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Scary Little Friends

event LYLB Scary Little FriendsSometimes it takes two or three listens before an album can truly be appreciated. But when it comes to Scary Little Friends’ debut LP, From the Beginning, it only takes 15 seconds. At the tail end of track six, “Devil’s Heart,” Chris Jones has a hair-raising outburst: “And you never get another chance / there's no tomorrow." Far from depressing, the line actually explains why Scary Little Friends formed. Bassist and UC Santa Cruz alumnus Jon Payne, now 34, has been friends with Jones since childhood.

As teens, the two discovered rock ‘n’ roll together—specifically, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix—and were also exposed to country legends through Jones’ father. Those influences, plus a mutual appreciation for modern artists, like Wilco and My Morning Jacket, can be heard in Scary Little Friends’ music. “What’s rad is we’ve been in a lot of bands where we’ve tried to kind of fit in a mold … but Chris, when he was creating this stuff, he didn’t have that in mind,” says Payne. “It was a period where he had taken a break from music and he was just writing this album for himself.” Payne recalls the excitement he and his friends felt upon hearing From the Beginning—30-plus minutes of revitalizing folk/rock, injected with raw realizations and depth (with backup vocals by Wooster’s Caroline Kuspa)—for the first time. “It was a band that was sort of based on this album because it got such a great reception from everybody,” he says. Since its early 2013 formation, the band—which also features Patrick Blizinski (keys) and Charlie Knote (drums)—has opened for Caravan Palace at The Rio Theatre and shared the stage with Norah Jones at The Crepe Place. Reflecting on the latter experience, Payne says, “That was a totally awesome thing that happened and hopefully that’s the sign of more things to come.”


INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. 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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