Song In My Head #109: “Dead End Justice” by the Runaways

As longtime blog readers might guess, I’m not exactly a horror devotee. (True story: I sat down to watch the Alice Cooper episode of The Muppet Show as a little girl, burst into tears shortly into “Welcome To My Nightmare,” and didn’t try again for another thirty years. Even though I had become an Alice Cooper fan by then, I still ended up pretty spooked by the end.) Nevertheless, I found myself reading We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix this past week. How did that happen, you ask? Well, even though I had to take occasional (okay, semi-frequent) squeamishness breaks, the guitar-wielding heroine and the rock ‘n’ roll in-jokes kept me riveted. One running gag involves Kris and her bandmates invoking the lyrics to the Runaways’ “Dead End Justice” at every opportunity. Needless to say, I had to track the song down. Why it’s not a karaoke bar standard is beyond me:

At one point I gasped, “Redd Kross HAS to cover this song!” Guess what?

Mystery author Leslie Karst and Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant features in Spring 2019 SANTA CRUZ STYLE

If you enjoy cozy mysteries or the local food scene, keep an eye out for the Spring 2019 edition of Santa Cruz Style. In “Mystery with a Santa Cruz Flavor,” I introduce you to Leslie Karst, the renowned author of the Sally Solari mystery series. Beginning on page 12 of the magazine, Karst tells me how Santa Cruz inspired her unexpected path to writing, the origins of Sally Solari, and the birth of the “snarky cozy.” Want to know how a 17-year-old restaurant has stayed buzzworthy? Turn to page 42 for “Soif and Santa Cruz: The Perfect Pairing.” Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant owner/founder Patrice Boyle reflects on Soif’s evolution, and discusses the restaurant’s new collaboration with UCSC’s Coastal Science and Policy Program. New chef Tom McNary reveals his culinary inspirations, and bar manager Matthew Barron discusses the cocktail menu that’s swaying the allegiance of Soif’s most devoted wine drinkers! If you’re in Santa Cruz County, find free print copies here. The online version appears here.

Song In My Head #104: “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo” by A Tribe Called Quest

I’m in the middle of reading Hanif Abdurraqib’s engaging Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest. Naturally, the first A Tribe Called Quest song I heard has been my mental soundtrack all week. Abdurraqib links this song to classic ’70s sitcom Sanford and Son in delightful fashion, but you should read his book to find out how. In the meantime…

DIGGING SOUND COLLECT at San Jose’s Kaleid Gallery

Yesterday I headed to San Jose to see Digging Sound Collect, the current photo exhibition at the Kaleid Gallery. (Photographer Abraham Menor has just released a companion photo book of the same name, which expands on the display.) The show features record collectors from throughout the Bay Area, as well as locales from Arizona to Johannesburg. There is no biographical information displayed other than name and city, and it’s intriguing to see the visible record sleeves give the glimpses into the subjects’ personalities. (I especially liked one San Jose collector’s hometown rep via a picture sleeve 45 of local punk-pop legends The Odd Numbers.) As for me, I felt sheepish that most of the collections displayed were far more organized than mine. Sigh! The gallery cleverly adds a crate filled with R&B records to the space, which makes the viewer feel like a participant. Definitely check this one out before it closes on January 25th! Kaleid Gallery is located at 88 South Fourth Street in San Jose, Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m. Admission is free, but there’s a ton of cool and reasonably priced artwork for sale! You can take a sneak peek at Menor’s Digging Sound Collect Instagram page.

Song In My Head #101: “Egg Man” by the Beastie Boys

One day during our first or second year of college, my friend Genevieve animatedly discussed “that Beastie Boys song where they throw eggs at a guy.” Assuming she meant the trio’s lickety-split hardcore tune “Egg Raid on Mojo,” I was amazed to learn the band covered the same incident in two different genres. Many times during this period of our acquaintance, one of us would start rapping “Humpty Dumpty was a big fat egg” or yelling “The egg, a symbol of life!” when the conversation lagged. So, while Beastie Boys Book delighted me these past two weeks, it was inevitable that “Egg Man” would be my mental reading soundtrack. (I wonder how she’d react if I threw out random “Egg Man” couplets during our next phone call…)

This year’s summer reading (so far)!

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Summer reading is in full swing again, and what better way to celebrate than with my annual library book shelfie (as requested by the Santa Cruz Public Libraries summer reading bingo card)? So far, I highly recommend Robert Gordon’s Memphis Rent Party, which is every bit as spellbinding as his 1995 classic It Came From Memphis. Since I’m enrolled in eight different summer reading programs so far (with more to follow, because I’m obsessed), I’ll need plenty of book suggestions. Please sound off in the comments!

Coffee Chat interview on author D L Richardson’s blog!

Awe-inspiring literary dynamo D L Richardson graciously hosted me on her author blog this week for a fun and freewheeling Coffee Chat. We discussed many topics close to my heart, including coffee, cookies, baking secrets, and the inspiration behind Going Coastal. We even found time to dish about the music scenes in Santa Cruz County and Richardson’s home of Australia. (I’m downright touched that she provided a definitive answer to the burning AC/DC question posed here.) Check it out and enjoy!