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Apr 24th
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Love Your Local Band

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Amy Obenski

Amy Obenski

Amy Obenski is used to doing things out of order. She went to music school as a child, only to get a 9-to-5 job as an adult, which made her realize she wanted to forsake a steady paycheck in favor of making music. She's been doing that for 12 years now. But instead of working from her longtime home of Santa Cruz, she decided to fly to France three years ago and then work her way back. Since then, Obenski has built a transatlantic following devoted to her emotive, contemplative, folk-rock sound with the help of her new group, The Carbone Band, whom she met in France.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

For Marty O’Reilly and his band, The Old Soul Orchestra, there is nothing like playing live shows. “This is a very live-oriented band,” O’Reilly says. “We tend to have a lot of energy that we experience when we’re playing for a crowd, and that really makes us play our best.” The interplay between the band and the audience is evident on their 2012 self-titled live EP.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Stomping Grounds

Stomping Grounds

It’s been a bumpy road so far for Santa Cruz band Stomping Grounds. “All our recording equipment is in our garage, and in the middle of the night a pipe burst in our water heater and sprayed all our music equipment,” says Antonio Anzaldua, the band’s vocalist/guitarist. But despite this setback, the rock and soul group remains undaunted in its quest to record a full-length album.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Orangegoose

Orangegoose

For Jawsh Anderson and the other members of Santa Cruz’s own Orangegoose, the formation of the band was a long time coming, even if the band members didn’t know it. “We all started out as friends after we met in junior high in a P.E. class,” Anderson says. “We were all music lovers at the time, but we never actually played music together. Then 20 years passed and we all just happened to reconnect in the last few months and started to make some music together.” The band injects a heavy dose of grooves into its infectious brand of rock music. “Shut Up” is a lively, funky number, there is a tinge of the blues on “I Like It That Way,” and “Maybe We Can Make It” was literally made for the dance floor.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

The Beekeepers

The Beekeepers

For Elena Rossman and Olivia Radovich, music is anything but an insular experience, even if the songs they write tend to be autobiographical. Take, for example, their experience with Kickstarter, which they used to help fund The Beekeepers’ debut EP, a folk/alt-country effort called Hot Air. “The culture of the music industry is changing because of social media,” says Rossman (guitar/vocals).

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Fall Forward

Fall Forward

Jay Ward is not looking to become a big rock star who is all about “the cult of me.” For him, music is far too important for such shallow goals. “Music, to me, is the easiest way of expressing things that words alone can’t say,” says the 17-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist. “When I listen to a really good song or play a song I like, I feel like the world makes sense and I’m seeing it from a new perspective. That’s something I haven’t found anywhere else.”

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Noise Clinic

Noise Clinic

Nothing beats the sound of buzzing guitar feedback and pounding drums, pulsating bass and reverberating electric violin. Enter Noise Clinic, a band whose members have deep roots in Santa Cruz’s punk rock past. Vocalist/guitarist Tait Reed led Junk Sick Dawn in the ’90s. Bassist Joe Gabent was with Exploding Crustaceans and is now with SA90. Drummer Trevor McClain plays with local metal bands Grievance and Fiends at Feast. And Sayaka Yabuki adds electric violin, vocals and synths to the mix.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Murphy’s Wagon

Murphy’s Wagon

For Vanessa MacDowell, music is a godsend. “I lost my mom when I was 13, and my youngest brother passed away in 2009, so I’ve dealt with a lot of loss and tragedy,” she says. “The only thing that has kept me from doing drugs or drinking too much or all the self-destructive behavior that a lot of people use to cope with tragedy, is music.” Despite the pain she has experienced, with fun-loving local Irish punk band Murphy’s Wagon, MacDowell has found solace.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Spurs

Spurs

Sometimes the best things come to those who wait. In 2012—a decade after they met—co-vocalists David Stockhausen and Terry McCants formed the folk band Spurs. Initially calling themselves Silver Spurs and performing country covers, the pair eventually made the switch to folk music at McCants’ urging. “The band started to shift when we saw an equally great, if not greater, response to our own music at shows,” says Stockhausen, who also writes the band’s songs.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Feed Me Jack

Feed Me Jack

It's not uncommon for young bands to cram a bit too much into every song they write, in an effort to pay homage to all the artists that have influenced them. Feed Me Jack's sound might warrant descriptors like "scatterbrained" or "over the top," but not in a negative way. If anything, theirs is a gleeful and infectious insanity. The UC Santa Cruz act's hairpin turns in style and abrupt shifts in tempo are like a good rollercoaster ride—whipping the listener around just enough without ever becoming disorienting. When Glenn Carson, Sven Gamsky, Robert Ross and Jake Thornton jump from Tera Melos-esque math-rock, to jazz-metal explosions, to straight-up jazz and, finally, to bouncy pop or light ska upstrokes—as they do on their debut album, Chumpfrey—it all somehow makes sense.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management