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Feb 11th
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Couches, Concerts and Caffeine

blog_noise_UglyMugHow 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.

With a longstanding open mic on Monday nights, the Ugly Mug has never been a stranger to supporting live music. Upping the ante, owner Steve Volk began collaborating with the acoustic music series about two years ago. Usually running on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, the series hosts a wide variety of genres including folk, traditional, bluegrass, old time, blues, Americana, Celtic, world music and eclectic mixes. Tickets are always $10 and the artist always gets the lion’s share of proceeds from the door. Doors typically open at 7 p.m. and shows run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Food, beer and, of course, coffee are available at shows while, mercifully, laptops are banned during the performances.

The café feels full and everyone is happy if an artist can bring in about 30 to 40 people, although at their recent Sharon Allen show, more than 50 eager fans were able to squeeze in the door. On Wednesday, Dec. 15 the series will host Americana singer-songwriter Christie McCarthy, a recent Santa Cruz transplant by way of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Athens, Georgia.

If you’re interested in being part of this series that’s more old-school than iPod, Dick and Marky recommend heading over to the Ugly Mug and meeting the crew in person. Take the time to make an investment in the community they are creating, experience the venue first hand and then email them your live video or track for future consideration.

It is dedicated music fans like Dick Brundle and Marky Starks who are keeping the acoustic music tradition alive and well in Santa Cruz—and that’s the truth.

For more details on how to book the Acoustic Music Series at the Ugly Mug, click here.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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