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Jul 23rd
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CultureBeat

Blogs - CultureBeat

Roaring Camp

Roaring CampI don't think New Yorkers visit the Statue of Liberty very often. That's probably the reason I had for never going to Roaring Camp as a kid, and until recently. Roaring Camp sits nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains and hidden away from the center of town.

I was there to ride the train up into the Redwood Forests that surround the park and to at last say that I had been to Roaring Camp. The people there really try to stick to the theme of post-civil war train stations. The employees all dress like train engineers and my mom asked the man at the front desk about the tickets she ordered online and he cracked a joke about there being no computers in the 1880s.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Under the Idaho Sun

Under the Idaho Sun

Bluegrass string quartet, MilkDrive, pluck their way to Santa Cruz
In the distant past, under the red-hot Idaho summer sun, three burgeoning boys unknowingly awaited their destiny. Following an afternoon garage jam session, guitarist Noah Jeffries, mandolin player Dennis Ludiker and fiddler Brian Beken stood on a dusty street corner, just down the road from a dairy. The only shade from the unrelenting rays was a lowly street sign, aptly titled: Milk Drive.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

A Taste of Richmond

A Taste of Richmond

Young guns, The Congress, refine a classic southern sound
When you think of the word Congress, what often comes to mind, is a collection of politicians meeting a few times a year to pass legislation that no one can agree upon. Instead, imagine a group of musicians, each influenced by their own political agendas, but agreeing on one thing all the time: rock ‘n’ roll. Meet The Congress, a fresh foursome from Denver, Colo. with a southern twang.

In the early days, the guitar duo—formed by long-time friends Scott Lane and vocalist Jonathan Meadows of Richmond, Va.—were "running an open mic and writing together. And that's kinda how it all started,” remembers Lane. Eventually they got into the studios, "took the tunes we had written and the people that were around us at the time, and just had fun with it."

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Why I Curse

Why I CurseWe all curse in one way or another. You stub your toe? Curse. Guy cuts you off on the street? Curse. Maybe there's a good reason why our brain begins to curse right away. Studies reveal that cursing is an emotional response, it's not language based. So cursing can be compared to crying or screaming, which is why it actually may be good for you. Because a different part of the brain is used for cursing, it actually is able to lessen pain.
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Blogs - CultureBeat

My Addiction

My AddictionAs an English major, I love books, love to read books, love to touch books, even sometimes smell books. So whenever I walk into Logos on Pacific Avenue, I always tend to walk away with something in my hands. I never go in looking for anything specific, I just go in to look, which is probably why I always end up with something. Logos sells used books and like any English major will tell you, old books are the best. They have history and character, or so we think.  Today I went to Logos to give readers insight into my experience there. At first I scanned the Literature section, I found a 1960s copy of “Light in August” by William Faulkner for three dollars. I bought it because I also have 1960s copy of “The Sound and the Fury” by Faulkner. I walked downstairs and found myself in the Architecture section, picked up a copy of “From Bauhaus to Our House” by Tom Wolfe for $5 because I wanted to read something on modern architecture of the ’50 and ’60s. Then in the poetry section I picked up “How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets” for $4 because I’m thinking of doing my honor thesis on contemporary Chicano poetry and this would be a great start.   Coming in with nothing, I walked out with three books that for the time being will be sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. It’s an addiction really, a horrible one. My discovery of Logos has created a pile of books in my closet that I have to get through. I can’t be all that mad. Really, I do love that old musty smell they have
Blogs - CultureBeat

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

Will Bernard Trio explores new soul-jazz territory this week at Kuumbwa
After a long trek around Europe, Will Bernard is looking forward to moving back to California for a while and stopping by one of his favorite venues, Kuumbwa Jazz, on  Thursday. It seems the group he’ll be playing with, which he describes as a “classic trio format,” is one of his favorites, too—heck, he named the band after it. “You can get a lot of sound out of a three-piece organ trio,” he says.

When asked to define the Will Bernard Trio’s genre, he guessed, “People tell me we’re mostly soul-jazz.” But of course, he’s not ready to pigeonhole his sound. “It’s not like classic soul-jazz, we kinda stretch the boundaries a lot … Simon Lott is [our] drummer from New Orleans who plays a lot of different styles, free jazz and electronica. So he’s always bringing in some more music.”

To further break the mold of conventional soul-jazz, Bernard says he likes “to use more sound effects on [his] guitar.” Sometimes, that means he just wants to get in your face with effects. His secret? “Octave fuzz, like Jimi Hendrix used to use.” An unusual choice for the typical jazz guitarist, but it works none the less. “You can get a lot of different tones out of it,” he says.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Green Lantern's Plight

Green Lantern's Plight

It's a sad, sad time in the life of a huge DC nerd like myself when I'm more excited about movies based on Marvel characters than the Green Lantern flick which is opening this weekend. But the reason is simple: I really can't stand the casting. Now, Chris Evans as Captain America = me standing in line for a ticket. Michael Fassbender as Magneto = me seriously considering starting an online petition to get MGM to ditch Daniel Craig and cast the dude as the next James Bond. But Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern? Ugh. No thanks.

 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

From Hogwarts with Love

From Hogwarts with LoveHarry and the Potters Cast a Spell on The Crepe Place
When I spoke with Massachusetts-based wizard rock duo Harry and the Potters, they were driving a 12-passenger Jeep to Newport Beach for an afternoon of sun before a gig. My imagination went wild—I envisioned Hermione applying sunscreen to a pasty, freckled Ron, while Harry’s circular lenses transitioned from a traditional, clear hue to dark sunglasses.

I just had to ask: are those prescription glasses you two wear?

They are, according to guitarist and eldest brother Paul DeGeorge, who represents Harry Potter in his seventh year at Hogwarts, while his younger brother and drummer Joe plays the role of Harry as a fourth-year. The glasses they wore when the two first began touring are “long destroyed” though, Paul admits, “we rock pretty hard.”

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Hot Rod

Hot RodI grew up my whole life around cars because my parents loved cars. So I was to attend the recent annual car show in the Capitola Village.

Now going on for six years, the Capitola Rod and Custom Classic has become a staple of car shows during the summer. And why not? The Capitola Village is a prime location for such an event. The small shops, the beach, and Margaritaville create the perfect environment. Walking down street after street of cars, the sun shining off the chrome, it’s hard not to love what you see.

But what you can’t see is the thick feeling of nostalgia that’s around. The people hanging around their cars are talking about cars, about being in cars, about hanging out with their friends when they were young, when it was better than today. It’s different for me, since I don’t have that true nostalgia, but what we do share is a true love for cars. And you can see that from the people who come down and walk around and look. Whether or not they’re experts, they know a nice car when they see one. They don’t make cars like they used to.

Blogs - CultureBeat

Songs of the Mountains

Songs of the Mountains

Diana Jones gets ‘High’ channeling Appalachian tunes
Purity is inherent in the songs of Appalachia. Nashville-based singer and songwriter Diana Jones believes that the old mountain hymns and forest ballads continue to ring true to this day because the people who composed them did so without any pretense.
“They weren’t singing because they had a career, or wanted to go on stage,” Jones says of the music first pioneered in the mountain ranges of the eastern United States. “They were singing because it was a part of their community and society.”

The progenitors of the music were attempting to make sense of natural disasters, love, crop booms and busts, life and death, says Jones, who adeptly channels the sounds of the Appalachian range on her latest record, High Atmosphere, released April 5.
The music of Appalachia has always resonated with Jones, who will bring her show to Don Quixote’s in Felton on Wednesday, June 15. She says that even as she grew up in New York, she always felt a connection to the melodies and stories she heard coming from the mountains.

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Art Files: Opposites Attract

Using found objects, Victoria May seeks beauty in dichotomy and tension, the creepy and absurd

 

A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 18

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Desserts at Seabright’s La Posta, a pop-up breakfast, local ethnic cuisine, and a long-lost varietal 

 

What is the most outrageous thing you did as a kid?

Santa Cruz | Retired

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Loma Prieta’s Pinotage

Although drinking alone is not half as much fun as drinking with others, after a busy day of dashing around, I came home and poured myself a glass or two of Loma Prieta’s Pinotage 2010 (saving a bit for my husband). There’s something about taking that first sip of a worthy wine that gives one an all-over glow.