An image from  Jon Bailiff's Ukraine exhibit
(Via Jon Bailiff)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: Sol scheduled, Ukraine meditation & an overflowing B9

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Weekender with Wallace Baine


Big buzzy weekend ahead, with perhaps the most ambitious First Friday this year, big Pride activities throughout the weekend, and the return of the Redwood Mountain Faire (and other amazing and fun stuff), with Boardwalk music and movies just around the corner in mid-June. Wow, summer came on fast, didn’t it?

Now, on with the show:

This Just In!

The Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival returns later this summer at beautiful Roaring Camp in Felton. The two-day outdoor festival has announced some of its live musical acts including Devil Makes Three, Jackie Greene, and Katchafire, but it’s promising a big reveal of its main headliner coming soon. We’ll keep an eye out. SolFest hits Sept. 17 and 18 this year. Also newly booked are 1960s folkie Jesse Colin Young (the Rio, July 22), Hawaiian slack-key master George Kahumoku at Michael’s on Main (July 30), and three consecutive nights of the Brothers Comatose at Moe’s Alley (Aug. 11-13).

Check out my carefully curated and constantly updated planning guide, Down the Line, for the staggering riches and amazing choices awaiting Santa Cruz audiences. It’s our look ahead — through the end of the year — at the best shows, concerts and events at clubs, stages and venues all over the county.

The logo for Baine's Nine


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

  1. Two gorgeous summer days, great live music, magnificent redwood-studded site. It’s always a sweet scene at the Redwood Mountain Faire.
  2. If it’s June, that means Pride is upon us. The celebration kicks off with a screening of a new film (shot and produced in Santa Cruz) at the Paradox (with dinner!).
  3. Were you there in the great ska revival of the 1980s? So were these guys. In fact, they were leading the parade.
  4. Lots going on for Pride weekend, but it all leads to the grand parade down Pacific Avenue (and a party at Abbott Square).
  5. The monthly First Friday art walk is especially big in June, at sites all around town from the Tannery to the Museum of Natural History.
  6. Ever met a superhero before? Here’s your chance to meet a woman who’s done things mere mortals can only dream about.
  7. It sounds like a Marvel comic book, but “Sacred Steel” is in fact a haunting and spiritually inspired form of gospel music, and Kuumbwa has its master coming to town.
  8. Looking for local landscapes that glow with a kind of divine light? Master Santa Cruz painter Ed Penniman is someone worth discovering.
  9. The stage at Michael’s on Main is going to catch fire with Latin rhythms provided by a 10-piece band of local greats.

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


Three-Dot Gazette

Big and important art installation coming to a quite unusual venue this First Friday. Santa Cruz artist Jon Bailiff has created an immersive work titled “We Are Here: A Meditation on the Invasion of Ukraine.” Bailiff is using the German Cultural Center on Plymouth Street to create a sense of the chaos and brutality of the war in Ukraine, with darkened halls, projection, art pieces, recorded music from Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha, as well as the voices of victims of the war and the sounds of shelling. It’s all free, and happens on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. at 230 Plymouth St. (that’s near the Ocean Street onramp to southbound Highway 1). Go see what this ambitious artist is creating to remind us of the barbarity happening in Ukraine …

The incredible mosaic art project decorating the enormous parking garage in downtown Watsonville reaches another big milestone next week. On Tuesday, the art group Watsonville Brillante will reveal the fourth and final large vertical mural on the parking garage on Second Street in downtown Watsonville. At 3 p.m. the scaffolding comes down and the latest work by artist Juan Fuentes will be unveiled. That’s followed by a big party with live music, food and other fun stuff in the alley nearby …

Fun show on Saturday at Moe’s Alley, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Santa Cruz retailer Tomboy, which sells Western wear and other goodies. Tomboy has teamed up with Moe’s Alley in recent years to do a monthly video of a touring musician stopping by to do an in-store performance. Country star Joshua Ray Walker is the latest to do a Tomboy session. Check them all out here. The event Saturday at Moe’s will feature three live bands and present a big-screen showing of all the great Tomboy sessions recorded thus far …

Level Up Video Games in downtown Santa Cruz is bringing back its semi-annual art show, for the kind of art you’re probably not going to see in many galleries. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Level Up presents the new (and free) art show Friday, June 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at its store on 113 Locust St. …

Golden State Diaries

Update on the Esalen baths: We’ve been reminiscing about the otherworldly cliffside hot-springs baths at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur for the past couple of weeks. Yes, the baths are closed for its wee-hours visits for non-paying guests. But if you agree to volunteer as a worker on Esalen grounds for a day, you get access to the baths. Volunteer shifts are needed for kitchen, garden, cabins and the baths themselves. Obviously, you don’t get paid, and you’re not eligible to stay overnight, but you get meals, some classes, and — did we mention the baths? Here’s more info.

A memorial in Aromas to the victims of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

There’s a beautiful but heartbreaking little memorial for the 19 children murdered in Uvalde, Texas, at the town square in Aromas, the tiny community just east of Watsonville. It reminded me a bit of the makeshift memorial on Trout Gulch Road in Aptos for unarmed people killed by police.

Have you seen a touching memorial for the Uvalde victims or others in Santa Cruz County? Send us an image. We’d love to know about it.

Earworm of the Week

We adults have one job above all others, a mission so fundamental that it shouldn’t ever have to even be articulated. It is simply to protect our children and prepare them to inherit the world. But, as events this past week have made clear, we Americans are allowing other values, namely an absolutist stance on guns, to supersede that single purpose. It was more than 50 years ago when soulful jazz balladeer Gil Scott-Heron recorded his beautiful but heartbreaking plea “Save the Children.” Obviously, it’s frustrating, even enraging, to realize the song and the message behind it are still relevant today. We all can’t help thinking about the 19 slain children in Texas, but keep in mind the shooters in Uvalde and Buffalo the week before (and in several other shootings) were only 18, not too far from children themselves. The most vulnerable are paying the price for this perversity. To quote Scott-Heron, singing about an entirely different generation, we’ve got to do something to save the children.


Where in Santa Cruz County Am I?

A sculpture somewhere in Santa Cruz

So how well do you notice the little things when you’re out and about across Santa Cruz County? We’ll post images from places that are accessible to the public somewhere in Santa Cruz County. You tell us where it is, as specifically as you can … or, better yet, send us your own photo of the same thing.

This one is Ph.D. level.

Last week’s trivia answer: Last week, we reminded you that none of the five donut shops that do business as “Ferrell’s” was the first Ferrell’s Donuts. Where is that first Ferrell’s donut shop? The answer is, it’s still a donut shop, only not called Ferrell’s. Allbright’s Donut Shoppe, 1055 Water St., Santa Cruz was the site of the first Ferrell’s Donuts in 1949. Big thanks go out to subscriber Kathy Toner for getting it right. Her next Allbright’s donut is on us.

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.