Multimedia artist Linda Cover (left) chats with unhoused participant Robin as part of the ambitious "What's Home?" project.
Multimedia artist Linda Cover (left) chats with unhoused participant Robin as part of the ambitious “What’s Home?” project.
(Via Andrew Purchin)
Wallace Baine

Weekender: Exploring home and homelessness through art, Gaither’s latest and limber up for Dance Week

Hi friends,

I think we’ve finally turned a corner with the wild and exasperating 2023 weather. I’d be wary of tempting the gods with such talk, but I’ve learned the hard way the gods aren’t listening to anything I have to say.

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

It seems like a long time to wait for some laughs, but the Santa Cruz Comedy Festival has announced it’ll return Oct. 6 for its 10th year at the Rio. On June 4, the Kuumbwa Jazz Festival will welcome the Bay Area gypsy-jazz trio Djangatos. The late, great Pete Seeger will be subject to a tribute show by the longtime local musical activists Bob Reid, Aileen Vance and Judi Jaeger, on May 7 at the Kuumbwa. And the reggae legend Eek A Mouse plays The Catalyst, as he has done countless times over the years, May 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.

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 dreaming-about-summer B9:

  1. After the winter we’ve all just endured, could there be anything more cathartic than the return of Santa Cruz Dance Week?
  2. Seems like a great time for a blast of the art and music (and food!) of Oaxaca, at the cultural festival Vive Oaxaca Guelaguetza on Sunday.
  3. Are we alone in the cosmos? Find out where the latest science falls on that eternally compelling mystery.
  4. Remember this name: San Lorenzo Valley favorite son Jesse Daniel could be country music’s next big star.
  5. Santa Cruz’s own bluegrass powerhouse A.J. Lee brings her band Blue Summit to Moe’s Alley.
  6. What happens when you slam Steely Dan’s arch sophistication into the Grateful Dead’s hippie country boogie? Stand back and be amazed.
  7. Certainly one of the most bizarre (and impressively durable) acts to ever come out of progressive rock, The Residents return to the friendly audiences of the Rio.
  8. She calls herself Snail Mail, and she’s one of the brightest lights to emerge from the under-25 generation of indie musicians.
  9. Lots of intriguing performers and visions available at the April in Santa Cruz music festival, with three concerts in the coming week.

Finding our way back ‘Home’

In a series of films and live performances coming to The 418 Project and the Radius Gallery at the Tannery Arts Center, Andrew Purchin tracks the interaction between those with secure housing and those without and the expressions of art that emerged. Read more here.

Golden Gaither

Watsonville singer-songwriter Michael Gaither (with his pal Meadow) is set to perform Saturday at El Vaquero Winery.
(Via Michael Gaither)

Still basking in the glow of his 60th birthday, bard of Watsonville Michael Gaither takes to the stage Saturday at El Vaquero Winery to fete the release of his first album since pre-pandemic times, “Welcome Back: A Collection.” Read more here.

The Catalyst Club
(The Catalyst Club)

Earworm of the Week

I’m old enough that my teenage years are now part of bygone American history — young’uns, let me tell you all about the Jimmy Carter years. But I can certainly remember what an ill-equipped, none-too-bright, unformed lump of clay I was then. So, I’m easily impressed with people under 20 who actually have something on the ball, such as the fabulous Miss Claire Rosinkranz. The SoCal singer-songwriter is only 19, and she’s already created a distinctive voice with her spangly and sophisticated pop that really shows a veteran’s touch with melody and a pro’s hand at production (she credits her showbiz composer dad for the latter). I just can’t get enough of her bubbly song “Frankenstein,” which deals with that common dilemma of bright young women that age: putting up with the dubious charms of guys their age. Amazingly, she was only 17 when the song was released. Yet it taps into a frustration that perhaps women of all ages can relate to: How do you find a man worthy of your time and attention? Claire’s solution: “Guess I got to build my Frankenstein.” Here’s hoping she applies that mad-scientist imagination to building a music career. It’s already off to a promising start.

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 examples are mine. This week’s word:

Clapperclaw (verb) To tonguebeat; to scold.

Social media is now little more than a symphony of clapperclawing.

Santa Cruz County Trivia

Well-known Santa Cruz surfer, artist, and surfboard glasser Vince Broglio has a family connection in the highest level of national sports. What’s that connection? (Hint: It’s not about surfing.) Text me the answer.

Last week: Who was the Santa Cruz-based blues and gospel singer who popped up in 2022 as a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle?

It was the legendary Sista Monica Parker. There it was, on 35 across in the NYT crossword from Sept. 10, 2022: Blues singer _____ Monica Parker.

She was a former U.S. Marine turned Silicon Valley tech recruiter when Monica Parker, already in her mid-30s, decided to become a singer. Steeped in the gospel of the Black church, Monica was equally at home with Chicago-style blues and, from her base in Santa Cruz, became a popular performer in the 1990s both locally and internationally; she regularly toured Europe and often drew bigger crowds there than she did in the U.S. She recorded 11 albums of blues, gospel and R&B, and was named Santa Cruz County’s Artist of the Year.

In 2003, Monica was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and she died in 2014, at the age of 58. But she is still remembered for her talent, charisma and spirit.


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.