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Mar 01st
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A&E

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Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

On the eve of what could be its final run, “An Altared Christmas” founder Rhan Wilson looks back on the show’s eight-year history

Once upon a time, a group of disheveled community members gathered to celebrate the holidays—dragging feet, feigning smiles and secretly praying for the whole thing to be over as soon as possible. Then, like a message from God etched upon Tupperware, a fruitcake appeared. As they ate it, the disillusioned crowd became family, discordance became harmony in a minor key, and colors brightened every doorway.

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War Of Words

War Of Words

Santa Cruz native opens up about his creative role in Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln biopic

Now that our collective post-election hangover has mostly subsided, politics are probably the last thing you’re looking for in an escape outing at the movies. But Steven Spielberg’s new film—about the triumph of the political process in a time of near-apocalyptic social discord—might surprise you.

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Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated

Local neon artist Brian Coleman reveals his latest creations at the Felix Kulpa Gallery

Local abstract neon artist Brian Coleman creates colorful arcing, looping, cursive-shaped patterns from glass tubes filled with glowing gasses—xenon, krypton, subtle amounts of argon, and once in a while a pinch of Mercury for bright reds.

The results, he says, are other-worldly.

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Promised Land

Promised Land

New performance art piece tackles turf wars in Santa Cruz history

In 2009, an altercation stemming from the utterance of the word “Westside” ended with a Santa Cruz youth slain. “It is clear that many factors and details surrounded this heinous crime, and yet there was a noticeable surge of conversation and debate on the topic of territorialism and the representation of turf,” says Eli Weinberg, a dancer/choreographer whose latest project was conceived as a response to that tragic event. “One of my goals with this work was to try to understand how, in a city of less than 60,000 residents, such clear demarcation of territory came to be and how the identification with one side or another managed to permeate so many sectors of the community.”

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His Man Stan

His Man Stan

Cabrillo College jazz icon Ray Brown celebrates Stan Kenton’s centennial with a rare concert of Kenton arrangements

It was in the early 1970s that Cabrillo College music instructor Ray Brown—fresh off a stint in the U.S. Army’s touring jazz band during the Vietnam War—wound up playing fifth trumpet in the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra, the last remnant of the so-called Big Band Era that forged a uniquely American sound in the years bookending the Second World War.

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Walking The Nose

Walking The Nose

Local filmmaker/photographer Patrick Trefz crafts cinematic ‘Ode to California’

Patrick Trefz was born and raised halfway around the world in Düsseldorf, Germany, and since then has lived and traveled all over the planet, while fulfilling his life’s passion of documenting his globetrotting experiences.

Surf and ocean enthusiasts can get a glimpse of some of those experiences in his recently released book of photographs, entitled “Surfers’ Blood,” which is, in his own words, about “the kinship of surfers and their tradition and bond.”

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After The Storm

After The Storm

UCSC professor presents stirring images of New Orleans pre-and post-Hurricane Katrina

UC Santa Cruz art professor Lewis Watts was preparing for a trip to New Orleans, La. for an Artist-in-Residency program when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. Determined to reach the city, the renowned photographer and archivist went to Memphis, Tenn., rented a car and drove 400 miles into New Orleans, which was only accessible by vehicle. He arrived six weeks after the storm passed through New Orleans and immediately began taking pictures of the damage and residents.

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The Poems of Dennis Nurkse

The Poems of Dennis Nurkse

Editor’s note:  Dennis Nurkse is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including “The Rules of Paradise” (2001), “The Fall” (2003), and “The Border Kingdom” (2008). Nurkse lives in New York and has been named poet laureate of Brooklyn. In free-verse, lyric poems, Nurkse explores subjects both intimate and political: children, families, love, and the effects of war.  He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Tanne Foundation Award. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

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Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

GT gets a shot in the arm from Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction

Imagine a chart like the ones you’ve seen depicting human evolution—only instead of a procession with a monkey in the back and a homo sapiens in the front, there is a line of late-20th-century musicians making the transition from glam metal to alternative rock.

If such a chart existed, Jane’s Addiction would be standing near the front of the line, just ahead of Guns N’ Roses. With counterculture anthems like “Mountain Song,” “Stop” and “Been Caught Stealing,” Jane’s gave ’80s audiences a raucous heads-up that heavy rock was shedding its big hair and walking upright toward a more organic ethos. Soon after, Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers would release their breakthrough albums on the same day—Sept. 24, 1991—thus heralding the extinction of the wild-maned, leopard-skin-clad rock wielder of the ’80s.

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Ahead Of The Carve

Ahead Of The Carve

Wild animals come to life in local artist Andrea Rich’s Japanese woodcuts

It all began with a blurry picture. When Andrea Rich was taking art classes at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the 1970s, one of her professors projected an unfocused slide of a Japanese woodcut print onto a screen. The only objects she could make out were fuzzy shapes and patterns. As her professor slowly brought the lens into focus and explained how the composition was intended to lead the viewer’s eyes around the design, the image sharpened into a picture of a geisha peering through a veil.

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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia