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Oct 02nd
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Music

beer STELLA


Love Your Local Band

The Ghost of Wrights

The Ghost of Wrights

Straight out of the Santa Cruz Mountains, The Ghost of Wrights are a manifestation of the spirits of a time and place forgotten by many. “We tend to write about the late 1800s—we’re big storytellers,” says Nate Nauseda, vocalist and guitarist for the band. “We both live a stone’s throw away from Wrights Station, which is an old train depot in the Santa Cruz mountains,” adds banjo and dulcimer player Cody Franks. “Some of those people—and their ghosts—are still around ... we are trying to embody the spirit of [that] area.” Informed by a wide range of influences, The Ghost of Wrights balance the twang of plucked banjo against Andrew Martin’s thumping, jazzy bass and the mellow driving drums of Brandon Otto.

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Features

Sliding Doors

Sliding Doors

The Doors’ Ray Manzarek and slide guitar virtuoso Roy Rogers on performing, grasping the infinite moment and teaching Jim Morrison to sing

You have to give Ray Manzarek credit for helping keep the memory of The Doors alive. He’s not afraid to pay homage to his own history by putting out a movie and soundtrack called Love Her Madly, nor is he above reenacting his days as The Doors’ keyboardist in a spoof by Weird Al. And if he wants to tour with a Jim Morrison impersonator from a Doors tribute act (as he does in the band Manzarek-Kreiger, also featuring his old bandmate Robby Krieger), he’s not going to let the jeers of fans, Morrison’s relatives and former Doors drummer John Densmore stop him.

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Features

Far From Catatonic

Far From Catatonic

The Brothers Comatose craft high-energy indie bluegrass

Though the moniker, chord changes and twangy, lamenting storyline might seem similar, The Brothers Comatose have carved out a sound all their own among the brotherhood of “brothers” folk bands.

And besides, singer/guitarist Ben Morrison says that he and his band are simply following in the footsteps of a deeply rooted American tradition.

“I don’t worry about it,” says Morrison, who had just wrapped a rehearsal in Petaluma—one of the band’s two practice spots (the other is in San Francisco). “I think that’s part of the tradition of everything—the whole family band.”

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Love Your Local Band

Doors To No Where

Doors To No Where

Marc Lewis, guitarist and founder of Santa Cruz rock outfit Doors To No Where, is somewhat elusive about the band’s moniker. “The name really came from the idea of being different, intuitive and into exploration. It's very open to interpretation,” says Lewis, who has just returned to the scene after taking several years off. “When I started to play music again it was after being down some dark paths and getting lost a bit,” he explains. “The name Doors To No Where is a reminder of that.”

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Love Your Local Band

Kendra McKinley

Kendra McKinley

Next month, Santa Cruz will bid adieu to one of its most promising singer/songwriters, Kendra McKinley, when she graduates from the music program at UC Santa Cruz. Once school is over, the 21-year-old Aptos native will set off on a sailboat adventure to Mexico with two of her friends, before moving to Boulder County, Colo., where the three women intend to start performing as a band. Santa Cruz won’t be left empty-handed, however. McKinley leaves behind her recently released debut album, Chestnut Street—an impressive collection of poetic and autobiographical songs she wrote while attending UCSC and performing at local venues.

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Features

Home For The Holidays

Home For The Holidays

Los Altos alt-rockers, Dredg, to play sophomore record for family of fans

The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry with the ones you know and love; a time to reunite with friends and family who have spent the rest of the year apart—busy with their jobs, their day-to-day household obligations and working on new material for another major-label record and supporting international tour.

Though you might presume so, Los Altos alt-rock outfit Dredg isn’t all that different from their followers. Like most of us, as the New Year draws nigh, we want to be close to hearth and home.

On Dec. 21, the boys from just over the hill will perform their second full-length album, 2002’s El Cielo, from start to finish at The Catalyst. The show is a celebration, according to Dredg frontman Gavin Hayes—both of the album’s 10-year anniversary and for the local fans that have been dedicated to the band since they first formed in the mid-‘90s.

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Features

Still Smokin’

Still Smokin’

You don’t have to be high to appreciate High On Fire’s music…but it helps

If Matt Pike has an official mission statement, it might well be Dopesmoker, the one-song album he helped create during his days as guitarist for the ’90s doom metal band Sleep. An epic tale about a caravan of marijuana worshippers taking bong rips as they march through Jerusalem (“Follow the smoke to the riff-filled land …”), Dopesmoker found the band stretching out what was essentially a single musical idea for more than an hour, with Pike making only occasional, momentary departures from a menacing C power chord.

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Love Your Local Band

Carolyn Sills

Carolyn Sills

“It’s the day before the end of the world, so we want this to be a night that everyone will remember,” jokes Carolyn Sills, in reference to the date of her holiday concert, “Santa Is Real: A 1950s Christmas Spectacular,” which kicks off on Dec. 20 at Don Quixote’s. The annual event is the pride and joy of the Chicago-born bassist/singer, who moved to Santa Cruz three years ago.

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Features

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride

Kevin Morby of The Babies invites you on his rock ’n’ roller coaster

The day before Thanksgiving, Kevin Morby was pacing outside of a Guitar Center and talking on the phone, in Des Moines, Iowa, while the rest of The Babies purchased strings for their show hours later.

It was a strangely low-key afternoon for the 24-year-old singer/guitarist, who recently finished touring with his other band, Woods, in celebration of their September folk rock treasure, Bend Beyond.

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Love Your Local Band

Marya Stark

Marya Stark

Though she had only intended to record an acoustic album, Marya Stark soon found herself helpless—adding strings, then woodwinds, then a worldly array of percussion and all sorts of bells and whistles—until she emerged, more than a year later, with a fully blown, detail-oriented studio production. But what else would you expect from a woman with such a deep passion for music that she has managed to squeeze two careers out of banging drums and strumming strings? Who was she really fooling trying to get in and out of the studio so quickly? "I wanted to do a full proper studio album, and make it sound luscious and cinematic and awesome,"

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Features

Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love

The Punch Brothers flip traditional bluegrass on its head

 

More than one hundred years ago, the songs and instruments of immigrants melded into a new American sound, known as bluegrass, that resounded throughout the Appalachian mountain range. But in the last 40 years, bluegrass has mutated to encompass every other musical genre by adding a frenetic twang. So, when the Punch Brothers launch into a bluegrass version of a Radiohead song, audiences release a collective gasp—not at the audacity, but rather at the band’s profound musicianship, technical mastery and quick pace.

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Love Your Local Band

Wasted Noise

Wasted Noise

Hector Hurtado, rhythm guitarist and co-founder of Wasted Noise, says he will do whatever it takes to keep the band’s nine-year legacy intact and moving forward. Over the years, the reggae/rock/ska outfit has seen the departure of three singers and four drummers and had to adapt accordingly, but they’ve made it through, and continue to enliven audiences around their hometown of Salinas and the wider Monterey Bay. “Losing members has been hard for the band, but we've always been able to keep this alive,” says Hurtado, who originally formed the group with brothers Ruben and Hank Macias, on lead guitar and bass.

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On the Waterfront

As the wharf celebrates its centennial, a personal reflection on its essential place in Santa Cruz’s history

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Melinda’s

New Capitola bakery takes gluten-free goods to the next level

 

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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”