Santa Cruz Good Times

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Apr 24th
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Boy Wonder

Boy Wonder

Homegrown producer, Tree, branches out, embraces all things weird

Though the record comprises only three songs, local producer and singer Oliver Nickell says he spent the better part of a year cobbling together the pieces for his debut EP, Demons.

"It was incredibly time consuming," the 20-year-old Santa Cruzan says of the album, out now on R&S imprint Apollo Records. "I really wanted to emphasize quality over quantity."

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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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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management