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Feb 14th
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Asher

event LYLB AsherSternListening to his upbeat, upstroke-heavy, acoustic tunes, you're more likely to think about spending a relaxing day at the beach, soaking up sun, surf and good vibes than anything remotely negative. But according to Asher Stern—known to his fans simply as Asher—his current sound is a far cry from the stuff he was playing when he first picked up the guitar. The long-time Santa Cruz denizen says he was an angry adolescent—"mad at the world"—when he began writing music at the age of 16. It could have been his distaste for high school or the prospect of an adulthood dominated by a soul-sucking 9-to-5.

Whatever the case, he shook all that off after he dropped out of high school to pursue independent studies—trading in his grungy riffs for the airy, Jack Johnson-esque pop he plays today. These days, the 28-year-old musician sounds like he couldn’t be happier. He runs his own business distributing locally grown produce to a number of merchants in Big Sur, works for a skin care company and spends the rest of his time playing music. He performs solo at a lot of weddings and wineries, where he describes his role as "hired ambiance," but his real passion is playing his own music—either with his band or on his own. Though he has a family to support, Asher says he isn't trying to hit it big. He just wants to be able to fill local venues, like Moe's Alley (where he’ll play on Friday) and Kuumbwa Jazz, and help the crowd "forget about their worries and have a good time." "Uplifting myself and those who get to listen to my music is my goal," he says.


 INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $5/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.

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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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