ON Culture | The Royal Edition

Culture in Santa Barbara from Andy Warhol to Meghan Markle to Barack Obama

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on August 26, 2022. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.

ON the Stage

I’m not sure if Jesse Cook brought his ginormous guitar to Windsor Castle, but he certainly brought it to the Lobero stage on 8/24. | Credit: Matt Barnes

Jesse Cook and his band put on an incredible show at the Lobero this week. The way his fingers dance over his guitar is truly amazing, and his incredibly talented violinist/instrumental multitasker Fethi Nadjem was a particular standout among the band members. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jesse before the show, and he shared a fun story with me. In response to a “warm-up” question (one of those reporter techniques used to develop rapport with the person you’re interviewing before you start asking the “real” questions) about what he did this summer, he shared that he and his family had recently vacationed at Windsor Castle. Yes, the real Windsor Castle.

As Cook explained, his wife’s brother’s wife is the Royal Librarian and “one of the perks is that they give you lodgings wherever you want. In Windsor Castle, there are little cottages on the property that some people choose, but my sister-in-law chose a four-story tower. It was fantastic. We just had a great time — it was kind of bizarre. During the day, there’d be tourists wandering around outside of that tower. At five o’clock, they would all go away, then we would just wander around the palace grounds the rest of the day. It was kind of surreal, quite frankly.”

Vina Robles Amphitheatre | Credit: Courtesy Nederlander Concerts

Speaking of music and vacations, I had a great getaway to Paso Robles/S.L.O. recently, staying at the Hotel S.L.O. and checking out their awesome Summer Vibes package that includes a show at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre. We saw The Offspring (a fun concert with an equally fun audience) and also did some delicious food and wine tasting at Vina Robles Vineyards.

ON the Air

Meghan Markle’s new podcast just launched. | Credit: Spotify

Meghan Markle’s much-anticipated podcast — Archetypes with Meghan — debuted this week with an intriguing discussion with Serena Williams about the double standard women face when they are labeled “ambitious” and the ripple effect this has on other aspects of their lives. The “Princess of Montecito” also interviews Dr. Laura Kray, a leading expert on gender in the workplace, in this first episode, which is part of the reportedly $30 million deal the nonprofit Archewell Audio has with Spotify.

Coincidentally, I also did some reporting on gender in the workplace. In case you missed it, here’s my interview with Bonnie Marcus, much of which focused on gendered ageism — the double-whammy slap in the face of age and gender bias that many women face as they get older.

ON the Page

Credit: Courtesy

Through Many Windows: A World Reimagined brings ideas off the page to the gallery walls. Santa Barbara Public Library invites local artists to participate in an exhibition in the Faulkner Gallery during October 2022 as part of Santa Barbara Reads programming. The featured title — The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin — is a sci-fi fantasy that provides rich inspiration and explores themes like the collapse of empires, the devastation of grief, generational trauma, the relationship between history and memory, the impacts of climate change, race-based oppression, and motherhood. The show asks artists, photographers, and poets to envision their own worlds or alternative futures and answer the question “What if?” Submissions are due on September 16. For more information, email LibraryPR@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.

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ON the Playlist

Credit: Courtesy

Might the many talents of President Barack Obama extend to deejaying? I think they just might. He recently shared his summer 2022 playlist, and songs like Maren Morris’s “The Furthest Thing” (I can’t wait to see her show at the Bowl on September 15), Jack White’s “I’m Shakin’” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Die Hard” certainly do fit the summer sweet spot. 

ON the (Small) Screen

The Andy Warhol Diaries | Credit: Netflix

The documentary series on Andy Warhol is a fascinating look into the man behind so many of our icon images. For more on the TV front, read Callie Fausey’s review.

Ellie Bouwer also has an entertaining review of Stranger Things, a show so filled with ’80s nostalgia (including Wynona Ryder), that I can forgive a lot of the scary-things-that-go-bump-in-the-night drama I don’t typically enjoy.

ON the Walls

“Birdies on the Beach” by Ken Pfeiffer

“My favorite photographic subjects are landscapes and nature. I also have an interest in architectural photography and do professional architectural and real estate photography,” said Ken Pfeiffer, whose beautiful metal prints are on view at Zookers (5404 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria) through November 20. Check out his website, KensProMedia.com, for examples of his lovely work. And even better, Zookers is donating 20 percent of all sales to the Carpinteria Art Center for scholarships.

ON the Calendar

Santa Barbara Symphony Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti | Credit: Zach Mendez

As a kickoff to the fall season, the Santa Barbara Symphony invites the entire community to a FREE Season Preview event on Thursday, September 1, from 4-6 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre. The always engaging Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti will give us the scoop about his inspiration behind the musical selections, his behind-the scenes conversations with guest artists, and all of the exciting new community collaborations for the upcoming 2022-23 70th anniversary season. Special guests include Jonathan Fox, Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre Company; composer Cody Westheimer; Leila Drake, retired ballet dancer and former State Street Ballet administrator; and a string quartet performance featuring Santa Barbara Symphony musicians Andrew Kwon and Kyle Gilner (violins) and Hyeree Yu (viola). For more information and to RSVP, go to this link.

For a complete calendar of events this week and beyond, visit independent.com/events.

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