Wallace Baine

Weekender: First ‘First Friday’ of the year, ‘Anti-Racist’ author speaks locally, song for waterlogged times

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Weekender with Wallace Baine

Hi friends,

Someone wiser than I once said, “the only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting what you want.” I’m sure we were all thinking in a similar vein when, after months of drought, we get rain that can best be described as biblical. It looks like it could have been a lot worse than what we got, so we’ll count our blessings so far. Still, I’m getting used to sleeping in a wetsuit. Stay safe.

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

Bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi (“How to Be an Anti-Racist”) has written a new book, teaming up with novelist Nic Stone, in “How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist.” Both writers are touring with the new book, and they’ll come to The Rio Theatre in an event presented by Bookshop Santa Cruz and the local chapter of the NAACP, slated for Feb. 5. Other reasons to look forward include another local appearance by Santa Cruz native country/bluegrass singer AJ Lee and her band Blue Summit coming to Moe’s Alley on April 14. If you’re into this kind of thing, the Central Coast Fighting Championships go down at the Santa Cruz Civic on Feb. 4. And the long-time (more than 40 years) punk band The Exploited is set to land at the Catalyst June 2.

The logo for Baine's Nine


Here they are, nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead, the first of 2023. It’s the B9:

1. Who’s who and what’s what in Santa Cruz’s local tech scene? The folks at Santa Cruz Works have it all for you in apresentation of the top companies to watch in 2023.
2. Call it the firstFirst Friday. The January version of Santa Cruz’s DIY monthly art tour takes place Friday at various venues all around the county.
3. One of Santa Cruz’s all-time great party bands, the greatSambaDa, lights up Felton Music Hall Saturday night.
4. The Hive poetry collective introduces us totwo fine local poets in an event next week at Bookshop.
5. How many times hasY&T rocked the Catalyst? We can’t even count that high. Luckily, they’re still going at it. See them Saturday.
6. You love David Bowie? Then, surely you already know about the big“Bowie Bash” happening at The 418 Project Saturday.
7. What’s better on a rainy winter night than nice warm vocal jazz, this time from Italian-bornRoberta Gambarini?
8. After postponing twice for health reasons, we’re finally getting to see the luminous Miss Judy Collins perform live.
9. Reggae fans alert: Toots Hibbert Jr., known asJunior Toots, comes to Moe’s Alley in tribute to his father.

Three-dot gazette

The “Hearts of the Arts” auction is returning for the first time in several years. “Hearts” was, at one time, a big fundraiser for what was once called the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County (since renamed the Arts Council). Artists are asked to donate a piece of original work, themed on hearts or love. Those pieces will then be auctioned off just before Valentine’s Day (of course). For more information, or to register your donated art piece, gohere

A reminder that “8 Tens @ 8,” Santa Cruz’s beloved 10-minute play festival makes its rebirth this month, beginning Jan. 20 and continuing through mid February. You might remember that a year ago, the Omicron variant laid low the festival at the last minute, which was followed a few weeks later by the resignation of its key leaders at Actors Theatre. With a new board, Actors Theatre got its act together again and re-launched the postponed “8 Tens” festival last fall. Now, we’re back with an all-new show, new plays and new actors and directors. Get your tickets, and support local theaterhere

Dirty Girl Produce display ad

Earworm of the Week

Given that water is suddenly all around us, falling on our heads and swirling around our ankles, this week’s EWW takes a dive into the weird all-American country/folk genre known as the “murder ballad,” with water as a primary theme. The song on our minds is called “Little Water Song,” by singer Ute Lemper and songwriter Nick Cave, a dark and theatrical song told from the point of view of woman drowning at the hand of her lover. Lemper is the German singer known mostly for playing in one of the definitive performances of “Cabaret.” Not surprisingly, she delivers a spellbinding performance that builds into an aria of wistful anguish until it drops its devastating final line. The song was also featured in the 2005 film “Romance & Cigarettes,” featuring an absolutely stunning lip-synching performance from Kate Winslet underwater. It’s a beautiful and disturbing song that will haunt you, particularly in these gray soaking days.


Where in Santa Cruz County Am I?

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.

Here’s something you probably haven’t seen.


… unless you spend a lot of time around a certain controversially named community college.

Last week’s answer:


“Life’s a Beach” is a quintessentially California attitude but this particular sign will point you to a specific beach.


It’s along the “secret” passageway to the beach in the Seacliff area known as “Beach Gate,” at the end of Beachgate Way at Coates Drive. You can take this to see what remains of the Cement Ship.

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.