.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of January 3, 2024




Not many books fall into the hyper-specific category of “undead speculative fiction,” but fortunately for us, Something’s Not Right by California author yves. (pronounced “eevz-dot”) certainly does. The collection of young adult short stories explores themes of queerness, identity and questioning societal beliefs through the lens of vampires and the undead with comedic wit. To celebrate the book’s fifth anniversary, yves. is doing a free in-store reading and book signing. The anniversary edition includes a newly designed cover, three additional stories and bonus content. Copies can be purchased in-store prior to the event. MAT WEIR

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

secure document shredding




The new Santa Cruz-based trio, Axe & Acoustic, debuted last summer at the Redwood Mountain Faire in Felton. Their musical mix fits into the expansive Americana category, with sweet harmonies, classic covers and a few originals. The band features Chad Johnson on vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica, Pam Nectar on vocals, dobro and harmonica, and Michelle DeMay on drums. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 5:30pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Suite A, Soquel. Free. 316-0662.


Swingin’ Utters Photo: Alan Snodgrass


This California-based punk band has been doing their thing for a quarter of a century, meaning they know how to play around with their sound. Of course, they’ll bring those head-banging songs that satisfy any punk fan who feels like moshing out their feelings. It’s also likely that their songs will contain traces of less obvious influences, including Britpop, Celtic and folk. Their songs are gritty, danceable and made for music fans who crave the sounds made by three chords and frequent tempo shifts. Bodies will thrash and heads will bang in the beautiful wreckage of corporate America. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 9pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $27/door. 479-1854.




The legendary band Y&T is celebrating an incredible 50 years on the road. Through grit and grind in their first decade as a quartet, they became pioneers of the hard rock sound that bands like Mötley Crüe, RATT and Metallica would later run with. Their hits “Forever,” “Summertime Girls,” “Rescue Me” and “Mean Streak” have helped them sell over four million albums. Their relentless energy has also made them one of the most coveted support acts on the hard rock scene. They count Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Aerosmith as road dogs, and the road is still going. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $32/adv, $36/door. 713-5492.


Fleetwood Macramé | Photo: Daniel Swan


As the name on the marquee implies, Fleetwood Macrame is a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Fleetwood Macrame faithfully recreates ’70s radio staples like “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain.” The group includes vocalist Linda Moody, who sings and twirls as Stevie Nicks, and guitarist and vocalist Owen Adair Kelley (as Lindsey Buckingham). Drummer and vocalist Jai Bird (aka Mick Fleetwood), bassist Tori Fulkerson-Jones (aka John McVie) and vocalist-keyboardist Lindsey Everly complete the macrame. DE

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $23/adv, $28/door. 704-7113.



There are few punk bands as recognizable as LA hardcore godfathers Black Flag. Their four-bar flag logo is recognized worldwide and continues to be ripped off or satirized by companies, artists and meme makers. They are so synonymous with the scene that it’s almost impossible to talk about the genre without mentioning one—or all—incarnations of the band. Their music is a heavy, unrelenting, brutal assault on the senses, channeling their anger at everything wrong with the world. They return to Santa Cruz for a crushing set of the entire My War album, followed by a set of their “greatest hits.” MW

INFO: 7pm, Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building, 846 Front St., Santa Cruz. $25-$40. 454-0478.


BoomBox band
BoomBox | Photo:Sam Silkworth (Silky Shots)


Why not commit to dancing more in 2024? As the first week of the new year closes, electronic rock outfit BoomBox brings the beat to Moe’s Alley. Founded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the duo comprises multi-instrumentalist Zion Rock Godchaux and Kinsman MacKay. Their genre-blending style—honed through five studio albums and ceaseless touring of the festival circuit—incorporates funk, soul, R&B and the early house music they grew up listening to. According to Godchaux, “The sound is about pulling from anything that you’d hear coming out of a boombox and distilling into a distinctive style.” AM

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




Every winter, Bookshop Santa Cruz rolls out their Winter Reading Program, and it’s always exciting to see what titles have made the cut. Inspired by their Summer Reading Program for kids, this version is for the grown-ups. Instead of prizes like pizza and ice cream, readers who finish three titles or more from the list will earn wine and a cookie. Book lovers will have a chance to find their favorite titles du jour at the Paradox Hotel, where Bookshop’s incredible staff will present all the titles featured this year. Winter hibernation? Sounds great—with the right books to read. JI

INFO: 7pm, Paradox Hotel, 611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz. Free. 423-0900.



Described by NPR as “soulful honey to the ears,” Ranky Tanky represents the culture of South Carolina’s West African-rooted Gullah community. The Gullah (sometimes called Geechee) is a small community living in the Carolinas and Georgia. Because of their historical geographic isolation, the Gullah language, culture and ethnic identity have been heavily preserved over the centuries. Ranky Tanky’s second album, Good Time, an infectiously funky, jazzy record incorporating Gullah folk music, won a Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album. MW

INFO: 7pm & 9pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $31.50-$63. 427-2227.


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