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Weekender with Wallace Baine

Hi friends,

Autumn is a lot more subtle in California than it is in those show-offy places like New England and New York. But you can feel it in your bones, if you’ve lived in these parts for long. Who’s in the mood for a pumpkin-spice latte?

Now, on with the show:

This Just In!

Country star Lacy J. Dalton began her career back in the day in Santa Cruz. She returns to her former hometown in support of KSQD for a show Nov. 17 at Moe’s Alley. The elegant and influential essayist Rebecca Solnit returns to Bookshop Santa Cruz to promote her latest book on Oct. 26. The Judy Collins show at The Rio originally scheduled for next week has moved to Oct. 20. The classic ska band Fishbone plays the Catalyst for the umpteenth time Dec. 14. And check out the unusual Halloween bash Oct. 28 at the Crepe Place, where several local musical acts will be in costume as other big-name musical acts.

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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


Here they are, nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead. Welcome to the B9:

  1. Nobody really needs an excuse to visit the lovely community of Bonny Doon. But art, wine and beer are pretty good enticements, I’d say.
  2. For those in need of a fix of literary wit and panache, you can’t get better than George Bernard Shaw. Jewel delivers “Arms and the Man” at the Colligan.
  3. The MAH’s ambitious CommonGround arts festival continues with an ears-wide-open reimagining of the Evergreen Cemetery called “The Language of Birds.”
  4. Chicken petting, honey tasting, pumpkin painting, apple-pie eating: It’s all part of the Fall Harvest Festival on the beautiful campus of UC Santa Cruz.
  5. They’re called Little Hurricane, but there’s nothing little about this terrific duo’s brash, bluesy sound.
  6. He’s one of California’s greatest native comedians, and George Lopez is indeed coming to visit at the KP Arena.
  7. No princess jokes, please. Jazz world whirlwind Grace Kelly deserves her own name recognition.
  8. The fine R&B singer Danielle Ponder is having a moment with her terrific new album, “Some of Us Are Brave.” She comes to Moe’s next week.
  9. Autumn and Capitola Village seem always to go together somehow. This weekend, the Village celebrates the season with sandcastles, live music and the fantastic Lighted Boat Nautical Parade.

WANT MORE B9 PICKS? Find recommendations from Team BOLO — Wallace, Max Chun and Will McCahill — here

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Three-Dot Gazette

OK, so the following is not exactly in Santa Cruz County. But its coolness cannot be denied. If you’re a fan of Alfred Hitchcock (who did have an estate in Scotts Valley), his magnificent thriller “Vertigo” is probably on your best-of list. The climax of what’s considered one of the greatest San Francisco films of all time was shot in San Juan Bautista, the picturesque little mission town 16 miles east of Watsonville. On Saturday, “Vertigo,” in all its Jimmy-Stewart-and-Kim-Novak glory, will be screened free and outdoors at the plaza right outside Mission San Juan Bautista, where the final quarter of the film was shot (with a nonexistent tower). The film itself, which begins at 8:10 p.m., is free (bring a lawn chair and a blanket), but there is also a film-locations tour and lecture earlier in the afternoon for a small fee. That’s less than an hour’s drive from downtown Santa Cruz for what could be the second-coolest classic-movie screening of 2022 (The first? “The Lost Boys” at Main Beach in the shadow of the Boardwalk, of course. That happens Oct. 29.) …

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One of Santa Cruz County’s most distinctive (and hard-working) visual artists is the stylish and provocative Rose Sellery, perhaps most well-known for her work in staging crazy-cool fashion shows with FashionART and Pivot. Rose is the subject of a great new solo exhibition at Curated By the Sea in downtown Santa Cruz. “InsideHer” features much of the artist’s most recent work, which consistently comments on the challenges and paradoxes of femininity in modern times. The show is a real eye-opener and will run through Nov. 12 at Curated, on Front Street right next to the MAH. And to be in the presence of the fabulous Ms. Sellery herself, be sure to swing by the artists reception on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. with live music, refreshments, and surely great conversation …

On Oct. 18, the Santa Cruz-based Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women (CPVAW) will host a screening of a new documentary at the Del Mar Theatre. The documentary is called “My Name is Andrea,” and it’s a profile of the late Andrea Dworkin, a radical feminist writer and activist most known for her critique of pornography. The film will be free, but you’ll need to register. Two days after the screening, on Oct. 20 at the Santa Cruz County courthouse, there will be a rally and march for women’s rights.

Earworm of the Week

If you were not alive in the 1960s — or were, like me, a dumb little kid who had no clue was what going on outside his Matchbox collection — you’re likely to be completely mystified by Simon & Garfunkel’s “A Simple Desultory Philippic,” which might in fact be the most Sixties-themed song in recorded history. The song is a playful parody of Bob Dylan, back when that kind of thing was still fresh, but it shamefully name-drops references that are pretty much meaningless today. Maxwell Taylor, Lou Adler, John O’Hara, Barry Sadler … all au courant names at the time that today are head-scratchers. Still, “A Simple Desultory Philippic,” (no, I don’t know what it means, either) is a funny and snappy little Paul Simon number and it’s fun to imagine how so cool and cutting-edge it must have sounded when it hit the streets in September 1966. A few of the names mentioned are, alas, still in the public mind, including Dylan, Mick Jagger and Ayn Rand. It sure would be swell if that last name had been forgotten.

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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 close-up of multicolored mosaic tile

That looks like citrus fruit rendered in mosaic tiles above. But where is it? And why might many more people see it in coming months?

A close-up of a bronze thumb

Last week’s answer: Yes, it’s a thumb. Heck we told you that part. But whose thumb?

The bronze hand sculpture in the wall at the end of Seacliff State Beach's walking path

If you regularly walk Seacliff State Beach, you don’t have to guess at it. It’s the bronzed hand on the wall at the very north end of the beach called “High Five,” which is also an invitation for anyone who has walked to that end of the beach. The tiny statue’s plague reads, in part, “To All the Loving Stories on This Wall.” At one time, that wall was a community touchstone laden with touching and heartfelt memorial tributes to locals long gone. But, about a decade ago, the property owner decided that the memorials on the wall all had to go. The high-five hand remains, as does the reminder of what was once there.

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.

Wallace reports and writes not only across his familiar areas of deep interest — including arts, entertainment and culture — but also is chronicling for Lookout the challenges the people of Santa Cruz...