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Dec 19th
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CultureBeat

If You Play It, They Won’t Just Come

If You Play It, They Won’t Just Come

Tips on how to avoid playing to an empty room
If I could summarize exactly how to sell out every show in Santa Cruz, I would be writing this blog from my yacht in Spain, instead of at this faux wood desk. People with brains much bigger than mine spend their entire careers trying to figure out exactly what motivates someone to go from observer to consumer, from seeing the concert poster to buying the ticket.

The blessing and the curse is that there is no secret formula. Filling the room is a predicament shared by musicians big and small, so consider yourself in very good company.

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The Ticker

Hemp History Week

Hemp History Week

Santa Cruz celebrates the long and windy history of hemp
Can the same raw material produce all types of paper, healthy soaps, durable houses, omega-3 rich ice cream, stylish clothes, and bio-diesel? Would it be possible to do it organically and sustainability, with no pesticides and considerably less water? Well, yes, it’s very possible--just not here in the United States.

Here in Santa Cruz, a town well educated in marijuana, seemingly little is known about hemp. While hemp and marijuana are both plants of the Cannabis genus, hemp can’t be smoked like marijuana. Most hemp contains 0 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Some contain, at most, 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana contains anywhere between 6 percent to more than 20 percent THC. So, to any doubters, you can rest assured that marijuana smokers will not be setting hemp T-shirts and soaps ablaze in their backyards in hopes of getting high.

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CultureBeat

The Westsiders by Joshua Pomer

The Westsiders by Joshua Pomer

Joshua Pomer had a dream, to one day document his best friends rise to the top as innovators of surf while placing Santa Cruz firmly on the map. What Josh didn’t realize at the time was his desire to tell the story of their tragedies and triumphs while holding on for the ride of their lives. This would become The Westsiders a story about four friends coming from very different backgrounds with one common thread of brotherhood through surfing and dark influences.

Before I can review the film (we attended the Santa Cruz Film Festival premier), one must understand the creative mind of Joshua Pomer. Shooting Super 8 movies from the age of six, skits and random objects in motion caught the eye of this young cinematographer. I sat down with Josh and we chatted about life, friends and family along with desire to create and share. These words are from that conversation.

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CultureBeat

"Bruce Wayne of Earth...LIVE."

We all knew it was inevitable. Death is never permanent in comic books and when Bruce Wayne checked out back in Final Crisis, it was just a matter of time before we'd see him again. The odd thing is, with Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne as the replacement Batman and Robin providing the most incredible entertainment the bat books have seen in years, I'm actually not really excited to see the guy come back.

Well, here it is anyway because Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, a 6-issue mini series written by Grant Morrison kicks off this week. Essentially portraying Bruce's journey throughout time itself (I still don't get it), the book promises to put together the storyline pieces that the scribe has been spreading throughout his run on the character ever since he took over the main title back in 2006.

 

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Mind & Body

Did you miss the Bash?

Did you miss the Bash?If you missed the opening at StudioSC, 1010 Fair Street, last Friday, you’ll want to be sure to keep your ears open for the next one.  It was part of the successful “First Friday Series,” Santa Cruz’s homegrown art crawl.  1010 Fair is a ways from the downtown scene, but with a modern edgy space, photography of five local photographers, each with their individual posse, the chemistry was right, and the people found their way.  DJ Fox mixed a sonic backdrop of funky down-tempo grooves. Good fashion, food, and drinks. 
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The Ticker

Coffee Connections

Coffee Connections

Community Agroecology Network (CAN)’s week of events features Darling Betsabe Campos Rayo of Nicaragua

If you’re part of the 54 percent of the American population that drinks coffee, it’s likely you had a cup this morning. But how likely is it that you also pondered about the hands that produced your cup of coffee, and questioned how it came to end up in your hands?

Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is a Santa Cruz-based organization that encourages consumers not only to ask these questions, but also to answer them. They collaborate with small coffee farmers in Central American communities to research methods to grow sustainable coffee and create an alternative and more direct market in which producers receive a fairer share of the profits. To help jumpstart the dialogue between coffee consumers and coffee producers, CAN will be hosting a series of events this week, May 10 through 14, featuring Darling Betsabe Campos Rayo from their partner community in Matagalpa Nicaragua.

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Obsessive Beauty

A Splash of Spring

A Splash of Spring

Even though it's nearly sandals season, and we've made it through the bulk of April's showers, May and June sometimes bring along a dash of cold weather, blustery afternoons, and chilly evenings. So what better way to celebrate a crisp spring day than with a pop of color and a fashion-forward trench coat. Obsessive Beauty has long been obsessed with this drool-worthy trench coat by Leifsdottir. We first saw it on the Anthropologie website, now it's on sale at Leifsdottir.com, and locally, Pacific Trading Company in downtown Santa Cruz has one more coat like this in stock. With a primary yellow color that's sure to complement most skin tones, this chic trench is a smart choice for covering up on a breezy day, and doing so with aplomb. Dubbed the "Ringmaster Twill Trench," this stunning piece is one-of-a-kind, with exquisite tailoring, a double row of gorgeous buttons, and a figure flattering belt. Pair it with virtually anything for a finished, classy, delicate, feminine look.


The Ringmaster Twill Trench, in primary yellow, is available locally at Pacific Trading Company, 1224 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-3349, or at leifsdottir.com (sale section).

The Ticker

Snapshots of a Riot

Snapshots of a Riot

One GT reporter shares a first-hand account of Saturday night’s riotous events
My Saturday night started peacefully enough—studying at a cafe, and later deciding to take a walk with a friend. Around 11 p.m., as we returned to Pacific Avenue from our stroll to the Wharf, we heard the murmurs of a crowd and went to see what the commotion was about. The first thing I saw was a shattered shop window next to Lulu Carpenter’s, and two guys in sweatshirts pulling a mannequin out through the broken glass, smiles on their faces. On Lulu’s outside patio, a grown man in a business shirt and tie was seated in a chair, clutching his face and crying. A shard of glass, it appeared, had hit him in the eye and roughly 30 people were gathered around watching while someone poured milk over his face in an attempt to expel the glass.

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Obsessive Beauty

Chaneloholic

Chaneloholic

A recent jaunt to Palm Beach landed me at the Chanel boutique on Worth Avenue, the decadent palm lined shopping street akin to Fifth Avenue in New York or Maiden Lane in San Francisco. Being from Santa Cruz (not exactly a high-design Mecca), I always feel slightly intimidated when entering designer boutiques in chic metropolises. But Chanel is different.

 

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CultureBeat

Iron Man Lives Again

Iron Man Lives Again

So Iron Man 2 opens in theaters across the country this Friday and I guess I'm supposed to be going nuts with excitement, but I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the first one quite a bit. I watched it once and thought they did a good job and somehow managed to make an entertaining movie about a character that I have never cared about in my life. I just didn't go completely insane over it like most people I know.

 

That said, I have to admit that Mickey Rourke as Whiplash looks like a lot of fun and you can never go wrong when you put Sam Rockwell in anything (I could watch that guy stand in line at the bank). Also Scarlett Johansson doing superhero stuff in skin tight leather should at the very least keep me awake. I'm a little annoyed for consistency sake that Don Cheadle is replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey soley because it drives me nuts when characters are re-cast in a film series (which made the Batman movies from the 90's almost completely intolerable, or was that just Joel Schumacher's direction?). Still, this is the Robert Downey Jr. show and he's what people are paying to see.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire