karl Denson was in the original band in the movie Coming To America and the sequel—at Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco to playing the inaugural Bonnaroo Festival, KDTU has been a dominant force in music for the past 25 years. Touring the country with the Allman Brothers, My Morning Jacket, D’Angelo, The Roots, Public Enemy, Bob Weir, Parliament Funkadelic and Widespread Panic, most concertgoers have encountered the Tiny Universe live. In addition to KDTU, Denson, aka Diesel, is a founding member of the influential jam band the Greyboy Allstars. $30/$34 plus fees. Friday, Jan. 20, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

MARGARITAS PODRIDAS WITH TBD Shoegaze, alt-rock and punk from Hermosillo, Sonora, México, Margaritas Podridas came together in 2015. Carolina Enriquez (bass guitar, vocals), Rafael Armenta (guitar, drums) and Esli Meuly (guitar) released their debut Porcelain Mannequin in 2018, then went on tour. Their most recent self-titled release led to international festivals, including Ruido Fest (Chicago), Freakout Festival (Seattle), This Ain’t No Picnic (Pasadena) and a live session for Seattle’s KEXP. In 2022, the band released their latest single, “No Quiero Ser Madre,” on the Seattle-based label Suicide Squeeze, and have been touring throughout Mexico and the United States ever since. $15 plus fees. Friday, Jan. 20, 8pm. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. thecrepeplace.com

DON CARLOS WITH REGGAE ANGELS PLUS DJ SPLEECE Don Carlos (born Euvin Spencer) was born and raised in one of the most deprived regions of Western Kingston, Jamaica, in a district notoriously known as Waterhouse, which is also known for spawning many reggae greats, such as King Tubby, Black Uhuru, the Jays, Junior Reid and King Jammy. The Reggae Angels are a staple in the reggae scene. They are known to deliver high-energy performances with a happy sound and a universal God-conscious message. Known for their live shows and many albums, the Reggae Angels have been gracing stages around the globe for over three decades. $40/$45 plus fees. Saturday, Jan. 21, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

STEPHANE WREMBEL: DJANGO REINHARDT BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Stephane Wrembel learned his craft among the Gypsies at campsites in the French countryside. He’s toured the U.S., France, U.K., India and Nigeria and released 16 albums under his name and the Django Experiment, which includes The Django Experiment VI. Wrembel’s original compositions have been featured in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris and most recently, he contributed the original score for Rifkin’s Festival. Since 2003, Wrembel has produced the Django a Gogo Festival to celebrate gypsy jazz in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall. He recently finished recording Django New Orleans, which is due out on May 5. In Santa Cruz, Wrembel will perform with his quartet—Josh Kaye on guitar, Nick Anderson on drums and Ari Folman-Cohen on bass. $36.75/$42; $21/students. Monday, Jan. 23, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

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REVEREND HORTON HEAT WITH THE SURFRAJETTES Jim is a revelator, revealing and reinterpreting American music’s country-blues-rock roots. He’s a time-traveling space cowboy on an endless interstellar musical tour, and we are all the richer and “psychobillier” for getting to tag along. Seeing Reverend Horton Heat live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Jim becomes a slicked-back 1950s rock shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly. The Heatettes, “foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle skirts and cowboy boots slamming the night away, is like being magically transported into a ’50s teen exploitation flick that takes place in the future. RHH is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous oxide into your heart. The Reverend’s commandments are simple: “Rock hard, drive fast and live true.” Openers, the Surfrajettes, are an all-women surf-rockabilly quartet from Canada that charms audiences with a mix of psych rock and reverb-drenched surf music, sky-high beehives, go-go boots and eyeliner as thick as their guitar strings. $35/$40 plus fees. Monday, Jan. 23, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

‘PRECIOUS GURU’ After nine years in the making, and an endorsement from the Dalai Lama, Precious Guru: Journey into the Wild Heart of the Second Buddha is ready to go. The inspired feature-length documentary marks the culmination of an ambitious journey to trace the spiritual life and legacy of the eighth-century tantric master Padmasambhava. Part biographical chronicle, part travelogue and part sacred teaching, Precious Guru peers through the roiling mists of time and digs through the accreted strata of myth and legend, asking the eternal question: Who was Padmasambhava? A Q&A will follow the screening with the film director, Marc Wennberg. $12.50. Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7pm. Landmark Del Mar, 1124 Pacific Ave.,Santa Cruz. landmarktheatres.com


CALIFORNIA RARE FRUIT GROWERS 2023 SCION EXCHANGE The Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay area’s major exchange of dormant propagable fruit material is run by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers. Scion wood of hundreds of varieties, including apple, pear, plum, peach, apricot and other species, will be distributed. There will also be rootable cuttings of fig, pomegranate, grape and more, and various exotic cuttings, seeds and seedlings that are seasonally appropriate for propagation. Newbies to propagating fruit are invited to tutorials on how to graft trees. Apple and Prunus rootstocks are sold at the event when the seasonality of nursery suppliers allows for it. $5. Saturday. Jan. 21, 11am. Soquel High School, 401 Soquel San Jose Road, Soquel. mbcrfg.org/scion-exchange


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