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Sep 02nd
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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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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.