A painted camera on display in artist Danny Jay's studio
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
City Life

BOLO Best Bets: Open Studios’ final weekend; local music and writing talent in the spotlight

If you missed the first two weekends of the amazing Open Studios tour, hey, stuff happens. We all have busy lives. But don’t let this weekend go by without engaging with the hundreds of visual artists in their own homes and studios. Look for the lime-green signs; no matter where you live, there are at least a couple near you.

It’s also a great time to find a new favorite local artist in other realms as well. Promising Santa Cruz-bred musicians Mira Goto and Anthony Arya are performing live in separate shows this weekend, and local writer Doug Abrams talks Tuesday about his new collaboration with the great Jane Goodall. It’s all just a taste of the fine creative work Santa Cruz County folks are doing.

— Wallace Baine

See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.

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Best Bets is presented by CineLux Theatres.

Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:

(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)


A promotional flyer for the "Homecoming" exhibition at Radius Gallery

“Homecoming”: The Radius Gallery at the Tannery is the site for a remarkable showing of new art from five local artists, each having been evacuated during the 2020 CZU fires in Santa Cruz. Dan Hennig (sculpture), Laurie Hennig (sculpture), Todd LeJeune (painting), Leslie Morgan (mixed media, painting, resin) and Margaret Niven (painting, printmaking) all created works to reflect their experiences in the aftermath of the fires. The Radius is open Wednesdays through Sundays noon-5 p.m. and by appointment. The show runs through Nov. 7. Yep, it’s free.

Open Studios: One last weekend left for the 2021 Open Studios art tour, providing art lovers an open invitation to visit the work spaces of the county’s staggering roster of painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, and other artists, nearly 300 in all. Just grab a guide in spots all over the county, or download the Open Studios app, or just look for the green signs. It’s all free. This Saturday and Sunday, artists from all over the county are participating, opening their creative spaces for visitors. Get out and interact with the community’s creatives, buy something if you’re able, and wear a mask and be courteous.

Open Studios Preview Show: The Santa Cruz Art League is hosting a kind of one-stop-shopping preview of what Open Studios has in store. The SCAL’s gallery features a diverse sampling of the kind of artworks produced in Santa Cruz County and the artists on the tour who create them from paintings to sculpture to woodwork to glass to textiles. The exhibit is open Thursday and Friday 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Art League gallery at 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz.

— Wallace Baine


Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs performing live

Cass McCombs: Bay Area native Cass McCombs is a slippery cat to classify. The veteran singer-songwriter has produced nine strong albums in a recording career going back to 2003, dancing in and out of various styles from Americana to psychedelia. He’s known mostly for tuneful, sometimes tender songs that touch on anything from the personal to the socio-political. This fine, often renegade artist performs Friday with his band at Moe’s Alley. Opening is Farmer Dave & the Wizards of the West.

Wet: The New York trio known as Wet produces lush and faintly melancholy dream-pop ideal for any chill-out playlist, best exemplified by the pillowy single “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl,” kept aloft by the seductive vocals of Kelly Zutrau, whose style recalls the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. Zutrau and her musical partner, Joe Valle, have reunited with original group member Marty Sulkow, and the reenergized trio is releasing a new album titled “Letter Blue” on Oct. 22. One of pop’s more intriguing acts pays a visit to Felton Music Hall on Friday.

Mira and Anthony Goto: Certainly one of Santa Cruz’s most promising musical exports is country singer-songwriter Mira Goto, who is keeping one foot planted in her hometown while her other explores the musical subculture of Nashville. She performs Saturday in a special show at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center accompanied by guitarist (and Mira’s husband) Anthony Goto. Along with the Gotos, this Snazzy show also features another local goodie, Bonny June & Bonfire, featuring Ken Kraft and Craig Owens. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Anthony Arya Band: All aboard the Double-A Express, otherwise known as the Anthony Arya bandwagon. The young Santa Cruz singer-songwriter got America’s attention on NBC’s “The Voice” at the tender age of 15, and has built on that success with three sharp albums, setting him up for a big future. On Saturday, Arya brings his band into Michael’s on Main in Soquel in a dinner-and-a-show performance.

Bino Rideaux: A longtime friend and collaborator of the late Nipsey Hussle, L.A. rapper Bino Rideaux gained attention for his tribute to Nip titled “Of All Things.” Since then, he’s released his funky, low-key major label debut and comes to the Catalyst on the heels of his newest collaboration, with fellow rapper Bixst, “Sixtape 2.” Opening for Bino is Bluebucksclan.

— Wallace Baine

This month, Arts Council Santa Cruz County invited you to explore over 300 artist studios during the Open Studios Art...


Concession stands at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Boardwalk Bites and Brews: Happening every Thursday and Friday through Nov. 19, the Boardwalk’s private event chef, Scott Meyer, delivers food paired with beers from Santa Cruz and beyond. This week’s dishes include ahi poke nachos, fried chicken and waffles and Brussels sprouts. You can pair this event with music and movies, too: There will be a live band at nearby Neptune’s Stage on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Coffee Zombie Collective is this week’s act), and movies on the beach at 6:30 p.m. Fridays (beginning this week with “Jaws”).

— Haneen Zain


Author Jess Walter and his book "The Cold Millions"

Jess Walter: Veteran novelist Jess Walter became a literary star on the heels of his bestselling “Beautiful Ruins.” Now, he’s got a new novel in hand; “The Cold Millions” is a fictionalized account of the early 20th-century labor movements of the Pacific Northwest. In a virtual event hosted by Bookshop Santa Cruz, Walter discusses his new novel and the alchemy between fiction and history with Santa Cruz’s own celebrated novelist Karen Joy Fowler. Co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz, the Thursday event is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Douglas Abrams: Santa Cruz-based author and activist Doug Abrams has used his position with his literary agency, Idea Architects, to bring great minds and great ideas to a larger public, most famously with his 2016 collaboration with the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu, “The Book of Joy.” Five years later, Abrams is back at it as co-author of “The Book of Hope,” this time with the celebrated naturalist Jane Goodall. On Tuesday, Abrams will be available in an online event sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz and the Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz to discuss Goodall’s insights on hope in the face of climate change. Things get started at 6 p.m.

— Wallace Baine


A flyer for the Roaring Camp Harvest Faire

Roaring Camp Harvest Faire and Steam Festival: Head into the redwoods to spend an afternoon at Roaring Camp’s Harvest Faire and Steam Festival. There will be plenty of fall activities and crafts such as pumpkin picking, candle- and scarecrow-making, and gold panning. There will also be steam- and belt-powered equipment on display.

— Max Chun


Promo photos for Boardwalk beer and food event

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Bites and Brews: Enjoy some tasty food and drink with the scenery at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Thursdays and Fridays through Nov. 19. There will be flights, pints, merch, and a rotating menu created by Boardwalk private event chef Scott Meyer — and the arcade next door is open until 8 p.m.

Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market: The third Sunday of the month brings another installment of the Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market, on Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Lincoln streets, featuring local food, artisans and artists showing off their crafts. This weekend’s makers include Terra and Self, Old 831 Brand, Mike & Niki’s Honey and Idea Fab Labs.

— Max Chun


Santa Cruz area band Jive Machine

Jive Machine at Midtown Block Party: The run of weekly Midtown Friday events rolls on at the parking lot next to the fire station at 1111 Soquel Ave. This week’s block party is headlined by Jive Machine, ready to bring back its fusion of blues, progressive rock and old-school funk after taking a year off due to the pandemic; Tacos El Chuy and Scrumptious Fish and Chips food truck provide the eats.

Boardwalk Santa Cruz Band Review: Fifty-five high school and junior high marching bands from around Northern California return to Santa Cruz to compete in the Boardwalk Band Review. The parade of bands kicks off at the Cocoanut Grove, with the judging/reviewing area on Second Street between Riverside Avenue and Cliff Street. Find the map here.

— Haneen Zain


A flyer for the Aware documentary

Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness”: Come to the Rio Theatre for a screening of a new documentary titled “Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness.” The film explores and contemplates the true meaning of human consciousness as it follows six accomplished scientists who have researched this question for many years. The filmmakers also delve into high-tech brain research, psychedelics, the effects of meditation and more.

— Max Chun


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