Hot Picks 05.19.22

Hayley Jane is one of three women performers to kick off a new music series called Music in the Forest. Organizers describe her performance as “layered with a raw intensity and linguistic prowess.”

Forest Vibes

The annual Hipnic music festival – three days of camping and music at Fernwood in Big Sur – is back for its 13th year. “Thirteen years in, Hipnic has become the little engine that could,” organizers write. “Less is more in the land of giant ancient redwoods… The emphasis is on the songs, the setting and the connection of people and nature.” Perennial favorite The Mother Hips headline, with appearances by Australian singer-songwriter Emma Swift, Oakland rockers Howlin Rain and more. All deep in the redwood forest of the Big Sur Valley. If this sounds like your exact vibe, the bad news is that this year’s event is sold out. Celebrate in spirit this year, and look ahead to edition 14. [TCL]

Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22. Fernwood Campground and Resort, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. Sold out.

Hoedown Throwdown

Put on your boots, your jeans and your cowboy hat (if you’ve got one – this isn’t a must, but boots do really seem to be an important part of the uniform) and sidle up to a night of country line dancing at the new Hacienda. Don’t know how to line dance? Fear not – there will be an instructor to guide you through each dance. You’ll go over simple choreography for each song, then the music kicks in and it’s time to kick up some dust. And if you work up an appetite in this fashion, there’s food for purchase on hand. This is a regularly recurring event, so if you miss this one keep an eye on Hacienda’s calendar for more. [TCL]

6-9pm Friday, May 20. Hacienda, 7180 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. $25/adults; $10/kids. 293-8133,

Movie Magic

What did film critics know that moviegoers didn’t? You can find out on Saturday, May 21 in Soledad. Premiere Cinemas holds its long-awaited grand opening festivities on Saturday morning. The high school band will perform, important people will make speeches, radio star Matthew Arnett will emcee and keep things moving – it’s a big deal. But don’t get too sidetracked by the preliminaries. To celebrate the official grand opening, Premiere Cinemas will show the 2005 sci-fi adventure comedy Zathura: A Space Adventure, free of charge. The film was adapted from a children’s book, so it’s fun for the whole family – or it should be. Critics raved, but the movie barely broke even at the box office. How could a movie where kids must win an all-too-real board game before their father gets home (or they get destroyed by Zorgons – also bad, arguably worse) not catch on? It’s free to find out. The movie rolls at 10:30am. Zorgons appear not long after. [DF]

10am Saturday, May 21. Premiere Cinemas, 499 Nestles Road, Soledad. Free.

through a Telescope lens

Join The Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy (MIRA) for a free annual Chesley Bonestell Memorial Lecture. This year’s presentation is titled “The Amazing Universe of the James Webb Space Telescope,” and is delivered by Alice Shapley from UCLA, where she works as a professor and vice chair for the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The launch and successful deployment of the James Webb Space Telescope at the end of December 2021 marked an incredible leap for humanity – and a transformational one for astronomy. Learn from Shapley about how the telescope is expected to enable extraordinary breakthroughs, from our study of planets around other stars to the search for the earliest stars and galaxies within the cosmic dawn. In this talk, Shapley describes how the new tool will be used to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies like our very own Milky Way. [AP]

7:30pm Saturday, May 21. Monterey Peninsula College, Lecture Forum #102, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. Free. 883-1000,

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Music in the Forest

Steve Vagnini is a familiar name on the local music scene as a promoter and director of the Monterey County chapter of the nonprofit Guitars Not Guns. He’s perhaps more famously known as the man behind the annual West End Celebration in Sand City, held each August. Now Vagnini, under his company SLV Management, is launching a new music series in Carmel at the outdoor Forest Theater, appropriately named Music in the Forest. The first installment of the series features three talented female singer-songwriters, ranging from longtime performers to one who is still in the early years of what will certainly be a long career. Award-winning Cindy Alexander released her first album in 1999 and has recorded nine solo albums since. Hayley Jane draws inspiration from a wide range of styles, from ’60s and ’70s rock and pop to musical theater, folk, blues and soul. Finally, there’s the up-and-coming Katherin Lavin, a 14-year-old singer-songwriter from the Monterey Peninsula known for her appearances at local events. Additionally, Vagnini promises to announce the lineup for this year’s West End Celebration. [PM]

5-8pm Saturday, May 21. Forest Theater, Mountain View Avenue and Santa Rita Street, Carmel. $25/adults; $15/children ages 18 and under. Proof of vaccination required. 601-9609,

Booking it

How about a trip to – well, wherever you’re looking to go – via a sidewalk book sale? While it’s true that you can buy books at a range of times at The Friends of the Marina Library’s permanent Friends of Marina Community Bookstore (it’s open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon-4pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm) – there’s nothing quite like a book sale. As longtime Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda observed in his book Browsings, confessing a lifelong addiction to book sales: “Anything can be anywhere at any time.” Plus, someone’s trash is another’s treasure. Here’s a chance to stumble upon treasure, and for a good cause. The nonprofit Friends group was founded in 1990; they sell used books to raise funds to support programming and maintenance at the Marina Library and to purchase new books, e-books and videos for library collections. The bookstore has been in operation since 2017. [AP]

11am-3pm Sunday, May 22. Friends of the Marina Library Community Bookstore, 330 Reservation Road, Marina. 747-1850,

Rhythmic Reverie

It’s reasonable to expect greatness on stage for this evening of sitar and tabla music. That’s not hyperbole – this performance features some of the best not just regionally or nationally, but from the entire planet. Sitarist Indrajit Banerjee hails from India’s music royalty: He spent 25 years studying sitar with his grandfather Bankim Kumar Pal and uncle Kartick Kumar, a student of Ravi Shankar. He performs with Shri Nikhil Pandya, who is best known in the Hindustani music world, but branches out widely when it comes to musical style. He’s performed lots of non-classical Indian music and collaborated with musicians from all over the world, whose repertoires cut across lots of genres. This pairing features a melding of musical voices – and musical excellence. [SR]

7-10pm Sunday, May 22. Henry Miller Memorial Library, 48603 Highway 1, Big Sur. $30. 667-2574,

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