Thursday, April 15, 1999
Best Art Gallery/Best Local Artist
Thomas Kinkade Galleries
692 Del Monte Center, Monterey, 657-1210
550 Wave St., Monterey, 657-1554
Thomas Kinkade, the "painter of light," scored big with readers impressed by the artist''s almost super-real depictions of landscapes and still life that fairly pulsate with intensity. Junior, too, likes the paintings because they remind him of dream landscapes, worlds in which he walks at night to find clues to the future.
Runner-up Art Gallery: Monterey Museum of Art
Runner-up Local Artist: Andrew Jackson
Most Intriguing Local Artist
Andrew Jackson''s swirling, trippy treatment of Viva Monterey must have caught the attention of a number of readers, who voted him ''most intriguing.'' Others must have found his work at the Phillips Gallery in Carmel, where Jackson will have a one-man show in October.
Morgan''s Coffee & Tea
498 Washington St., Monterey, 373-1479
Back in the days when Junior was sowing his wild oats, he got caught up in the coffeehouse craze in Europe. It appealed to his eccentric sensibilities that there was music in the caffeineries at night, and revolution in the air; he liked the supercharged energy, and found that caffeine was the only drug that actually enhanced his psychic abilities (not that he ever used them to intentionally eavesdrop on other peoples'' thoughts, but he did pick up on some pretty juicy fantasies). That''s why he--and so many others--are so fond of Morgan''s--it reminds him of the old days. Presiding over the mix of coffee, tea, art and music is Morgan Christopher--himself something of a political firebrand.
Runner-up: Starbucks, Monterey and Sand City
Best Pub/Best Bar to have a Conversation/Best Selection of Beers on Tap/Best Happy Hour/ Best Bar for Singles
479 Alvarado St., Monterey, 655-3031
Whether you want to sit around the inside near the open-hearth fireplace and have a tasty appetizer, or step into the courtyard for a tap beer from their impressive selection, the Mucky Duck has everything you need for a perfect night out. Quiet conversations however, are best held during the week because come Friday, Monterey''s social life will come pouring into the pub, ready for the weekend. Sometimes they have musical entertainment. Then the chatter becomes subdued and people get up to dance. The Mucky Duck is the place for leisure "hanging-out."
Runner-up Pub: Crown & Anchor, Monterey
Runner-up Conversation: Lallapalooza, Monterey
Runner-up Beers on Tap: Blue Fin Billiards, Monterey
Runner-up Happy Hour: Tinnery, Pacific Grove
Best Club DJ
DJ Bobby with Good Vibrations
For the second year in a row, DJ Bobby (Jackson), along with the mobile DJ team at Good Vibrations has spun his way into the winning circle. Not much has changed since the honor was last received. The eight-man group still spins discs with music ranging anywhere from the 1920s on up. By now, they average about 850 venues a year around town, including weddings and private parties. But you can also catch their act at the Marriott, the Mucky Duck and Characters. Their tempting motto states: "We will cater to your every musical whim."
Best Club for Alternative Music
Last year at this time, both local and out of town guests enjoyed the great atmosphere and hip sound as they danced the nights away at the After Dark. For 24 years, people knew they had a good thing but they didn''t know how to keep it going. Looks like we are paying homage to a great place, no longer in existence. Thank you, After Dark, for all the good times. You may be gone, but you''ll never be forgotten.
Runner-up: Doc''s Nightclub (and McGarrett''s in third)
Best Club for Blues/Best Club for Rock
Cannery Row and Prescott Avenue, Monterey, 649-4241
Once again, Doc''s stands at the top of the hill. Though it may seem like child''s play after years of being the undisputed leader in booking venues for blues and rock, it takes a lot of hard work to keep well-known rock and blues names like The English Beat''s Dave Wakeling, Eric Burdon, the Blasters and Candye Kane as well lesser-known performers like Dave Alvin, John Lee Hooker, Jr., The Cigar Store Indians and Eric Sardinas walking through the door. Catch Warsaw coming up.
Runner-up Blues: Sly McFly''s, Monterey
Runner-up Rock: McGarrett''s, Monterey
Best Dance Club
321 Alvarado St., Monterey, 646-9244
For well over twenty years, club owner Brooke Lewis has catered to the dance community, always keeping on top of the newest and latest trends in dance music. The club''s upstairs location in the heart of Monterey offers quite a view at night. A prime spot to go to for a great time. Once you mount the stairs, you can choose between a large dance floor/bar on your right or a smaller, more intimate bar on your left. The state of the art sound system will let you feel the music throughout your body and, when you need a break, you can just step out onto a glass-covered patio and gaze over the city lights.
Runner-up: Planet Gemini, Monterey
Best New Band
The instrument is a musician''s tool. Or is it the other way around? By themselves, they are nothing, but put them together and watch out. When Sean Michael White (formerly of Nectar of the Gods) put a new band together called Juice, he, along with Justin Saunders, Mitch Fadem and Charlie Sutter, had his work cut out for him. The band has been praised for its high-energy, clean-cut rock ''n'' roll sound and catchy melodies from the start, but only relentless work brought them to where they are today. Take a bow guys, you deserve it.
Best Venue for Jazz
Cibo Ristorante Italiano
301 Alvarado St., Monterey, 649-8151
Just like last year, Cibo is the favorite hangout for jazz lovers throughout MoCo. Junior interprets your votes as support for Cibo favorites such as Tony Miles, Al James and Joe Lucido--and also great Italian food. Love does go through the stomach, and delighting in a good meal amidst pleasant surroundings marks the sure way to a great evening.
Runner-up: The Jazz Store (now known as the Jazz and Blues Co.), Carmel
Best Local Band or Musician
Red Beans and Rice
Although they don''t play quite as many gigs in town as they used to, RB&R still remains the top choice in local audiences'' hearts. The band''s mix of original and cover songs, delivered with a definite West Coast sensibility, has attracted attention in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and in Tahoe. The six-man outfit--Justin Christiansen, Sherman Lee Davis, Gil Rubio, Terrence Kelly, Sean Spurr, Jeff Marshal--is one of the steadiest bands in the area, always delivering an upbeat performance whether it''s at a nightclub or a special event.
Best Local Actor/ Best Local Hero
As more than one reader wrote, "Well, duh..." The man-with-no-name has a big name in these parts and, whether you like his pro-development politics or not, you have to admit that he''s a performer deserving of admiration. From his early days as a pretty boy cowpoke on "Rawhide" through his days as the nameless drifter in spaghetti westerns and tough-cop Dirty Harry, through to his kinder, gentler roles in Bronco Billy, Any Which Way But Loose and, perhaps most remarkably, in The Bridges of Madison County, Eastwood has proven himself a versatile, durable actor. (And a director with a definite vision, as well.)
Runner-up Hero: Leon Panetta
Best Local Actress
Although it''s been 40-some years since Doris Day''s Hollywood heyday, local audiences still remember her fresh-faced charm as if it was yesterday. A star at approximately the same time as Marilyn Monroe, the two played roles that were almost polar opposites. Where there was an earthy sensuality underlying almost everything that Monroe did, there always seemed to be something wholesome and thoughtful about Day''s characters. Apparently, those qualities, too, are memorable.
Cannery Row & Hoffman Avenue, Monterey, 373-0611
There''s nothing better than a refreshing (and uplifting) margarita on a hot summer day. Whoever thought of creating a drink where the rim of the glass is salted? What a great idea. According to Junior (who developed something of a taste for tequila during his days in Mexico, riding with Pancho Villa), El Torito is where it''s at as far as the slushy, sweet and sour drink is concerned. But, let''s not forget the great happy hour, friendly staff and stunning ocean view. After all, it takes more than a perfect margarita to make a perfect night out on the town.
Runner-up: Baja Cantina, Carmel Valley
474 Alvarado St., Monterey, 645-9036
Martinis conjure up pictures of classic movies, where elegant, graceful women ask elegant, courteous gentlemen to fix them a martini. There are books dedicated entirely to the art of creating the perfect martini, the dryer the better. Junior, who is himself skilled in the art of shaking--not stirring--the potent potable, found the best martini (as well as one of the most happening scenes) in town at Lallapalooza.
Runner-up: Cibo Ristorante, Monterey
Best Place to Shoot Pool
Blue Fin Caf & Billiards
685 Cannery Row, Monterey, 375-7000
It probably wasn''t very hard to predict this one. If you are a pool player, you might have a hard time choosing your favorite from an abundance of antique and modern pool tables. The bar will take care of your thirst and hunger with a healthy assortment of various refreshments, and the roomy bar offers live music Thursday through Sunday--and a balcony where you can give yourself to your smoking habit shamelessly. Its central location on Cannery Row marks the perfect start or end of a night on the town.
Runner-up: Bosso''s, Monterey
Best Sports Bar
Characters Sports Bar & Grill
Marriott Hotel, 350 Calle Principal, Monterey, 647-4023
A destination spot for travellers staying at the Marriott, as well as for locals, Characters offers a dozen television sets and a big screen so that sports fans of every type are guaranteed a view of their favorite game. They also serve up some genuinely good grub along with a full bar of beverages, thereby creating a sports fan''s heaven.
Runner-up: Knuckles, Monterey
Best Theater to Watch a Movie
Galaxy 6 Cinemas
280 Del Monte Center, Monterey, 655-4617
With its fiber-art murals inside each theater, high-quality sound and projection systems, comfy seating and six screens to choose from, it''s easy to see why Weekly readers have chose Galaxy 6 as the best theater in which to see a movie. Junior, a movie buff from way back, was unavailable to comment on the Galaxy 6--he was too busy scrying in a bucket of pond water, trying to divine what may happen to the Galaxy if the proposed 16-screen theater actually opens at Del Monte Center.
Runner-up: The Dream Theater, Monterey
Best Venue to See a Live Performance
Outdoor Forest Theater
Mountain View and Santa Rita streets, Carmel
If you haven''t yet seen a performance at the Outdoor Forest Theater, do yourself a favor and get tickets for one of the shows presented this summer by either the Forest Theater Guild or Pacific Repertory Theater. It almost doesn''t matter what show you choose, or how well it''s performed. The Outdoor Forest provides plenty of drama by itself. Pine trees form the backdrop for the open-air theater, which dates back to near the turn of the century, and two large fire pits--which provide warmth, as well as atmosphere, on foggy Carmel nights--anchor the opposite sides of the apron. Show up early to the play and bring a picnic dinner--the atmosphere is always casual and convivial. Sometime before the show starts, walk all the way up to the back row of the audience, and look down on the stage, nestled between trees and fireplaces, with fog providing a blanket for the stage or the first stars opening their eyes in anticipation of the show. The poetry of the scene is enough to send shivers down your back.