Hot Picks 05.18.23

(top) What’s the story behind Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Walker House in Carmel? Find out from historic preservation expert Kathryn Smith, in a lecture accompanied by interior and exterior photographs. (bottom) The Salinas Valley Fair celebrates agricultural heritage, but also offers all of the classics of good, old-fashioned, fair fun including rides, games and treats. (left) In addition to a May 18 show at the Henry Miller Memorial Library, Shannon & The Clams will spend the weekend in Big Sur at the sold-out 14th annual Hipnic Festival.

Thursday, May 18

Clam Bake

Oakland-based Shannon & The Clams play a rocking fusion that blends the melodic doo-wop of the ’50s and ’60s with the fierce, up-tempo guitars of garage punk. Vocalist Shannon Shaw is at the heart of it all – capable of swinging from the sweet, pleading tones of mid-century R&B to the throaty, combative roar of punk, all in the same song. The result is a unique pastiche that evokes the past while sounding thoroughly modern. Shannon & The Clams bring that noise to Big Sur this week, presented by music and events curator folkYEAH! [RM]

7pm (doors open at 6pm) Thursday, May 18. Henry Miller Memorial Library, 48603 Highway 1, Big Sur. $100.

Thursday-Sunday, May 18-21

All’s Fair

There’s only one thing more fun than a fair. What could that be? Well, as baseball player Darrell Porter exclaimed after winning the 1982 World Series with the Cardinals, “Hoo-ee, I’ve been to two county fairs and a goat roast and I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this.” Since most of us will never be series champions, the Salinas Valley Fair is it when it comes to a great time. Carnival rides, food, performances, activities for all ages, and then there are the exhibits by 4-H and FFA members, where you can learn about ranching and agriculture before downing another fried doughnut sandwich and hopping on the Twister… maybe better do that in reverse order. How could you not have fun? Although gates close for new entry at 10pm each night, the fair continues until midnight Thursday-Saturday and 10:30pm Sunday. The junior livestock auction is at 8am Saturday. [DF]

11am-10pm Thursday-Sunday, May 18-21. Salinas Valley Fair, 625 Division St., King City. $12/adults; $8/seniors and ages 6-17; Free/children 5 and under. 385-3243,

Friday-Sunday, May 19-21

Down by the River

First of all, this event is sold out. So if you do not yet have tickets for the 14th annual Hipnic Festival in Big Sur, you’re out of luck. But if you do, you’re in for a good time – The Mother Hips, Mapache, Bitchin’ Bajas, Little Wings and more all flock to Fernwood for this hip, woodsy celebration of music. Because what better place is there to listen to some of your favorite bands then under some of Big Sur’s most impressive redwoods? [TCL]

Friday-Sunday, May 19-21. Fernwood Campground and Resort, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. Sold out.

Friday, May 19

On the Terrace

The lineup for the Sunset Center’s Terrace Hour – a free, (mostly) weekly Friday evening concert – currently features a strong list of local talent. Next up on May 19 is Magenta Spreen, a collaboration between singer-songwriters Kristen Gradwohl and Talmon Owens. Named for the beautiful, delicate leafy green, the two wow audiences with their vocal harmonies and the rich storytelling of their lyrics. Next, on June 2, local R&B group SEA.LVL brings the ’90s-inspired party to the terrace. No reservations are required, and food and drinks are welcome – though alcohol must be purchased at the venue’s bar. Why not kick off the weekend with a musical treat? [TCL]

6pm Friday, May 19. Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 9th Avenue, Carmel. 620-2048,

Saturday, May 20

House Secrets

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Walker House” is the title of a lecture that Kathryn Smith will give to cast some light on one of the most famous houses in Carmel. Smith, a historic preservation consultant, is the author of several books on Wright. Drawn from her recent publication based on unpublished sources, she will reveal the surprising story of how Wright designed and constructed his only waterfront house. The house was constructed for Della Walker, known also as Mrs. Clinton, who inherited the property after her sister. It was designed in 1948 and built in 1952. As we learn from his book, Taliesin West, Walker wrote to Wright in 1945: “I am a woman living alone – I wish protection from the wind and privacy from the road and a house as enduring as the rocks but as transparent and charming as the waves and delicate as the seashore… You are the only man who can do this – will you help me?” [AP]

6-7:30pm Saturday, May 20. Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. $10.

Sunday, May 21

Water Ways

The science is clear that our oceans are in desperate need of intervention; from issues like acidification (due to the changing climate) to overfishing, the need is urgent. But the way we communicate that need and energize a new generation of ocean stewards isn’t just through textbooks and beating the relentless drum of gloom. It’s also through inspiration and celebrating the wonder and wildness contained in our oceans. The Monterey Ocean Arts Festival is a celebration of all of that inspiration and creativity in multidisciplinary glory, bringing together visual and performing arts. See ocean-themed artwork by young artists on display, star in a short film that will be recorded live, experience ocean-themed face painting and enjoy lunch. This family-friendly event, hosted by SpectorDance, also incorporates the voices of scientific leaders while deploying art and creativity in the service of the environment. [SR]

1-3:30pm Sunday, May 21. Monterey Museum of Art, 559 Pacific St., Monterey. Free. 601-8510,

Fiddle Fresh

Iconic Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser is back in town. Get ready to put on your dancing shoes as he returns to Carmel High School’s Center for the Performing Arts, this time accompanied by The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. A group of musicians passionate about the traditional music of Scotland, the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers was founded in 1986. In addition to fiddle, expect cello, bass, guitar, percussion, piano – and the occasional flute, harmonica and musical saw. [TCL]

3pm Sunday, May 21. Carmel Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School, 3600 Ocean Ave., Carmel. $27-$32. 317-843-3800.

Olé for the Arts

An exciting multicultural arts organization deserves no less than a party that mirrors the same level of excitement. That’s the case for this celebration benefiting Seaside-based Palenke Arts at its Vino, Tapas and Manouche Jazz event. The night features the group Barrio Manouche, founded by Spanish guitarist Javi Jiménez, with special guest flamenco dancer Melissa Cruz. Barrio Manouche. With members from a variety of countries and cultures, the ensemble combines jazz Manouche, also known as Gypsy jazz, with modern jazz, flamenco and Latin American rhythms for lively, heart-pumping performances. The evening includes wine and Spanish tapas. The Palenke Arts Latin Combo performs in a pre-concert reception. Proceeds go to support the nonprofit, whose mission is to educate, inspire and transform the community through the arts. [PM]

3-6pm Sunday, May 21. Hidden Valley Music Seminars, 1104 W. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. $100. 899-9909,

Tuesday, May 23

Movie Night

If you’ve got two dollars and a free evening, there’s a place for your to sit back, relax and enjoy a classic film in Monterey. Introducing $2 Tuesday Movie Night at Stanton, an inexpensive way to experience the retro movies you love, or want to see. A screening of His Girl Friday, the 1940 American screwball comedy film starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, happens Tuesday, May 23. Get fancy and spend $5 for VIP seating; refreshments are available for purchase as well. [KH]

6pm Tuesday, May 23. Monterey Art and History at Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey. $2/general admission; $5/ VIP table seating. 372-2608,

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