Wallace Baine

Weekender: ‘Party Down’ with local hero Adam Scott, pet comic relief & double dose of worms

Hi friends,

Had a great time last Saturday night conjuring up images of the ocean and warmer climes in the cozy front room of the Crepe Place with the Mermen. It was wintertime California style, a great way to mark the big 5-0 birthday for The Crepe.

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

UC Santa Cruz’s Deep Read program culminates in the live appearance of environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, the author of this year’s Deep Read selection, “Under a White Sky.” Kolbert will be in conversation with UCSC alum Ezra Klein at the Quarry Amphitheater on campus May 21. Also, make plans to visit Santa Cruz novelist Karen Joy Fowler, author of “Booth,” at a dinner/salon at Gabriella Cafe on March 23. Santa Cruz-born singer-songwriter Taylor Rae returns to her hometown for a show April 7 at Moe’s Alley. The powerful young vocalist Emmaline plays live at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on June 16. The great Brazilian band Os Mutantes will perform at Moe’s Alley on May 26. And the incomparable Brothers Comatose play back-to-back gigs at Moe’s on May 19-20.

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 “In Like a Lion” version of the B9:

  1. South Africa can boast of many fine cultural imports, but any list of such has to start with the magisterial vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, playing the Rio next week.
  2. In person at the Mello or virtually in the venue of your choosing, the Watsonville Film Festival will command your attention.
  3. Not one, but two poets laureate (Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara) join forces to present their award-winning poetry at Bookshop.
  4. One final weekend for UCSC’s African American Theater Arts Troupe and its latest production, “Pipeline,” this weekend up on campus.
  5. Talk about a voice that seems to emerge from the depths of the American soil, you gotta check out the work of the singer-songwriter Jake Smith, whom we all know as the White Buffalo.
  6. Adventuresome guitarist Chris Forsyth and angelic-voiced singer-songwriter Meg Baird combine forces for an intriguing show at The Crepe.
  7. Can UC Santa Cruz grad students explain their research on stage and get a general audience excited about it, in three minutes? We’re about to find out at Grad Slam.
  8. Fleetwood Mac is not performing live in Santa Cruz County this weekend. But you can close your eyes and pretend it is so.
  9. Sometimes you want some good non-human entertainment, and the Las Vegas act Popovich Comedy Pet Theater has your back.
UCSC Grad Slam tickets

From Harbor High to Hollywood A-list, Adam Scott knows how to ‘Party Down’


With his 50th birthday a month away, Santa Cruz native Adam Scott has cemented himself in the show-biz firmament as a contemporary everyman, from “Parks and Rec” to “Severance” to the current Starz reboot of “Party Down,” in which he first starred in 2009. Read more here.

The Catalyst
(The Catalyst)

Earworm of the Week

It’s been a cold and wet winter here in Northern California and spring seems to be taking its sweet old time in getting here. If you’re like me, all this gray and gloom puts you in a mood to gaze wistfully out the rain-streaked windows with a hot cup of something. And the best soundtrack to that mood is melancholic jazz. And so this week, we’re tuning in to the quintessential March track, the haunting “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” by the immortal Dexter Gordon. Maybe Gordon’s greatest moment in a recording studio, “Hang My Tears” was first released on his 1962 album “Go.” The native Angeleno was known for his breathtakingly soulful sound on tenor sax, often playing just behind the beat to create a wonderfully dreamy signature sound. Gordon lived overseas for many years during his heyday in the bebop era. That and his hard living created what feels like a world-weariness that seeps through in his music. As far as I’m concerned, considering the weather, you could play “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” on a continuous loop until the first day of spring. You wouldn’t hear any complaints out of me.


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.

Thank You, Mr. Johnson

For all you writers, readers and other lovers of language, we offer up a forgotten or archaic word from Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary in hopes that it might find a new life in today’s popular vocabulary. The definitions are Mr. Johnson’s; the usage suggestions are mine. This week’s word:

Vermiform (adj.) Having the shape of a worm.

This guy might be the most vermiform person to ever occupy the office of Speaker of the House.

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 wall with large painted letters reading A N M A

Don’t try to spell it out. It’s part of a larger piece of signage quite familiar to a certain kind of county citizen.

Last week’s answer

A blue metal sculpture of a woman

You might see this lady a lot downtown, but she doesn’t go anywhere.

She is a metal sculpture of a happy book reader, and resides out front of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ administrative offices on Union Street.

A blue metal sculpture of a woman with a book outside the Santa Cruz Public Libraries' administrative office

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.