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Dec 21st
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Music

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Love Your Local Band

Alex Raymond Band

Alex Raymond Band

People spend their whole lives perfecting their jazz chops. But for Santa Cruz pianist Alex Raymond, who fell in love with the genre only a year and a half ago, it’s been an accelerated process. Nowadays, he plays out with his trio, the Alex Raymond Band, five times a week at the Red Room (Wednesdays), the Blue Lagoon (Thursdays), Lulu Carpenter’s (Saturdays), the Tannery Arts Bar and Café (Sunday mornings), and Louie’s Cajun Kitchen (Sunday afternoons). The gigs started about the same time as his love affair for jazz began.

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Features

Why So Serious?

Why So Serious?

The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit makes the leap from party band to dedicated musicians

Chris Doud had no interest in starting a band when the group now known as the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit got together for their first show.

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Features

Into Deep

Into Deep

East Coast rap trailblazers Mobb Deep return to claim their legacy 

Not all hip-hop fans will recognize the name Mobb Deep, but chances are they’ve heard the pioneering New York duo’s beats sampled or lyrics quoted.

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Love Your Local Band

Bl'ast!

Bl'ast!

Once upon a time, hardcore meant shaved heads, circle pits and violent punk rock instead of coiffed hair, tight pants and melodies. Bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Battalion of Saints brought the kids out from Los Angeles and San Diego, but in Santa Cruz, all that mattered was Bl’ast!

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Love Your Local Band

Desmadre

Desmadre

The first thing a new listener might notice about Desmadre is its high-pitched lead rock guitar licks. But it’s the complex rhythms that make it stand out in Santa Cruz’s music scene.

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Features

What They Do

What They Do

The Shook Twins showcase adventurous side on new album

Despite being based out of Portland, the Shook Twins’ Laurie Shook says Santa Cruz holds a very special place in their hearts.

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Love Your Local Band

Tess Dunn

Tess Dunn

When Good Times last checked in with Tess Dunn in 2012, the local teenage pop-punk rocker already had an impressive resume.

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Features

Something Borrowed, Something New

Something Borrowed, Something New

U.K. band Temples worships old rock gods with an eye toward the future

Many bands form in small suburban towns, then move to the big city to stretch their wings and build a following. In other instances, the members find each other while bumming around the metropolis, working odd jobs to make ends meet. But for U.K. psychedelic revivalists Temples, the story is a bit different.

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Features

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day

Snowapple amps up its enchanting brand of pop-folk-opera

Though not available at your average grocery store, the Snow Apple does exist. Grown in Canada, the fruit is believed to be a relative of the abundant McIntosh.

“They’re apples that you pick very late in the year, so you pick them when it’s already snowing,” explains Una, one of three members of the Amsterdam pop-folk-opera trio Snowapple. “We really liked that image: the late apple, the last apple.”

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Love Your Local Band

A Thousand Shall Fall

A Thousand Shall Fall

When asked how he and his bandmates settled on the name A Thousand Shall Fall, lead guitarist Dan Johnston explains that the moniker comes from Psalms in the Old Testament. “It’s a biblical quote; it’s a creepy passage, but we’re not a religious band,” he says. “Every time we play there is lots of smiting. We’ve smited many crowds.” At first listen, the band screams “metal.” But, Johnston would argue that their sound is more complex. “We play something that is in between genre lines,” he explains.

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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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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire