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Dec 25th
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A&E

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Holy Crepe!

Holy Crepe!

How the owners of The Crepe Place fathered an unlikely music venue
Be careful what you wish for over a bubbling bong, because it just might come true. When best friends Adam Bergeron and Eric Gifford were trading tokes as roommates in their early twenties, two decades ago, back when Bergeron was a busboy at The Crepe Place, little could they have known that someday they’d be the responsible ones at the helm of the restaurant.

“It was always a weird, hokey dream over umpteenth zillion bong hits. ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do our own thing and ran our own business?’” Gifford remembers.

Donning a Hawaiian shirt strewn with Giants baseball logos, and sitting in the cozy front room of The Crepe Place, Gifford’s jokey, casual demeanor reflects the vibrant family atmosphere of the haunt. With Bergeron completing the My Two Dads partnership, the two East Coast transplants mull over their history on a quiet weekday afternoon.

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Man Opens Box: a Palimpsest

Man Opens Box: a Palimpsest

A few dozen chairs surrounded the double-wide card table in the middle of the Sesnon Gallery for an event on the afternoon of May 6, when artists Ian Everard and Maria Chomentowski performed the opening of a box. Handling the contents with white cotton gloves, the artists were mindful of the performance score. They encouraged audience members to participate.

The box is a Fluxus box; the score a brief list of actions (“Open the case. Take out the objects…”); the performance, called InFlux, an event in the spirit of Fluxus, an international movement of composers, artists, architects and designers in the 1960s and early ’70s influenced by Dada and springing from the ideas of composer John Cage. Prominent Fluxus artists included George Maciunas, George Brecht, Allan Kaprow (“happenings”), Yoko Ono and Nam Jun Paik. Fluxus influenced Christo and Gilbert and George among others including Ian Everard, an English-born artist now living in Santa Cruz. Everard is a copycat.

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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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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Pinned Down

Actors shine in true-crime wrestling drama ‘Foxcatcher’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her