.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: Jan. 4-10

Chuck Brodsky, Roberta Gambarini, Really Really Free Market and More


CHUCK BRODSKY Singer-songwriter and fingerpicker Chuck Brodsky’s songs reveal “the eccentric, the holy, the profound, the courageous, the inspiring, the beautiful.” One example, “Dock Ellis’s No No,” is the true story of the Pirates pitcher who threw a no-hitter while tripping on LSD: Sometimes he saw the catcher, sometimes he did not/ Sometimes he held a beach ball, other times it was a dot,” Brodsky croons. “Dock was tossing comets that were leaving trails of glitter/ At the seventh-inning stretch, he still had a no-hitter.” The down-to-earth bard’s prose emits an infectious wit reminiscent of James McMurtry intertwined with the quirkiness of Todd Snider. “Next up would’ve been Herbel, but Spezio pinch-hit/ He took a third strike looking, and officially, that was it.” $25/$28 plus fees. Saturday, Jan. 7, 7pm. The Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive, Soquel. snazzyproductions.com

JUNIOR TOOTS: TRIBUTE TO TOOTS HIBBERT WITH KULCHA KNOX, KURRENCY KING AND KAVA JAH Junior Toots, the son of reggae-roots legend Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals, is following in his father’s footsteps as one of reggae’s most poignant voices. Junior has been a force on the live and recording scene for decades, and his fanbase continues to grow exponentially. Known for high-energy shows, soulful vocals and politically charged lyrics, Junior’s original tunes unleash a vibrant energy similar to the music he was surrounded by as a kid. Meanwhile, Kurrency King’s mission is: “bring spiritually uplifting music to people all over the world.” The reggae crossover merges the hypnotic backbeat of dancehall, creating something uniquely his own. $21/$24 plus fees. Saturday, Jan. 7, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

Y&T Since forming 50 years ago, Y&T’s lineup has changed more than Lady Gaga’s hairdo. Lead singer and guitarist Dave Meniketti may be the only original member left, but John Nymann (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Mike Vanderhule (drums) and Aaron Leigh (bass) play as if they’ve been there since the early days, performing dingy clubs around Oakland. The group’s influence on headbangers continues to resonate: In the acclaimed documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the bonus features include an interview with Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, who talks about seeing Y&T for the first time at a Hollywood club in 1980. “That was the turning point for me wanting to play music,” Ulrich says. “You could tell that they loved what they were doing.” The outspoken drummer credits Y&T for becoming a full-time rocker. In addition to their hit “I’m Coming Home,” “Summertime Girls” is one of the group’s most recognized tunes—think Van Halen meets Night Ranger. $32-64 plus fees. Saturday, Jan. 7, 8pm. The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

SLAUGHTER BEACH, DOG WITH MO TROPER When Slaughter Beach, Dog co-frontman Jake Ewald—formerly of the emo-punk band Modern Baseball—saw a town called “Slaughter Beach” during a drive to his parents’ house in Delaware, he thought he had discovered the perfect name for a band. However, a group in Denmark had already beaten him to it. So, Ewald added a comma and “Dog.” Problem solved. Even though the Danish group that went by Slaughter Beach might have disbanded, Ewald says the name has grown on him. Slaughter Beach, Dog is best described as tender, heart-on-the-sleeve lo-fi folk-rock in the spirit of some of fellow Philly singer-songwriter Kurt Vile’s early work. Mo Troper’s 2022 MTV is a colorful assortment of dark-humored folk. The Portland musician is smitten with Elliott Smith, but his approach is very different; it’s unabashed, unrestrained and sometimes even silly, especially with tunes with names like “The Only Living Goy in New York.” $18/$21 plus fees. Sunday, Jan. 8, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

ROBERTA GAMBARINI The Jazz Journalists Association gave Roberta Gambarini the “Female Jazz Singer of the Year” award twice; she has also scored a pair of Grammy nods. In addition to the prestigious accolades, the poignant singer is one of contemporary jazz’s most respected talents. While renowned jazz pianist Hank Jones has worked with the best of the best, as far as jazz vocalists, he regards Gambarini as the “best singer to emerge in six decades.” Her most recent record, Connecting Spirits: Roberta Gambarini Sings the Jimmy Heath Songbook, features music by saxophone great Jimmy Heath paired with the songstress’ original lyrics. In Santa Cruz, Gambarini will be joined by pianist Eric Gunnison, bassist Mark Simon and drummer Paul Romaine. $36.75/$42; $21/Students. Monday, Jan. 9, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

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SPEAK FOR CHANGE: MIMI TEMPESTT Mimi Tempestt’s work is meant to disrupt the stereotypical narratives of Black and queer people in media. Her collection of poems, The Monumental Misrememberings, “is a curious insight on the creative and violent ways in which Black girls, women, trans women and femmes often become displaced, experience death and subjugation as a result of patriarchal systems in America.” Speak for Change was founded to “create positive and lasting social change in our local and global communities.” Speak for Change and Indexical will deliver a series of live events featuring interviews and musical guests, with custom sets tailored to the theme of the conversation. $5-20 (sliding scale). Tuesday, Jan. 10, 7:30pm. Indexical, 1050 River St., #119, Santa Cruz. indexical.org


FIRST SATURDAY ARBORETUM GARDEN TOUR Learn about the various plants and animals that call the Arboretum home. Meet your tour guide(s) at the entrance to the visitor parking lot (top of the hill after you enter the Arboretum.) In case of inclement weather, tours will be canceled. Please bring your binoculars, if you have any. There are amazing birds to see everywhere! $5-10. Saturday, Jan. 7, 11am-noon. UCSC Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. arboretum.ucsc.edu

REALLY REALLY FREE MARKET No money. No trades. Everything is free—with pandemic protocols in place. Everyone has something to share. Gratitude is also a gift. “This gathering is not about the stuff we give and take, but more about how we can freely give and receive from each other.” Give away your old stuff, get new-to-you stuff. Come and take what you can use. First come, first served—check in with the organizers upon arrival. If you bring things, you are expected to take whatever is left at the end of the market. Free. Sunday, Jan. 8, 11am-2pm. SubRosa Community Space, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. subrosaproject.org


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