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Feb 13th
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Johanna Lefever

music JohannaLefeverRegardless of what she tells you, Johanna LeFever is anything but ordinary. Based in the hills of Santa Cruz, the down-to-earth singer/songwriter has conquered multiple musical genres and instruments since childhood—and enjoyed every aspect of her development. Not only a champion of music, LeFever is an avid and insightful writer. “The way I approach my music is to first write prose on my typewriter and then adapt it to music,” she admits, with a laugh. “I am primarily a songwriter. It's my expressive outlet. When I write, I write about love ... you know, the common denominator.”

LeFever has a profound appreciation for the outdoors and traveling, and her passion for love is a life-force, apparent throughout her debut album, which Santa Cruzans can hear live on Sunday, Aug. 26 at The Crepe Place. Take her moving original song “Restless Heart,” for instance: “Oh my sweet one did I run you to the line?/ Take you lightly, drink up all of the wine?/ And I just say that my hungry soul/ That I know your love even though it kills the soul.” Her ability to layer unique melodies and thought-provoking lyrics over simple instrumentation, is the secret to her success. But it’s her pleasant personality and endearing optimism that make her stand out in a sea of folk singer/songwriters. Whether alone on stage, accompanied by only a drummer, or backed by a full band, LeFever enchants with her jazzy tenor. Yet, her humility always shines through. “It makes me happy to be background music for someone,” she says. “A friend of mine sings my songs to her baby before bed. I love that. It is so simple to share love.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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