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Apr 20th
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North Pacific String Band

North Pacific String Band—a busk-happy, five-piece—is well on its way to becoming Santa Cruz’s premier bluegrass collective. Though each member belongs to another local band (whether it’s Birdhouse, On The Spot Trio, or the Family Hogwash), the group came together a year ago with one goal: strictly bluegrass. Banjo player Jeff Wilson wastes no time trying to describe their music with vague nuances of emotional inspiration, but cuts straight to their passion for precise instrumentation. “So you’ve got the mandolin,” he starts, “which is like the snare drum in a string band; it provides percussion and rhythm and keeps time…

” Stevee Stubblefield provides the “chunk” beat on the mandolin and vocals, with Alex Bice (bass, vocals), Evan Penza (guitar, vocals), Jase Purat (fiddle), and Wilson rounding out their coastal brand of Americana. Citing John Hartford as an influence, their complex style comes mostly from the “newgrass” school, which incorporates heavy jazz into traditional bluegrass instrumentation. “We try not to associate ourselves with one genre or the ‘jam band’ label,” says Wilson. “That pigeonholes us into what a lot of people sort of associate with something like Phish. We’re into jazz and being very precise—constantly revamping everything, adding more harmonies here and there.” While focused on recording its first full-length album, Steak and Eggs, the band will join Birdhouse and Emily Moldy on The Catalyst stage on Thursday, March 22. Besides promoting their new music, the band is also spreading the word about Stubblefield’s growing project, North Pacific Company—a collective created to help foster community engagement with local artists. “We all need a place to gather and bring more people in,” says Wilson, welcoming like-minded musicians, painters, poets, and anyone else of the same independent spirit.
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5/adv, $8/door. 423-1338. Photo: Terry Way Photography

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

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

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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