There’s something different about Santa Cruz. And you don’t need to see the beach or smell the ocean or feel the mountain breeze coming down The 17 to know it.
Instead, close your eyes and listen. These bands did. Their sounds capture the vibe of this place: a little weirder; a little louder; a little…gooder. It’s the same vibe we try to put in every box of GOODLES mac and cheese. And it makes this playlist the perfect one for cooking up your first box. Or your hundredth.
We jump in with Dead Kampers, doing a surf-style rendition of the classic Mr. Sandman. The wavy wah pedal brings us into SC’s own SambaDá, mashing together multiple Americas into a single hip-sway on Folha. 7 Come 11 drenches the list in a psych-funk stew on Maso. Slow Gherkin rrrrrRIPS through Oxford. And Groovy Judy places herself in good company on If Jimi had a Sister. On a pluckier note, you’ll find the good old Grateful Dead doing Cumberland Blues. (Evidently, the band liked the tomatoes at Molino Creek Farm so much they had them shipped to them on tour. Stop by the Grateful Dead archive at UCSC to fact check it!)
While we’re talking old school, Neil Young shows up here like he used to do unannounced at the old Don Quixote’s. Here he just does Harvest Moon. Another star-powered connection is with Tracy Chapman whose 1995 album New Beginning features photos of her at the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). The Thrills sing their ode to the town of Santa Cruz. James Durbin’s gives us Parachute, a straight pop-rock banger. And Jonathan Richman jangles his love for the SC Boardwalk on Roller Coaster by the Sea.
Take a breath, and then dive back in with Windwolves. Ohlone Moon conjures up a sky full of stars in every strum. Eric Morrison & The Mysteries wishes for Big Stacks of Money, while Anthony Arya’s version of Linus & Lucy has us dancing in the aisles. The lush Far West dreams us their California pop dream on New You. And we finally land happily on The Banana Slug String Band, gettin’ all the children singing I’m Proud to be a Beaver. Aspen wood tastes good indeed! All these and more to feed your ears while our mac feeds the rest.
Whatever the sound, joy abounds in the music of this place. So grab your bowl of GOODLES mac, press play and listen gooder.