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Sep 02nd
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FleaHab

FleaHab

The rise, fall and redemption of the surfing legend….Flea
I pull up outside Darryl “Flea” Virostko’s house that he shares with his mother and I notice freshly cut grass, I knock on the door and no answer. A few years ago this would have meant no interview, not the case this time as Darryl comes walking around the corner with a mask over his mouth “Man, cutting the grass kills me” he smiles while pulling an inhaler out of his pocket.

As we get settled in his living room, he throws his feet up and wipes his face “I love just chilling in my living room”. This is a much changed Flea of years past, Santa Cruz is a small town when it comes right down to it, and myself being in the surf industry and living through the era of The Westside brigade I was privy to first hand visuals of his rise to the top as a premier surfer. We get right into it and Darryl comes straight out stating his sobriety and how he has started FleaHab with Providence Recovery Center. He just starts pumping out information, but before we can jump into the redemption of Flea we have to first understand the rise and fall of the man now sitting before me.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Tron: This Game Is On.

Tron: This Game Is On.

So here's a heads up for those of you who can't wait to line up outside the movie theater this week to toss ten bucks at Tron: Legacy (sequel to Disney's 1982 cult flick). Did you know that this isn't the first time the light cycle filled universe has been revisited? Yep, the franchise has also flirted around in a couple of other mediums. Of course there were the 2 arcade classics that Midway cranked out to soak up kid's quarters back in the early eighties: Tron and Discs of Tron (which combined ended up earning more money than the movie on which they were based!). But there was also a first person shooter released  back in 2003 for the PC and Mac. In Tron 2.0, players manipulated the role of a new character named Jet Bradley as he traversed the neon lit cyberworld. However despite generally favorable reviews, the game failed to achieve any sort of commercial success and the Tron license went back into hibernation.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Couches, Concerts and Caffeine

Couches, Concerts and Caffeine

How to book the acoustic music series at the Ugly Mug
In today’s high-tech music market, sometimes you just can’t trust what you hear. Consider the ease with which artists can produce their own tracks bursting with string quartets, drum lines and back-up gospel choirs. These days CDs can sometimes lie, and Dick Brundle and Marky Starks fancy their music more on the truth side. Producers of the bi-monthly acoustic music series at the Ugly Mug in Soquel (4640 Soquel Drive), Dick and Marky don’t want your CD, preferring to see what you can do live before presenting you to their ultra music-loving audiences.

Veterans of the Santa Cruz music scene, Dick runs Fiddling Cricket Music, which specializes in arranging acoustic music events in intimate settings, while Marky runs The Canyon Acoustic Society, a venue for house concerts, workshops and jamming.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Spider-Man Swings Onstage

Spider-Man Swings Onstage

What do you get when you take everyone's favorite web-slinger and throw him into a stage show filled with songs provided by Bono and the Edge and directed by the legendary Julie Taymor? How about "Spider-Man:Turn Off The Dark" (yes, that is actually what they're calling this thing), a massively budgeted Broadway spectacle that I'm pretty sure nobody asked for. Several photos of the long delayed project surfaced onto the old internet a few days ago (taken by none other than Annie Leibovitz). And now those curious have their first peek at what to expect. Well, guess what? It's even more out there than anyone could have imagined.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Darren Aronofsky to Take on Weapon X?

Darren Aronofsky to Take on Weapon X?

Well, who can say they saw this one coming? In an interview given over at Vulture, Hugh Jackman dropped the bombshell that Darren Aronofsky (writer/director behind such flicks as Pi, The Wrestler and the upcoming Black Swan) will be lensing the sequel to his 2009 Wolverine flick. According to the Aussie actor:

"This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He’s kind of dark. But, you know, this is a change of pace. Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, has written the script, so that’ll give you a good clue. [Aronofsky’s] going to make it fantastic. There’s going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure."

 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Halloweekend

Halloweekend

A roundup of comedy, music and mayhem
Friday, Oct. 29, had the foreboding element of heavy rain hovering in the night sky like a million drops of determent. Still, the holiday vibe coursed through the Santa Cruz community strong enough to bring several hundred hopeful to the Rio Theatre for an evening of guffaws, entitled “Jack-O-Laughter.” Brainstormed by Capitola resident John Brown, the night featured Bay Area Comedy Central star Kevin Camia—but the balmy evening belonged to UC Santa Cruz graduates Emily Heller and Brendan Lynch. Heller and Lynch both share a deadpan delivery that provides a foundation for their snarky humor, and each found their way into the audience’s heart.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Foxtails Brigade

Foxtails Brigade

The Victorian era has always piqued a peculiar interest for UC Santa Cruz alum Laura Weinbach throughout her life. As lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for San Francisco’s Foxtails Brigade, Weinbach, along with violin maestro and fellow Banana Slug Anton Patzner, has created a living music box, tightly knit with synchronized harmonies and poetic storybook lyrics.

“There are a lot of intricate details in our music, like a Victorian storybook illustration,” Weinbach writes in an email sent to the Good Times. “We really try to bring that aesthetic to Foxtails Brigade both musically and visually.” That aesthetic is a haunting, eerie cheer, where Patzner’s mewing, heart-wrenching violin glues seamlessly to Weinbach’s ornate melodies and fairytale lyrics, creating the perfect musical juxtaposition to an autumn day’s picturesque whirl of foliage.

After a rewarding stint as a substitute teacher, Weinbach traded in her crayons and lullabies for a more mature sound, hitting the streets busking while putting any spare time into the development of Foxtails Brigade. Originally a solo act, Weinbach eventually teamed up with Foxtails Brigade’s original violinist, Sivan Sadeh, who performs on the group’s upcoming debut studio album, The Bread and the Bait, as well as their 7-inch, Chat with Sivan. Yet once Sivan began her journey into motherhood, she handed the reins to Patzner, who teamed up with Weinbach to create the duo’s current incarnation.

Weinbach is well aware of Foxtails Brigade’s diverse sound, noting “a creature that at one second looks like a spider-covered, human-eating maggot face can shift instantly into a friendly, beautiful fairy villa or something; or the other way around. There's a lot of that in our songs musically as well—sudden switches between super ugly and jarring chord progressions to soothing and harmonious melody lines.”

 


Hitting the Crepe Place on Friday, Oct. 29, with Santa Cruz locals Brown Irish, Foxtails Brigade brings a schizophrenic tranquility to town in hopes of spooking the crowd into sublimity.
Blogs - CultureBeat

Shaking Slugs and Hips

Shaking Slugs and Hips

Two recent concerts brought the Dead to life
Separated by the harbinger of cold rain, but united by Jerry Garcia—a duo of weekend concerts evoked the spirit of musical community.

The Kuumbwa Jazz Center let its hair down on Friday, Oct. 22 when Deadheads gathered to raise funds for the UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead archive. With chairs pushed to the side, the dance floor filled quickly with community members dancing to Santa Cruz Dead clone band Slugs and Roses—while outside, Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether slung GD merchandise like a tour rat selling grilled cheese sandwiches in a parking lot. Nitrous tanks were absent, but dreadlocks, tie-dyes and patchouli were in abundance.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

A Band With A Plan

A Band With A Plan

Tips on how to book a show at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall
Don Quixote’s booker Tom Miller has been booking shows in Santa Cruz for more than 30 years, so when he tells you how to jump, you say how high?

When asked how a local band should go about booking a show at Don Quixote’s, Miller’s advice is amazingly simple: 1. Play good music, and 2. Have a game plan to get people in the door.

For emerging artists who may not have the immediate name recognition yet, Miller emphasizes that bands need to come to him with the equivalent of a business plan outlining how they will sell the show. Think of it this way, you have fans (customers) who buy your tickets/music/merch (products) and in order to be successful Miller wants to make sure you know how to move some product. One of the top 10 reasons new businesses fail is lack of planning. Don’t be that business.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Superman Returns...um, Again.

Superman Returns...um, Again.

This just In: Zack Snyder to Direct a Superman Reboot from a story by Christopher Nolan. In local news, Good Times comic book blogger passes out from excitement. Oh yeah, this is the big one. Now I love Superman. He's easily my favorite comic book character of all time which means I will be the first to admit that Bryan Singer's 2006 take on the iconic Kryptonian left much to be desired (despite the fact that Brandon Routh was outstanding in the lead role). So the news that the writing team behind "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" is teaming up with the director of "300" and "Watchmen" to truly bring Kal-El into the 21st century has me chomping at the bit.

So exactly how did all of this come about?

 

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.