Weekender: Santa Cruz jazzes up the Grammys, Abbott Square open mic and circus for a good cause
One of these years, Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day are going to arrive on the same day. And some folks are going to have to make some uncomfortable choices about their One True Love. This year, we at least get a one-day buffer. Enjoy (or ignore) both.
Blessings to the people of Turkey and Syria.
Now, on with the show.
This Just In!
Local jazz fans who were around the 1990s might remember Pascal and Remy Le Boeuf as identical-twin jazz savants, having been nursed in music in the environment created by the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. That was a long time ago, and the Le Boeuf brothers are now accomplished, Grammy-nominated, internationally recognized musicians. But they are coming back to their home club for a concert at Kuumbwa on April 27. Also coming to town is longtime Primus frontman Les Claypool for a show at the Civic on May 20. Extraordinary jazz fiddler Darol Anger plays Kuumbwa on April 20 with his latest project. The Legendary Shack Shakers rock Moe’s Alley on March 14. Brilliantly eccentric singer-songwriter Nellie McKay is at Kuumbwa on April 24. And, a little further in the future, the dobro master Jerry Douglas plays live at Felton Music Hall on July 21.
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.
B9: What’s what in the week ahead
Here they are, nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead. It’s the indomitable B9:
- Valentine’s Day in Santa Cruz is so associated with two words that someone needs to inscribe them on candy hearts: Tuck. Patti.
- If you need a booster shot to your belief that Sidney Poitier was a complete badass, the 418 is hosting a screening of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
- Two priests attempt to hear each other’s confessions. To hear the punchline to that particular joke, get your tickets to “8 Tens @ 8,”, now in full swing.
- From the first chiming note, guitar fans know immediately the unmistakable one-of-a-kind sound of the legendary Leo Kottke.
- Fans of Lumineers and The National, have you heard the Americana muscle and spine-tingling harmonies of The Lone Bellow yet?
- Two amazing local women, with two life stories to tell. Come out and celebrate with Helene Simkin Jara and Stephany Buswell.
- Hey, anybody seen my platform shoes and red Spandex pants?
- Come out to watch Patty Gallagher’s amazing lead performance in Jewel’s latest production. “Little Heart.”
- What’s better than Beatles records? Hearing the Beatles live, at least through the medium of Santa Cruz’s White Album Ensemble.
The Voice is live!
Santa Cruz Voice, the new livestreaming venture of longtime KSCO radio host Rosemary Chalmers, is now available and populated by hosts who will be plenty familiar to local listeners. Read more here.
Poetry open mic gaining steam at Abbott Square
“Inter|Act” gets participants up in front of an audience to read their poetry every other Tuesday outdoors at Abbott Square. The next session is Valentine’s Day, and the theme, its host says, is “going to be whatever love means to you.” Read more here.
Pascal Le Boeuf brings a little Santa Cruz to the Grammys
“Snapshots,” a song by jazz pianist and Santa Cruz native Pascal Le Boeuf, was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition, and he and twin brother Remy are coming back home for a Kuumbwa show. Read more here.
Circus returning to help local storm victims
After wowing Santa Cruz County audiences just before January’s storm barrage hit, Mendocino-based Flynn Creek Circus is set to bring its big top back to the Capitola Mall in March to benefit relief efforts. Read more here.
Earworm of the Week
OK, in choosing a song for this feature every week, I don’t always pick the most maddeningly catchy song, the wormiest of earworms. A true earworm is, of course, something that plagues you all day, follows you everywhere — into meetings with the boss, into the shower, into bed. And though we often carry on like such a phenomenon is a kind of torture, a poison-oak itch of the mind, there’s something undeniably pleasurable about a brilliantly dopey earworm. Today, I’m offering up a bit of old-school hip-hop, a jewel from 1991 titled “Mistadobalina” by Bay Area-born rapper Del Tha Funky Homosapien. If you know the song, it’s already worming in your brain this very minute. If you don’t know it, think long and hard before playing this clip, because once you do, you’ll be taking on a piece of neural bubble gum you’ll still be chewing on deep into next week. The song is a blast, but it’s pure nonsense. Weirdly enough, it’s inspired by a line from a throwaway track called “Zilch” by the Monkees (themselves, you could argue, a throwaway band). Pop music doesn’t get much more superficial than this song, which has had zero lasting effect on humankind … unless you count all those hipsters in the ’90s who named their cats “Bob Dobalina.”
All the Earworms in one place
For those who’ve been following my Earworm of the Week, I’ve assembled a playlist that contains them all.
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.
Yes, it’s another bumper sticker among thousands (hundreds of thousands) all around the county. But this one above is on a very unusual vehicle in a jarringly unfamiliar place. Have you seen it?
Last week’s answer
A plaque reading “Guardian II: Steadfast” from local sculptor Alan Burrus is passed hundreds of times every day. It happens to be the official name of the iconic sculpture on West Cliff Drive, near Auburn Avenue, standing silently above West Cliff Drive’s famously tiny nude beach. Pro tip: If you’re skydiving in the area, be wary. Landing here might not turn out well for you.
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.