Kari Faux is on her way up, and no one is going to stop her. The Little Rock-based rapper has bars, and she knows it. Think Cardi B, think Megan Thee Stallion; Kari Faux matches both women with clever lyrics, confidence, and sexuality. Tracks like “Leave Me Alone” will resonate with introverts who require personal space. Childish Gambino has already guest starred in a music video, and surely it won’t be long until the rest of the industry’s innovators snap to attention when they hear her name. JESSICA IRISH
INFO: 9pm, Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 713-5492.
GRIM REAPER, REIMAGINED
This month’s First Friday jaunt in Boulder Creek will not be complete without a stop by Lille Aeske Arthouse’s latest exhibition: “Grim Reaper, Reimagined” by Caitlin Jemma and Aleah Pechthalt. Working across media, these two Washington State artists explore the human form and associated concerns surrounding sexuality, age and impermanence. Jemma’s photography presents a twist on the mythic Grim Reaper, taking aesthetics that are generally gloomy and making them glam. “The Glam Reaper,” she writes, “is our galactic mother who reminds us that we are all made of stardust.” On Saturday evening, she will be playing disco-folk tunes from her recent album, True Meaning. ADDIE MAHMASSANI
INFO: 5pm, Lille Aeske Arthouse, 13160 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. Donation Suggested. 703-4183.
BROTHERHOOD OF FREAKS
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood disbanded in 2019 after the tragic death of guitarist Neal Casal, but the band’s music lives on through the Santa Cruz-based Brotherhood of Freaks. A seasoned tribute band, this musical brotherhood consists of local greats Steve Sofranko, Mike Cross, Mike Johnson, Paul Garcia and Kyle Gorath. One part Rolling Stones, one part Grateful Dead, one-thousand parts CRB and a lot of heart come together onstage to create a big danceable party AM
INFO: 5:30pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave Ste. A, Soquel. Free. 316-0662.
SAY SHE SHE
If it’s possible to be too fun, Say She She wins the award. The multi-national trio of Piya Malik, Sabrina Mileo Cunningham and Nya Gazelle Brown converged in Manhattan after pursuing music separately in London, DC, and New York respectively. Often clad in funky black and white with bejeweled Gogo boots, these women are expert vocalists, crafting tight, shimmering harmonies that fuse R&B, soul, funk, psychedelia and, of course, disco. Their sophomore album Silver has received rave reviews, with The Guardian describing it as “infused with the wonky post-disco spirit of early 80s NYC.” AM
INFO: 8:30pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
The man. The myth. The storyteller. Henry Rollins is a man who does what he wants and always has. He became one of the most recognizable hardcore singers alive after joining Black Flag in 1981. Known for his blatant honesty, fast-paced mind and insane performance style that threatened a bloody beating to anyone who looked at him wrong. He covered himself in tattoos back when that was a shocking thing. After Black Flag he formed the Rollins Band and continued being one of the hardest frontmen in music. More than that, he is also an author, an activist, an actor, an avid record collector, an even more avid reader, world traveler and the list just keeps going on. Basically the last true Renaissance Man. MAT WEIR
INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $35/adv, $40/door. 704-7113.
Nathan Hill, whose debut novel, The Nix, arrived with a splash in 2016, comes to Bookshop Santa Cruz to celebrate the release of his sophomore novel, Wellness. In Wellness, Hill tackles the world of diet culture, exploring the evolution of a long-term relationship along the way. The result is a moving meditation on aging, love, and the multitudes of human experience. His ability to span decades, as well as page numbers, has earned him comparisons to Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace. But those guys ended up as recluses, and Hill is on tour— seems wise to catch him now, before he follows suit. JI
INFO: 7pm, Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. Free. 423-0900.
When it comes to the world of chill, introspective slam-poetry hip hop with jazz tendencies, Noname is one that continues to change the game. She first gained notoriety in 2013 when she appeared on a mixtape by Chance the Rapper. She dropped her debut mixtape, Telefone, in 2016 to much acclaim. Two years later she released her first album, Room 25 to even further acclaim. Then, she pulled back, tweeting that her heart wasn’t in it anymore as she turned her attention towards activism and launched her Noname Book Club. The club has spread to 17 cities and focuses on members reading radical books by authors of color. However, it looks like Noname has returned to the road this year, first appearing at Coachella last April. MW
INFO: 9pm, Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $28.50adv/$33door. 713-5492.
THE CRANE WIVES
Formed in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2010, The Crane Wives have encompassed the true meaning of indie rock. They play folk. They play rock. Their first album, 2011’s Safe Ship, Harbored was self-produced. If the name sounds familiar that’s because they took their name from the 2009 Decemberists’ album, The Crane Wife. In the past 13 years The Crane Wives have released six studio albums, and three live ones including one recorded during the lockdown in true indie rock fashion. This Tuesday, Felton Music Hall, nestled among the redwood groves, will be the perfect venue for their rootsy sound. MW
INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $15/adv, $18/door. 704-7113.