A scene from a Fever candlelight concert
Wallace Baine

Weekender: MAH amping Frequency back up, music by candlelight at Cocoanut Grove and trivia’s back

Hi friends,

Your new vocabulary for this week must include “Barbenheimer,” a portmanteau of two completely unrelated upcoming summer movies, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” that happen to share only a release date (next Friday, July 21). Why is this a thing? Maybe it’s because it ironically brings together two wildly different cultural ideas — a pink childish fantasy doll and the nuclear “destroyer of worlds” — under the umbrella of popular mainstream entertainment. The weird thing is, I want to see both. Bet you do too.

Now, on with the show.

This Just In!

Longtime Museum of Art & History director Nina Simon is living a successful second career as a novelist. On Sept. 5, Simon comes to Bookshop Santa Cruz to debut her new book, “Mother-Daughter Murder Night.” A big new Frank Sinatra tribute night comes to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, courtesy of John Michael & The Chairmen on Aug. 5. The rapper and singer known as Nothing, Nowhere will perform at The Catalyst on Oct. 8. And there’s a big ska event at the Rio Theatre arriving Nov. 18 featuring the 1981 concert film “Dance Craze,” followed by a live performance from an original member of The Specials.

Be sure to check out Lookout’s 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 post-Fourth B9:

  1. For the past year, Australian-born guitar prodigy and singer Daniel Champagne has been dazzling audiences all over the world. Now it’s Santa Cruz’s turn.
  2. Lotsa art, lotsa wine. Soquel’s Bargetto Winery has been doing this for 34 years now. They must be doing something right.
  3. Cabrillo Stage is cranking it up to 11 with its big new production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” featuring, among other goodies, a 24-voice live choir. Shows all weekend.
  4. A fantastic array of women musical artists from Santa Cruz County gathers to raise money for locals affected by last winter’s disasters in “Singin’ for Santa Cruz” at Moe’s Alley.
  5. Young’uns, let me tell you about the West Coast punk heyday of the 1980s. Better yet, live the history by seeing the legendary Circle Jerks at The Catalyst.
  6. A dozen local churches are all coming together to present the big, bold True Love Christian Music & Art Festival on Saturday at Aptos Village Park.
  7. Opening Night alert! Santa Cruz Shakespeare unveils its hilarious new history play “The Book of Will” for its six-week run.
  8. What? Another Opening Night alert! SCS mounts a new take on Shakespeare’s amusing comedy of the sexes, “The Taming of the Shrew.”
  9. Straight outta St. Croix (which is, after all, another name for Santa Cruz) comes roots-reggae star Dezarie, landing for a live show at Moe’s.

“Frequency” set to return

The biennial “Frequency” digital arts festival is set for a (mostly free) return engagement Sept. 21-24 in and around Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz, and among the highlights looks to be high-tech public memorial to the Santa Cruz Chinatown that once thrived nearby. Read more here.

Halloween, Taylor Swift and Vivaldi by candlelight? Cocoanut Grove has you covered

Hundreds of onstage candles will light the way for a series of concerts beginning in October at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove, with a string quartet taking on spooky movie classics, the ever-growing catalog of Taylor Swift and classical standby “The Four Seasons.” Read more here.

Weekender ad catalyst
(The Catalyst Club)

Trivia Night cometh again

Lookout's monthly trivia event, hosted by Wallace Baine, returns July 25 to Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Tuesday, July 25, brings the next installment of an Abbott Square fave, with writer Sven Davis joining Wallace Baine to entertain and enlighten downtown. Read more here.

Earworm of the Week

Here we are, closing in on mid-July and it’s fun to think of the thousands (millions?) of kids across the country smack-dab in the middle of the unforgettable and often formative experience known as summer camp. Get a roomfull of adults together and chances are good someone is going to share a passionate experience they had at summer camp. A quintessentially American form of camp is what’s called VBS, for vacation Bible school, and singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus knows all about it. You might know Dacus as one-third of the brilliant all-female trio Boygenius, with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. In her wonderful coming-of-age song “VBS,” Dacus shares her experiences at Bible camp, turning it into a dreamy piece of nostalgia about meeting her first boyfriend. As a girl, she was devout, but she was attracted to a boy at camp who was somewhat less so. He’d join the rest in public displays of weepy worship, but in the privacy of his bunk, he’d prefer to snort nutmeg and listen to Slayer. The song finds a second gear when she mentions Slayer, leading up to its signature line, saying of that popular spiritual idiom “seeing the light” — all it did, in the end/ was make the dark feel darker than before. I don’t think anyone will be playing “VBS” at VBS.

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.

Santa Cruz County Trivia

In local lingo, what is meant by the term “classic dot”?

Dan Kimball of Santa Cruz's Vintage Faith Church
Dan Kimball.

Last week: He is one of the leaders of the Emerging Church movement which seeks to return Christianity to the progressive roots of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and he’s from Santa Cruz. He is Dan Kimball, author of several books on Christianity including “How (Not) to Read the Bible” and “Adventures in Churchland.” Kimball was an early leader of what’s known as the “Emergent Church,” a philosophy that is a critique both of fundamentalism and of liberal interpretations of scripture. He’s done his work mostly through his home base in Santa Cruz, as a staff member at Vintage Faith Church, which also operates The Abbey coffeehouse.


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.