Musicians perform on a flatbed truck amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021
Sunshine Garcia and Matt Hartle perform in a 2021 Tandy Beal truck show.
(Via Tandy Beal & Company)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: Moms, monsters, free music and a bewitching trivia question

Weekender with Wallace Baine

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there, living or otherwise, human or otherwise (y’know, pets don’t usually get flowers and they need love, too). If Mom’s picking out the weekend’s entertainment, please let her know about our curated Baine’s Nine list of great things to do. The “B9” is my checklist of reasons this week to be thankful to live in Santa Cruz County.

Now, on with the show:

This Just In!

You might remember that, during the pandemic, Tandy Beal & Co. brought free live theater and entertainment to outdoor venues across Santa Cruz County as a way to keep morale high during a trying time. Now, Santa Cruz’s signature professional dance troupe is doing it again, with amazing musical shows on the back of a flatbed truck, in two Santa Cruz parks. The shows will take place on four consecutive Saturdays, May 21 and 28 and June 4 and 11. Each Saturday will feature a free show at Ocean View Park at 1:30 p.m. and then at Frederick Street Park at 2:45 p.m. The shows will feature some of Santa Cruz’s finest entertainers, including Lori Rivera, Papiba Godinho, Etienne Franc, Patty Maxine, AZA and lots more. Did we mention it was free?

The monsters will be out on Saturday evening, May 21, when UCSC’s Festival of Monsters holds its big Monsters Ball at the Tannery Arts Center. It’s part of the bigger festival, which will also feature a film screening of the 1920 film “Der Golem,” panel discussions on literary and cinematic monsters, and theatrical readings. Such a cool event.

Big show coming to the Mello Center in Watsonville. On May 28, the Watsonville Film Festival partners to bring in the Mariachi Divas and the all-female trio Ellas.

Other notable newly announced dates include the fine roots-rock band Heartless Bastards playing Felton Music Hall on July 11 and Bookshop Santa Cruz hosting popular comic fantasy author Christopher Moore on June 16.

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.

The logo for Baine's Nine


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

  1. So, who is this “Made Fresh Crew” and why is its name painted all over Santa Cruz? Here’s your chance to put some faces to that name.
  2. Ask any Gen Xer who went through a goth phase and they’re likely to have strong opinions on the Psychedelic Furs.
  3. Kellen and Jamie Coffis are too young to have been around in the 1970s. But their sweet mellow music sure carries that unmistakable ’70s vibe.
  4. A community comes together to pay tribute to a widely admired and martyred sheriff’s deputy to raise money for a park in his name. This one’s for Damon.
  5. What’s the dean of Santa Cruz singer-songwriters been up to since the pandemic? Keith Greeninger gathers the tribe at Kuumbwa.
  6. What is Afrofuturism? And where might it be emerging in the musical arena? Get those questions answered at this cutting-edge show at the Rio.
  7. One of the jazz world’s most prolific and popular saxophonists brings his trio to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
  8. Nature meets the human world in the work of a promising artist showcasing her work at Artisans Gallery as part of First Friday.
  9. Looking for seven classic-rock tribute acts rolled into one? You dig Zep, Who, Stones, Tull, Floyd, Cream and/or Doors? This is your lucky weekend.

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


Three-Dot Gazette

If you’re the last-minute-Mother’s-Day type of person (hey, we’ve all been there), we’ve got you covered. On the day before Mother’s Day, the Tannery Arts Center will be hosting the Spring Tannery Art Market. What’s that? It’s a cool scene in which local artists, makers and artisans are on hand to showcase their handmade, one-of-a-kind wares. It’s a great time, too, so you could bring Mom, spring for a coffee/wine, and let her pick out a goodie. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tannery …

Last week, we reported on an upcoming event that did not in fact happen. Writer Donna Mekis had to back out of her book event with her sister Kathryn Mekis Miller at the Museum of Art & History. Donna was, in fact, derailed by a positive test for COVID-19. Donna reports that she probably got the virus from her granddaughters, ages 5 and 9. She also says she’s fine — she was fully vaxxed and double-boosted. It’s a good reminder that the pandemic isn’t quite done with us and that wearing masks might still be a prudent choice. As for the event, celebrating “Blossoms Into Gold: The Croatians in the Pajaro Valley,” with introductions from historian Sandy Lydon and philanthropist George Ow Jr., the new date is July 24, That’s a Sunday afternoon, at the MAH …

Readers, take note: The UC Santa Cruz “Deep Read” event is coming up. This is a program of UCSC’s Humanities Institute that encourages readers on and off campus alike to read one particular book and come together for one amazing and insightful discussion about the book and the issues it tackles. This year’s book is the novel “Transcendent Kingdom” by Ghana-born American writer Yaa Gyasi. It traces the relationship between an aspiring Stanford neuroscientist and her aging Ghanaian mother who is grappling with serious depression. First, get your hands on “Transcendent Kingdom,” then come on up to the Quarry Amphitheater on campus on Sunday, May 15, for a live discussion between the author and the celebrated UCSC professor emerita Karen Tei Yamashita. It’s free, but be sure to RSVP

Here’s a real treat: My friends at KSQD-FM 90.7 FM will be broadcasting three full days of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, live beginning on Friday morning. And talk about superstar acts: the Neville Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello, Chris Isaak and many more are slated to perform. It all happens Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday noon to 5 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wow, just wow …

Big love and congratulations to Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, Santa Cruz native and perhaps the world’s most ardent lover of all things Santa Cruz. Jen is now a Ph.D. specializing in music fandom, and the author of the book “You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico.” Turns out Jen has been shortlisted for the 2022 Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for her work on the biography of singer and Andy Warhol muse Nico. This is a huge deal. Jen now lives and works in the U.K., though her heart aches for her native Santa Cruz. Let’s all scream “Congrats” loud enough that she might hear it. The winner of the award will be announced in June …

Big birthday coming up for the famed surfer statue on West Cliff Drive (in our story earlier this year, we named him “Wes Clift,” but it’s fair to say that the name has not exactly gone viral). Anyway, Wes hits 30 this year, and his friends and fans are marking the occasion with a ceremony featuring speakers, Hawaiian music, a presentation on the statue’s history and a ceremonial placing of a lei around his neck. It all happens Monday, May 23, beginning at 10 a.m. Keep it quiet, though. We all want to surprise him …

If you happen to notice that the streets are suddenly empty of baby boomers on Saturday, June 11, there’s a reason for that. On that date, down at the Golden State Theater in Monterey, the Smothers Brothers will perform live. Dick and Tom Smothers, who are 82 and 85, respectively, are absolutely beloved totems of the boomer generation and almost completely unknown outside that cohort. If you’re a boomer, I need say no more. If you’re not, and you want to know what makes that generation tick, you’ll learn a lot from these two TV comedy trailblazers …

Each month, we get another gift-wrapped little treat in the form of a new Tomboy Sessions video. The Tomboy retail store on Soquel Avenue hosts a little jam session with a different fabulous musical group each month. And this month’s brand-new entry comes to us by way of the Coffis Brothers, the Santa Cruz band known for its fine harmony singing and gorgeous Americana-flavored songs. If you want more Tomboy vids, jump down this rabbit hole. You’ll be glad you did.


Earworm of the Week

I can’t pretend to be neutral or indifferent to the shocking news from the U.S. Supreme Court this week, so I ask for forgiveness for the political interjection here. For this week’s EWW, we crank up the Decemberists’ galvanizing 2011 song “This Is Why We Fight.” In fact, it might be more appropriate for those fighting in defense of Ukraine, but, at least as a blood-quickening anthem to action, it works for what we’re facing in America as well. May it play continuously in the halls of Congress and interrupt the sleep of those who claim to defend women’s rights and reproductive rights. Short of that, it’s a pretty good tune to get people marching in the streets.


Trivia: Feting Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate one of pop culture’s coolest fictional moms. Among her famous quotes are “Black is such a happy color” and “Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages.” She will be portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in an upcoming Netflix series about her even more famous daughter. Who is this iconic and bewitching mother?

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.