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Tuesday | December 3
The White Buffalo
The White Buffalo, a.k.a. Jake Smith, is touring in support of his latest album, Shadows, Greys and Evil Ways, which was released in September. The 14-track collection is guided by Smith’s arid, deep voice and touches on a number of personal subjects, like the will to continue living, battling addiction, post-war trauma, and wondering if God is really out there. The album runs the gamut from acoustic ballads to gritty rock ’n’ roll, and from Americana tracks to the sort of primal stompers that are simultaneously beautiful and ominous. | BP
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $18/door, $20/door. 429-6994.
Wednesday | December 4
Kenny Butterill and Band
Local singer-songwriter and producer Kenny Butterill has been entrancing listeners with his minimalist songs for more than a decade now. Butterill often employs dusty, low-key vocals that are simultaneously arresting and unassuming, and lyrically, he explores everything from the need for companionship (“Gotta Find a Woman”) to what it feels like to be a songwriter (“Just a Songwriter”). Musically, Butterill primarily channels the blues, country and Americana. Because of his production work, Butterill has not released an album since 2002’s Just a Songwriter, but it is easy to see why songs like the Americana track “How Far Can We Go?” did well on European and Canadian country charts. | BP
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive, Soquel. $10-15. 477-1341.
Waxahatchee, known offstage as alt-folk songwriter Katie Crutchfield, has hit the road in support of her sophomore album, Cerulean Salt, released in March. The long-awaited follow-up to her 2012 debut, the lo-fi acoustic American Weekend—whose track “Be Good” was named one of the best songs of 2012 by NPR—Cerulean maintains the intimacy that fans have come to know and love, but also has a more polished and mature sound. Introspective and alluring, this might just be your soundtrack to December. | JB
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst Atrium,
1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 423-1338.
Thursday | December 5
Dragon Smoke is an all-star band comprised of some of New Orleans’ finest players. Drummer Stanton Moore and bassist Robert Mercurio are known for their work in the band Galactic, while keyboardist/vocalist Ivan Neville has made a name for himself with The Neville Brothers and Dumpstaphunk. Together with guitarist/singer Eric Lindell, these guys are unstoppable. Dragon Smoke’s most recent release, 2011’s Live in New Orleans, showcases the group’s rock, funk and soul sensibilities, and whether it is Neville’s thick, muscular vocals (“Out in the Country”) or Lindell’s charismatic singing (“Turnin’ it Out”) leading the way, they can’t lose. | BRIAN PALMER
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
Stockings: A Holiday Cabaret
Some of the best local dancers and musicians will come together this weekend to present an avant-cabaret, called “Stockings.” The fun and sexy evening of inspired titillation will feature Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, Vyxen Ro and Dancers, Balla Fire, Kim Luke, Terry McCants, Oliva Lehrman and Eli Weinberg. Each year, Motion Pacific awards more than $4,000 in scholarships so that youth and teens, regardless of income level, can participate in dance classes. At this weekend’s performances, Motion Pacific hopes to raise $5,000, but they can’t do it without the community’s help. | JB INFO: 8 p.m. Motion Pacific, 131 Front St., Ste. E, Santa Cruz. $25. 457-1616. Visit motionpacific.com/event/stockings. Photo: Rosie Chesney
Friday | December 6
Earlier this year, The Mother Hips released its latest album, Behind Beyond. Led by songwriter/lead vocalist Tim Bluhm (also of Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers) and guitarist/vocalist Greg Loiacono, the album explores the notion of mortality and not letting the past control you, while also reflecting on life. But it’s not all weighty and serious. The country rock track “Toughie” puts an upbeat spin on walking that fine line between being too thick-skinned and not thick-skinned enough, and the groovy “Best Friend in Town” is full of sass and swagger. | BP
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 423-1338.
A Very Vinyl Christmas
On First Friday, Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios will unveil its newest exhibit, the second annual “A Very Vinyl Christmas.” Guests will have the opportunity to admire a festive collection of holiday vinyl—the majority of which was provided by Streetlight Records—plus a hot chocolate and gingerbread cookie reception. Can’t make it to the event? The exhibit will be on display for the entire month of December. | JB
INFO: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Santa Cruz Rehearsal Studios, 118 Coral St., Santa Cruz. Exhibit on display for month of December.
Saturday | December 7
Marguerite Conti and Karen Waterman
Marguerite Conti began her music career in Santa Cruz with the release of 1990’s Rising from the Night. That debut folk-pop album and her follow-up effort, Angels (1993), received national airplay and critical acclaim. She ended up relocating to Seattle in 1994, but she’ll return this weekend for a special set with another local songbird, Karen Waterman. With a new release on its way, Conti will have plenty of new material to please eager fans. Likewise, Waterman’s soothing blend of folk-rock, jazz and blues showcases her storytelling ability and smooth-like-butter vocals. For a taste, check out her 2011 album, Light At My Window. | JENNA BROGAN
SUPERNOVA After Party
Directly following its annual STARS gala, the Museum of Art & History is hosting a masquerade ball, known as the SUPERNOVA After Party. It’s less pricey than the gala, but attendees can get just as dolled up, enjoy an open bar, bid at the silent auction, dance, and nibble on local desserts. The best part? Each ticket buys an art class for a local child. | JB INFO: 9-11 p.m. Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. $50. 429-1964. Visit santacruzmah.org/stars/supernova.
Light Up a Life
Heartland Hospice will host the third annual “Light Up a Life” memorial celebration event on Saturday in Capitola Village. All are invited to attend and decorate a luminary bag in honor of a loved one. Everyone will illuminate their battery-powered bags in unison at 5:15 p.m. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Micelle Kiba, who will sing a Hawaiian rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Free food and beverages will be served throughout the event, and participants can arrive anytime between 3:30 and 5 p.m. to decorate a bag. | JB
INFO: 3:30-5:30 p.m. Capitola Village Bandstand. No cover. In the event of rain, Light Up a Life will be moved to the Pacific Cultural Center,
1307 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz. For more info, call 373-8442.
The 418 Project’s 20th Anniversary Gala
The 418 Project is celebrating 20 years on Saturday with a black tie/black light gala, called “Incandescence.” The event features LED and black light performances by some of The 418’s artists, food and drinks by India Joze, a Devi Pride photo booth, live and silent auctions, music, dancing and more. Guests are encouraged to come in whatever makes them feel most festive—whether it’s a tuxedo or something that glows. | JB
INFO: 6-10 p.m. 418 Project, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. $45-125. For tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com. For more info, visit the418project.com. Photo: Cliff Warner
Winter Art Market
This weekend, The Tannery is hosting a Winter Art Market, featuring art work for sale by 50 artists of all creative disciplines, including painting, photography, ceramics, glassblowing, jewelry and more. Guests will enjoy dance performances by the Tannery World Dance Center and Urban Dance Battle, plus the Scotts Valley High School Choir and the 26-member Santa Cruz Chorale, led by Christian Grube. The latter will perform traditional carols from around the world from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on both days. Refreshments will be available, as well as opportunities for ornament-, card- and community mural-making. | JB
INFO: Noon-5 p.m. The Tannery Art Center, 1030 River St., Santa Cruz. No cover.
Sunday | December 8
Kaki King Be Our Guest
Kaki King is a wildly inventive guitarist. Whether she’s performing solo or with backing bands, her penchant for exploring a variety of sonic textures is a real treat. Employing everything from acoustic and lap steel guitars to the occasional hybrid instrument, King is truly an avant-garde performer who is always seeking to stretch the boundaries of guitar playing. Her latest instrumental album, 2012’s Glow, features dreamily ominous thumpers, ethereal Asian-influenced tracks and lush strings. | BP
INFO: 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $16. 423-8209.
WANT TO GO? Visit the Good Times Facebook page before 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6 to find out how you could win a pair of free tickets to the show.
If Calico could be summed up in two words, it would be: Girl power. The band features three gifted songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists—all female, and all about fun. Winner of the National Touring Artist of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Music Awards, Calico is a quickly rising star in the Americana scene. One listen to the group’s brand new EP, Calico the Band, released in July—a collection of eight spunky numbers characterized by mesmerizing three-part harmonies, country twang, and expert instrumentation—and there will be no doubt. Keep an ear out for Calico’s holiday single, “Santa Have Mercy.” | JB
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.
The Choral Project
The community is invited to get into the holiday spirit this weekend at Peace United Church of Christ where The Choral Project, an award-winning ensemble, will present a special concert to benefit the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program, an alliance of six churches which provides shelter to 15-20 homeless individuals in Santa Cruz each night. The performance will feature holiday music, including classics like “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Carol of the Bells,” and “Silent Night,” sung by more than 50 voices. | JB
INFO: 7 p.m. Peace United Church of Christ, 900 High St., Santa Cruz. $20/general, $15/seniors, No cover/18 and under. Visit sjcp.org.
After breaking its decade-long road hiatus with a successful run of shows earlier this year, industrial rock band BILE will stop by Santa Cruz on Sunday as part of its Built to F*ck, Born To Tour North American tour. The New York-based band will unleash its self-proclaimed “audio terrorism” on the Blue Lagoon, with special guests The Rabid Whole. Calling all head-bangers: This one’s for you. | JB
INFO: 9 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 423-7117.
Monday | December 9
The Pedrito Martinez Group
Gloria Estefan may as well have been prophetically referring to The Pedrito Martinez Group when she said “the rhythm is gonna get you.” The band’s self-titled debut album, released in October, features compulsively danceable Afro Cuban rhythms (“Lengua de Obbara”); funky, soulful numbers (“Travelling Riverside Blues”); and groovy jazz tracks aplenty, whether they be of the more Latin persuasion or a more traditional bent. It is easy to see why Martinez has opened for the likes of Sting, Dave Matthews Band, Ray Charles, and Willie Nelson, and has received rave reviews from critics worldwide. | BP
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $28/door. 427-2227.
Wednesday | December 11
Aoife O’Donovan will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $20/adv, $23/door. For more information, call 427-2227. Photo:Shawn Brackbill >> See: Feature Article >
Fans of ’60s-era pop and surf rock, who also have a dark side, will dig Mrs. Magician’s 2012 debut album, Strange Heaven, and the band’s just-released B-sides record, also called B Sides. The San Diego-based trio is all about dark imagery and fearful undertones, distorted guitars and eerie vocals, but they also have a penchant for upbeat melodies and toe-tapping rhythms. The result? A creepy, yet danceable, amalgam that’s truly one of a kind. | BP
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
Sunday | December 15.
Birding for Beginners
Those interested in learning some basic birding knowledge are invited to join a park naturalist on a walk through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Dec. 15. While exploring the park’s forest habitats, participants will be able to use bird identification guides and find out how to spot various species. The walk is approximately a mile long, and will take about two hours at a leisurely pace, with a slight elevation gain. Participants are encouraged to dress in layers and bring water and snacks. An optional “chalk-talk” following the walk will cover binocular selection, birding books and apps, birding hot-spots, and more. | JENNA BROGAN
INFO: 8 a.m. Meet in front of the amphitheater at the entry of the campground at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Enter the park from Graham Hill Road. 335-7077.
Heavy rain cancels.
Cadenza, The Chamber Concert Series continues with music by Bach, Haydn, Leclair and more, Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tess Dunn & Band The local songbird and Cystic Fibrosis warrior presents a benefit for Cystic Fibrosis Research Inc. and organ donation awareness- Sunday at Moe’s Alley
Groundation, The American roots reggae powerhouse returns for a high-energy show-Tuesday at The Catalyst
Patti Maxine with Rhan Wilson, The popular local musicians team up for a special holiday show-Wednesday at The Ugly Mug
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Roaring Camp Holiday Trains and Tree Walk
Roaring Camp Railroads is getting in the spirit of the holiday season with the return of the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train, the Holiday Tree Walk and the Chanukah Train. The Holiday Lights Train, which runs Nov. 29-Dec. 23, features vintage excursion cars adorned with thousands of colorful lights. Passengers partake in a holiday sing-a-long, sip hot cider, listen to music, and enjoy a visit from Santa. The Holiday Tree Walk, open Nov. 29-Dec. 15, is located at the summit of Bear Mountain, where guests can sip hot cider and view a beautifully decorated holiday tree display. Jewish community members can play dreidel, enjoy kosher refreshments, and experience the lighting of the menorah aboard old-fashioned excursion cars complete with Chanukah decorations on Dec. 1. | JB
INFO: For details and tickets for all three events, visit roaringcamp.com, or call 335-4484.
Masters Series II
The Masters Series continues at R. Blitzer Gallery, with artwork by two of the area’s most revered artists and educators, Howard Ikemoto and Ron Milhoan. Both artists, now retired, have inspired thousands of students as art instructors at Cabrillo College. Throughout his career, Ikemoto’s work has been exhibited across California, and, at 74, his creations continue to invite viewers to think outside the box. Often abstract and sometimes non-objective, his most recent works examine landscapes through the process of painting. Milhoan’s current oil paintings, “The Dusty Trail Series,” were inspired by the landscape and are a tribute to his home of 20 years in Corralitos. | JB
INFO: Exhibit runs through Dec. 28. A First Friday reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 6. R. Blitzer Gallery, 2801 Mission St., Santa Cruz. 458-1217.
Santa Cruz Recycles! Poster Art Show
In order to spread the word about recycling, the City Public Works Department once again hosted its annual Santa Cruz Recycles! Poster Contest. Open to all students in grades K-12 in City public and private schools, the contest offers young people an opportunity to creatively express their ideas about recycling. The four winning posters of the 2013 contest—which will be enlarged and mounted on the sides of local recycling trucks—as well as all other entries, are now on display at the Downtown Public Library for the community to view. | JENNA BROGAN
INFO: Exhibit on display Nov. 1-Dec. 31. Downtown Public Library (upstairs), 224 Church St., Santa Cruz. 420-5449.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center Seeks Volunteers
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz is currently seeking volunteers for its 2014 docent training class. Seymour Center docents lead tours to the marine mammal overlook, interpret the exhibits and aquaria, and help vistitors handle the seawater animals safely—including the sharks in the shark touching pool. Participants will gain experience in public speaking and interpreting marine science research and conservation. | JENNA BROGAN
INFO: Application deadline is Dec. 25, 2013. Training begins on Jan. 8, 2014 and concludes March 29, 2014, with classes held each Wednesday evening and on Saturdays. Must be 18 or older to apply. To apply, visit seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/get-involved/volunteer. 459-3854.
Down on the Farm’
Santa Cruz County Bank’s newest exhibition, “Down on the Farm,” features artwork depicting the beauty and bounty of the bucolic life, as interpreted by seven local artists. Participating artists, including Marnie Dufau, Bonnie Minardi, and Marvin Plummer, reflect on simple life on the farm and the rustic feel of living off the land in their pieces, which portray everything from chickens to barns. Between the five bank locations, there are 90 works of art on display, all of which are for sale, with 100 percent of sales going directly to the artists. | JB
INFO: Exhibit open now-Jan. 3, 2014. All Santa Cruz County Bank locations. For details and location info, visit santacruzcountybank.com/art_current.cfm.
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