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Aug 29th
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Features

Braving the Unknown

Braving the Unknown

The Apache Relay explores new sonic territory on third album

When it came time to record its third album, The Apache Relay made the bold decision to shake things up a bit. The self-titled release, which arrives April 22, marks a departure from the pop/indie-rock sound which characterized the Nashville band’s sophomore album, 2011’s American Nomad, and earned the band a spot in the lineup on Mumford & Sons’ wildly popular Gentlemen of the Road Tour in 2012.

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Love Your Local Band

Jack Bowers

Jack Bowers

Jack Bowers has had an impressive career so far. The local musician first entered the scene in the 1970s with electric folk-rock band Oganookie. “We used to play at the old Catalyst, where Bookshop Santa Cruz is now, every Saturday night,” Bowers recalls. Back then, there were far fewer bands in the area, so steady gigs and a loyal following weren’t hard to find. “Our band lived up on a commune up in Brookdale in the San Lorenzo Valley,” he says. “We used to gig with Asleep at the Wheel and Commander Cody—we knew how to have fun.”

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Features

She’s Got the Blues

She’s Got the Blues

Tierney Sutton takes on the Joni Mitchell catalog

Tierney Sutton’s most recent album, After Blue, was a long time coming. Specifically, more than two decades long. But given that the album is Sutton’s take on various songs from the Joni Mitchell catalog, she was not about to rush into anything.

“The moment I began singing professionally, people began suggesting Joni Mitchell's music to me, so this project was brewing on some level for 25 or 30 years,” Sutton says. “But I knew that Joni's music was complex, serious, and not to be approached without some deep knowledge.”

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Love Your Local Band

Sea Knight

Sea Knight

For the four members of sea knight, it is all about making music. Not rock music. Not pop music. Just music. “Whatever we write is whatever we write,” explains guitarist Patrick Andrews. “Musically, we come from all angles.” That unique approach has a lot to do with the San Francisco- and Santa Cruz-based band’s influences, which Andrews says run the gamut, and help him and his bandmates—Linda Sao (vocals/guitar/piano), Cory Aboud (drums), and Sami Hiromi (bass/violin)—keep an open mind creatively.

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Features

Switched On

Switched On

Shpongle’s extraterrestrial electronica brings psychedelic music full circle

Four decades ago, Pink Floyd unveiled what was arguably history’s first psychedelic trance song: a synthesizer-driven instrumental called “On the Run.” Listening to that piece today, it isn’t difficult to imagine Pink Floyd as electronic music’s answer to Marty McFly, the time-traveler who played rock music for a pre-rock and roll audience in Back to the Future. “In times ahead, psychedelic music will be played on electronic instruments,” the band seemed to be saying. “Your grandkids are gonna love this stuff.”

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Love Your Local Band

Nick Gallant

Nick Gallant

You’ve probably heard Nick Gallant’s work, whether you knew it at the time or not. In addition to being the audio director for Disney Mobile, Gallant has made music for TV, films and video games, including Guitar Hero. In the mid-2000s, the game developers for Guitar Hero enlisted the help of Wave Group Sound, an audio production studio in Fremont, Calif, where Gallant was working as an audio engineer, producer and composer, to record covers.

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Features

Wide-Eyed Wonders

Wide-Eyed Wonders

Dr. Dog seeks out surprises on latest album

Generally speaking, when it comes time for a band to make an album, they have an idea of what they want it to sound like. They might noodle around in the studio a bit, but for the most part, there is little doubt about the direction they plan to go in. Rockers Dr. Dog, however, took a totally different approach with their most recent album, B Room.

“Normally, we have a stack of demos that everyone sifts through and a lot of times those demos are pretty fleshed out with full arrangements,” says Scott McMicken, the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist. “But this time, we didn’t put any songs on the table. We played, we wrote, and we hung out. We played, we wrote, and we hung out some more, and we recorded pretty much all of it that way.”

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Love Your Local Band

The Harmony Honeys

The Harmony Honeys

After an eight-month hiatus, The Harmony Honeys, a local old-time bluegrass band, are back in action. And vocalist Chelsea Curtin couldn’t be more excited. “It’s been a little while since we played out and about,” she says. “But we’re happy to be out on the scene again.” During their time off, Curtin moved to San Francisco for a new job, and bandmate Becky Hendricks (vocals, fiddle, guitar) spent some time playing with other bands. But fate has brought The Harmony Honeys back together, and their upcoming show at The Crepe Place will be a special one.

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Love Your Local Band

The Red Light District

The Red Light District

The Red Light District isn’t your grandmother’s band—unless, of course, your grandmother happened to see The Doors perform at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles in 1966. The local four-piece’s rock music swirls with a grinding groove and is punctuated by lead singer Steve Sam’s poetic lyricism, guttural cries and leather pants. Sam and lead guitarist Galdino Guijosa (aka Nano) went to high school together in Salinas, but the two didn’t dream of forming a band until they found themselves living together years later in Monterey. According to the wild-haired Sam, the move to Santa Cruz a few years ago was inevitable.

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Features

Big, Dark Dreams

Big, Dark Dreams

Bonnie & the BANG BANG is determined to go big, or go home

Bonnie & the BANG BANG is ready to take its music to the masses. Armed with its first full-length album, 2013’s The Dark Dream, and a plan to start touring indefinitely, the Bay Area indie rock band is going all-in in an effort to increase its fan base. Jacob Dineen, the guitarist, mandolinist and banjo player, spoke to GT about the new album, the changes to the lineup, and what this tour of theirs will look like.

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Love Your Local Band

Midnite Mojo

Midnite Mojo

For Marissa Valera and her brother, Millard, the act of listening can be a wellspring of inspiration for songwriting. Many of the lyrics they write for their local band, Midnite Mojo, are autobiographical, but they also get ideas from observations and other people’s stories. “[Sometimes we] listen to people when we go out, and hear their stories and think, ‘That guy’s story sounds like a pretty cool song—we could totally write that,’” Marissa says. The band began as a duo in 2007, with Marissa on guitar/vocals and Millard singing and playing upright bass.

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Features

Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

Muriel Anderson’s new double album puts a rockin’ spin on children’s lullabies

A lot can happen in 25 years. Just ask Muriel Anderson. In 1989, the guitarist/harp-guitarist released her debut album, Heartstrings, and became the first woman to ever win the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship. Since then, she has been part of more than three dozen albums, compilations, DVDs and music books, and her music was featured in the Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.