The name of Mitski’s fourth album, Puberty 2, suggests a personal transformation so intense, she likens it to the body literally growing hair where there was none, the voice dropping, and all of those other awkward changes we go through. But for her, this life transition—the sequel to puberty—is a subtle one. The album chronicles the anxiety and depression of her day-to-day life as an adult in her mid-20s: Trying to find peace in routine, questioning love and identity, and trying to comprehend the great abyss that is human existence. She pulls it off in a somber, fuzzy-guitar-driven alt-rock album that will move you to pieces if you take the time to soak in the nuances. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 429-4135.
SCOTT PEMBERTON BAND
What comes to mind when you hear the words “timber rock?” A Northwestern flair? A grunge feel? A deep-woods vibe? If yes, then it’s a good way to describe guitarist extraordinaire Scott Pemberton. A technical and passionate lead guitarist with a joy and lightheartedness that seeps into everything he does, Pemberton is a hard-to-define, easy-to-love rocker whose wheelhouse includes rock, blues, funk, jazz, jam and psych-rock. Often compared to fellow Northwestern rocker Jimi Hendrix, Pemberton is one of the most innovative guitarists, performers and artists of his time. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
When is not a good time for a Lovefest? Answer: It’s always time. It’s not clear why this show is being billed as Lovefest 2017—maybe the bookers just think we all need more love in our lives. They’re not wrong! We do know that on April 14, Don Quixote’s will host three excellent regional bands who make the kind of music that should inspire a lot of free-loving. We’re talking bands that mix Americana, rock, jazz and country all into a big, heaping psychedelic stew. The lineup includes Action Street Ramblers, Levi Jack, and Grampa’s Chili. Be prepared for copious hugs. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10/adv, $12/door. 335-2800.
LEE RITENOUR & DAVE GRUSIN
A fleet and fluid guitarist with a light and ingratiating tone, Lee Ritenour has spent some four decades bringing sleek melodicism, fusion, intelligence and style to smooth jazz, both as a solo artist and a founding member of the all-star quartet Four Play. He’s touring with longtime friend, jazz pianist Dave Grusin, an Academy Award-winning Hollywood composer. Often overlooked in jazz circles due to his focus on his film career, Grusin is an excellent player who recorded with heavyweights like Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan, Howard Roberts and Art Farmer. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $38/adv, $48/door. 427-2227.
GRATEFUL BLUEGRASS BOYS
If you know anything about the Grateful Dead, you know that the band has its roots in bluegrass music. The Grateful Bluegrass Boys skip the Dead’s psych-jam bits and take the band full-circle with traditional bluegrass covers of their classic tunes, including “Ripple,” “Ramble On Rose,” “Eyes of the World,” and “Scarlet Begonias.” But the hot-picking band members don’t stop there—they also put a bluegrass twist on Bob Dylan, the Stones, Van Morrison and more. Also on the bill: Santa Cruz’s own honky-tonkin’ jam band Edge of the West. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
The smoothed out licks of Indigenous have brought smiles to audience members since the late ’90s. Led by frontman Mato Nanji, Indigenous captures the roots of American blues, and beefs them up with a powerful, electric punch. Not surprising, since Indigenous has played with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to the late B.B. King, and Nanji once toured with original Jimi Hendrix band members Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell for the Experience Hendrix tour in 2012. This Sunday, get to Moe’s early, as it’s a 4 p.m. matinee show. MAT WEIR
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
The Mivos Quartet is a new music ensemble that the Chicago Reader called “one of America’s most daring and ferocious.” Hailing from New York City, the quartet has a comfort zone that spans from metal clubs to museums and traditional venues. On Sunday, the ensemble hits Santa Cruz for a selection of works from the U.S., Denmark and Iran. The program includes pieces by avant-rock and metal guitarists Patrick Higgins and Mario Diaz de Leon, string quartets by Anahati Abbasi and Scott Wollschleger, and a quartet by Danish composer Martin Stauning. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Resource Center for Nonviolence, 12 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. $10/student, $20/gen. 423-1626.
Ever since he dropped his debut album, Entroducing, in 1996, DJ Shadow has been a household name in the electronic and hip-hop worlds. With a record collection of more than 60,000 albums to sample beats and instruments from, he sticks to the old-school tradition of crate-digging and hands-on DJing. While he’s constantly dropping new tracks and EPs, Shadow has only five albums on the market since his debut. Last year saw the release of his latest work, The Mountain Will Fall, which finds the producer extraordinaire diving deeper into the modern world of electronic beats and sounds. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $28/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
Experimental rock band out of Athens, Georgia. Wednesday at Catalyst
AVI ZEV BAND
Santa Cruz-based surf-rock band. Wednesday at Crepe Place
Long-running hip-hop favorite. Friday at Catalyst
MELVIN SEALS & JGB
Longtime Jerry Garcia Band member and his mighty band. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS
Celebrated Cuban outfit led by Juan de Marcos González. Monday at Kuumbwa