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May 22nd
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Features

Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts

Amidst adversity Tristan Prettyman reconnects with music and soars

After nearly eight years of recording and touring, singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman found herself in a terrible position: She no longer had any interest in music. “I got really burnt out and I just took a break from music all together,” she says. “It was supposed to be just like a year or six months that ended up turning into almost four years.”

Luckily for fans, all of Prettyman’s disinterest in music evaporated the morning she went into surgery to remove the polyps from her vocal cords that threatened her career.

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Love Your Local Band

Something Collective

Something Collective

Strip away the religious ramifications of reggae music and it comes down to love and respect for all things. This is the starting block for Luke Kinney, guitarist, lead vocalist and founder of Something Collective, a 10-piece roots reggae band, featuring three horns, keyboards, percussionists, a drummer, bassist and guitarists, that has been performing since 2011. “We have multiple musicians if somebody cannot make a show; I have people on standby that know all the songs,” Kinney exclaims.

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Features

Examining Exhibitionism

Examining Exhibitionism

San Francesca turns off the computer, flips on the synths, takes a look in the mirror 

Examining the cover of San Francesca’s latest release, you might observe that the nine, evenly spaced square images—which, in turn, form a larger square—were taken using the popular photo-sharing application Instagram. You’d be wrong.

“None of us own a smart phone,” shrugs Cody Rhodes, drummer for the San Jose-based alt-rock trio, as he sits behind his kit in the band’s Campbell rehearsal space. San Francesca is practicing for a short string of upcoming shows in San Francisco, Las Vegas and at The Crepe Place on Jan. 13, with Moon Eater and E V Kain (members of Hella, Cigar and Broken Bells).

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Love Your Local Band

Rushad Eggleston

Rushad Eggleston

Like many classically trained musicians, Rushad Eggleston started playing music at a young age, picking up the violin at 3 and moving to the cello at age 8. But unlike many classical musicians, he straps his instrument to his body like an enormous guitar, and occasionally hangs from the ceiling—if the situation calls for it. “It was a huge deal,” says Eggleston, remembering the first time he played the cello with a strap while standing. “I mean can you imagine? I guess it’s like a bird realizing it had wings.” Following Eggleston’s epiphany, it didn’t take long for him to bring his new technique to the stage, first with his rock band, Tornado Rider, and then solo.

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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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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival