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Mar 02nd
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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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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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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia