Thursday, November 8, 2001
10AM-NOON. CSUMB MUSIC HALL, SIXTH AVE, MARINA. FREE. 582-4085.
Run To The Hills
GREAT WINE ESCAPE WEEKEND At the end of four days of activities organized by the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, Escapees may not be in great shape to take that Mensa Society qualifying exam, but they''ll know an awful lot about Monterey wines-and hey, that''s far less irritating to friends and more fun to study. Tonight''s kickoff jazz concert at A Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row launches a long weekend of fêtes and galas with one thing in common: the fruit of our very own vines. Friday sees a golf tournament with vintners (and winetasting) and formal evening gala (and winetasting). On Saturday-the highlight for the hoi polloi-folks can board buses departing from the Hyatt in Monterey ($55) or designate a driver (self-guided tours $30) and tour vineyards (and taste wine). That night a mob of fab local restaurants host winemaker dinners. For those still standing, Sunday will feature a wine symposium and finale reception at the Inn at Spanish Bay.
THURS-SUN; TIMES AND LOCATIONS OF EVENTS VARY. FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE, SEE WWW.MONTEREYWINES.ORG. $30-$150. 375-9400.
InThe Ska-Spangled Manner
SUPER PINEAPPLE AND PHICUS Tonight the nine members of Super Pineapple-Julian, Nash, Michael, Dan, Ben, Geoff, Mike, Neale, and "The Guy"-will squeeze themselves into Ocean Thunder and whip up some happy-go-lucky tunes. With upbeat, energetic songs like "Clean-Up on Aisle Five" and a peppy four-member brass section, the Santa Cruz group will certainly lift some chins. This evening should provide ample opportunity to introduce yourself to the band. Making a double-hitter of the evening is the languid emo rock group Phicus, which will also perform its broad mixture of progressive rock voicings and Neo-waved originals. The event comes to you live and by all the right Gods-FREE!
9PM. OCEAN THUNDER, 219 LIGHTHOUSE, MONTEREY. FREE. 643-9169.
STEPHEN KESSLER AND FRANCES PAYNE ADLER Stephen Kessler''s poetry manages to be lush and lovely without being pretentious or inaccessible. His work is highly sensual and evocative, exploring subjects from the way a cigarette causes a lover''s eyes to glint to "adversarial" January storms. Tonight Kessler, whose work has been featured in The New Yorker and Harper''s and who is a 2001 NEA fellow, will be reading from his two most recent books of poetry, After Modigliani and Tell It to The Rabbis and Other Poems, 1977-2000. He is joined by Frances Payne Adler, director of the creative writing program at CSUMB and author of Raising the Tents, a 1993 Western States Book Award finalist. Adler''s simple but elegant style and concern for social justice are a welcome tonic right now.
7:30PM. THUNDERBIRD BOOKSHOP, 3600 THE BARNYARD, HWY 1 AND CARMEL RANCHO, CARMEL. $5. 624-1803.
MIKE CROSS This guy loves to be funny, but that''s not what sets him apart. What sets him apart is that it works. Cross, born and raised in the Appalachian mountains, took front porch culture to town and became a storyteller and songwriter who plays the fiddle as well as six- and 12-string guitars. His specialties are Irish jigs, backwoods humor and ditties about wacky, lovable characters who drink a little too much and fall into mischief. He has released 13 albums, appeared on Prairie Home Companion and other radio shows, made a home for himself at the y''allternative label Sugar Hill, and performed at colleges and festivals all over the country for over 20 years. We get him tonight for free.
8PM. PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT SANTA CATALINA SCHOOL, 1500 MARK THOMAS DRIVE, MONTEREY. FREE, BUT RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. 655-9350.
BACH FESTIVAL BRAVISSIMA Just so the withdrawal pains won''t be too bad while fans wait for next summer to creep around, the Carmel Bach Festival hosts the Bravissima series. Tonight Andrew Manze on violin and Richard Egarr on harpsichord shine in "Bach and Handel Reunited" (see story, pg. 29).
8PM. CHURCH IN THE FOREST, PEBBLE BEACH. $25. 624-2046.
FourShows in One
PACIFIC GROVE ART CENTER RECEPTION The Pacific Grove Art Center''s annual Patron Show is ordinarily one of the biggest events of the season for the 32-year-old art institution. This year it culminates in a gala fundraising raffle to be held on Dec. 2, and this year, as always, scores of local artists have submitted works, including Rollin Pickford, Andres Morillo and Anita Benson. The Center recently sent a call out many of these same artist-members asking them to submit works dealing with the attacks of Sept. 11 and the afternath. Many, as it turned out, were already confronting the issue. The result is a show entitled "September 11, 2001: The Artists'' Response," which will open tonight, along with the Patron show and two more: "The Heart of India: Images of Rajasthan"-photos by Rocio Briceno; and "Bob''s View of California"-plein-aire landscapes by Bob Magneson.
7-9PM. PG ART CENTER, 568 LIGHTHOUSE AVE., PG. FREE. 375-2208.
Kind of Blue
JC SMITH San Francisco Bay Area bluesman Johnnie "Cozmik" Smith brings his smooth, smoky blend of blues to Monterey to celebrate the release of his first CD, The Midnight Creeper. Listening to Creeper, one hears blues that moved from Chicago to the West Coast, where they got a healthy inoculation of swing and jazz. It''s good dancing music performed by an experienced group of musicians who have played with some of the best in the biz, including sax man Bernard Anderson (formerly with Sonny Rhodes and Charles Brown), drummer Tim Richard (John Lee Hooker), keyboardist Richard Palmer (Nite Cry), guitarist Niklas Nordstrom and bassist Billy Pruitt.
9PM. SLY MCFLY''S, CANNERY ROW, MONTEREY. 649-8050.
Keeping the Mansions Out of Heaven
BIG SUR BOOK SIGNING Thanks to the Big Sur Land Trust, folks who drive down the coast don''t find themselves wondering how the land got saved from pink stucco palacettes-they''re too busy thinking poetic thoughts about Nature''s grandeur. Tonight the Big Sur Land Trust puts on a slideshow and booksigning for its recently released tome, Big Sur and Beyond: The Legacy of The Big Sur Land Trust, in which the mysteries of land preservation are revealed.
7PM. THUNDERBIRD BOOKSHOP, 3600 THE BARNYARD, CARMEL. FREE. 624-1803.
Stars And Stripes Forever
FREE VETERANS DAY CONCERT Veterans Day feels a lot more poignant this year. And the Monterey Bay Symphony''s rendition of "Star-Spangled Banner" or "God Bless America" at a free concert this afternoon will likely elicit more than a few tears. "Monterey''s Salute to Veterans," sponsored by the city of Monterey, features a mix of traditional classics and patriotic melodies by the Symphony, as well as the chorus from the Defense Language Institute of Foreign Languages Center & Presidio of Monterey. The concert is free, and tickets are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. Bring your own tissue.
2PM. MONTEREY CONFERENCE CENTER, 1 PORTOLA PLAZA, MONTEREY. 646-3781.
BATTLE OF BLUES BANDS As the Monterey Bay Blues Festival grows in prestige, it becomes increasingly difficult for bands to get booked at the annual extravaganza. To help some bands get their feet in the door, Blues Festival management has scheduled today''s "Battle of the Bands." The top three finishers in the contest will get their shot at appearing in next year''s festival. According to executive director Martin Puentes, 10 bands were selected from about 30 who applied. "Basically, these are folks who have been trying to get into the blues festival who have either not got into the festival or were not available in the past," says Puentes. "It''s one more little attempt to open the door for folks who want to climb that ladder or get in through this door." Bands scheduled to compete in today''s event include Little Sister and the Bad Intentions, Al James, Rene Solis and the Blues Persuaders, the Lara Price Band, Banadana Blues Band, The Blues Exciters, The Cosmic Experience, Rontu Kar, Shane Dwight and Red Beans & Rice. With so many groups in the lineup, time will be at a premium-each band will have a scant 15 minutes to strut their stuff.
2-6PM. SAN CARLOS BALLROOM, MARRIOTT HOTEL, 350 CALLE PRINCIPAL, MONTEREY. FREE. 394-2652.
Thisweek''s Hot Picks were salted and peppered by Aaron S. Birk, Kate Folsom, Alex Gilrane, Traci Hukill, Jessica Lyons and Chuck Thurman.