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Oct 13th
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The Shapes

music LYLB-The ShapesSWhen it comes to finding inspiration for their songs, Ashley Lloyd Thompson and Alex Thompson—who sing, write and play guitars in the band The Shapes—can look just about anywhere. “A lot of our songs are inspired by our environment, whether that’s the natural environment that we’re surrounded by here in Santa Cruz or longing for that environment,” Alex says. “We’ve written a few love songs too, and a couple of duets that revolve around hope or love.”

Ashley, for her part, loves the fact that you never quite know what you’re going to get from their songs when you first hear them. “It is a mixed bag,” she admits. “[The songs are] fairly diverse. Some of them come directly from real-life experiences and then are combined with other feelings.” Tracks like “Take Me Home” zero in on the band’s sometimes country-rock sound and their aforementioned penchant for writing love songs, and the laid-back folk of “Sky Pilot” shows how easygoing, lighthearted and fun the band’s music can be. The hybrid Americana rock and spaghetti Western-style country track “California Dinosaur” longs for a simpler time when trains were the kings of coastal transportation. Another more personal track, “Sailing Away,” takes the theme of longing even further. “It’s based on the story of my grandfather,” Alex says. “He left home when he was 14, back during The Great Depression. So I was just kind of thinking about his existence, and I guess it’s that idea of longing for something better and then constantly having that change as you grow.” Ashley sums up the band best when asked why music is so important to them. “I think it’s just a part of who we are,” she says. “For me, music’s just a natural outlet for expressing whatever might be inside me at a given moment.”

INFO: 9 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

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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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