.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: March 22-28

Lee Fields, Mark Farina, Top Dog Film Festival and More

ARTS AND MUSIC

DRUGDEALER WITH FAKE FRUIT Drugdealer’s third and most distinguished album, Hiding In Plain Sight, almost didn’t happen. Founder/singer-songwriter, Michael Collins, was ready to throw in the towel. While Collins had much success with the band’s 2016 debut, The End Of Comedy, and their 2019 follow-up, Raw Honey, frequent impulses to hand over the microphone to collaborators such as Weyes Blood, Jackson MacIntosh and Sasha Winn led to the musician descending into uncertainty. Then, everything changed after Collins connected with the visionary Annette Peacock. “I was so inspired by Annette,” he recalls. “I told her my plight, then I played her a song, and she told me I wasn’t singing high enough for my speaking voice. When I returned to L.A., I started coming up with new progressions, which I’d modulate up three half-steps. It forced me to find a new way to sing.” The conversation allowed Collins to find his voice. As the record title implies, the era during which he wrote the bulk of the music was a time spent searching for answers, searching for love and summoning influences that had fled him in reality. Hiding In Plain Sight is about finding the more extraordinary ability to love and embrace those around you. It also marks Drugdealer getting their groove back. $25/$29 plus fees. Thursday, March 23, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

LEE FIELDS WITH ANDRE CRUZ AND CHRIS LUJAN “We all have a time when we’ll expire, and we’ll do it at the exact time we should,” Lee Fields told Good Times before his August 2022 show in Felton. “Whether it’s an accident or by natural causes. But I’ll tell you one thing: I’m having a good time while I’m here!” The prolific soul legend’s follow-up to 2019’s It Rains Love was released on Daptone Records, which Fields has recorded for in the past—he recently signed a four-record deal with the label. “I’m hyped on a bunch of new songs we want to try live, see what the people think about it,” Fields added. “There’s a lot of emotions on the new album; I’ll put it like that.” The longtime soul man delivers big with his 2022 EP, Ordinary Lives, and his full-length Sentimental Fool, a replenished soul triumph. At 73 years old, the singer has released 20 albums and over 40 singles—he’s not finished, either. The times have changed a bit throughout Fields’ career, but one thing remains the same: the definition of “a good soul song—people can [always] feel that.” $30/$35 plus fees. Friday, March 24, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. folkyeah.com

MARK FARINA WITH LITTLE JOHN Mark Farina is a name that rings out across the entire global dance music industry. The last few years have been an incredible new era of creativity, outreach and recognition for one of the business’s most original and consistent voices. Farina continues to connect with new fans without losing those who have been loyal supporters from day one. Fans, promoters and industry insiders know that no matter what changes come, Farina always delivers. His nonstop touring, constant content creation, partnerships with legendary venues and record labels and total commitment to showcasing the best new and old-school producers in his sets have made him a living legend to house and Mushroom Jazz lovers everywhere. With his passion for playing extended shows and a recent foray into streaming, exemplified by his highly successful new YouTube series with Defected Records, Farina continues to tirelessly entertain his incredible fans all over the globe with over 100 shows per year. $21/$24 plus fees. Friday, March 24, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

MARTHA SPENCER AND THE WONDERLAND COUNTRY BAND WITH THE BLUE RIDGE GIRLS Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up playing with her family and their Whitetop Mountain Band. Playing with her family, she learned to play several instruments and flatfoot/clog. Her most recent album, Wonderland, creatively interprets traditional music. Spencer’s friends Jamie Collins (bass/guitar), Lucas Pasley (fiddle/banjo) and Jake Dwyer (washboard) make up the Wonderland Country Band. The multi-talented frontwoman has played shows and festivals and led workshops worldwide. She was also a part of the acclaimed documentary Fiddlin’. $22/$26 plus fees. Friday, March 24, 6:30pm. The Catalyst Atrium, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

BROOKDALE BLUEGRASS AND AMERICAN ROOTS FESTIVAL Jim Savarino, West Side Willies with Sonia Shell, Lucas Lawson and the Unturned Stones, Jim Lewin and Bill Laymon, Post Folk Revivalists, Sunny Side of the Mountain with Amy Warren and Friends and Acid Grass Boys represent just the tip of the bluegrass iceberg taking over the Brookdale Lodge for three days of nonstop bluegrass, food and craft vendors, a mechanical bull and late-night jams in the bar. “It’s been at least 10 years since we came back home to the Brookdale Lodge,” Brookdale Bluegrass Festival founder Eric Burman says. “Remember the good times, don’t miss it!” Get a room package deal with the purchase of a three-day or single-day ticket. $20-40 plus fees. Friday, March 24, 6pm-midnight, Saturday, March 25, 11am-midnight and Sunday, March 26, 10am-2pm. Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Hwy 9, Brookdale. brookdale-lodge.ticketleap.com/brookdale-bluegrass-festival

secure document shredding

TOP DOG FILM FESTIVAL The Top Dog Film Festival will wag its tail at the Rio Theatre, sharing a two-hour collection of short independent films from around the globe, all about dogs! This carefully curated program of canine-themed films comprises the most inspirational, heart-warming and entertaining stories about dogs and their human companions from independent filmmakers around the globe. Preshow “Yappy Hour” at Sante Adairius. Meet dogs from all walks of life on the big screen at this year’s event. $20 plus fees. Saturday, March 25, 7pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. riotheatre.com

LOS SCHLEPPOS TIPICOS Los Schleppos Tipicos was a premier Bay Area salsa band throughout the ’80s that performed at all the local venues, including The Catalyst, OT. Price’s and Kuumbwa. The beloved dance group had a large following that remains intact. For the first time in 40 years, the band will unite for a special performance with a surprise guest on tenor sax. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to boogie to the Latin crew again. $20 plus fees. Sunday, March 26, 7pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

COMMUNITY

LATINO ROLE MODELS CONFERENCE This event focuses on Santa Cruz County families and is presented in Spanish (with English interpretation) to inspire students to achieve their dreams for college and careers. The keynote speaker is Olga Talamante, a longtime activist who was the first Executive Director of the Chicana Latina Foundation and currently co-chairs the Caravan for Children, advocating for children at the border. Artist and activist Juan R. Fuentes will also be featured. The Watsonville native’s designs are featured predominantly in the “Watsonville Brillante” mosaic murals. The conference will also feature professionals and college students sharing their career and education pathways and resource tables. Created by nonprofit Senderos 13 years ago, the event is presented in collaboration with Cabrillo College, County Office of Education, UCSC, Kaiser Permanente, Consul General Mexico-San Jose and others. Free (registration required). Saturday, March 25, 9am-1pm. Cabrillo College Crocker Theater, 6500 Lower Perimeter Road, Aptos. scsenderos.org


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