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Top of Topanga Overlook

Top of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga OverlookTop of Topanga Overlook

…More like top of the world overlook, or at least that’s how it feels on these crisp Santa Ana mornings.  There’s a dinky little park with some benches and native landscaping.  But let’s be serious, this place specializes in views and it’s doing a mighty fine job.



Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest

Topanga Banjo Fiddle ContestTopanga Banjo Fiddle Contest

Square DancingCalifornia Black Oak

In Thomas Turino’s book, Music as Social Life, he draws a distinction between old-time music in rural communities and old-time music among middle classes as a cultural cohort.  “…I am not suggesting that one is more authentic than the other,” Turino writes.  “The styles, practices, and values in both types of settings can be dicent articulations of the distinct cultural positions of participants and thus equally authentic.”

At the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest, one can expect pick-up jams beneath California Black Oaks to play covers ranging from “Hey Jude” to Hammons family tunes.  One can expect to peruse a craft bazaar through the set of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and to square dance in a barn so hot that strangers readily agree upon the nickname, “Bikram Square Dancing.” Yes, this festival celebrates Appalachian Mountain music in the Santa Monica Mountains with Angelino authenticity.

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