Detail of the mural on the Second Street parking garage in downtown Watsonville
Detail of the mural on the Second Street parking garage in Watsonville; the group behind it has a new mural project coming to downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: An anticipated downtown mural, remembrance at the MAH and a bustling B9

Hi friends,

If you’re not sure that a Raquel Welch-less world is worth getting out of bed for, I hear you. If you wanna take a Me Day to mourn a Latina legend, I’ll write a note for your boss.

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

Big news for Mouseketeers: The great Portland band Modest Mouse has booked a gig to play live at the Santa Cruz Civic on May 4. Rapper Tech N9ne makes his umpteenth visit to Santa Cruz, playing the Catalyst on April 23. The British electronica band Hot Chip drops into the Catalyst on May 15. The Kuumbwa Jazz Center welcomes the fine Los Angeles-based pianist Billy Childs on May 1. Psychedelic rockers Earthless play May 18 at Moe’s Alley. Bay Area bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis plays the Kuumbwa with her latest group May 12. And, speaking of bluegrass, the Brookdale Lodge is gearing up for its Brookdale Bluegrass Festival on March 24-26.

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 midwinter’s B9:

  1. When Cass McCombs sings karaoke, it’s actually “Karaoke,” and it’s his best song. Check out this criminally underappreciated songsmith in Felton.
  2. Celebrate the Crepe Place’s 50th anniversary with all your revolutionary socialist friends at the “People’s Disco.”
  3. Procrastinator’s alert: Last call for “8 Tens @ 8,” cruising into its final weekend at Actors’ Theatre.
  4. Hannibal Lecter on a big screen in the middle of a deep dark mid-winter night? Yeah, that feels right.
  5. Looking to burn off some excess energy? The Pimps of Joytime got your back with EDM beats until you go cross-eyed.
  6. Fascinating two-day voyage in the musical legacy of the African diaspora with singer and composer Elena Pinderhughes, a concert one day, a discussion the next.
  7. An inspiring and ennobling encounter with the childhood stories of the Dalai Lama and the late Desmond Tutu comes to us through a new book presented at Bookshop.
  8. Among her biggest fans was the Purple One, and now Santa Cruz audiences get to experience what Prince experienced hearing the fine R&B singer Kandace Springs.
  9. The amazing story of Sister Corita Kent is told in Jewel Theatre’s “Little Heart,” now in its final weekend.

Birth of a mural

Detail of the mural on the Second Street parking garage in downtown Watsonville
Detail of the mural on the Second Street parking garage in downtown Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Kathleen Crocetti and the artists of Community Arts & Empowerment, whose mosaic mural you might have seen in Watsonville, are getting ready for another big public-art project — this time on a parking garage in downtown Santa Cruz. Read more here.

Catalyst newsletter ad 2-9-23

Day of Remembrance at the MAH

Resettlement: A Chicago Story handout
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)

Marcia Hashimoto will speak about the legacy of her late husband, Watsonville community icon and incarceration survivor Mas Hashimoto, as part of a program March 1 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History commemorating the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Read more here.

The NEXTies return

Save the date for March 31, when you can get a peek into what Santa Cruz’s post-pandemic culture will look like as up-and-comers in arts, culture and business get the spotlight. Read more here.

Earworm of the Week

Gotta say the best part of the Super Bowl was Chris Stapleton’s haunting and soulful performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was all a bunch of noise and flash from that point forward. You might already know Stapleton and his oeuvre (a word I’m betting he’s never uttered). But if you’re looking for another fiercely independent, rough-around-the-edges country artist who doesn’t play the Nashville paint-by-numbers game, may I interest you in a bit of Arlo McKinley? A native of Cincinnati, McKinley was the last artist signed by John Prine for Prine’s Oh Boy Records, and he carries a bit of Prine’s wry Midwestern humor, along with the rustbucket free spirit of Steve Earle or Chris Stapleton. McKinley does a lot of things well, from rowdy barroom stomps to more tender and introspective material. For our Earworm this week, we turn to a stirring example of the latter. Listen to the simple beauty of the melody in “Stealing Dark From the Night Sky” and how masterfully it fits with the themes of love and fatalism. It’s just a gorgeous jewel of Americana, which should surprise no one. We should always trust in the judgment and good taste of John Prine.


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.

A string of outdoor lights hanging in a blue sky

The lights above twinkle even in the bright sunlight, but at night, they illuminate one of the most picturesque spots in all of Santa Cruz County. Have you been there?

Last week’s answer

A sticker reading "Obie Wolfe" on a rusty car bumper

Hikers in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in Aptos often come across this, uh, misplaced vehicle deep in the woods, far from anything else that burns gasoline (or used to, anyway).

A wrecked car covered with ivy and other plants along a forest trail

To find the junker, just enter the park through the Aptos Rancho Road entrance, right across the street from the Rancho Del Mar shopping center. You’ll find it. How it got there, well, you’ll have to come up with your own theories.

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.