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Apr 24th
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CultureBeat

Blogs - 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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Blogs - 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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Blogs - 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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Blogs - 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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Blogs - CultureBeat

Santa Cruz’s Big Wave Guinness Book of World record owner Shawn Dollar

Santa Cruz’s Big Wave Guinness Book of World record owner Shawn Dollar

At first glance Shawn Dollar might not strike you as someone that hurls themselves down a 55’ foot wave. Let alone in the middle of the 2009-2010 Mavericks contest that held some of the biggest waves ever for a paddle in competition. Dollar represents Santa Cruz in solid form, born on the Westside he moved to the Eastside when he was 8 and started junior guards where he fell in love with surfing. The first days of surfing for Shawn were weekends with his dad being pushed into waves at Cowell Beach and surfing different reefs and beach breaks as he progressed. Fast forward to Shawn attending Cal Poly and searching out the highly coveted Central California big wave spots alone defining his big wave surfing.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Play My Favorite Song

Play My Favorite Song

Tips on how to book a show at the Seabright Brewery and the Wharf House
For all the musicians with pencils in hand agonizingly scratching out the perfect words to express their own “Private Idaho,” there are just as many already warming up their amps to continue mastering the guitar solo for “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

If done well, there is something undeniably great about hearing a band, any band, perform your favorite song. A familiar song can instantly bond a dive bar or a stadium crowd, as everyone belts out lyrics they’ve been memorizing for years. I still get goose bumps remembering the amount of endorphins released at my first Prince concert, singing “Purple Rain” in tandem with 6,000 other fans at the sold out Radio City Music Hall show.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

It's a Free World

It's a Free World

Here's a question: What could possibly make a great comic book even better? Well, when it's being given away for free of course! That's exactly what fans have to look forward to this Saturday, May 1st when comic book stores across the country participate in Free Comic Book Day: The annual event that sets out to reward longtime readers as well as attract curious newcomers to what's currently going down with their favorite characters.

 

 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Finding Aloha at the Logjam!

Finding Aloha at the Logjam!

The 10th annual Logjam! presented by the Big Stick Surfing Association took a stylish cross-step back in time last weekend, April 24-25, at the Dirt Farm and Pleasure Point on Santa Cruz’s Eastside. True to the  mantra of “old boards, no cords,” some 100 participants competed for two days on yellowed, 20-pound vintage longboards that were crafted prior to 1970.

The event was not so much a competition as a gathering of tribes, as surf clubs from up and down the coast met in appreciation of the roots, history and culture of California surfing. Mother Nature embraced the revival with summery offshore conditions that saw some intrepid surfers pull on their board shorts, while others kept their wetsuits zipped up snugly against spring-like water temperatures.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Homebrewed Tunes on Tap

Homebrewed Tunes on TapHow to book a show at The Parish Publick House
I’ve heard that what makes a good pub is its purpose and spirit. If this is true, local Westside watering hole The Parish Publick House is in good shape. In addition to providing an insane selection of beer and fried food, the spirit of The Parish Publick House is all about supporting a community of very cool people. You’ll find newbie artists exhibited on its walls and local music scenesters bellied up to the bar. Two years young in June, The Parish Publick House started hosting live music because, in the words of owner Erik Granath, “pubs should have music.”
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Avenging Angel?

Avenging Angel?

All right. I'm sure to catch hell for this, but I have to be honest: I can't stand Joss Whedon. I never got into Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, or ANY of that s...tuff (O.K. his run on the X-Men comic isn't bad). I don't know if I'm still bitter over his horrendous screenplay for Alien: Resurrection (I am) or what, but I am deeply bummed about the recent announcement that he is set to helm Marvel's Avengers movie.

 

 

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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 17

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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