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Thursday | 17
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The word that comes to mind when I think about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is “institution.” Created in New Orleans in 1963, the countless incarnations of the band have brought old-school, Crescent City jazz to the masses for 50-plus years. Even Hurricane Katrina couldn’t stop the party—the band just took the show on the road. Last year at the San Jose Jazz Summerfest, PHJB lit the crowd up with a set packed with hip-swinging, thigh-slapping grooves and some of that good ol’ NOLA soul. On Thursday, the band hits the Catalyst. | Cat Johnson
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $28/adv, $32/door. 423-1338.
Being the baby of the first family of New Orleans music, I don’t imagine Cyril Neville had a choice but to be a standout musician—and a standout he is. As percussionist and vocalist, he has played with top-tier acts including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Dr. John, as well as joining forces with Devon Allman and Mike Zito to form the blues-rock supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood. On Thursday, Neville and Swamp Funk, his current hard-rocking, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-work band, hit Moe’s. | CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
Friday | 18
I guess, technically, alt-country can be traced back to Hank Williams and the other bad girls and boys of country music who told the Opry to shove it, but it’s widely agreed that the first official alt-country album is Uncle Tupelo’s No Depression. A rocking listen that combines folk song-smithing, a country spirit and a punk rock edge, the album came out in 1990 and launched what is now a packed genre. After Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy went on to form Wilco, and Jay Farrar formed Son Volt and has also had a nice solo career—never straying too far from his alt-country roots and continuing to hold court as roots royalty. | CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $20/adv, $22/door. 603-2294.
Carolyn Sills Combo
We can’t expect Keith Greeninger, Sherry Austin and Larry Hosford to keep watch over the Monterey Bay’s country-folk scene forever. That’s where bassist Carolyn Sills and her guitarist husband Gerald Egan—Santa Cruz’s Les Paul and Mary Ford—come in. Sills, who’s getting regular airplay on KPIG, cranks out good stories, catchy love songs and creative chord progressions that take listeners back to rockabilly vibes of the post-World-War-II era. The sound is rounded out by respected local drummer Jimmy Norris and slide guitarist Charlie Joe Wallace. | Jacob Pierce
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
This month, Mobb Deep have reissued the record that put them on the map, along with an album of new material and 10 unreleased tracks from the original Infamous sessions. They are in the midst of a 32-city nationwide tour in support of the album. See music feature.
INFO: Mobb Deep performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at the Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $19/adv, $23/door. 423-1338.
Friday, April 18, marks the band's first hometown show in more than 13 years. Joined by Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) on bass and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age, Wasted Youth), Bl’ast! will be sharing the stage with local grind-thrashers Fast Asleep, and legendary Santa Cruz punks Swingin’ Utters. See Love Your Local Band.
INFO: Bl’ast! plays Friday at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, at 9 p.m. $12/$16.
Saturday | 19
Touring with his red-hot new band Painkillers, San Jose’s Tommy Castro is dishing out a hefty serving of blues rock with an old recipe that’s never failed him: steady drums, loud bass, straightforward lyrics and, of course, scorching lead guitar licks. The new group is also somewhat of a departure with a smaller, tighter group for a man who used to play in bigger groups with horn players. Castro’s music is a great fit for fans of Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Buddy Guy. | JP
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
Earth Day Cleanups
Sunday | 20
420 Funk Off With Orgone
If you actually make it to 8 p.m. on April 20, treat yourself to the music of Orgone, named after a hypothetical universal life force and cosmic unit of energy. The eight-piece funk/soul group’s songs are both soothing and danceable. On stage, the guitar and bass chat with the trumpet and trombone as the drums keep a steady tempo that leaves plenty of space for talented musicians to shine. The band is easy for new (or baked) fans to follow with interesting bridges, cool breakdowns and lots of repeating lyrics for singing along. | JP
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 423-8209.
Spring Reskilling Expo
The Reskilling Expo is committed to teaching sustainable life skills, in the hope of pointing the way toward a sustainable future. Most of the skills taught were prolific 50-75 years ago, but got lost a bit in our modern times. Now is the time to bring them back. Food security and water conservation are two of the biggest local issues addressed, and those who attend can expect to gain valuable skills in both areas. Other topics covered in the 24 workshops will be solar cooking, bike maintenance, and the medicine of local herbs.
INFO: Sunday, April 20. 1-4 p.m. The Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. www.reskillingexpo.org. Admission $5-$25.
Monday | 21
Trading in slow grooves, raw guitarwork and heavy basslines, Dead Meadow is a straight-down-the-chute stoner rock band. With roots in Washington, D.C., the sludgy-riff-loving outfit crafts tripped-out soundscapes that lend themselves to losing oneself in unconstrained imagery. But, much like the metal pioneers of Black Sabbath, these guys know how to balance the unexplored with the beautiful, and always bring listeners back to familiar ground. | CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 423-1338.
There just aren’t enough jazz violinists. There are a handful of standouts, including Stéphane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Bang and Stuff Smith, but after that, my mental list gets pretty hazy. Regina Carter is remedying that. An international representative of the art, Carter possesses the style, improv skills, and shred-ability to be a modern-day torchbearer of the tradition. She’s worked with big names, including Aretha Franklin and Max Roach, but it was when she struck out on her own that she earned a place as a jazz innovator bringing unexpected style and welcome sounds to the genre. | CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $26/adv, $31/door. 427-2227.
“Turns out your roommate with the lava lamp was right,” reads the promotional website for Doug Fine’s book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. Indeed. And who in Santa Cruz has not, at one point or another, cohabitated with a lava lamp? We expect local audiences will appreciate the message journalist and author Doug Fine has to share, which is that hemp has the capability to simultaneously feed the world, free us from our dependence on fossil fuels, and revitalize the agricultural economy. Fine will be on-hand for a reading, signing, and audience Q&A session.
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Free. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 831.423.0900.
Tuesday | 22
Because of a number of diversions for agriculture and cities, the Colorado River current runs dry before reaching its natural end in California. While it used to be a lush ecosystem for all kinds of plant and animal life, it is currently kind of an endangered species of its own. In this film produced and narrated by Robert Redford, viewers will learn about how small commitments to conservation can restore the Colorado River to its former glory. Following the viewing at the Rio, there will be a question and answer period with the film’s director, Mark Decena.
INFO: 7 p.m. The Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. Free with preregistration at KAZU.org, or $5 at the door.
Thursday | 24
The Coup and Lyrics Born
It’s a night of Bay Area lyrical legends, including Oakland’s The Coup, which brings electronic and hip-hop flavors to funk without sacrificing any of the raw energy that makes funk fresh. The music is fun, the lyrics are often socially conscious and beats are innovative. Sharing the bill with that group is Lyrics Born out of Berkeley. The product of Tom Shimura’s mind, Lyrics Born is expanding its sound and getting more into synthesizers with its latest release As U Were. | JP
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
This prolific California punk band has a bevy of albums under its belt, the most recent being 2012’s All or Nothing. Known for strong doses of power punk with potent messages (who can forget “Fuck Authority” from 2001?) and high-energy performances, the group has made its mark on the punk scene and beyond since forming in 1988.
INFO: 7 p.m., Thursday, April 24. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $24/door. 423-1338.
In the Queue
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
Bluegrass fiddle standout is joined by a mandolin master.
Thursday at Don Quixote’s
Pawn Shop Soul
Super-tight, ‘70s-inspired funk and dance-floor soul
Friday at Kuumbwa
Chart-topping reggae from Bermuda
Saturday at Catalyst
With its roots in reggae, this band draws inspiration from a number of styles
Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
Seasoned folk troubadour from the Boston scene
Sunday at Don Quixote’s
Be our Guest
The California Honeydrops
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Lech Wierzynski developed a love of Sam Cooke and Louis Armstrong at a young age. Later in life, after getting popular in the Bay Area, Wierzynski helped create the California Honeydrops, largely because the singer/trumpeter missed street performing. The new group was soon playing at BART stations—and making good tips, too. Drummer Ben Malament’s background in West African and New Orleans drumming give the band funky rhythms behind Wierzynski’s soulful vocals. The keyboards and horn sections bring jazzier flavors to the laid-back, Oakland-based rock group, which plays shows all over the Bay Area and has become a favorite at Moe’s Alley. | JP
INFO: 9pm, Thursday, May 8, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, $12 adv, $15/door, 479-1854. WANT TO GO? Visit the Good Times’ Facebook page before 11 a.m. on Friday, April 18, to find out how you could win a pair of tickets to the show.
Bookshop Santa Cruz will be teeming with activity through April as more than a dozen renowned authors are scheduled to stop by in promotion of their latest books. From poetry, to short stories, to nail-biting novels, to informative nonfiction, there’s an author event for every reader to enjoy. Take a look.
April 4-July 20
The newest exhibition at the MAH, “Planet Ord,” explores the contemporary experience and historical echoes of the now-abandoned Fort Ord—once the largest military base in the American West—relating it to the many lost places in contemporary America. This multimedia exhibition is guest-curated by Enid Baxter Ryce, who reveals the artwork and stories within this ever-changing icon of Monterey County. With the help of the students and alumni of California State University Monterey Bay, Enid documents Fort Ord through film, photo, and painted maps of the military base, where more than one million people once lived and worked. | JB
INFO: Exhibit runs through July 20. Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. 429-1964.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is one of the best places on the California coast to learn about marine conservation. And now, it’s encouraging energy conservation, too—patrons who bike, walk or take public transportation to the Seymour Center between Tuesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 19 will be treated to free admission. While there, don’t miss the moon jellies exhibit, which features moon jellies in three different stages of evolution.
INFO: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Road., Santa Cruz. 459.3800.
April 19-May 4
What would happen if a restless city boy moved to a small town where dancing was outlawed? We all know the answer to this: He would give a moving speech at city council that cites passages from the Bible that talk about dancing, then throw a raucous (but completely clean and sober) prom, restoring to the town its love of joy. Come see students from the San Lorenzo Valley High Drama Department in conjunction with Mountain Community Theatre take on this classic 1980’s wonder. “Slaughterhouse-Five, it’s a classic!”
INFO: Saturday, April 19 – Sunday, May 4. Thu, Fri & Sat shows at 7 p.m. Sun shows at 2 p.m. Park Hall, 9400 Mill St., Ben Lomond. www.mctshows.org. Tickets $15 general; $10 students/seniors.
March 5-April 19
Printmaking: On and Off the Wall
The Pajaro Valley Arts Council’s newest exhibition, “Printmaking On and Off the Wall,” features two- and three-dimensional artwork by 50 members of The MPC Printmakers. Working in a variety of mediums, including print installations, scrolls, handmade books, sculptures, framed art, and more, the participating artists’ images range from the abstract to the familiar. All artworks feature elements created using fine art printmaking techniques, such as etching, woodcut, screenprint and monotype. | JB
INFO: Exhibit runs March 5-April 19. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Pajaro Valley Arts Council, 37 Sudden St., Watsonville. Free admission.
Santa Cruz Challenge
It’s not too late to join the Santa Cruz Challenge! The 12-week program, which kicked off on Feb. 22, gives participants the opportunity to explore and discover health and fitness locally—and, best of all, rewards them for their efforts. All participants may take a fitness strength and endurance test and have their body composition evaluated using a Bioimpedence Analysis (BIA). At the end of the 12 weeks, the same evaluation will be given and the person with the greatest percentage of improvement will be awarded the grand prize. The challenge benefits all participants, regardless of fitness and health levels. Throughout the challenge, participants will gain tools including relaxation, reducing household toxins, shopping locally and organically, stress management, nutritional detoxification, increased flexibility and more. | JB
INFO: To join, call the Santa Cruz Challenge Headquarters at 229-0189 to go over program details and fill out the registration form online at santacruzchallenge.com. Note, late entries do not qualify for the grand prize.
Off the Wall’
Six local artists, including Cynthia Siegel and Johnathon Schmuck, explore the beauty and space of the three-dimensional world in Santa Cruz County Bank’s latest art exhibition, “Off the Wall.” The artistic mediums used include sculpture, ceramics, glass, wood, and other three-dimensional works specifically designed to hang on the wall. Wall installations created with multiple hand-blown glass sculptures complement sculptural works with simple classic forms. | JB
INFO: Exhibit runs Through-May 2. All five Santa Cruz County Bank locations. For location information, visit sccountybank.com. Photo: Cynthia Siegel
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Things to do in Santa Cruz, Soquel, Capitola, Aptos, Wattsonville, music, concerts, bands, events, activities, theatre, dance, movies, art, galleries and more!