Author Archive | Damon Orion

Eric Johnson Interview

Eric Johnson: Featured Musician

Some virtuoso musicians sound like they sold their souls to the Devil for their fiery chops, but Austin, Texas’ Eric Johnson sounds more like a conduit for an archangel. As showcased on his signature tune, the Grammy-winning instrumental “Cliffs of Dover” from his platinum-selling 1990 album Ah Via Musicom, Eric possesses an unusual combination of […]

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Ian Harris

Comedian Ian Harris Puts Anti-Scientific Thinking on Blast in His New Show, ExtraOrdinary

Standup comic Ian Harris doesn’t have any particular agenda other than to make people laugh—it just so happens that the things he finds laugh-worthy are logical fallacies, unfounded beliefs and anti-scientific thinking. By default, his act is largely an exercise in myth-busting and sacred cow tipping. Also a mixed martial arts fighter, Ian takes a […]

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Ralph Abraham Hip Culture Book

Ralph Abraham: Featured Author

Various readers may know mathematician/UCSC professor Ralph Abraham through his pioneering efforts in chaos theory, his association with the late Terence McKenna and/or his comments in the movie DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Ralph’s latest book, “Hip Santa Cruz,” examines the roots of local hip culture—a subject that he also explores at length on his website, […]

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Mike Love - Photo by Josue Rivas

Mike Love: Featured Musician

Just when you thought all of reggae music’s possibilities had been exhausted, along comes someone like Oahu, Hawaii’s Mike Love. A video of Mike playing his song “Permanent Holiday” makes a good entry point to this man’s work: In conjunction with his considerable talents as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, his inventive and skillful use […]

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Thomas Spearance

Thomas Spearance: Featured Musician

If you’ve spent much time on the Pacific Garden Mall, you’ve probably run across a derby-clad street performer who plays the musical saw under the statue of Tom Scribner, often while balancing objects on his nose and/or feet. That would be Thomas Spearance, better known to many locals as Mr. Hedge. Under that name, Spearance […]

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Dave Pavlovich Harp Therapy

David Pavlovich: Featured Artist

While living in Santa Cruz, David Pavlovich not only became the first harpist to play music in the units at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, but also started a comprehensive music therapy program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. Since moving from Santa Cruz to Tucson, Ariz., he has launched programs at Tucson Medical […]

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Henry Chadwick

Henry Chadwick: Featured Musician

With the internet offering easy access to music from every era and genre, today’s musicians are being influenced by an unprecedentedly broad range of sounds. That point isn’t lost on local singer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Henry Chadwick, whose new Guest At Home EP showcases an indie pop/alternative rock sound that’s informed by the music of such diverse acts […]

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Ashwin Batish Family

Ashwin Batish: Featured Musician

According to local folklore, there’s a curse on this town: Once you’ve lived in Santa Cruz, you can never leave. You might move all the way to the other side of the world, but sooner or later, you’ll end up back in Santa Cruz. In the case of sitar/tabla player Ashwin Batish, that story has […]

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Crystal Silmi: Featured Artist

Crystal Silmi: Featured Artist

Whenever you introduce new elements to an older art form, you’re bound to catch a little flak from purists. That point isn’t lost on dancer/choreographer Crystal Silmi, who often performs traditional belly dance to modern styles of music and merges traditional belly dance with urban street dance styles like jazz and hip-hop. Crystal Silmi Belly […]

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Lauren Shera

Lauren Shera: Featured Musician

There’s a wistful feeling permeating the country-tinged folk music on Lauren Shera’s third album, Gold and Rust. With its yearning vocals, weepy pedal steel guitar and plaintive string arrangements, the album perfectly captures the feelings that Shera, a former Santa Cruz resident, was experiencing while she and her husband were preparing to move to Nashville […]

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