The crowd at the Crow's Nest summer beach party
(Via The Crow’s Nest)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: Never too early to treat Mom, and summer is fast approaching

Weekender with Wallace Baine

Pro tip for anyone with a mother: Yes, Mother’s Day is more than a full week away yet. But beating the crowd and taking Mom to the symphony, David Sedaris or Literary Trivia Night this weekend could check off a lot of boxes. A new month is upon us — known locally by glass-half-empty types as “May Gray” — and we’re letting you know where the sun is peeking through. My bespoke, curated Baine’s Nine best-bets list — the kids these days call it “The B9” — gives you a quick executive summary of the week ahead. Tell Mom I said hello.

Now, on with the show:

This just in!

Free summer entertainment is back at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. As we reported earlier this week, the Boardwalk has announced both its free movies and its free music programs for this summer. The movies will look and feel much as they have in past years, but the live music will be different this time out: no big-name oldies acts, smaller stage, different night. The Boardwalk said the pandemic prevented it from the booking and scheduling time it needed for a traditional summer season that for decades has provided local audiences the chance to see acts as diverse as Herman’s Hermits, Eddie Money and Gin Blossoms. The Boardwalk was noncommittal, but it’s possible the big-stage oldies season could return next summer. Stay tuned. The new Evenings on the Colonnade series happens every Thursday evening, beginning June 16, with movies on the beach on Fridays.

The weekly Crow’s Nest Beach Party is coming back, and if you’ve never been, it’s the quintessential Santa Cruz summer experience. It’ll take place at Twin Lakes Beach, right behind the Crow’s Nest, every Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning May 26. (In case you’re keeping score, the Crow’s Nest Beach Party will take place each Thursday before the Boardwalk summer concert, so conceivably you could attend both.)

Other newly announced stuff includes the full lineup at the Redwood Mountain Faire on June 4-5 at Roaring Camp, the great folk singer Judy Collins at the Rio on Sept. 23, and an intriguing tribute show to the “Little Sparrow,” the iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf, at the Kuumbwa on July 14, which is, of course, Bastille Day.

In our Down The Line calendar, behold the staggering riches before Santa Cruz audiences in our look ahead at the best shows, concerts and events through the rest of the year. In it, we’ve got you covered with all the known major events through December.

the logo for Baine's Nine


Here they are, nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead. Welcome to the B9:

  1. The funniest writer alive is also a seasoned and super-talented performer. How is that even possible?
  2. “Tig” is a childhood nickname, coined by her brother. Now it’s known by fans of stand-up comedy fans far and wide.
  3. Cabrillo music prof and composer Josef Sekon prepares to step into the spotlight at this weekend’s Symphony concerts.
  4. It might not be Milan or Paris, but there’s a runway fashion show coming to the Tannery from the younger generation that oozes only-in-Santa-Cruz cool.
  5. Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Lindsey Wall has transformed into a new artistic persona and she’s ready to unveil it in Felton.
  6. With an enormous name to live up to, a jazz great celebrates the legacy of his legendary parents.
  7. So, “Jane Eyre” was written by which Bronte sister? If you answered “Tiffany,” you might want to get to Bookshop’s Literary Trivia Night. You could learn something.
  8. For anyone who wishes to remember a departed loved one, a local choir provides solace and compassion with a Saturday event.
  9. Not since the heyday of The Roches has there been a more promising sister vocal trio than the T Sisters.

WANT MORE B9 PICKS? Find recommendations from Team BOLO — Wallace, Max Chun and Lucille Tepperman — here


Three-Dot Gazette

Like many others around Northern California, I am mourning the loss of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Certainly one of California’s most famous annual food festivals, the Garlic Festival last week announced its cancellation for 2022, and for the foreseeable future. At its apex, the end-of-July weekend festival attracted (and this is not a typo) more than 100,000 people from all over the world.

For several years, I was one of them, standing in line for hours in (more often than not) a blistering-hot Gilroy park to eat mushrooms, pesto pasta and garlic bread. That might sound to some people like a drag, but it was often a blast — or at least, a blast furnace. In fact, I have a very particular love for the Garlic Festival. It was while cooking calamari as a volunteer that I met the woman who would become my wife of 30 years (and counting).

The festival cited prohibitive insurance costs as its specific reason for shutting down. But history will remember the tragic last moments of the 2019 festival, when a gunman killed three people, and a worldwide pandemic that derailed the festival’s chance to come back from that horror. I was really looking forward to that moment when the festival could declare that its culinary celebration of garlic has returned in triumph. But sometimes we don’t get what we want in this world …

On Sunday, one of Santa Cruz’s kindest and quietest but most stalwart supporters of the arts, writer Donna Mekis, will be joined by her sister, Kathryn Mekis Miller, to discuss the book they wrote together titled “Blossoms Into Gold: The Croatians in the Pajaro Valley.” The Mekis sisters were part of a prominent Croatian family in the Watsonville area, and their book tells the inspiring story of an often overlooked immigrant people who helped shape Santa Cruz County. Introducing Donna and Kathryn will be historian Sandy Lydon and philanthropist George Ow Jr. It all happens at the Museum of Art and History’s Garden Room on Sunday at 4 p.m. Tell the local-history buff in your life …

The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival is hosting a sweet little retreat to the past with its annual “Music in the Garden” fundraiser on Mother’s Day. The festival’s director, Linda Burman-Hall, invites all moms and those who love them to her garden on the banks of the San Lorenzo River amid redwoods, palms and Japanese maples with food, wine and lots of transporting live music, May 8, 1 to 5 p.m. Mom is sure to dig it …

Pizza My Heart's Capitola 2022 T-shirt design

If you haven’t already, check out my “Icons of Santa Cruz” piece on the famed Pizza My Heart T-shirt. Since the piece was posted, PMH’s Chuck Hammers has released a new upcoming design, which will be in Pizza My Heart locations sometime in mid-May, and it’s pretty sweet. A $10 bill will get that T-shirt, a slice of pizza, and change …

This week, on consecutive days, I spied a tricked-out deep-purple “Batgirl” Honda Civic, festooned with yellow bats and Batgirl caricatures in Santa Cruz, and then another car decorated with a giant “Hail Satan!” sign on its back window in Watsonville. I didn’t get the memo for the opening of Crazy Car Season.

Earworm of the Week

This week’s EWW marks the upcoming anniversary of the birth of Blind Willie McTell (born May 5,1898) with Bob Dylan’s song tribute to the legendary Depression-era Georgia bluesman. Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell” was recorded in 1983, but, astoundingly, wasn’t released until 1991. It remains one of the most haunting and majestic songs in Dylan’s catalog and one of Dylan’s most underappreciated masterpieces.


Trivia: Getting into the weeds

What golden-age Hollywood icon, with a famous link to the Monterey Bay, favored the legalization of marijuana almost 40 years before California voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing cannabis for personal use?

If you know this one, shoot me a text with your answer. Then, text me the word TRIVIA to see if you’re right. We’ll choose a random reader with the correct answer to receive a free T-shirt.

That’s all I got, friends. Come at me with comments, ideas, complaints, or thundering insights. Thanks to all Lookout members for your faith and support, and please, spread the word on what we’re doing.