Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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The Atomic Aces

music_LYLBAtomicAcesHead for the fallout shelters, the Atomic Aces are set to ignite a fiery explosion of upbeat, down and dirty rock ’n’ roll. “You’ll want to dance to our songs,” explains Mercy Vasseur, lead singer and debutant of the Aces. “They’re a nice fusion of different things for every age group.” And there might just be something to this. Atomic Aces dissect elements of country, rockabilly, and Western swing, only to splice them together with the best parts of rock and punk. The result is a blaze of hip beats and head-nodding twang, showing the young kids something new and giving the old timers a flash of something familiar. Founded last year by Vasseur and Chris Curtiss, one of two guitarists, both were in a musical rut. Vasseur’s previous band The Formaldebrides (a great live, local act in their own right, in which Vasseur rocked out the tunes on guitar) had broken up, and Curtiss had recently departed from his band Cruz Missiles. Curtiss explains that he and Vassuer then teamed up: “We had jammed together a few times over the years but finally decided, ‘Let’s do it!’” Vasseur then recruited bassist “Kung Fu” Andrew Dowd to provide the slapping chops on the upright. The bassist in turn recruited 14-year guitar veteran Dave Teeple, who completed the group by bringing in Ollie Northrup on the skins. The five began pounding out songs by channeling their various influences, from Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash to the Cramps and Uncle Meat himself. “My favorite artist is Frank Zappa,” states Teeple. “I’m writing songs that lean in that direction, just not too much.” Vasseur agrees, “We’re trying to break all the rules.” Their process has done them well. So far they’ve released four singles, a video and are currently working on a full-length album. With titles like “She-Devil in Disguise” and “The Ghost of Jameson Jones,” their songs are as slick as their style. “I love predictability with a twist,” states Vasseur. “We all want this band to be something fun.”

INFO: 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Hwy 9, Brookdale. $8. 338-1300.

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The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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