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Oct 10th
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Pawn Shop Soul

pawnshopxxPawn Shop Soul isn’t the first band to cover obscure soul songs from the ’60s and ’70s, but they do offer a few new twists.

For one thing, they throw a few Latin tunes into their set. Secondly—and more importantly—they are an all-instrumental band, all instrumental covers mind you, which makes them even more far-out than the average crate-digging, left field soul cover band.

“We confound even a lot of musicians because a lot of this music is really obscure,” says Steven Baird, baritone sax player and band manager. “I wanted to look for tunes that nobody else found, stuff that got overlooked by the mainstream, but still is very rich and exciting material.”

Admittedly, most of the band members aren’t fanatical vinyl collectors, they just love music. In fact, Baird is responsible for at least 90 percent of Pawn Shop Soul’s set list. He didn’t necessarily intend for the band to be instrumental, he just wanted the horn section and the organ to be up front and center. Even if Pawn Shop Soul does get a vocalist—which they’re open to—the vocals will have to share the spotlight with the horns.

Because they have evolved into an instrumental, horn-fronted band, they tend to stay away from down-tempo soul songs.

“Some slow songs are great when you have a vocalist up front for people to focus on,” Baird says. “When you have a horn-fronted band, you have to keep things at a higher energy to get people on the dance floor.” 

INFO: 9 p.m. June 20, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, $8/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

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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