24 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com High Notes There are chamber concerts, and there are chamber concerts that moved Chamber Music Monterey Bay’s artistic chair, Amy Anderson, to be “totally enchanted.” A 2020 performance by the Maxwell String Quartet—just before the Covid shutdown, and on the heels of their 2019 U.S. debut—was just such a performance, and the CMMB team has been dreaming of bringing this Scottish quartet to Carmel ever since. Now is the time. Expect their usual repertoire of classical, Scottish folk and some new and interesting works—and expect great stage presence, charisma and obvious passion for making music together. This tour takes them briefly through California before returning to Europe. [SR] 7:30pm Saturday, Jan. 20. Sunset Center, San Carlos and 9th, Carmel. $30-$75; free/ students in grades 3-12. 625-2212, chambermusicmontereybay.org. Song and Story With the mellow sound of her guitar and delicate voice, Diana Gameros, a singer-songwriter and activist based in San Francisco, captivates her audience. Her songs talk about her immigration and binational experience: the mix of cultures, languages and musical genres for this Ciudad Juárez native. “Bringing her to our space really resonates with the people that we serve,” says Juan Sánchez, director of Palanke Arts, adding, “many of them have not been able to go back home, many of them have just been longing for cultural connection and family connection.” Gameros sings mostly in Spanish and has toured with prominent artists including Latin Grammy-winner Natalia Lafourcade, McArthur Genius Award winner Taylor Mac and the San Francisco Symphony. Join her for a chance to travel through music. [CJ] 7:30-9:30pm Saturday, Jan. 20. Palenke Arts, 1713 Broadway Ave., Seaside. $25. palenkearts.com. Sunday, Jan. 21 Existential issues How do I create a meaningful life in a world filled with violence, pain and disappointment? This kind of question is core to the philosophical tradition of existentialism, and if you’ve found yourself asking yourself this, or something similar, well…welcome to the club. That club (or at least some of its members) meets Sunday, Jan. 21 when local philosopher Robert Kuhry gives a reading at Old Capitol Books. His book Awake in the Land of Dreams explores life in Monterey in the aftermath of 9/11—a time of questions and fear that you may also have your own memories of. A discussion follows. [TCL] 3pm Sunday, Jan. 21. Old Capitol Books, 482 Alvarado St., Monterey. Free. 747-1322, oldcapitolbooks.com. Hot Picks by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Dave Faries, Celia Jiménez, Pam Marino, Agata Pop˛eda, Sara Rubin and David Schmalz. Send ideas to calendar@mcweekly.com HOT PICKS Singer-songwriter Diana Gameros was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and now lives in San Francisco. Her music, which she brings to Seaside’s Palenke Arts this weekend, explores life on the border of different cultures, languages and genres. Cristina Isabel Rivera Saturday, Jan. 20 Art Institute The Esalen Institute is a nonprofit retreat center founded on the cliffs of Big Sur in 1962. The property, which is spectacular in many ways, is centered around a natural hot spring that was previously known as Slates Hot Springs. Now part of the institute, the cliff-side baths are no longer open to the public—in general, you have to sign up for a course at Esalen to have access. But there are occasionally ways to get there that involve less commitment of time and resources. One comes this weekend for the Esalen Artists Market, a day festival on the property involving live music and artisan gifts for sale. A day pass for the market ($50) gets you access to browse all the vendors have to offer, the opportunity to soak in the hot springs and share meals in the communal dining hall. Think of it as a taste of all Esalen has to offer. [TCL] 11am-3pm Saturday, Jan. 20. Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur. $50. 667-3000, esalen.org. Style Points Over the years, filmmaker Wes Anderson has become more and more like…Wes Anderson. His first film, Bottle Rocket (1996), might be familiar to those who once walked down the aisles of Blockbuster Video nearly 30 years ago—it became an almost overnight cult classic, and not only launched Anderson’s career, but also the careers of actors and brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. Since that time, Anderson’s films have leaned increasingly into what’s become his signature aesthetic style—a slightly different twist on what’s real, a reimagining of the past and present if the design of the world sprung from the minds of hipsters. His latest work, Asteroid City (2023), filmed in Spain, is set in a hipster version of the American Southwest in the 1950s during a time of heightened interest in UFOs. The Friends of the Marina Library host a screening of the film in a free matinee at—you guessed it—the Marina library. It’s a family-friendly diversion of cinema that, as always with Anderson’s films, promises to be resplendent. [DS] 2:30-4:30pm Saturday, Jan. 20. Marina branch library, 190 Seaside Circle, Marina, Free. bit.ly/AsteroidCityMarina. Podium Humor One good way for a speaker to connect with an audience is a bit of humor. Maybe not if, say, you are FDR asking Congress for a declaration of war and starting off with a bang. And it’s doubtful Martin Luther King considered opening the “I Have A Dream” speech with a punchline. But it is a good tool—and the folks from The Monterey Peninsula Toastmasters and Monterey Comedy Improv will show just how useful humor can be in a unique combined show called “Toastmasters Unplugged.” Members of Toastmasters will deliver presentations while the improv crew craft fun sketches. So it’s public speaking and humor, all in one—much better than sitting through a long, serious address. It’s free, but it’s a good idea to reserve seats in advance. [DF] 7pm Saturday, Jan. 20. Carl Cherry Center, 4th and Guadalupe, Carmel. Free. 624-7491, carlcherrycenter.org. Wes Anderson’s 2023 film Asteroid City takes viewers to a junior stargazing convention, where world-changing disruption ensues. See the movie Saturday at the Marina branch library. UNiversal Pictures