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Feb 11th
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The Shapes

music LYLB-The ShapesSWhen it comes to finding inspiration for their songs, Ashley Lloyd Thompson and Alex Thompson—who sing, write and play guitars in the band The Shapes—can look just about anywhere. “A lot of our songs are inspired by our environment, whether that’s the natural environment that we’re surrounded by here in Santa Cruz or longing for that environment,” Alex says. “We’ve written a few love songs too, and a couple of duets that revolve around hope or love.”

Ashley, for her part, loves the fact that you never quite know what you’re going to get from their songs when you first hear them. “It is a mixed bag,” she admits. “[The songs are] fairly diverse. Some of them come directly from real-life experiences and then are combined with other feelings.” Tracks like “Take Me Home” zero in on the band’s sometimes country-rock sound and their aforementioned penchant for writing love songs, and the laid-back folk of “Sky Pilot” shows how easygoing, lighthearted and fun the band’s music can be. The hybrid Americana rock and spaghetti Western-style country track “California Dinosaur” longs for a simpler time when trains were the kings of coastal transportation. Another more personal track, “Sailing Away,” takes the theme of longing even further. “It’s based on the story of my grandfather,” Alex says. “He left home when he was 14, back during The Great Depression. So I was just kind of thinking about his existence, and I guess it’s that idea of longing for something better and then constantly having that change as you grow.” Ashley sums up the band best when asked why music is so important to them. “I think it’s just a part of who we are,” she says. “For me, music’s just a natural outlet for expressing whatever might be inside me at a given moment.”


INFO: 9 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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