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Dec 28th
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Music

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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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Features

21st Century Mann

21st Century Mann

Voices of the ’80s carry through Aimee Mann’s latest solo release

There’s a reason Aimee Mann came in at No. 1 on Cracked.com’s list of “5 One-Hit Wonders Who Deserve Your Respect.” In the almost three decades since she and her New Wave/pop band ’Til Tuesday made a permanent mark on pop culture with the hit song “Voices Carry,” the renowned rock singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist has put out eight solo albums, played for President Barack Obama at the White House, earned Oscar and Grammy nominations for her song “Save Me,” and been named “one of the top 10 living songwriters along with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen” (NPR) as well as “one of the finest songwriters of her generation” (New York Times). But no amount of accolades can trump a potent cultural meme: To many, Mann will always be that lady with the cool hair who stood up and sang in a movie theater at the end of the “Voices Carry” video. 

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Features

The Son Will Shine

The Son Will Shine

Clint Eastwood’s son Kyle talks France, film and the Monterey Jazz Festival

Children of celebrities often find it difficult to emerge from the shadows of their parents and create their own unique light in the wilderness of fame. Kyle Eastwood, son of Clint, has bypassed the penumbra by relocating to France and performing at clubs and festivals with a smoking hot jazz band. And by sheer geography, Eastwood avoids hearing daily references to reality television shows and Republican National Convention speeches. Skyping in from Paris, France, where he has lived for the last seven years, the young Grammy-nominated composer and musician says, “That is a definite upside.”

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Love Your Local Band

Little Sister

Little Sister

It’s 8 p.m. on a Monday, and Nate Krohn, the charming frontman for rock quintet Little Sister—a six-piece, if you include his Italian-style moustache, named Giuseppe—still hasn’t done his laundry because he’s preoccupied with the band’s van. “It’s functional, but it has a fuel leak,” he says. “It might blow up.” Hardly defeated, Krohn confesses, “I just made an awesome steak though.” And therein lies the beauty of Little Sister, whose music is also characteristic of an awesome steak: flavorful, tough yet tender, and totally rare.

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Features

The Revivalists' Big Tent

The Revivalists' Big Tent

NOLA band combines multitude of genres for strong, singular sound

When asked about his group's name, David Shaw shrugs and deflects the question with a short story: "We needed a band name," the singer for The Revivalists says over a shaky cell phone connection from somewhere west of Wichita, Kan. The way Shaw tells it, his band came upon the moniker by chance.

Around the time the group was debating what to call themselves, one of his band mates happened to watch an episode of 60 Minutes in which Bruce Springsteen's live act was described as having an air of "revivalist fervor." The Boss, along with the phrase, seemed cool enough, they reasoned. So it stuck.

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Love Your Local Band

Sherry Austin & Henhouse

Sherry Austin & Henhouse

For local Americana sensation Sherry Austin and her new band Henhouse, it all started with an obsession with chickens. “I left my solo career when I realized that it felt so good to be playing with these fabulous musicians,” Austin says of her band mates, Tracy Parker, Patti Maxine and Sharon Allen. “I thought that this special great meeting had to be honored, and what better name could we come up with than one inspired by my muse: the chicken.”

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Features

Hot As Helsinki

Hot As Helsinki

Spencer Krug heats up with Finnish bandmates on second full-length

Before Spencer Krug comes to the United States to tour as Moonface—thus baring his recently broken heart for fans eager to hear his latest indie experiment, With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery—he reflects back on the solace he found, while surrounded by his Helsinki-bred backup band, Siinai, in a sauna in Finland.

Krug, associated with a remarkable roster of in-demand indie rock bands from his home country of Canada (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake), recalls one particularly influential sauna session that inspired the two minutes of instrumental, glitchy fuzz called “10,000 Scorpions.” The song is the sixth track off Heartbreaking Bravery, released in April.

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Features

Stop, Drop And Rock & Roll

Stop, Drop And Rock & Roll

Crushing death rock, self-immolation and … Hacky Sack circles? It’s all good fun for Arsonists Get All The Girls

hen you spend your life touring the world, boredom is your worst enemy. One way that the members of the local deathcore band Arsonists Get All The Girls fend off the dreaded ennui while they’re on the road is by starting Hacky Sack circles with the groups they gig with. “It’s kind of funny, ’cause you just see a bunch of metal dudes Hacky Sacking in the middle of a parking lot,” drummer Garin Rosen says with a laugh. “That just shows the sheer, ‘Whoa! What the f*** are we going to do?’”

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Love Your Local Band

Joe Ferrara

Joe Ferrara

You might know Joe Ferrara from his cameo in The Lost Boys, or as the Yoda figure at Atlantis Fantasyworld who knows everything about superheroes. Or maybe you know him as that guy at Shadowbrook who serenades you with Sinatra classics. The silver-haired celebrity began playing guitar at an early age, and has developed a loyal following in Santa Cruz in the last few decades. “My parents are Italian and they were pushing me towards accordion,” he recalls of his childhood. “There was a waiting list for lessons, and one day my mother said, ‘You were accepted for accordion lessons,’ and I said, ‘Ma, I want to play guitar.’”

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Features

Home Away From Home

Home Away From Home

Two artists pen a multimedia ‘love letter’ to Santa Cruz

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. And all music fans know that a great tune can convey sentiments words could never express. In that spirit, a pair of artists are joining together to create a wordless ode to the place they each love so much.

“Santa Cruz in Song and Image” is the title of the multimedia project, which Los Gatos guitarist Brian Gore and Marin painter Bill Russell are set to present at Kuumbwa Jazz on Thursday, Sept. 6.

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Love Your Local Band

Bonny Getz

Bonny Getz

Bonny Getz is a lot like Link, the mini protagonist of the Legend of Zelda videogame, who toils to obtain the Moon Pearl for protection in the Dark World. Similarly, the 5-foot-1 Capitola singer/songwriter sings “I need some bright moon pearls/so I can wear my worth,” in the title track off her debut album, Bright Moon Pearls, due for release Sept. 2. Getz, 44, doesn’t have a sword to battle tough times, instead she has her mesmerizing vocals and deliberate country/pop tunes.

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Features

Long Way Up

Long Way Up

Three Mile Pilot revels in uncertainty on new EP, ‘Maps’

San Diego, Calif.-based indie rock band Three Mile Pilot put fans at ease in 2010, when it re-emerged after a 13-year silence with an emotionally stirring 12-track LP, entitled The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten.

The album closer, “The Premonition,” has left a somewhat spooky impression to this day, not simply because of its booming piano and organ, but because of singer/guitarist Pall Jenkins’ pensive final lyrics: “I miss the sun.”

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her