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Oct 21st
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A&E

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The Biggest Little Blues Festival in the World

The Biggest Little Blues Festival in the World

Located down in the lush Aptos Village Park and up the mossy banks from Aptos Creek, the 19th Annual Santa Cruz Blues festival on May 28 and 29 guarantees blues enthusiasts a rare concert experience in an intimate outdoor setting.

While many of the original acts have gone to the great blues jam in the sky—Albert Collins, Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Koko Taylor—the festival has continued to flourish with fresh line-ups each year to satisfy the hardiest of music fans.

The booker and one of the main organizers, Bill Welch (along with Brad Kava, Michael Blass and Mike Spano), hunkers down in his basement bunker located in the Santa Cruz hills. Although it’s been the better part of two decades, it still takes Welch and his partners one thousand hours to put Santa Cruz’s favorite outdoor festival together. Each year starts from scratch with the organizers sorting through hundreds of possibilities and narrowing it down to fewer than 10 acts—without a doubt, one of the most spectacular this year will be Experience Hendrix, a massive combination of 13 headliners performing the rock god’s classic jams.

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Funny Bone

Funny Bone

A chat with ‘The Daily Show’ creator Lizz Winstead
Lizz Winstead can’t help but be funny. The Brooklyn resident was the co-creator of The Daily Show, and served as its head writer for years. But before that she was a tireless standup comedian. But her comedy turned her into a kind of media visionary: in addition to helping to create The Daily Show, she co-founded Air America. And you can credit her with hiring Stephen Colbert. She’ll be at Kuumbwa Jazz Center Friday on behalf of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party.

The following day, she’ll conduct a workshop on writing political satire. The workshop, which will be at NextSpace in Santa Cruz, is co-sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. “I love doing the workshops,” she says by phone from Atlanta. “I tell people ‘I can’t make you funny,’ but the one thing I can do is help unlock the demons that fester inside people who want to write.”

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“DURBIN DAY” videos

“DURBIN DAY” videos

Santa Cruz, CA. James Durbin’s rock 'n' roll Cinderella story had a happy ending under a sunny sky on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Saturday. In what has turned out to be a rallying force in Santa Cruz and for many around the world Durbin’s rising star made an appearance in our hometown thanks to the efforts of Beach Boardwalk and city officials.

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Self Reliance, Now

Self Reliance, Now

A local, free, DIY, skill-sharing event gains momentum
Think globally—act locally. The Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo takes this meme to a new level with a daylong symposium of sustainable living skills sharing. Fifty free and diverse classes will be presented by 30 local teachers including fruit tree care, composting, bike maintenance, bird language, community safety, micro-radio broadcasting, restorative justice, and tool sharpening. For the full schedule see reskillingexpo.org. The spring Expo will be blossoming on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Live Oak Senior Center at 1777 Capitola Road, by 7th Avenue.

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Film in Process

Film in Process

As organizers prepared for the opening of the Santa Cruz Film Festival, an award-winning Los Angeles filmmaker and his crew visited locations throughout Santa Cruz County, capturing interviews and images relevant to the memory of Eduardo Carrillo, a prolific painter and muralist who taught at UC Santa Cruz from 1972 until his death in 1997.  During his lifetime, Carrillo painted constantly and exhibited widely, often in the context of the Chicano movement, which exerted much of its newfound voice through the arts.  Carrillo’s art has now found new audiences, thanks to the devotion of his widow, Alison, who, along with many friends and former students, established a virtual museum, the Museo Eduardo Carrillo, to preserve and promote Carrillo’s work.  The Museo exists on the Web; a scholarship in Carrillo’s name supports young talent; his paintings now rotate through a permanent gallery at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento where a full-scale retrospective is planned for 2013, and now a feature-length documentary about his life will assure that the artist takes his proper place in history.

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Trash Into Treasure

Trash Into Treasure

Local reality show 'Junk Art Scramble' combines art, ecology
What's a reality show, an art competition and a lesson in green ecology all in one? The answer is "Junk Art Scramble" (JAS), a new locally-grown, direct-to-Web video series in which two teams of local artists are given 10 days to create a piece of artwork entirely out of found scrap materials.  It's the brainchild of Ed Martinez, artist and environmental activist, who has two self-appointed goals in life: funding art in public schools, and making people aware of just "how much crap this society generates."

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Art Scene Reboot

Art Scene Reboot

A new generation steps up to lead in Santa Cruz
Over the next few days, an air of intensity thickens around Santa Cruz—formerly the laid-back capitol of the Monterey Bay, now a pumping hub of interconnected creative outpourings in film, dance, visual, digital arts and music featuring plentiful opportunities to participate, rate, twit and stream video, soon appearing on a screen near you. Really.

The Santa Cruz Film Festival opens its tenth season with more local filmmakers than ever joining the international lineup. Tomorrow, as part of the First Friday Art Walk, UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media program melding arts, engineering, humanities and sciences premieres 10 multidisciplinary works created by master of fine arts graduates along with a talk by art/technology guru Steve Dietz and a performance of a new interactive opera.

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Best S.C. Singer/Performer 2011

Best S.C. Singer/Performer 2011In a year when Santa Cruz could use a little more emotional sunshine, look who comes along to surprise us all—the most brightly lit star (literally) of all in the Cruzan bunch. Kudos to you, James Durbin, for giving Santa Cruz something to root for. It’s enough that Durbin had the chops to make the cut to be among the top contenders on the über hit American Idol; quite another that he’s proven he actually has creativity and—this is good—longevity. Oh, how The Durb has impressed. We raised our eyebrows when he belted out “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” (by Judas Priest). We sat back and watched, rather amazed actually, by how well he wielded his vocal strength—with enough restraint—to deliver a winning rendition of Paul McCartney’s soulful “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Bon Jovi? Stevie Wonder? Bring it. 
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The Revolution Will Be Empathized

The Revolution Will Be Empathized

Dharma Punk Noah Levine comes home to Santa Cruz to celebrate his new book on the Buddha’s radical teachings
Twenty-five years ago you could’ve run into Noah Levine leaving your house or apartment with your stereo or jewelry tucked under his arm, stolen to trade or sell for crack cocaine. These days you’ll bump into him sitting on a meditation cushion, practicing and teaching compassion and loving kindness. To say that he’s come a long way might be an understatement. Though he claims to lack ambition, Noah’s third book has just been released; “The Heart of The Revolution: The Buddha’s Radical Teachings on Forgiveness, Compassion and Kindness” (HarperOne, 2011). This follows up on “Dharma Punx” and “Against The Stream.” Noah will return home to Santa Cruz for a free book event on Saturday, April 30 at Bookshop Santa Cruz at 7:30 p.m. GT recently spoke with the original punk rock Buddhist about ending suffering, giving up control and being a parent.

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Written in Stone

Written in Stone

Local tombstone is found on a Water Department outing
It started out just like any other day. Gary LeVa took off from his home in Watsonville and went to work for the City of Santa Cruz Water Department. Oftentimes, his days are spent crunching along gravel and hiking through grass, trying to find hidden water meters to read, replace or maintain. Over the years working in this business, he’s found all sorts of hidden treasures on job sites—spiders, pennies, bottles and the like. But this day in December 2010 was a very different type of day, with a very different finding. On this day, he was sent up to the Graham Hill area for a maintenance call on a water meter.

He started digging around in the dirt on the road near a telephone pole. Down the street was a home. “I got my stick and I heard this thud, and it didn’t sound right, so I started moving the dirt,” LeVa says. At the time, it was baffling because he figured this was where the water meter would be, but whatever was under the ground didn’t sound at all like a meter. As he continued to kick aside more dirt he was able to make out some letters. “This isn’t right,” he says about searching for the meter. But with an “aw heck, why not” approach, he continued to dig and soon realized it wasn’t a meter—it was a tombstone.

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Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
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Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay