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Jul 24th
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Lounging Around

Lounging Around

How to book a show at the Cypress Lounge
If you hear opportunity knocking, it’s probably the Cypress Lounge at the door. Recently bestowed the coveted full entertainment permit from our fair city, the growing venue is poised to start hitting its live music stride.

Committed to booking local bands first, the Cypress Lounge can help bands crack the eternal Catch-22 of needing a track record to play more established venues, but not having anywhere to establish a track record in the first place.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Batman Vs. Robin!

Batman Vs. Robin!

So its finally come to this. Anyone who's been keeping up with the fallout after DC's Final Crisis wrapped up back in 2008 has seen some less than subtle changes in Gotham City. The murder of Bruce Wayne at the hands of his old pal Darkseid forced Dick Grayson (the original Robin) to step in and don the cape and cowl. Being forced to team up with a noob boy wonder with a not exactly bright and shiny past has led to more than a few disagreements between these caped crusaders. And now the tension is being taken to the next level.

Batman and Robin are about to get it on and not in the way you're thinking.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Love Letter

Love Letter

How Bands Should Write an Inquiry Letter to Book a Show

There are people in the world who make your job easier and those who make it harder. In order to write a successful booking inquiry, you need to be the former—be the band that makes the booker’s job easier.

This isn’t rocket science, but it should take some brain power to produce. If you are zapping off your booking inquiry from your cell while riding your bike and checking the waves, you are not giving it enough attention.

In order to get into the zone, I humbly suggest you set aside an hour and put yourself in the booker’s shoes. Assume that they have never heard of your band and that your e-mail will end up next to 30 other similar requests awaiting their fate.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Intergalactic Planetary

Intergalactic Planetary

Alright, I have a confession to make. I don't really care for Warren Ellis comic books. Now hang on a second, that doesn't mean that I don't respect the guy as a prolific writer or that I've never read anything of his that I've enjoyed. Not true at all. It's just that outside of one huge exception, his overall style and sense of humor never managed to grab me in the same way as books by say...Morrison, Moore or dozens upon dozens of other writers out there have. So what is it? The one book of his that actually rests alongside some of what I feel are the best comics ever written?

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Crepe Filling

Crepe Filling

Tips for local bands on how to book a show at The Crepe Place

As local bands come up the ranks from street corner to coffee shop to house party, they eventually reach the point where they’re ready to hit the big stage. While getting your name in lights (or at least on a flyer) may seem like an impossible mission, I’d like to give you—or the aspiring musos in your life—a fighting chance.

Hitting the stage doesn’t have to be a heartbreaking struggle, and I’m here to do the local music scene homework that all bands should be assigned. To kick off this “How to Book a Show” blog series for local musicians, I’ve spoken to the man behind the concerts of the Crepe Place (1134 Soquel Avenue), booker Adam Bergeron.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Maverick’s Strikes Back

Maverick’s Strikes Back

This year’s contest saw a sleeping giant reawakened

After a long two-year hiatus Maverick’s finally unloaded, delivering ego- and bone-crushing surf renowned for registering on the Richter scale.

In deceptively clean, sunny and photogenic conditions the watershed big wave contest was nearly more than the 24 invitees could wrestle with their bare hands. Even spectators found themselves unwittingly in the crosshairs of a mean west swell that peaked at 22-foot and 17-seconds, cruelly right in sync with a 9:20 a.m. high tide. Surfers met the 50- to 60-foot faces head-on, with respected alternates such as Rusty Long, Mark Healy and expert waterman Shane Dorian freefalling into a few gaping bombs even before the contest began.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

No Fear

No Fear

Talk about a huge week for DC fans. The house that Superman built blew the minds of nerds everywhere a few days back with the announcement of some re-shuffling at the top of the creative chain. Editor Dan Didio has positioned legendary artist Jim Lee as co-publisher of the company while writing hot-shot Geoff Johns moves up to the brand new position of chief creative officer (I wonder if that comes with a uniform). His task is to create a consistency in the DC universe across all forms of entertainment. Television, movies, direct to DVD specials, you name it. Every decision goes through this guy first. In Johns' own words:

"My goal is nothing less than to have the DC Universe be the most popular mythology in and outside of comics in the world."

Yep, mind blown and if anyone can pull it off it's this guy.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

The Weekly Pull: Kick A$$!

The Weekly Pull: Kick A$$!

It's a bit of a slim week for me personally but still one I'm excited about. I know I mentioned the upcoming film adaptation of Mark Millar's incredibly fun "Kick Ass" series not too long ago, and now you can take a peek at the source material.

 

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Show-Stopper

Show-Stopper

Rawlings imports an element of surprise at Dawes’ recent concert in Santa Cruz

Remember when an encore was something a band had to earn? Most likely, you probably can’t. That’s because a standing ovation or a crowd calling for more, waiting in front of a stage while the rock star at hand walks off to the wings—oh so momentarily, has become a mundane ritual rather than a sign of rare, high regard. I often feel a sense of disappointment at the contrived nature of how show endings go off these days, wondering why bands end a set at all when they (and the rest of us) know that, whether or not anyone asks for it, they’ll pick up the mic and power through their amps for an additional few songs in straightforward form. Why bother walking offstage in the first place?

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Bring on 2010!

Bring on 2010!

2010 is upon us and with it comes the promise of plenty of amazing comic related events. From the annual conventions to a slew of new movies, it's looking like we comic fans have nothing to worry about as the trend of the last decade looks to continue into the next with yet another awesome year. While we still have a little while to wait for all of the major info that the coming convention season always delivers, I've gone ahead and tossed together a top five countdown of the most exciting things we can expect:

DC and Marvel Play Nice? - It looks like the comic landscape is about to experience a radical alteration when the 2 heavies lay on a friendlier, more approachable aesthetic to their respective universes in the next few months. Given the tendency to lean toward the dark and gritty for the past 25 years or so, I'd say it's about time for the breath of fresh air.

 

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Roger That

The late film critic Robert Ebert profiled in lively doc, ‘Life Itself’

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.