.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of January 24




Lock the door and throw away the key because the Delta Bombers are returning to the Catalyst! For 16 years, this rock ‘n’ roll quartet has blitzed the world with their tales of drinking, fighting and breaking hearts—all the finer things in life. It makes sense that they originally hail from Sin City itself: Las Vegas. Despite a few lineup changes, the core founding members, Andrew Himmler and Chris Moinichen, have remained. Last year, the band released their fifth studio album, Neon Sounds, which perpetuates their gritty sound of rockabilly, country and dirty rock ‘n’ roll. On this tour, they’re traveling with the blackgrass devils themselves, the Goddamn Gallows, and the thrash ‘n’ twang duo Volk. MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20adv/$25door. 713-5492.

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Brent Pierce is a musical man about town, but it’s not every day he rocks Abbott Square. Backed by his Acid Grass Boys, Pierce brings bluegrass, country and rock ‘n’ roll originals and covers to the stage. The energy is high, the banjos are full of twang and the foot tapping is unstoppable. During the pandemic, Pierce fulfilled a lifelong dream by recording his solo EP, Sweet Rosemarie. He explained his ethos to Good Times: “Music to me is an expression of the emotion that you’re in—sometimes it’s a banjo, and sometimes it’s a Telecaster.” ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 7pm, Abbott Square, 725 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 




Wild Iris brings a full band, including stand-up bass, fiddle and mandolin, to the Crepe Place for an acoustic feast this Friday. The Santa Cruz duo, featuring guitarist Bryan Shelton and vocalist Kate Mullikin, has released a steady stream of rollicking folk albums since their self-titled debut in 2014. Their most recent work, Forward Now, starts with a barn burner of a tune called “Train of Thought.” Mullikin sings with whooping and hollering in the background, “My train of thought, my train of thought, why does it have to make so many stops?” A question for the ages. AM

INFO: 8pm, The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.




The She Adventures Film Tour, an annual event, celebrates adventurous outdoorswomen and the joy of pushing boundaries. It’s an over two-hour collection of short films by indie filmmakers worldwide. The feats covered include three Olympians’ epic cycle from Switzerland to New Zealand, skiing over 50 mph with a blind skier, high-speed mountain biking and more. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit Girls Rock Women’s Mountain Biking. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 7pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $20. 423-8209.




This Sunday, a who’s who of local musicians and celebrities descends upon Moe’s Alley for a matinee show supporting a great cause. Country rock artist Lacy J. Dalton and local legendary KPIG alum “Sleepy” John Sandidge are raising money for Jimmy Jackson and Ellen O’Hanlan, two local artists, healers and community members in need. Along with Dalton (an ex-Bonny Dooner with several hit songs like “Takin’ It Easy” and “16th Avenue”), the star-studded event boasts performances by the Carolyn Sills Combo, Edge of the West, Sharon Allen & Dusty Boots, KSQD’s Rachel Goodman and many more. MW

INFO: 3pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $60/adv, $70/door. 479-1854.




For anyone who hasn’t gotten their headbangin’ in yet in 2024, fear not because the final weekend of the month is raining down some serious horn-throwing, mosh-inducing, chaos-inflicting metal upon downtown Santa Cruz. For a nominal fee, heshers of all ages will be treated to five Bay Area bands known for their shredding riffs, grimy vocals and sulfuric sounds. Headlining this explosion of hell is none other than local five-piece death metal maniacs Eviscerate. Since the forgotten days of 2007, this band has continued cranking out flesh-ripping songs that cause even the tamest of people to lash out in mind-numbing madness. MW

INFO: 6pm, Vets Hall, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $15/door. 454-0478.




It might seem obvious, given the title of two of his essay collections (The Book of Delights and his recent follow-up, The Book of (More) Delights), but Ross Gay is really into finding joy. The joy he uncovers in his essays and poetry isn’t the blaring, bold version that might bloom on a wedding day or from a familial homecoming; instead, Gay hunts for his delights in the everyday. He chronicles everything from hikes to praying mantises, allowing his words to linger in the natural spaces that contain so much rough-edged beauty. He is wry but hopeful, which feels so necessary in our current age.  JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 7pm, Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-0900.




If Duran Duran made a soundtrack for a spooky movie, the final product would probably sound a lot like the music of Twin Tribes. Synthy layers of sound meet goth vocals, creating a sonic experience that must be similar to hanging out at the best dance party Dracula ever hosted—and who wouldn’t want an invite to that occasion? Their songs span musical genres while staying deeply rooted in the cold wave, post-punk occult energy that defines them. The only risk of attending this show is who it might attract; after all, Santa Cruz is known for its vampires. JI

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.




Like other rising jazz stars of his generation, pianist-composer James Francies has avoided being boxed in by genre expectations by drawing on his eclectic music background of R&B, classical music, gospel, and more. As an alum of Houston’s famed Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, he’s followed the path of two other modern keyboard greats, Robert Glasper and Jason Moran. He first gained attention as a sideman with high-profile artists, including Pat Metheny, Stefon Harris and Questlove before releasing his well-received Blue Note debut, Flight, in 2018. He followed that up in 2021 with the nearly all-original Purest Form, showing his abstract, ethereal approach to composing music. DE

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., $36.75/adv, $42/door. 427-2227.


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