“I haven’t heard a Santa Cruz band that has the sound we’re putting out,” says Isaac Romero, front man for the postpunk, dance rock band Arrows. “But it doesn’t matter. We’ve played a few shows with all metal bands and had a great reception.”
Heather Christie sings in local duo the Feral Fauna, which combines organic acoustic instrumentation with danceable electronics. Christie also has a solo project titled Cheraki, but though it shares some influences, she sees it as a very different kind of outlet.
Nomalakadoja’s name is quite a mouthful. It’s pronounced “NO-ma-lack-a-DO-ja.” Don’t worry if you’ve never heard it before—the members of the band made it up. Actually, it slipped out of one of its member’s mouths while freestyling along to an Outkast record. They liked it so much they named the band after it and gave it the definition “feel-good vibe.”
With such a diverse range of people and cultures confined to one area, it’s only natural for seemingly opposing ideas to find balance in a city like Santa Cruz. Along with CrossFit and Netflix, the city can now boast the birthplace of the world’s first Buddhist hardcore punk band, the Deathless.
The Post Street Rhythm Peddlers come armed with a banjo, trumpet, washboard, clarinet, and everything else a prohibition-era jazz band needs. The nine members are all full of grins, a ton of fun to watch, and aware that, to a lot of modern audiences, the music may unfairly seem just like novelty.