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Aug 21st
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Finale Fiesta

Finale FiestaSanta Cruz invited to support Chris Rene at The Catalyst’s ‘X Factor’ Viewing Party

Who needs tickets to the live taping of “The X Factor” finale episodes this week, when you can be a part of the magic right here in Santa Cruz? On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the community is invited to cheer on local singer/songwriter and show contestant Chris Rene at a special viewing party at The Catalyst.
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Blogs - CultureBeat

The Winner’s Circle

The Winner’s CircleSanta Cruz’s Chris Rene to compete in next week’s season finale of ‘The X Factor’

There’s only one week left on the first season of FOX’s “The X Factor,” and Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Chris Rene is inches from the finish line.

Vying for a $5 million recording contract, Rene will compete against Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik in the final on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The winner will be announced during the season finale on Thursday, Dec. 22.
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Blogs - CultureBeat

Turn the Labels Off

Turn the Labels OffReel Big Fish remains active after late ’90s boom and record label woes

Ryland Steen, drummer for the punk-ska band Reel Big Fish, has been with the band for six years. Six years is about the length of time it takes to obtain a degree in medicine, but considering the band just celebrated its 20th anniversary in January, Steen is the perpetual freshman.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Where Will Chris Go From Here?

Where Will Chris Go From Here?

Santa Cruz’s Chris Rene goes acoustic, climbs to top 4 on ‘The X Factor’

Thursday night was an emotional rollercoaster on FOX’s “The X Factor,” as 13-year-old Rachel Crow received a surprise elimination from the competition. Fans of Chris Rene, however, rejoiced as the 28-year-old Santa Cruz singer/songwriter advanced to the top 4.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

The Architect of Dub

The Architect of Dub

 

The man, the legend, Lee “Scratch” Perry, makes his way to the Alley

A legend of Jamaican roots reggae culture and an astronaut pioneer of the echoing spaces and rhythms of dub music, Lee “Scratch” Perry continues to wow audiences worldwide at the tender age of 75. Originally a sound engineer and producer, Perry created an inimitable sound in the studio of full bass and drum-locked rhythms, and well-interwoven soaring vocal harmonies that would mark some of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ best music, and take reggae to another place entirely.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Wine and Waves

Wine and Waves

On the heels of Santa Cruz being named the fifth most artistic city in the United States by The Atlantic, local artists are displaying their work to the public this weekend. Among them is Maia Negre, a 30-year-old painter and surfer who has lived in Santa Cruz for the past 13 years.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote

16-year-old singer Tess Dunn asks Santa Cruz to make her dream come true
Santa Cruz is on a roll these days—first, James Durbin ranked fourth on “American Idol,” then Chris Rene began his meteoric rise on “The X Factor,” and now, 16-year-old Tess Dunn is one week and a day away from having her music video “Shame to See” played during 99.7’s Triple Ho Show 2.0 on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at HP Pavilion.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Be Like Mike

Be Like Mike

 Chris Rene channels Michael Jackson on ‘X Factor’ tribute night

Wednesday was a memorable night on Fox’s “The X Factor,” as the remaining seven contestants paid tribute to the late, great Michael Jackson. For Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Chris Rene, the episode was particularly meaningful as his grandfather wrote “Rockin’ Robin” and parts of “Ben,” both of which were later sung by Jackson.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Paying Homage

Paying Homage

Brokedown in Bakersfield gets up close and personal with classic country fans

We’ve been taught to save the best for last—and in the case of Brokedown in Bakersfield, the old adage could not be more true. The band finished its set to a standing room only crowd at Moe’s Alley on Nov. 17 with “Luxury Liner,” a fast-tempo country shuffle popularized by Emmylou Harris in 1977. Then, as lead guitarist Scott Law’s Telecaster began to cool and the band stepped offstage, the audience boomed like the recoil of a shotgun.

“The audience is what makes it happen,” says vocalist Nicki Bluhm. “If they’re not here, the magic doesn’t happen.”

With the encore, the six-piece took the stage once again—but this time, the band members hefted their instruments, then proceeded to walk through the audience, and into a side room. The crowd followed, unsure of what was happening. Sans stage, the band delivered a stirring and sad rendition of Gram Parsons’ “In My Hour of Darkness.”

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Turkey Tunes

Turkey Tunes

GT’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Playlist: 15 songs to put you in the giving mood this holiday

The Thanksgiving Song – Adam Sandler

Thank you (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly and the Family Stone

Kind and Generous – Natalie Merchant

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Thank you – Dido

Danke Schoen – Wayne Newton

Be Thankful – Natalie Cole

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.