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Oct 10th
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Hod Hulphers

lylb hodSinger-songwriter Hod Hulphers has no illusions about it, he has a weird name—but he doesn’t try to fight it. In fact, he’s chosen a moniker that’s even weirder: “And Hod,” which is a result of always being the opening act for years and seeing his name listed at the very end of the flyer as “And Hod.” He just thought he’d go with it.

“Now, very often on fliers it says ‘and And Hod,’” Hulphers says.

He doesn’t always perform as “And Hod.” That moniker is reserved exclusively for his solo outings. He also plays shows with his backing band—which includes Dan Potthast and members of Slow Gherkin—which he calls “Hod and the Helpers.”

Band or no band, he plays more or less the same material, which is a strange combination of the Mountain Goats, They Might Be Giants and Nick Cave—though the band renditions are a bit more upbeat, and the solo stuff is more rife with melancholia.   

Before diving headfirst into songwriting in the early 2000s, Hulphers played drums for a number of bands, most notably the Philistine Tent Revival—who went on to became local psych-rock legends Comets on Fire. Hulphers turned down an opportunity to join the Comets early in the game. 

“It wasn’t really me in the first place. I was more into David Bowie and Will Oldham, people like that,” Hulphers says.

The one thing he got from playing blown-out, ear-splittingly-loud psychedelica was a lesson in how to rock—even while he’s playing weird songs on his acoustic guitar. “I’m not afraid to be an asshole when I’m playing sensitive music,” Hulphers says.

His songs aren’t so much quirky as they are complex. Hulphers wears an invisible costume, a character that is partially comedic, antagonistic and vulnerable, one that is always tough for audiences to gauge just where he’s coming from.

“I love riding that ambiguous razor’s edge line between sincerity and complete sarcasm,” Hulphers says.

Info: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 17, Art Bar and Café at The Tannery, 1060 River St. #112, Santa Cruz, 428-8989; $8-$10.

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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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