Sonoma’s Spring Weekend Brings Sun, Song and Sugar Man

Plenty of music around town, some good hiking on Saturday, and a winning documentary about the great Rodriguez at the Sebastiani Theater all weekend.


Winter said goodbye with some rainfall early this week, but now the skies are clear and the calendar open for an ideal first weekend in spring.

To help you choose what activities to do, we asked our Facebook Friends for their own suggestions.  But the only thing they come up with was something next weekend – an Easter egg hunt followed by a garden party at Dunbar School. But that’s so next weekend.

Instead, a search of local calendars, listings and bulletin boards came up with a handful of options. If you know of more please add them to the article in comments, and for the future make sure there’s a calendar entry in our Patch Events well before the event.

Right off we can tell you that tonight, Thursday, Tony Gilroy is playing with Kristen Pearce at Murphy's Irish Pub, from 8:00 on. Tim O’Neil is there Friday, and while the Pub is closed Saturday on Sunday it’s the Old Time Radio Show doing “Fibber McGee and Molly,” at 5:30. That should be fun.

The Annex Wine Bar also has some music booked this weekend, including local music guy James Marshall Berry jammin’ there tonight, Thursday. Sean Carscadden and Josh Yenni play Friday.

They’ve also got a BBQ Rib Feed at the Annex on Saturday, with 2 Friends and a Benz providing the music. They’re talking about Pork Spare Ribs with Jalapeno Pineapple BBQ Sauce and sides, so that $20 in advance or more at the door sounds reasonable. Call the café at 707-938-7779 to reserve.

It's a good idea to work up an appetite first, so here’s a Saturday suggestion: in Kenwood, join Sugarloaf State Parks Senior Archeologist E. Breck Parkman, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on a two-mile loop hike to explore the history of the area, from geologic to to human.

It's $5 per person, plus the inevitable $8 per car parking fee. RSVP to Park Manager John Roney, john.roney@sbcglobal.net, or call the visitor center (707) 833-5712. (Thanks to Kenwood Press for the info.)

We’ve already told you about the Barcelona Barn Benefit at Benziger, but it’s still a good idea. Music by Plan B and Stephan Stubbins, paella by ZuZu, auctioneering by Doug McConnell. There are probalby some $175 tickets left, it benefits WillMar.

Another good idea, and a bit less pricey, is to catch “Searching for Sugar Man,” the Oscar®-winning documentary about Rodriguez, playing at the Sebastiani Theater. 

Who? If you never heard of this 1970 singer/songwriter, don’t feel badly, he was virtually unknown in this country until this movie came out last year.

Not so in South Africa. His only two albums were virtually washed ashore during the cultural blockade against South Africa’s apartheid regime, and Rodriguez became a legend on the far side of the world, with rumors of his spectacular suicide matched only by ignorance of his true fate in his homeland, Detroit. That, we find in the course of the film.

It’s a good movie but it’s even better music. It’s easy to understand why Rodriguez developed such a cult following. His lyrics are intelligent, insightful and catching, and the music is like it’s been in a time machine: It stacks up quite well against your Neil Young, even your Bob Dylan albums of the era. His first album, "Cold Fact," has been living in my CD player for the last two months.

"Searching for Sugar Man" screens at 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, the 22nd and 23rd, and at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. "Les Miserables" is the other movie playing there, at 6, 6 and 3, respectively.


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