Jordan Topf, aka Windser, has released an EP evoking his Santa Cruz childhood titled "Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea."
Jordan Topf, who records under the name Windser, has released an EP evoking his Santa Cruz childhood titled “Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea.”
(Via Bea Helman)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: Library’s novel approach, Windser’s homecoming and Pizza My Heart’s latest shirt

Hi friends,

With the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, I’m reminded of the old days when they were regularly in the Super Bowl … and the local freeways, museums and restaurants were all gloriously unpopulated, at least for one day. If you’re not a football fan, this is your weekend to take advantage of the hordes at home screaming at their TVs. Go Niners!

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

Country/Western (with the emphasis on “Western”) singer-songwriter Jesse Daniel is a native of Santa Cruz, or a “Son of the San Lorenzo” as he says in one of his finest songs. He revisits his hometown with a sure-to-be-rollicking show at the Catalyst on April 14. Country rocker Jake Smith, aka The White Buffalo, will play Moe’s Alley on March 3. Santa Cruz faves the Coffis Brothers take the stage at Moe’s on March 25. R&B soul man Lee Fields is set for a live show at Moe’s on March 25. Straight out of New Delhi, India, comes the cult fave band known as the Peter Cat Recording Co. They play the Catalyst on May 25. And the always entertaining trio Southern Culture on the Skids make their annual visit to Moe’s Alley, this year on June 15.

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 at the best shows, concerts and events through the rest of the year at clubs, stages and venues all over the county.

The logo for Baine's Nine

B9: What’s what in the week ahead

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

  1. The fabulous Patty Gallagher takes on the starring role in the eye-opening drama “Little Heart” at the Colligan Theater, opening this weekend.
  2. An amazing story from the CZU tragedy and the bond between a father and a daughter who lost their family home, at Bookshop.
  3. Santa Cruz Works gives us all the lowdown on what’s happening in tech in Santa Cruz.
  4. One great jazz name pays tribute to another when Jason Marsalis salutes the great Lionel Hampton at Kuumbwa.
  5. It’s like the Costco version of theater. It comes eight to a package. Everybody’s buzzing about “8 Tens @ 8.” See what all the fuss is about.
  6. Among the treats in the symphony’s latest concert is the return to town of Gabriella Smith’s amazing “Tumblebird Contrails.”
  7. Young Ivan Cornejo is a Mexican music sensation, which is why the streets around the Catalyst will be packed next Tuesday.
  8. What’s a “turntablist”? Check out the fabulous Cut Chemist — ex-Jurassic 5 — and you’ll be able to tell the rest of us.
  9. The Rio Theater is the site for inspiring stories of women and adventure, as trail runners, base jumpers, mountain climbers, cold-water swimmers and more.

‘Mary Coin’ ready for its closeup

The cover of "Mary Coin" by Marisa Silver.
(Via Plume)

Each February, Friends of the Aptos Library puts a single book under the microscope, centering a series of events around that title. This year’s “Our Community Reads” novel imagines the backstory to Dorothea Lange’s famous Depression-era “Migrant Mother” photo. Read more here.

The Catalyst 1/26/23 newsletter ad

Windser and the long shadow of a Santa Cruz childhood

Jordan Topf returns to his hometown Friday under his stage name, Windser, and on the strength of his EP “Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea,” inspired by his childhood in Seabright. Read more here.

The return of Rosie

KSCO radio host Rosemary Chalmers
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Former KSCO-AM morning host Rosemary Chalmers hinted recently that her livestreaming/podcasting venture, Santa Cruz Voice, is just about ready for our ears, and it promises to bring along some other familiar names. Read more here.

PMH shirts stay ‘Capitola Strong’

Are you really from Santa Cruz County if you don’t have at least one Pizza My Heart tee? The chain’s latest is part of the effort to raise funds to help rebuild Capitola Village businesses battered amid January’s storms. Read more here.

Earworm of the Week

For many in Santa Cruz County, especially for those who commute, Highway 1 is the crucial artery that connects one part of the county with another. And plenty of us who have to drive it every day have experienced drudgery and frustration trying to get somewhere on it. But let’s not forget that California One — no, we don’t call it “PCH” in this part of the state — remains one of America’s most iconic roads. The great Portland-based band the Decemberists will certainly remind us with their 2002, nearly 10-minute-long epic “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade,” a dreamy, sun-dappled song that grabs you right away with its seductive opening line, “Take a long drive with me … on California One.” Sure, maybe it works best on a lovely day north of Davenport, or south of Carmel, instead of staring at taillights at 41st Avenue at 5 p.m. But as far as boring freeway commutes go, we got it pretty good in these parts.


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.

A sidewalk etched with the words "Archie I love you"

Hundreds of folks not named Archie walk right over this every day. Where have you seen the above before?

Last week’s answer: There’s not a ton of classic Americana signage in the county, but you might recognize the one below.

Close-up of a sign that includes the text "white"

It is, of course, the Sno-White Drive-In in Seacliff. We imagine President Joe Biden probably got a good look at it during his most recent visit to the area. Sno-White was a California-based chain established in the 1950s. At its height, it had about 200 shops, but now it’s down to a precious few, including our own on State Park Drive in Aptos/Seacliff.

The sign at the Sno-White Drive-In in the Seacliff neighborhood of Aptos

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.