DATELINE March 10, 2014
| THE ORIGINAL FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS & THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE. Grant Wilson dug this one (or 2) out of his files and was telling The Great Morgani and me about it last Sunday at Octagon Lulu’s.
TOM NODDY REACTS TO THE MORGANI AFFAIR.There are miles of type being spent on “The Morgani Affair”, and it’s important from many angles. No resolution has been announced, we’re all wondering what the outcome will be and when and where Morgani will be allowed to play again. Frank Morgani Lima has doubts that there really are the 50 “legal” spaces to play…we’ll see. In the meantime Bubble Man Tom Noddy who assumed the role of protector of the street performers decades ago in Santa Cruz sent me the following letter. It’s long, but if you care about the ambiance, friendliness, and attraction of Downtown Santa Cruz you’ll want to read every word…
I was glad to see you write about the insults offered to The Great Morgani that resulted in him leaving Pacific Avenue. He said, clearly, that the officers were polite in informing him that what he had done successfully for 17 years was illegal and that they would now enforce the law against him as well. The music crime that he committed all of that time was to sensibly stand with his back to the building while performing.
The idea of outlawing that activity use to come up over and over at the Downtown Association meetings that I attended in my capacity as spokesperson for the Santa Cruz Street Performers’ Guild. It got to a point where one or another of the long time merchants would alert me to the fact that yet another newcomer was going to propose it at the next meeting and he or she would ask me to attend “… and remind us why we rejected this idea the last time”.
I’m not sure what the appeal was to the idea … put all the performers out on the curb … what? like trash? But the thing that had them reject it over and over was my reminder that that would mean that good acts (like Morgani) would then stand at the curb, turn their back to the traffic play while a crowd gathers in front of some shop’s show window. If they are conscious (as crowds are noted for being) they will not lean against the glass or block access to the entryway.
|JOHNNY CARSON DOES RONALD REAGAN. Absolutely wild fun. I’d forgotten this clever bit…great laughs…and we deserve some about now. It was sent from “ltho” ??? and thanks.|
“But, Tom …” one or another merchant was sure to mention, “not all of the performers are great musicians, they don’t gather crowds and I, for one, do not appreciate their sound.” THAT, of course, is a valid point. I would readily concede it but then ask them where the want such an individual to perform (his/her 1st Amendment rights allow the activity). I would ask if they wanted them to stand with their back to that little piece of building between two show windows?? OR would they prefer that the police and hosts enforce an ordinance that would put these less talented musicians out on the curb and singing in toward their OPEN DOOR?
They would all go “oh …” and the matter would be dropped for a while again … until some new shop opened downtown and some new merchant got the grand idea of putting all of the performers out on the curb. (This was a constant problem for me after coming to agreement with one Downtown Association and City Council after another … some newcomer would get this bright idea … I often got a laugh at those meetings by complaining “You Santa Cruz merchants are so damn transient”.)
But when my back was turned they pushed this curbside-only provision on to the law books and then promptly failed to enforce it when they found that it had certain … um … “unforeseen consequences”. Then a new couple of council members came on in 2002 and they demanded that the downtown police enforce all laws on the books plus some new ones that they thought up. It was a mess and no one understood where performers were allowed to perform so after a while it settled down into what it was always intended to be … Selective Enforcement. They liked Frank Lima (The Great Morgani) so they let him stand where it made sense for him to stand and they cited this ordinance or that ordinance to move any performer who garnered any complaint from anybody anywhere. If they didn’t get a complaint but wanted someone moved, the police or hosts would contact a particular law office upstairs and they would reliably issue the needed complaint that was then promptly enforced as though there is no right to free expression when someone else objects to it. This was going to, someday, lead to a legal case that went higher than the municipal court judges who routinely ignored such claims of constitutional protection. Eventually, I assumed, Frank would be called as a witness in someone’s case and he would be a good one. Even the downtown hosts would make great witnesses before being coached by the City Attorney to not say what they regularly told performer’s downtown … that any complaint is sufficient cause to move them … even a complaint by a host on duty.
But, instead, this Council and City Attorney have decided to “send a message” (Barisone called it that in a KSBW interview) by finally stopping the most popular performer downtown. There is a big reaction to this right now. Even the Sentinel editorial told the Council that “street performing is not and never has been a downtown problem”. But when the reaction dies down or when Frank agrees to go back to Pacific Avenue under some special exemption … the other shoe will drop and the real sweep will begin in earnest.
Unless, of course, alert citizens like yourself and former Arts Commission member Linda Bixby continue to raise a ruckus and stand up, not only for Morgani but for the right of street performers to share their art with us for free and to let them do so before, during and while they are creating art that this or that critic or merchant appreciates.
PS You are mistaken about Tom Scribner’s performances going on without donations. Tom had a bowl that he set down on the planter edge where he played and he spent that small but regular income mostly at Lulu Carpenters when they use to serve alcohol.
(from Bratton) PPS. Tom, you too are sort of “mistaken”, Scribner bragged all of his early years playing in front of his “home” in The Saint George Hotel about not “passing the hat”. It was only near his last days he would collect enough for “one more” Brandy Manhattan when Lulu’s wouldn’t front a freebie for him.
|DANCING WITH LIGHT. I found this brilliant dance idea on Kathleen Crocetti’s FB page
CALIFORNIA SIERRA CLUB PARTY. Unlike the local chapter of the Sierra Club that has been neutered and morphed into a pro growth & business fan club this is the California State Chapter which has sent this party invite to believers…
Gary Patton & Katherine Beiers Invite You To A House Party For Sierra Club California. Assembly Member Mark Stone, Former Assembly Member John Laird, County Supervisor John Leopold will attend. And we can meet Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips. Mark Stone will talk about important environmental legislation pending in the State Legislature. Kathryn Phillips will provide an in-depth look at what the Sierra Club is doing to achieve a fracking moratorium, and to address critical water issues facing California. Please plan to attend! There will be music, food, wine and all those good things! Plus great company! Plus a wonderful chance to help support the critically important work of Sierra Club California!! It’ll be at Katherine’s House – 135 Gharkey Street, Santa Cruz Sunday, March 23, 2014 / 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org If you can’t attend, please send a donation to Sierra Club California, 909 12th Street, Suite 202, Sacramento, CA 95814. You can donate online at http://sierraclubcalifornia.org
MOBILE HOME RESIDENCY LAW FORUM. Manufactured/Mobile Home residents: Understand your rights as homeowners, and be empowered with the tools to enforce your rights! All Santa Cruz County manufactured/mobile homeowners are invited to join in, be informed and help out. 1pm – 4 pm Saturday March 22 Live Oak Grange 1900 17th Ave. Santa Cruz http://sccmmha.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/gsmol-roadshow.pdf Click here to download event flier! Get On Our Email List For SCCMMHA Updates And Notices. Just Ask! email@example.com Tell your neighbors about the SCCMMHA. See you soon!
STOP SEAWORLD PETITION. Ron Clegg sent this page and it’s worth reading and signing!! Find it here!
ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul clearly states….
MORE APTOS SAFEWAY DRAMA
As everybody that follows the news knows, Safeway has been sold to a mega-corporation that includes Albertson’s and other stores. What happens to Safeway’s expansion plan for Aptos is anybody’s guess. With Aptos Cinemas being granted a new two-year lease, along with lease extensions to other businesses at Rancho Del Mar, Aptosians should remain vigilant but hopeful. By hopeful, one outcome could be that store owners at Rancho could form their own “group” and buy the center from the new owners at a fair price. Let the new owners write off their loss as a bad decision made by the old owners, and just clean up existing all the Safeway’s in the area, like their store on Morrissey. I’ll bet Albertson’s management could fit a nice grocery store into Rancho Del Mar without decimating the entire property. Maybe even turn a profit without peddling gasoline. But anything is possible so we’ll have to stay on top of this issue. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).
|TWO YEAR OLD SKATEBOARDER. Cruz Ortiz Zamarron found this2 year old skateboarder…
PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary describes a “Consent Agenda” and why it’s important. He tells why burning corpses can cause problems, even though the Santa Cruz City Staff thinks it’s ok!!! He talks about the Santa Cruz Puma Project night at the Rio Theatre on Wednesday night 3/12, and about Pumas crossing Highway 17. He suggests that we all sign up for County Supervisors periodic newsletters from John Leopold and Zach Friend. He ends his broadcast week by telling us about The Regional Transportation Plan and its revision. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365? – www.gapatton.net
CLASSICAL DE CINZO. DeCinzo show us the only real value in Girl Scout Cookies. Scroll downwards.
EAGANS DEEP COVER. Reap the grim rewards of Obama Care check out Eagan…just below.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Secrets of the world of book-publishing revealed this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). (Hint: if you’re looking for instant gratification, better find yourself another gig.) Also, catch up with a forgotten chapter in American musical history—female jazz instrumentalists—in the excellent doc, “The Girls in the Band.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……
THE GREAT BEAUTY. Check your listings but it looks like the Cinelux in Scotts Valley is playing this Academy Award winning Best Foreign film at 5:15 daily. It was and is my top film of last year and probably for the next number of years. In Italian, and has memories of La Dolce Vita but better….go see it while we can. I’ve seen it twice and I’m going again.
TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brian) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.
STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
(from BEST 2 worst)
THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke,It’s not for children, it’s a spohisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed Aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane.The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.
HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.
Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.
12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti add the unnecessary Hollywood element and do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.
NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.
PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again a few weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.
THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap, and if you get a chance read the plot before you go!!!
MONUMENTS MEN. As mentioned above this movie is boring. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!
THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!
SON OF GOD. Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast looking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and never did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!
NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.
SC BAROQUE FESTIVAL TO PERFORM MUSIC BY COMPOSER ROBERT STRIZICH AND FRENCH BAROQUE MASTERWORKS. The concert titled “Baroque Inspirations” to be performed by Lux Musica, presents opulent French Music from the court of Louis XIV by Marin Marais,which will be played on the following Baroque instruments: flute, violin, cello and harpsichord. In addition, Artistic Director Linda Burman-Hall and Lars Johannesson will perform featured composer Robert Strizich’s work “Tombeau” for harpsichord and baroque flute. At the start of the concert, the Ninth Annual ‘Youth Chamber Music Contest’ awards will be presented to the following young artists:The Grand Prize Winners for “Classical Piano Trio” are Stanley Wang, Violin; Marc Picard, Cello; and Derek Hamersly, Piano. Location: UCSC Recital Hall Date & time: Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available at www.scbaroque.com or by calling 831-457-9693; Civic Center box office: 831-420-5260; and UCSC box office: 831-456-2159. Tickets will also be available at the door.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Kathleen Crocetti guests on March 11 to talk about her art programs in Santa Cruz City schools.Then Barry and Shelley Phillips tell us about their musical lives. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18, and historian, author tour guide Sandy Lydon returns to relate history. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!
BEST OF CLASSICAL STEVEN DeCINZO.
QUOTES. “They really got Morgani by the Barisones“, anonymous. “This is the sixth book I’ve written, which isn’t bad for a guy who has only read two”, George Burns. “I’ve given up reading books, it takes my mind off myself”, Oscar Wilde.
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.
Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.