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Sep 17th
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Love Your Local Band

beer STELLA

Music - Love Your Local Band

Kendra McKinley

Kendra McKinley

Next month, Santa Cruz will bid adieu to one of its most promising singer/songwriters, Kendra McKinley, when she graduates from the music program at UC Santa Cruz. Once school is over, the 21-year-old Aptos native will set off on a sailboat adventure to Mexico with two of her friends, before moving to Boulder County, Colo., where the three women intend to start performing as a band. Santa Cruz won’t be left empty-handed, however. McKinley leaves behind her recently released debut album, Chestnut Street—an impressive collection of poetic and autobiographical songs she wrote while attending UCSC and performing at local venues.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Carolyn Sills

Carolyn Sills

“It’s the day before the end of the world, so we want this to be a night that everyone will remember,” jokes Carolyn Sills, in reference to the date of her holiday concert, “Santa Is Real: A 1950s Christmas Spectacular,” which kicks off on Dec. 20 at Don Quixote’s. The annual event is the pride and joy of the Chicago-born bassist/singer, who moved to Santa Cruz three years ago.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Marya Stark

Marya Stark

Though she had only intended to record an acoustic album, Marya Stark soon found herself helpless—adding strings, then woodwinds, then a worldly array of percussion and all sorts of bells and whistles—until she emerged, more than a year later, with a fully blown, detail-oriented studio production. But what else would you expect from a woman with such a deep passion for music that she has managed to squeeze two careers out of banging drums and strumming strings? Who was she really fooling trying to get in and out of the studio so quickly? "I wanted to do a full proper studio album, and make it sound luscious and cinematic and awesome,"

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Wasted Noise

Wasted Noise

Hector Hurtado, rhythm guitarist and co-founder of Wasted Noise, says he will do whatever it takes to keep the band’s nine-year legacy intact and moving forward. Over the years, the reggae/rock/ska outfit has seen the departure of three singers and four drummers and had to adapt accordingly, but they’ve made it through, and continue to enliven audiences around their hometown of Salinas and the wider Monterey Bay. “Losing members has been hard for the band, but we've always been able to keep this alive,” says Hurtado, who originally formed the group with brothers Ruben and Hank Macias, on lead guitar and bass.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

The Chop Tops

The Chop Tops

When asked if he can recall a dull moment during The Chop Tops’ 17-year career, Sinner, the drummer/lead singer of the psychobilly/rockabilly three-piece, mentions the monotony of travelling 30,000 miles annually. “It’s beautiful out there, but we just finished our 12th U.S. tour. After somewhere around the fifth or sixth time, you’re like, ‘Cool, seen it.’” He and his bandmates—Shelby (lead guitar) and Brett (upright bass)—rocked Australia last April, and Sinner wants to explore further. “I wanna go play a gig on Mars—as soon as they get a sustainable dome up there [or] whatever the hell they’re gonna do,” he jokes.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Antholix

Antholix

A few weeks ago, Alec Hale, the 25-year-old lead singer/guitarist for hard rock trio Antholix, prepared for the band’s upcoming show at The Catalyst Atrium by posting fliers around town. Aside from event details, the fliers are emblazoned with a bizarre sketch of a hawk playing a Telecaster and reaching for an Olympia beer. “As you grow up, you’re affected by images just as much as words,” Hale explains. “I think I [am] certainly pretty guilty of that.”

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Cruzmatik

Cruzmatik

Rapper Reggie Stephens, also known as Famouz, and Ribsy’s Nickel frontman Jason “J-willz” Williams go way back—all the way to 1990 when the two played basketball at Santa Cruz High School. And with that longtime friendship serving as the creative nucleus, the two have launched a fresh musical collaboration called Cruzmatik. After high school, Stephens went to Rutgers University in New Jersey, played football for the New York Giants, and then recorded as a hip-hop artist for a spell in Los Angeles. Williams, on the other hand, toured California for more than a decade with Ribsy’s Nickel and shook up local venues with the band’s signature surf/reggae/rock.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Colin Gailey

Colin Gailey

When Guitar Center launched its “Master Satriani” contest in July, more than 600 hopefuls sent in a video of themselves playing lead guitar over a track by multiple Grammy nominee Joe Satriani, for a chance to take a master class with the legend himself. The 10 winners spanned from New Jersey to Texas, but when Santa Cruz contestant Colin Gailey received a call letting him know that he had won, he was taken by surprise. “My first thought was that perhaps I had missed a payment on one of my bills,” he says with a laugh.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

The Wild Ones

The Wild Ones

Down the street from a pumpkin patch in the Harvey West area of Santa Cruz is the rehearsal space for The Wild Ones, Santa Cruz’s all-girl lo-fi rockers. Young, tattooed and awesome, the girls are huddled outside smoking, cracking a tall libation, and excited about their upcoming Halloween show at The Crepe Place, where they will be dressed as and play songs by The Ramones. “The Wild Ones love old garage rock like The Sonics, old surf rock and old all-girl groups,” says Rachael, the band’s drummer-turned-guitarist, who will be channeling Johnny Ramone on Oct. 31.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Whoolilicious

Whoolilicious

For 37-year-old multi-instrumentalist/composer/looper John Whoolilurie—aka one-man funk/Latin/jazz band, Whoolilicious—music holds a hefty weight in his life. More than a metaphor for his passion, that weight manifests itself in the form of his “looptility belt-pack”—“I took some looping pedals and put them on a belt, [for] easier, portable performance,” explains Whoolilurie—and his 9-month-old son, whom he carries while rehearsing.

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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

 

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