Hot Picks 05.04.23

After a long hiatus, the 1980s band The Pixies got back together in 2004. They’re now on tour for Doggerel, the fourth album released since they reunited. Their stop in Monterey may include old favorites as well.

Thursday, May 4

Through a Lens

When you look closely at any community, it is more varied and nuanced than it first appears. With that in mind, visual storyteller Matika Wilbur undertook a mission that had not been made in a century: photographing all 562 federally recognized tribal nations. In 2012 she sold everything in her Seattle apartment and traveled 600,000 miles across all 50 states documenting the diversity of experiences and lives of Indigenous people with the goal of changing the way we see Native America. The result is her book, Project 562, a collection of portraits and personal narratives that challenge whatever monolithic ideas we might have about tribal life. People pictured in the book are photographed in locations, poses and clothing of their choosing, and their stories address topics including sovereignty, faith, family, the protection of sacred sites, land stewardship, language preservation, education, the arts and more. Wilbur, herself from the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes of coastal Washington, visits Monterey to share insight from her book. [SR]

5:30-7:30pm Thursday, May 4. Irvine Auditorium at MIIS, 499 Pierce St., Monterey; or via Zoom at Free.,

Saturday, May 6

Pick A ’Pecker

Acorn woodpeckers are a single-minded bunch – and “bunch” is appropriate here, because they flock together in large numbers and their communal living arrangement would be considered scandalous if practiced by humans. They also stand out in the forest like, as The Cornell Lab’s All About Birds guide puts it, “a troupe of wide-eyed clowns.” Their sole mission is to stuff trees and other wooden objects with acorns. In fact, the birds once filled an Arizona water tank with 485 pounds of the seeds, carried from who knows where. Actually, Dr. Walt Koenig probably does. He is part of the Friends of Carmel Valley Library’s First Saturday Series to share information gleaned from a five-decade-long study of the peculiar ’peckers that is ongoing at the Hastings Reserve in Carmel Valley. [DF]

10:15am Saturday, May 6. Carmel Valley Branch Library, 65 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. Free. 647-7760,

Bach Home

If you’ve ever wandered the forested streets of Carmel admiring the town’s charming homes with whimsical names and wondered what it would be like to live in one of them, now’s your chance to catch a momentary glimpse behind closed doors and garden gates. The Carmel Bach Festival’s Cottages, Gardens and Cantatas Home Tour fundraiser is back for a seventh year, featuring five iconic Carmel homes. One of the homes previously featured four years ago is back on the tour coming off of a fresh remodel. It’s a self-paced tour, with docents at each location to answer questions about the homes’ designs, architecture and gardens. For the “cantata” portion of the tour – a nod to the composer who inspired the annual summer festival – student musicians will be playing music in each of the homes and gardens. Daydream all you want about living in these homes and take away a fond memory or two – photography is not allowed on the tour. [PM]

11am-3pm Saturday, May 6. Various locations in Carmel. The Carmel Bach Festival’s office will be open the day of the tour: NW corner of 10th Avenue and Mission Street, Cottage 16. $40/in advance;$45/day of tour. 624-1521,

Ground Breakers

The Pixies burst onto the indie rock scene in the late 1980s and out of the gate, put out music that sounded like nothing else indie rock fans had ever heard. It was raw and energetic, but also cerebral and packed with melodies that lodged, and stuck, in the minds of their fans. They were special, and their fans knew it. But unlike some bands of that heady era, they never became a household name – perhaps because some of their songs lean into being experimental, and often noisy. The Pixies disbanded in 1993 (lead singer Black Francis informed his bandmates via fax, a hilarious detail), but the band got back together in 2004 and have been rocking ever since. The Pixies are rolling through Monterey on a tour promoting their new album, Doggerel, but if you haven’t got tickets yet, you’re out of luck – this show is long-since sold out. [DS]

7pm Saturday, May 6. Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. Sold Out. 649-1070,

Sunday, May 7

Garden Party

If you haven’t been, it’s a must. Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House is one of the most magical places in old Carmel. The Tor House’s annual garden party is a yearly pretext to invite the public onto the property and into the world of poetry where many of us would wish to live full-time. The garden party is a chance to tour the iconic Hawk Tower and other nooks and crannies of the home. “It promises to be a pretty special event with music – a bagpiper, pianists, Celtic trio – and art for sale – plein air paintings and a limited-edition broadside with a Tom Killion print by master printers Peter and Donna Thomas,” writes Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts, president of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation. Killion and the Thomases will be attending. And beyond art, docents recite poetry and share stories of the place. “Of course the iconic Hawk Tower and Tor House with poetry and history from our wonderful docents,” Ruchowitz-Roberts adds. Expect wine and snacks. [AP]

2-5pm Sunday, May 7. Tor House, 26304 Ocean View Ave., Carmel. $25. 624-1813,

Tuesday, May 9

Musical Culture

If you like listening to and watching folkloric performances, you won’t want to miss this special concert by the Monterey County Pops! orchestra. The orchestra is performing Triqui music after a day of musical activities with kids and teens in Greenfield. This South Monterey County city has a large Indigenous Mexican population. One group is the Triquis – a Oaxacan Indigenous group from the southwestern side of the Mexican state. Assistant Conductor Micah Candiotti will direct the orchestra as they play arrangements of two Triqui Chilenas: La Chilena de San Juan Mixtepec and La Culebrita. The Latin American dance, La Chilena, has roots in Chile. The musical recital also includes classics, marches, and traditional Mexican music. [CJ]

6:30pm Tuesday, May 9. Student Union of Greenfield High School, 225 South El Camino Real. Free. 484-5511,

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