Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 08th
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music_LYLBMatadorWith so many street performers on Pacific Avenue hacking their way through played-out classic rock covers, it takes a unique sound to even catch my attention. Take, for instance, Matador: I’m still captivated by its music almost two years after I first saw the duo perform. With Mathew on guitar and Dorota strumming the violin, both going only by first name, Matador formed by chance when Mathew was couch surfing at a mutual friend’s house. “It was just random,” says Dorota. “[We] happened to be at the same place on the same day.” That meeting resulted in the two writing music the very next day. Three years later, they are still at it. “Writing music is kind of like a science experiment,” Mathew states. “We start with a little piece and then we work on it,” explains Dorota. “We’ll try it a billion different ways until it grows into a complete mess, then we bring it back.” With this method of controlled chaos, Matador unleashes a river of melody that’s hauntingly beautiful one moment and dangerously explosive the next. Matador laces American folk music with flavors from other traditions, such as Polish, Irish and Ladino (to name only a few), then delicately weaves in lyrics that range anywhere from Cormac McCarthy’s writings to chilling warnings about Man’s devastating impacts on the environment. “They’re a reflection of how I see the world,” describes Mathew. “I think lyrics are always a reflection of your experiences.” That said, Matador is not your typical band preaching politics. Permeating vocals creep softly, creating a misty dream for the listener to decipher only after the music has stopped. This other-worldly sound has led the pair to tour throughout the country, most recently playing the infamous Northwest Folklife festival. 2010 has also seen the release of their debut album, The Taking, on Black Powder Records. A collectively owned label that also boasts Blackbird Raum and Pale Robbin, it will soon release two different split-albums featuring Matador. “If you want something to happen,” explains Dorota, “you have to make it happen.” Mathew agrees, “When we’re all working together we can share in the experience and support each other.”

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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