.Things to do in Santa Cruz

The Week of March 27

THURSDAY 3/28

PUNK

THE KARENS

For Pittsburgh punk trio the Karens, ‘let me speak to your manager’ is not just a creed but a hilarious pit-inducing track—one of many fast-paced songs of cultural commentary with a healthy dose of satire wrapped in the warm tortilla of punk. Along with the funny (“Fix The Ice Cream Machine”), they also cover blistering versions of GG Allin’s “Bite It You Scum” with more serious topics like “Trans Rights.” Joining them are local newbies Hibakusha Baby, who tear through hardcore songs while riding the edge of power violence. It’s also the return of Santa Cruz favorites the Randy Savages, who are slamming into the ring to prove the cream of the crop always rises to the top. Dig it! MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, The Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7117.

secure document shredding

FRIDAY 3/29

ROCK

LOS STRAITJACKETS

Los Straitjackets provides an excellent challenge for those who love to guess the genre of bands based on their names and visuals. Looking at photos of the quintet—all wearing suits and Lucha Libra wrestling masks—one might guess these musicians lean toward heavy metal or Mexican hardcore. Come to find out, they are a retro-instrumental rock band from Nashville! Operating in the lineage of ’60s greats like Dick Dale, the Shadows and the Ventures, these top-notch guitarists have recorded a whopping 14 albums, with founding member Eddie Angel’s distinctive rockabilly guitar anchoring their sound for over 30 years. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 479-1854.

INDIE

ZZZAHARA

Zzzahara pulls stories, experiences and emotions from reality and weaves them into dreams. Her style of blending synths, power guitar and vibrant lyrics pulls listeners into this dream world of urban life and love. Her latest album from 2023 explores what it means to love and show kindness even when it’s tough. Her mostly freestyle lyrics make the mundane feel beautiful and significant. With an aethereal and almost upbeat shoegaze sound, the audience will be swaying and bobbing their heads to the tales she tells throughout the show. ISABELLA MARIE SANGALINE

INFO: 9pm, The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 713-5492.

SATURDAY 3/30

FESTIVAL

QINGMING FESTIVAL WALK

This weekend, local historians Sandy Lydon and George Ow, Jr. take the Santa Cruz community on a walk of great cultural significance. Starting at the Chinatown Dragon Gate and ending with a talk at Evergreen Cemetery, the walk celebrates Qingming, the traditional Chinese tomb-sweeping festival. The practice means to honor the dead by visiting their gravesites, making offerings and clearing away weeds. Lydon and Ow will guide the crowd through various traditions—including burning fake money and laying out willow branches—at the resting place of some of the Chinese settlers of Santa Cruz. AM

INFO: 10am, Chinatown Bridge, 149 River Street, Santa Cruz. Free. 406-7472.

FOLK

ABBY LITMAN AND HANNAH CONNOLY

Something about the music of both Abby Litman and Hannah Connoly brings to mind a delicate bird on a high branch, fragile and new to the world. Such a bird might look like it would only have a quiet song to share, but as soon as it opens its beak, it releases a sound so pure and gorgeous that anyone lucky enough to hear it would feel it in their whole body. Litman and Connoly sing beautiful folk music, pared down to a few instruments and voices that appeal to a spiritual longing—the kind only music can address. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, Lille Aeske Arthouse, 13160 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. $25/adv, $30/door. 703-4183.

ROCK

Santa Cruz Latin Collective

KALEIDOSCOPE MUSIC FESTIVAL

To celebrate and promote the release of their new album, Kaleidoscope, Santa Cruz-based rock band the New Horizons put together this festival-style night of live music featuring five area groups at the local Veterans Hall. The bill will also include funk, rock and hip-hop trio Santa Cruda, Santa Cruz-born, San Francisco-based genre-blending rock combo Floratura; the Santa Cruz Latin Collective (co-led by Jimmy Palafox, veteran vocalist-guitarist formerly of Sapo, a legendary SF Chicano band from the ’70s) and local psychedelic jam band Flat Sun Society. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 4pm, Veterans Hall, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz. $25. 454-0478.

SUNDAY 3/31

HOLIDAY

EASTER WITH VINTAGE FAITH

For non-Christians, Easter is about family, eating chocolate and a monstrous rabbit with a penchant for hiding eggs left to rot unless the children find them. Think about it. For Christians, Easter is the holiest day, the lynchpin in their religion, the very reason they believe and celebrate their faith, drawing both the devout and the only-go-to-church-twice-a-year crowd. Vintage Faith returns to the historic Rio Theatre to celebrate the holiday this year, a free-to-the-public event featuring complimentary treats and coffee from The Abbey, live music, fellowship and the joyful news of the Easter message. MW

INFO: 10am, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-8209.


MONDAY 4/1

JAZZ

OMAR SOSA’S QUARTETO AMERICANOS

Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa is a progressive artist whose work is helping to expand the definition of Afro-Cuban music by combining other jazz styles, world music and electronic music to create an original sound built on his roots. With Quarteto Americanos, Sosa leads a combo assembled from his early days on the American scene in the ’90s. The band includes saxophonist Sheldon Brown, drummer Josh Jones and Grammy-nominated bassist Ernesto Mazar Kindelan. Sosa has been nominated for Grammy awards for four albums, three in the Latin Jazz category. DE

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $47.25 /adv, $52.50/door. 427-2227.

TUESDAY 4/2

POETRY

LEE HERRICK AND DORIANNE LAUX

The Hive Poetry Collective’s name says it all: it’s about creating a swarm of poets and poetry lovers, building some buzz and producing a metaphorical honey (live poetry!) for all to enjoy. This latest bill features California’s Poet Laureate Lee Herrick and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dorianne Laux. Both poets boast bios chock full of publications and honors. Poetry is meant to be read aloud, heard and resonate with a crowd, and the opportunity to listen to these two luminaries present their work is like finding two queens living harmoniously in one beehive—a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. JI

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

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