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Feb 11th
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The Ghost of Wrights

music lylbStraight out of the Santa Cruz Mountains, The Ghost of Wrights are a manifestation of the spirits of a time and place forgotten by many. “We tend to write about the late 1800s—we’re big storytellers,” says Nate Nauseda, vocalist and guitarist for the band. “We both live a stone’s throw away from Wrights Station, which is an old train depot in the Santa Cruz mountains,” adds banjo and dulcimer player Cody Franks. “Some of those people—and their ghosts—are still around ... we are trying to embody the spirit of [that] area.” Informed by a wide range of influences, The Ghost of Wrights balance the twang of plucked banjo against Andrew Martin’s thumping, jazzy bass and the mellow driving drums of Brandon Otto.

Their sound captures a rawness that Nauseda has always loved. “I think that pretty much all the music I’ve listened to in my whole life goes off [the] same kind of ethos,” he explains. “Raw with a musical heaviness—not like heavy metal is heavy—it’s emotionally heavy. The musicians are feeling what they’re doing.” Audiences connect with this feeling too. Moments before our interview, the band played a few of their songs, including “Lady and the Gambler” and “Wisdom Gained” on borrowed acoustic instruments, while surrounded by a small crowd in Downtown Santa Cruz. Among those affected by their music was a baby in a stroller—too young to walk, but not to rock—that bobbed its head and snapped its fingers in time with the band. “Being up on stage and watching people dance to something that you wrote is a mind trip is what it is,” says Franks. “You’re like, ‘I made that; I caused a bunch of joy and happiness and that’s really cool’ … I mean, there was just a baby rocking out to our music … It’s great to be part of that now.”


INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4. 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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