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May 26th
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Comedy Strikes Back

Comedy Strikes Back

A resurgence of stand-up comedy brings loads of laughs to Santa Cruz

Whether they’ve been at it for nine weeks or nine years, local stand-up comedians will tell you, trying to draw laughs from a Santa Cruz audience is no walk in the park.

“If you can’t deal with rejection in a way that doesn't permanently crush your spirit, then you shouldn’t get into stand-up,” warns DNA, local comedian, Good Times contributor, and longtime host of The Blue Lagoon’s Thursday Comedy Night. “I’ve seen comedians come off the stage crying—it’s brutal. You’re going to get eaten up and spit out.”

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Finding Claraty

Finding Claraty

Local art studio offers space for developmentally disabled to shine

Five years ago, Santa Cruz residents Robin Blake and Andy Pereira were searching for a better way to meet the needs of the developmentally disabled. 

Blake, who is developmentally disabled herself, had always admired her mother’s Capitola craft gallery while growing up, but never had the opportunity to create her own art. While Pereira, who ran an agency that provided services for developmentally disabled clients, including Blake, was looking for a way for them to learn more about their own history.

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Strange Attractor

Strange Attractor

Johannes Moser and Enrico Chapela’s ‘Magnetar’ is a big draw for Cabrillo Festival goers

When it came time for Mexican composer Enrico Chapela to put together a concerto featuring the electric cello, he drew his inspiration from the source of that instrument’s power: electromagnetic energy. Specifically, he based the music on data from flares produced by three different magnetars, an unusual type of pulsar with the largest magnetic field in existence. After compiling a chart of notes that described the shape of each magnetar’s light, he put his guitar in the traditional C-G-D-A tuning of a cello and jammed some ideas that made use of these materials. The resultant concerto, “Magnetar,” can be heard at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 10 as part of the 2013 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

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Peace in the Middle East

Peace in the Middle East

New dance-concert explores Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Inspired by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, local choreographer Karl Schaffer’s “Mosaic” is a dance-concert featuring Jewish Diaspora and Arab music from the women’s choral group Zambra, singer Fattah Abbou and a troupe of local dancers. In between rehearsals for the show, which runs June 21-22 at Motion Pacific, Schaffer shared the story behind its creation.

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Breaking the Waves

Breaking the Waves

Free Radio Santa Cruz celebrates 18 years of subversive programming

Though the term “free radio” comes to us from the Summer of Love—a time when some folks splashed the word “free” on their nouns like an all-purpose verbal condiment—you can rest assured that the name Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC) is no mere tip of the hat to the psychedelic era. For the past 18 years, the colorful characters at the helm of our community’s own pirate radio station have been enjoying the freedom to broadcast whatever they damn well please, be it up-to-the-minute, uncensored local and worldwide news, programs in the Spanish language, shows produced by children, teens and homeless people, or all manner of music, from death metal to free jazz.

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Poems from the 20th Annual High School Poetry Competition

Poems from the 20th Annual High School Poetry Competition

Editor’s note: For this edition of Poetry Corner, we’ve chosen to spotlight the first and second place winners of the 20th annual Santa Cruz County High School Poetry Competition: Ellie Loustalot and Erin Gudger of Harbor High School. Poetry Santa Cruz administers the annual contest, which is open to all high school students in the county.

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Striking a Chord

Striking a Chord

Jazz Society faces financial uncertainty, seeks support

Chances are good that if you’ve ever been to a live jazz show at a local bar or restaurant, the performance was arranged by the Jazz Society of Santa Cruz County. Since forming in 2000, the nonprofit has served as the heart of the local jazz scene and as a hub for musicians of all ages searching for paying gigs, bandmates and lessons.

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Cruzin’ for Inspiration

Cruzin’ for Inspiration

Former resident pays homage to Santa Cruz with locally shot thesis film

When he left Santa Cruz for the University of Southern California’s graduate film program in 2010, Christopher Guerrero had completed the film major at UC Santa Cruz in 2008 and worked on campus in the film and digital media department. It wasn’t until he headed south, that Guerrero began to reminisce about the coastal town.

“It was really really hard when I moved to L.A., to acclimate and find friends,” he says, adding that—counter to the philosophical, conversational culture of Santa Cruz—he found nowhere in his new town where he could simply sit and talk about life with someone. “I didn’t really realize why I love [Santa Cruz] so much until it was gone.”

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Whole Lotta Blues

Whole Lotta Blues

The 11-piece, husband-and-wife-led Tedeschi Trucks Band headlines the Santa Cruz Blues Festival

Guitarist Derek Trucks and vocalist/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, the husband-and-wife team at the helm of The Tedeschi Trucks Band, have learned that in a band as well as in a marriage, the best way to keep things running smoothly is sometimes to take a step back. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with an 11-piece group that, in addition to its namesakes, features two drummers, a keyboardist/flautist, a three-piece horn section and two harmony vocalists.

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The Poems of Frances Hatfield

The Poems of Frances Hatfield

Editor’s note: Frances Hatfield lives in Santa Cruz, where she also maintains a private practice in depth psychotherapy. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Parabola Magazine, Memoir (and), Jung Journal, Undivided, and Numinous Magazine. Her first book of poems, “Rudiments of Flight,” was published this year by Wings Press. She will participate in the Poetry Santa Cruz reading series, along with nationally known poet Steve Kowit, at Bookshop Santa Cruz at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.

The Invitation

In the house of shame

good news is worse than bad

Who set me wandering through my dreams

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival