Hot List

Posted online: December 2011

Director/producer Jason Reitman on the set of Young Adult.

Director/producer Jason Reitman on the set of Young Adult.

Young Adult

Charlize Theron plays a whiskey-swilling young-adult novel author who, down on her luck, returns to her hometown to try to win back her high school boyfriend.

Some people never grow up—especially the leading lady in Santa Barbara-bred director Jason Reitman’s newest release, Young Adult. Reitman’s second collaboration with screenwriter Diablo Cody, the movie follows Mavis Gary (played by Charlize Theron) as she struggles to leave her divorce behind and reconnect with teenage drama and high school sweetheart Buddy Slade (played by Patrick Wilson) in small-town Minnesota. Along the way, she runs into former classmate Matt Freehauf > (Patton Oswalt) and realizes coming home isn’t as easy as she had hoped it would be. With all of the quips and humor Reitman’s films—Thank You for Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air—are known for, Young Adult reminds you what it’s like to be young and in love.


Ventura-based Colbie Caillat’s third album, All of You, shows a maturity in style, though the first single, “I do,” continues to ccfuse the optimistic lyrics and catchy, feel-good tunes she’s known for. Since her 2007 multiplatinum debut album Coco, Caillat has created music that epitomizes a sun-filled southern California experience. All of You’s bright vocals and laid-back acoustic guitar riffs create the perfect beachside listening.

• While most high school grads are packing up and preparing for college, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Haddon Cord is pursuing her life-long goal of being on stage. The 18-year-old Montecito resident and Cate School alumna self-released her debut album ($9.99) last spring under the guidance of Supertramp guitarist Carl Verheyen. A mix between pop-rock and country, Cord’s album is full of inspiring anthems and is just a small taste of what’s to come.• A collaboration of local reggae all-stars, Cornerstone mixes Rastafarian roots with modern hip-hop beats on their self-released Run to the Hills ($8.99), transforming the Central Coast into a Jamaican getaway.

Haddon Cord

Haddon Cord

House of Wolves—singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Rey Villalobos’s solo project—brings together poeticism and melody in the debut album Fold in the Wind ($11). Compared to the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith, the harmony of Villalobos’s gentle voice, rhythmic lyrics, and musical accompaniment are inspired by Frédéric Chopin and prove to be equally as hypnotizing as the tunes of the famed pianist. • Santa Barbara’s own Gardens & Villa released their self-titled debut album (Secretly Canadian, $13.39) last July. The indie-rock quintet combines soulful pop-synth with the whimsical sound of front man Chris Lynch’s flute to produce tracks evoking California charm. • Ventura natives Tall Tales & the Silver Lining’s fifth LP Nice To Meet You Again (Beehouse Records, $5.99), is a psychedelic blend of folk, rock, and pop with carefree cuts featuring violins, horns, and synthesizers. • After relocating from the coasts of Santa Barbara to the streets of New York, Tommy & The High Pilots perform their songbook on their latest acoustic album, Sawhorse Sessions (Redbird Records, $5.94). The LP is the group’s third release and is a raw masterpiece. • With no formal musical training but a love for art, The Spires—bassist Catelyn Kindred, guitarist Bryan Russell, drummer Colleen Coffey, and singer/guitarist Jason Bays—have stirred the local music scene with their old jazz and ’60s pop beats since 2006. Their own record label, Beehouse Records, brings us their seventh album, Forever City Chorus (from $10)—11 songs inspired by the likes of David Bowie and The Kinks as well their passion for the environment and animals.

Erland Wanberg

Erland Wanberg

Erland Wanberg has made his solo debut with the folk-driven, self-released All I’ve Got ($5). Inspired by the works of Bob Dylan and John Lennon, his collection of songs is a combination of memorable melodies and eloquent lyrics produced by Andrew McMahon—front man of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate.


booksCelebrity marketing pioneer Susan J. Ashbrook’s Will Work for Shoes (Greenleaf, $23) offers entrepreneurs invaluable field-tested advice on how to harness star power on the competitive red carpet. • Santa Barbara Museum of Art director Larry Feinberg brings new insight to the mind of a young Leonardo DaVinci and develops a clear view of how the artist was influenced by living in Florence, Italy, during the Renaissance era with The Young Leonardo: Art and Life in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Cambridge University Press, $95). • Local marriage and family therapist Jude Bijou emphasizes honoring one’s emotions as the key to leading a fulfilled life in her practical spiritual handbook Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life (Riviera, $17). • New York Times bestselling author and UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology Brian Fagan’s Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind (Bloomsbury, $28) provides an enlightening and thought-provoking glimpse into the past and future of the cornerstone of every human society. • Whether you’re a serious connoisseur, casual sipper, or novice taster, local wine aficionados Philip Goldsmith and Michael Cervin’s Moon California Wine Country (Moon Travel Guides, $22) provides the inside scoop on how to plan your next trip—from a leisurely weekend getaway to wine-focused tours of a region—and experience the bounty of the Golden State like never before. • Mystery and corruption fill the pages of Sue Grafton’s latest Alphabet Series installment V is for Vengeance (G.P Putnam’s Sons, $27.95). When a private investigator stumbles upon a shoplifting case, she quickly finds herself entangled in a complicated web of suicides, marital infidelity, murder, and the sweetness of revenge. • Expanding on the detailed journal she kept during her teenage daughter’s courageous battle with lupus, Santa Barbara-based Randy Gross’s first book, Mermaid out of Water (Summerland, $17), is an inspiring portrait of unimaginable pain, learned patience, and determined perseverance. • Portraying the glamour of old Shanghai and the Forbidden City through an unexpected lens—the eyes of a young eunuch—Beverley Jackson’s The Beautiful Lady Was a Palace Eunuch (CreateSpace, $13) illuminates ancient Chinese traditions and culture as the protagonist fights for survival. • Santa Barbara resident captain Karen Kahn’s Flight Guide for Success: Tips and Tactics for the Aspiring Airline Pilot (Cheltenham, $20) offers candid answers to many crucial pilot career questions in an unprecedented way, making it a must-have for any aspiring aviator. • Karen Sinsheimer, curator of photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, writes the fore-word for Ruth Bernhard’s The Eternal Body: A Collection of Fifty Nudes (Chronicle, $35)—a profound array of images of the female form taken by one of the 20th century’s most talented photographers. • Journey through the Pacific Rim with American merchant captain Jeremiah Macy Hammond in Thomas Steinbeck’s latest novel The Silver Lotus (Counterpoint, $25). Forging his trading empire through pirates, storms, and illnesses, Hammond’s voyage eventually leads to Lady Yee—the prized daughter of a Cantonese merchant family—at which point he begins a new adventure of love and life on the California waterfront. • Santa Barbara nonprofit humane organization All for Animals covers the range of feelings animals share in likeness to humans in its first children’s book, Animals Have Feelings, Too! ($9.95). Youngsters follow Sandy the Lab along certified humane education specialist/local writer Karen Lee Stevens‘s whimsical adventure that takes them from “A is for Affectionate” to “Z is for Zonked.” • A celebration of the growing DIY lifestyle, National Geographic Traveler’s founding editor/Santa Barbara writer Joan Tapper’s Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In (Crown, $23) gives insights and tips from the pioneers behind the grassroots phenomenon. • With more than 180 stunning photographs, Leslie Westbrook’s A Century of Success: A Future of Possibilities (Boehm Group, $25) commemorates Santa Barbara City College’s 100th anniversary by lively detailing its history and honoring the people who have made it one of the nation’s premier community colleges.

Sandy hill

–Megan Meyer, Megan Pouliot, and Casey Reck

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