Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Jul 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Mystery Lights

music_LYLBVinylRevolutionS1What could four young guys from Salinas and Santa Cruz possibly have in common with one (insert uncontrollable gag here) Paris Hilton? Try a four-story mansion in the Hamptons. No joke. Last summer, the crafty garage rockers in the Mystery Lights enjoyed two weeks pimpin’ it out in an extravagant pad that’s also been used to house the Maiden of Vain. Flown to New York by the band’s Closet Trekkie Records, who signed the quartet after coming across its MySpace, the Lights fulfilled an agenda of playing nine East Coast shows and recording the entire time.

Talk about ironic: the lavish digs were the background for the kind of deliciously dirty, paint-peeling retro riffs that would make Paris jump out of her stacked Versace heels. For a group that’s used to practicing in a little shack in Prunedale, it all came out of nowhere. But then again, the Mystery Lights story has been riddled with randomness from the start. Forming in 2006, frontman/guitarist Mike Brandon explains how even his role at the mic was a surprise. “We started out playing at an auto shop on Commission Street in Salinas but we didn’t have a singer,” he remembers. “Finally, I started singing in a Misfits cover band, and when Joe [Styles, bassist] saw us play he decided I was going to be the singer.” Four years later, music_LYLBVinylRevolutionBrandon’s shaggy mop and ‘60s snarl leads the Mystery Lights’ Standells’-inspired rock that’s awash with jangly head-boppers, surf guitar rants, psych meanderings and explosive punk tangents that rumble with drummer Steve Ringer’s meaty attacks. Second guitarist L.A. Solano fills out the raw, amp-buzzing havoc. After releasing an 11-track debut, Teenage Catgirls & The Mystery Lightshow, the group’s toured the Northwest with the Luxury Sweets, taken on L.A. and headed to the Big Apple. “We’ve gotten more into punk and my lyrics got into Eastern philosophies a lot,” the singer also notes of the band’s evolution. Playing this week at the Crepe Place with labelmates the Shivas, the Mystery Lights bring one gritty show. And it’s no mystery: expect flying bodies in faded jeans. Leave the heels at home. | Linda Koffman
INFO: 9 p.m. Wed., March 24. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994. themysterylightsmusic.com.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.