.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of March 6, 2024




Les Lullies identifies as “four French cheese-eating attack monkeys.” Since their 2016 conception in Montpellier, France, they have honed their in-your-face garage punk sound through relentless touring and recording around the globe. Their album Mauvaise Foi (Bad Faith) finds the band singing almost exclusively in French for the first time on a release and exploring some European influences, like classic punk bands of the Normandy scene. It’s still a rollicking listen even for those who don’t speak French; rock ‘n’ roll of the Les Lullies variety doesn’t necessarily need to be understood to be felt. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

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



Okan fuses jazz and folk with Afro-Caribbean roots to create powerful, emotional music. They sing about immigration, love and resistance in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, breaking cultural and language barriers. The group’s name comes from the word “heart” in Santeria; it is fitting because they put their hearts into the music, highlighting the unique perspectives and passions the members bring to the show. Those attending will find themselves connecting to the range and depth of emotions the group presents. Okan brings fresh voices and perspectives to Latin and jazz music. ISABELLA MARIE SANGALINE

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $42/adv, $47.25/door.427-2227




For those unfamiliar with comedian Jim Norton, consider this quote: People are dumb and think that laughing equals cosigning a belief in the ideology, which it doesn’t. In other words, Norton is not for the easily offended and absolutely knows what he’s doing—he even titled his 2012 comedy special Please Be Offended. Norton is a comedian, actor, author and radio personality who first gained prominence in the early ’00s on the Opie and Anthony radio show. Since then, he has been on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, hosted several programs, including Vice’s The Jim Norton Show and acted in numerous movies, including portraying a young Don Rickles in Scorsese’s The Irishman. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $30. 423-8209



The Alfred Hitchcock Festival is back with more thrills, chills and kills for local cinema lovers. This second annual benefit fundraiser for the Scotts Valley Theater Guild takes a deep dive off a very high cliff into the world of the infamous horror director and one-time Scotts Valley resident. The three-day festival features panels with the director’s granddaughter Tere Carrubba and local historian Jay Topping. Discussions include everything from costume design to Hitchcock’s off-screen battle with morality censors. It’s not much of a festival without showing some of the master’s movies (Rear Window, Blackmail, Birds, North By Northwest), which will also be followed by lectures from local professors. Each day features different activities and start times. MW

INFO: 5pm, Community Theater Guild, 251 Kings Village Rd., Scotts Valley. $50 – $150. 438-1000




Roots rock singer-songwriter Jeffrey Halford’s bio includes a couple of factoids to enhance his credibility in the roots music world. Although he grew up in California, he was born in Texas and listened to genuine old-school country music in his youth. He also has a sprinkling of “I fought the law, and the law won” from his teenage rebel years. Hailed as a slide guitar wizard, Halford now leads his San Francisco-based band the Healers, including bassist Paul Olguin, drummer Jim Norris and guitarist Richard Goldstein. He’s been reviewed in Rolling Stone, and former Stones guy Bill Wyman reportedly requested that the band (which tours Europe each fall) record his tune “Mississippi Flyer.” DAN EMERSON

INFO: 5pm, El Vaquero Winery, 2901 Freedom Blvd., Corralitos. $10. 607-8118



KQED’s Daniel Bromfield describes Lucy Liyou as “an avant-garde answer to elegant, inspirational divas like Mariah [Carey].” The comparison is apt, as Carey’s sound was an early influence on Liyou’s understanding of what a human voice can do, and the pop star’s songs are also sampled twice on Liyou’s recent album, Dog Dreams. As part of a rising cohort of young experimental electronic musicians, Liyou has garnered praise for her innovative treatment of Korean American identity and LGBTQ+ desire. Dog Dreams begins with three minutes of silence followed by a lengthy recording of her saliva—because, as she explains, “Worlds don’t build in a minute.” AM

INFO: 8:30pm, Indexical, 1050 River St #119, Santa Cruz. $16. 627-9491




She got her stage name from her early love of biology, but if creating the perfect R&B song for driving down a palm tree-lined road was a science, she could easily have earned it that way. Atlanta artist Mariah the Scientist has recorded with Lil Baby, 21 Savage, and Young Thug, but her solo tracks bring the real heat. Songs from her new album, To Be Eaten Alive, grapple with heartache, the joys of true love and the complexities of womanhood. Why not spend this Lenten season playing the song “40 Days n 40 Nights” on a loop? JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $32.50/adv, $37.50/door. 713-5492




Jess Williamson’s music is influenced by her friends, including Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, who both specialize in lyrics that slice straight to the marrow and music that makes the heart glow. Her voice is just this side of country; her lyrics on the other side of folk, and the Raymond Carver references are reminiscent of Phoebe Bridgers’s lit bro aesthetic. Williamson has a beautiful yowl that captures feelings anyone can relate to, like loneliness mixed with hope or love clouded by trepidation. Pop stars going country should look to Williamson to see how it’s done. JI

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $27. 704-7113




The “IV” is a subtle reminder that Coleman Williams hails from country music’s most exalted gene pool as the great-grandson of Hank Williams Sr., grandson of Hank Williams Jr., and only son of Hank III. Before becoming an alt-country singer-songwriter, Williams IV spent years developing his musical identity, starting in Nashville’s punk/metal house concert scene, then traveling cross-country, doing a resume of miscellaneous jobs and soaking up musical influences. Southern Circus, the debut record he cut with his Stranger Band, crosses genre boundaries to mix the country troubadour tradition with turned-up-to-11 rock. DE

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-1854


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