.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: May 3-9

The Supersuckers, Brooks Nielsen, Fantastic Negrito and More


THE SUPERSUCKERS WITH HANGMEN AND ALVIE AND THE BREAKFAST PIGS With Eddie Spaghetti at the helm, the Supersuckers are an ever-present force of cowpunk rock nature, who have been driven to success by trailblazing record-company outcast Chris “The Mid-Fi Guy” Neal. The band is an oxymoron: the most famous band the mainstream has never heard of. And, once a Supersuckers fan, always a Supersuckers fan—as of 15 years ago, over 30,000 people were receiving Spaghetti’s E-newsletters. The outfit’s brand of alt-country meets punk earned them a spot as Steve Earle’s backing band on some of his best records, including his 1997 gem El Corazon. One thing about Spaghetti, who’s been the group’s one constant throughout the years: He’s dead serious about all of his music, even his 2003 hip-hop-flavored Motherfuckers Be Trippin’. It ain’t no farce. $18/$23 plus fees. Wednesday, May 3, 8pm. The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

BROOKS NIELSEN Growlers frontman, Brooks Nielsen’s proudly full-length solo debut, One Match Left, is a twenty-song trip into darkness and toward the pinhead amount of light that eventually remains. “There’s happiness in there,” Nielsen says. “The bands that I like have a sense of humor, like Television Personalities or Jonathan Richman, but there’s a tragedy too. That’s the old theatrical tradition.” One Match Left showcases these attributes with self-aware swagger—Nielsen is a carnival barker, lullaby balladeer and rock and roll preacher, depending on the tune. The singer-songwriter’s first songs without his longtime Growlers bandmembers work well; it helps that he has some talented contributors, including Father John Misty guitarist Christopher Darley and songwriter Levi Prairie. $30/$34 plus fees. Wednesday, May 3, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

MOLLY PRENTISS: ‘OLD FLAME’ Santa Cruz native Molly Prentiss, the author of Tuesday Nights in 1980, is returning for a reading and signing to celebrate her new novel, Old Flame, which explores what it means to be a daughter, friend, partner, lover and mother. Prentiss will be in conversation with radio host/producer and “Kitchen Sister” Nikki Silva, who is also Molly’s mom! Fun fact: Prentiss grew up in a commune. “It’s not as hippie or crazy as it sounds,” Prentiss insists. Her parents created it with friends in 1979, built all the homes themselves and have dinner together every night at 7pm—to this day. Free (registration required). Thursday, May 4, 7pm. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. bookshopsantacruz.com

THE UGLY BOYS WITH DON CAPRICE AND DAYLIN XL Local indie alt-rap duo the Ugly Boys—Jacob Pfefferman and Sam Bortnick—are not bad-looking dudes. So, is the name supposed to be ironic? The Santa Cruz twosome would tell you they are ugly inside. Whether it’s all an act or the truth is in the eye of the beholder. From sixties-influenced psych rock to stony rapid-fire flows, the Ugly Boys are clearly inspired by the Beastie Boys. During Covid, they grew their social media presence with numerous TikTok videos that sparked a decent following, which continues to gain momentum. The Ugly Boys’ spirited stream merges a marriage of self-reflection peppered with fun pop culture references. Their amalgamation of West Coast hip-hop, electric beats and silky vocals produces candy for the ears. $15/$18 plus fees. Friday, May 5, 9pm. The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

KEITH GREENINGER WITH THE COFFIS BROTHERS AND NINA GERBER Singer-songwriter Keith Greeninger’s music resonates deeply with his audience. This bond stems from his underlying philosophy that music is a gift and a “soulful medicine to connect us and take part in together.” His latest LP, Human Citizen, transpires as a “voice of welcome sanity above the challenges of the times we find ourselves in.” Greeninger has a way of highlighting and embracing our better selves without dividing or preaching. The musician embraces folk, rock, funk and even the Gil Scott Heron-type soul influences, employing horns and flute on several songs. Local fave the Coffis Brothers, whose energetic stage show mirrors the early Avett Brothers, continues improving with age. Since Nina Gerber’s accompaniment of Kate Wolf first earned her recognition, her skills as a performer, producer and arranger have continued to deepen. Her contributions to acoustic music have made her a following as loyal as the numerous high talents she has accompanied, proving the shadows equal to the spotlight in creating honest, powerful and beautiful music. $35/$50 plus fees. Saturday, May 6, 7:30pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. riotheatre.com

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FANTASTIC NEGRITO White Jesus Black Problems is “an exhilarating ode to the power of family and the enduring resilience of our shared humanity.” Inspired by the illegal, interracial romance of Negrito’s seventh-generation grandparents—a white indentured servant and an enslaved Black man—in 1750s Virginia, the collection is bold and thought-provoking. While each track could stand on its own, its full audio and visual context yields a far more transcendent and immersive sensory experience that challenges our notions of who we are, where we come from and where we’re headed. (Negrito made a compelling companion film, too.) By now, much has been made of Negrito’s own unique story: growing up in a strict orthodox Muslim household, getting swindled by a major label and a near-fatal car crash that left his guitar-playing hand permanently damaged. There’s a happy ending to it all: In 2015, Negrito won the first-ever NPR Tiny Desk Contest and went on to win three consecutive Grammys for Best Contemporary Blues Album, tour with everyone from Sturgill Simpson to Chris Cornell and collaborate with the likes of Sting and E-40; he started his own label, Storefront Records and has performed at Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Newport Folk and every other major music festival. Additionally, he founded the Revolution Plantation, “an urban farm aimed at youth education and empowerment.” $26/$30 plus fees. Sunday, May 7, 8pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com


BOARDWALK PRIDE Show your pride and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with giveaways, info booths (Santa Cruz Pride, Pajaro Valley Pride, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, the Diversity Center and Transfamilies of Santa Cruz County) and free entertainment, courtesy of ABBAFab. The ABBA tribute features some of the area’s most sensational talents! This multimedia production is a tribute to some of the greatest music produced in the 1970s and 1980s, including monster hits such as “Waterloo,” “Fernando,” “Honey Honey,” “Dancing Queen” and countless others. From ABBA’s earliest hits to Mamma Mia, ABBAFab will take you on an unmatched technicolor journey. Keep the party going at Cocoanut Grove with the first annual Santa Cruz Boardwalk Pride Afterparty, hosted by Sea Legends Rogue Roulette & Khloe Quarterpounder with DJ AyumiPlease giving up the beats. Free; $40-75/afterparty). Saturday, May 6, noon-6:30pm, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. beachboardwalk.com/pride

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS MAKERS MARKET 10TH ANNIVERSARY “This market showcases the creative talent in our local community, and Hallcrest offers the perfect setting,” says Bree Karpavage, director of the SCM Makers Market. “Bring the whole family for a beautiful day of art and music in the redwoods.” The pet-friendly scene will include music by AJ Lee & Blue Summit and the vintage country duo Poi Rogers, with food truck Ate 3 One and local pulled pork master Kurt Zellerhoff. Fifty local artists will be featured at the event, including jewelry designer Rae Rodriguez (Boulder Creek), Bee Happy Today Clothing (Felton), Localife Flowers (Bonny Doon) and Love Cultivated Soaps (Ben Lomond). Free. Sunday, May 7, 10am-5pm. Hallcrest Vineyards, 379 Felton Empire Road, Felton. scmmakersmarket.com

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Adam Joseph
Before Delaware native Adam Joseph was brought on as managing editor for Good Times Santa Cruz in 2021, he spent several years with the Monterey County Weekly as a music writer and calendar editor. In addition to music, he has covered film, people, food, places and everything in between. Adam’s work has appeared in Relix Magazine, 65 Degrees, the Salinas Californian and Gayot. From January to May 2023, Adam served as Good Times’ interim editor.
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