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Jan 27th
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Music

beer STELLA

Love Your Local Band

Cruzmatik

Cruzmatik

Rapper Reggie Stephens, also known as Famouz, and Ribsy’s Nickel frontman Jason “J-willz” Williams go way back—all the way to 1990 when the two played basketball at Santa Cruz High School. And with that longtime friendship serving as the creative nucleus, the two have launched a fresh musical collaboration called Cruzmatik. After high school, Stephens went to Rutgers University in New Jersey, played football for the New York Giants, and then recorded as a hip-hop artist for a spell in Los Angeles. Williams, on the other hand, toured California for more than a decade with Ribsy’s Nickel and shook up local venues with the band’s signature surf/reggae/rock.

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Features

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

Gold Standard Chorus supports youth music programs with annual concert benefit

It’s actually pretty miraculous what they pull off,” says Alice Hughes, choir teacher and Visual & Performing Arts Chair at Pacific Collegiate School, regarding “Sing For Your Life,” the annual concert benefit put on by the Gold Standard Barbershop Chorus. “And the fact that they’re doing it out of their love for music and a desire to keep music strong in schools—the kids really recognize and appreciate that.”

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Love Your Local Band

Colin Gailey

Colin Gailey

When Guitar Center launched its “Master Satriani” contest in July, more than 600 hopefuls sent in a video of themselves playing lead guitar over a track by multiple Grammy nominee Joe Satriani, for a chance to take a master class with the legend himself. The 10 winners spanned from New Jersey to Texas, but when Santa Cruz contestant Colin Gailey received a call letting him know that he had won, he was taken by surprise. “My first thought was that perhaps I had missed a payment on one of my bills,” he says with a laugh.

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Features

Out Of This World

Out Of This World

Experimental folk band, Other Lives, takes listeners to Mars and back

Imagine yourself immersed in the soothing tenor of some indie-folk crooner wistfully cooing over acoustic guitar and player piano punctuation marks. What do you see? An endless sea of golden grass, waving in the wind? Or do you see rugged, snow-capped peaks, speckled with evergreen stubble?

What about the barren surface of Mars?

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Love Your Local Band

The Wild Ones

The Wild Ones

Down the street from a pumpkin patch in the Harvey West area of Santa Cruz is the rehearsal space for The Wild Ones, Santa Cruz’s all-girl lo-fi rockers. Young, tattooed and awesome, the girls are huddled outside smoking, cracking a tall libation, and excited about their upcoming Halloween show at The Crepe Place, where they will be dressed as and play songs by The Ramones. “The Wild Ones love old garage rock like The Sonics, old surf rock and old all-girl groups,” says Rachael, the band’s drummer-turned-guitarist, who will be channeling Johnny Ramone on Oct. 31.

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Features

In The Army Now

In The Army Now

Tiger Army’s Nick 13 has earned his stripes

Back when I was a teenager in the small town of Ukiah, Calif., a friend of mine was always telling me I reminded him of a guy he knew—some guitar player named Nick. “I’ll bet you guys would have a lot to talk about,” he said more than once.

One night I found myself at a party, locked in a friendly argument with someone I’d never met before. Skipping the formality of introducing ourselves to each other, we had launched into a fun, lively talk about pop culture. In the middle of it all, my friend walked past us, interjecting, “By the way, this is Nick.”

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Love Your Local Band

Whoolilicious

Whoolilicious

For 37-year-old multi-instrumentalist/composer/looper John Whoolilurie—aka one-man funk/Latin/jazz band, Whoolilicious—music holds a hefty weight in his life. More than a metaphor for his passion, that weight manifests itself in the form of his “looptility belt-pack”—“I took some looping pedals and put them on a belt, [for] easier, portable performance,” explains Whoolilurie—and his 9-month-old son, whom he carries while rehearsing.

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Features

Harder, Better, Faster, Wooster

Harder, Better, Faster, Wooster

Local band sets its sights on Guam, then the world

On the eve of Wooster’s CD release show, GT spoke with rhythm guitarist/vocalist Brian Gallagher about the local band’s new album, If All The Dew Were Diamonds, their popularity overseas, and the inspirations behind their rock/soul/reggae amalgam.

GOOD TIMES: I hear Wooster’s going to Guam…

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Love Your Local Band

Ancestree

Ancestree

Since its inception three years ago, Ancestree has not only become a favorite in the local reggae scene, but also a Santa Cruz icon. Stickers bearing the band’s name can be found throughout town—from telephone poles, to cars, to bar stools, to bathroom stalls—and their signature yellow school bus makes them hard to miss. The brainchild of vocalist/lead guitarist Tom Maimon and vocalist/guitarist Tomas Gomez—“We are like two wings of the same bird,” says Maimon—Ancestree has been on three tours in support of three albums in its short history.

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Features

The Comeback Kid

The Comeback Kid

Santa Cruz’s own Chris Rene unveils debut album          

Speaking over the phone from Los Angeles on Friday, Sept. 20, Chris Rene was proud to announce that he had been sober for “17 months and one day.” It’s a huge accomplishment for the garbage collector-turned-musician, who was battling a drug and alcohol addiction less than two years ago. “It feels good to be clear-minded and to be there for my son and my family,” he says. “It feels good to be present.”

But that’s not the only thing Rene’s celebrating these days.

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Love Your Local Band

Time Spent Driving

Time Spent Driving

Though born in San Jose and raised in Ben Lomond, Jon Cattivera is now a mountain man of Boulder Creek and the steering force behind Time Spent Driving. Originally one of the rotating cast of guitar players for seminal Santa Cruz punk outfit Fury 66, Cattivera started playing in bands when he was 15 years old. “My first band was called Illiterate—a pop-punk type band—which is how I got recruited into Fury,” he says. Time Spent Driving, which spearheaded the indie/emo/rock sound in the Santa Cruz area, was Cattivera’s baby from the beginning.

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Love Your Local Band

Nora Cruz

Nora Cruz

Manager, roadie, singer, booker and promoter Nora Cruz enters the room like a woman in pursuit of a noble mission. With high heels and a short skirt, Cruz is a head turner—and, full of passion about her new CD, Six is Enough, recorded with her band, the Nora Cruz Sextet. “It’s my first CD in 26 years,” Cruz says with a laugh. After studying opera in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wis. for several years, the big-voiced vixen visited Santa Cruz in 1985 when she was 22 years old.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.