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May 23rd
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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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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