One of the biggest perks of working at Streetlight is the relationships you make with people that enjoy the same music. That being said it saddens us to post this. We lost a great person this weekend.
Josh Alper was a much loved friend to Streetlight Records and to the Santa Cruz music scene. He had love for a wide range of music and was very knowledgeable on top of being an amazing musician. Josh was there to help anytime if a friend was in need and anyone who knew him is guaranteed to have nothing but good things to say about him.
Our condolences go out to his family and his wife. Josh will be very dearly missed and never forgotten. We’d give anything to hear that wonderful laugh again.
(Not sure who took the photo but it’s a great one)
Photo via the Princeton Record Exchange
Last week the San Jose Streetlight Records held a record swap and photographer Brad Shirakawa was there to capture the action. Thanks to all who came out. Hope you found some great albums to add to your collection.
Do you love forward-thinking electronic music as much as we do? Then you must purchase Night Slugs All Stars Volume 2. The artists on this label/comp blend the sounds of future garage, house, 2-step and the burgeoning 808-worship scene into a deliciously-groovy melting pot of beats.
Girl Unit – “Double Take Part II” (The most beautiful trap tune this side of the Mississippi)
Santa Cruz Artist’s Astronomical Message (Or, the Creativity of One Streetlight Employee, Documented by Another Streetlight Employee)
Art is a universal language, but sometimes it takes an artist with international origins to articulate the jargon.
“Art is an open-ended conversation. It’s different for everybody,” contemplatively exclaims Mari Stauffer from behind her glass of wine, “but I think it’s essential for life.”
Like any artist worth their weight, the 37-year-old Santa Cruzan (with Swiss citizenship) lives and breathes the subject. Born in Malaysia to a family of teachers, Stauffer’s love of art goes back to the days when she was a little kid covered in paint.
“I’ve always wanted to reproduce the things around me,” she recalls.
At 8, Stauffer’s Swiss-born father moved her, her mother and sister to Palo Alto, where Stauffer and her sister spent their teenage years. At 18 she was accepted to UC Santa Cruz for an Art degree and has since stayed here, providing the community with vivid displays of fun and creativity.
Even if you don’t recognize her name, anyone living in town has certainly had a visual conversation with her art. For starters, she designed and painted the aliens panel on the mural at Streetlight Records on Pacific Avenue, where Stauffer works at her day job.
“The idea of all those panels was to have a scene from inside the store under different circumstances,” she explains.
She also painted murals on the side of the now-defunct Drop-In Center and on a Santa Cruz High building that has since been torn down.
The Bagelry on Cedar St. in Downtown is Stauffer’s current gallery. Her second time showing at the café, her current display is the continuation of a long-running series, “Endangered Spacies.”
“Environmental concerns have always been important to me,” says Stauffer, “but it’s not my style to go for shock value.”
Instead, her series raises the awareness of endangered species by having them floating in space. Alone and floating to find a home of their own, Stauffer’s “Spacies” speaks volumes while providing a bit of humor.
“I figured it was a good way to put a whimsical twist on such an important issue,” she declares with her character smile. “If these animals habitats are diminishing, then the next logical place for them to go is off the planet, right?”
Along with the paintings, Stauffer is also selling prints of each for those of on thriftier budgets. Greeting cards of earlier “Endangered Spacies” paintings can be purchased through her Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/MariStaufferArt) and you can view more of her art at http://www.facebook.com/maristaufferart.
“Endangered Spacies” will be showing at the Bagelry through March 31.
This article originally appeared on Santa Cruz Patch
by Mari Stauffer
Since the release of the new David Bowie album, The Next Day, and a recent perusal of the rare and collectible used Bowie records on our wall at Streetlight Records, I started thinking about his illustrious career.
Bowie has accomplished quite a lot in many different artistic fields, including movie and TV roles. One unique character he played was FBI agent Phillip Jeffries, in the David Lynch movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. In this brief cameo appearance, Bowie’s character reappears two years after having gone missing. The scene is quick, hectic, cryptic, surreal, and, well…VERY David Lynch!
Being the eccentric artist that David Bowie is, it’s only fitting that David Lynch would cast him in one of his movies. And, even more so that his character seems to defy the laws of physics and vanish just as suddenly as he appears in the first place. It may be a brief appearance, but David Bowie’s role in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me could not have been played by anybody else but Mr. Ziggy Stardust himself.
by Mari Stauffer
If you are old enough to remember MTV in the ’80s (back when it actually had all music-related programming and played actual music videos), then surely the video for A-ha’s “Take On Me” will ring a bell.
This well-known and unique video was actually the second one made for the band’s hit single. The first was shot in 1984 and features the band performing an entirely different recording of the song in front of a blue background. The second one is the now-famous, half-animated love story that still makes many “Top-ten videos of the ’80s” lists around the world. It was directed by Steve Barron, known for his direction on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video, the Coneheads movie, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
The eye-catching pencil-sketch animation/live action combination technique used in the video is called rotoscoping. For the video, roughly 3,000 frames of live-action footage were meticulously traced over to produce the end results. The process took 16 weeks.
There is something timeless about a rougher, more raw technique like this, compared to the slick CGI of today’s “videos.” Not to mention, a story narrative, which was something that was much more prevalent in 1980s music videos, seems to have been abandoned nowadays for a more straightforward depiction of the artist(s).
Cheers to A-ha and their comic-book themed, rotoscoped, little love story video!
by Cat Johnson
One question we get a lot is whether we still sell cassettes. The answer is, yes. We have several shelves of them on the wall above the classical CDs. We also have a growing number of new cassettes available as bands are getting hip to the wave of cassette tape appreciators and buyers.
Is this portable, analog format going to replace that pocket-sized device with 10 million songs on it? Maybe not, but there are still a bunch of people out there who are collecting and listening to cassettes.
by Paige Brodsky
Simple assignment, really. Just write about my favorite live music shows from 2012. How hard could that be, right? Well, first there’s remembering what shows I saw last year. Then there’s somehow rating or ranking them. Now things are getting difficult. This process really crystallized for me the myriad of other circumstances that factor into my enjoyment level of a performance, other than a band or artist’s performance: who you’re with, the club, the sound system, the level of energy in the crowd, the set list, your current level of sleep deprivation. And then there’s the unquantifiable. The magic moment where everything comes together and you’re at a loss to explain why. But you don’t really need to. Just throw it in your Top 10.
1. January 24 – Casey Hurt, Streetlight Records, San Jose
Cheating, I know, since I was on the clock at the time, but this guy really blew me away. He has an incredibly soulful voice and style, but the music leans toward Americana. Casey himself probably describes his style best–pawn shop gospel. His musical partner for this outing was a multi-instrumentalist whose talents include playing a mean, yet subtle, trumpet (and whose name I’m failing to recall at this moment).
2. January 30 – Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz.
I’ve attended this event every January for the last four or five years and it never disappoints. This time around, it featured Sugar Ray Norcia, Curtis Salgado, Billy Boy Arnold, and Charlie Musselwhite. So much of the experience for me each year has to do with the people that share in this with me. One of my closest friends drives in from his home several hours away just for this show. Though he could see the tour closer to home, there’s something special for him about the Harmonica Blowout experience at Moe’s Alley. He is a blues fiend to the nth degree and half the fun for me is watching him have so much fun.
3. February 2 – moe., The Independent, San Francisco
Let me state for the record that I am NOT a jam band fan. That being said, a friend turned me onto a couple bands a few years back that I have come to love. One is Gov’t Mule and the other is moe. But to reiterate, the jam band wagon stops there. Onward… The last few times I saw moe. in San Francisco turned out to be less-than-optimal experiences, due to (um, how do I phrase this delicately?) emotional issues being experienced and expressed by my respective dates. Lesson #1 for those who choose to date a music geek: If you’re feeling upset, angry or needy, you’d best wait until after the band is done playing to express it, or you will likely end up unsatisfied with the response you get from said music geek. Ok, then. In early February, moe. did a three-night residency at The Independent in SF. I met up with a good and trusted friend from New York who was visiting and we headed off to the first of the three nights, and it turned out to be my favorite moe. show of all time. Not only was the choice of companion a perfect one, but the band did nearly half the songs from my favorite album of theirs, Tin Cans and Car Tires, including “Nebraska,” which they seldom seem to perform live. Fabulous evening–lots of jumping around and singing along. Lesson learned by the music geek: either attend shows with someone you trust beyond compare, or go it alone.
4. Third week of March – Eric Eckhart, house concert, Berlin
I discovered during my time in Europe last year that house concerts are called “Sofa Salons.” And they are very cool. Then again, maybe it’s just being in someone’s living room while many different languages are being spoken, German beer is being consumed and lovely acoustic, rootsy music is being performed. Either way, I really like this guy.
5. April 28 – Tin Cat, Red Rock Coffee, Mountain View
A friend turned me onto a local band a few years back called Tin Cat, whose members were Dave Allender, Tom Gewecke and Erik Ostrom. When Erik moved back to his native Minnesota a couple years ago, that particular ensemble ceased to exist, at least on a regular basis. While Erik was out for a visit, Tin Cat did a reunion show at Red Rock Coffee in downtown Mountain View. I was reminded why I love this band so much. Interesting, creative songs, instrument-switching every few songs, and great harmonies. It was a true pleasure to see them play live again.
6. May 12 – House of Floyd, Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz.
My youngest daughter-type-person is 17 and loves Pink Floyd and I love that about her. After I saw House of Floyd perform a few months previous at Don Quixote’s in Felton, I took her to see a showing of this amazing spectacle at the Rio Theatre. Not having had the opportunity to see Pink Floyd myself, I figure this is the next best thing. What a treat to be able to share this experience with her.
7. August 24 – David Walburn, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park, Montana
Folk/country singer-songwriter David Walburn lives near Glacier National Park in north central Montana. He has several albums, each with a different theme. This particular performance was a mixed media presentation involving a slide show and focused on his song cycle about the Lewis & Clark exploration. I was a bit skeptical about this theme (and the mixed media), but I had been wanting to see him play for a number of years and this was the performance that worked with my schedule. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it all worked. Cowboy hat and all.
8. September 21 – Eric Lindell, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz
I’ve seen this guy a number of times and I just love his style: soulful, R&B-tinged, sometimes bluesy rock. His songwriting is great, but the best part of going to one of his shows is seeing how absolutely happy he is to be playing. The man has a lot of fun while making great sounds come out of his guitar and vocal cords.
9. September 29 – Dave Alvin, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz
I’ve seen Dave Alvin play more times than I can count. Here’s another guy who appears to be genuinely happy and grateful to be doing what he’s doing. No ego, all music. For the first time ever, I found myself standing at the front, with nothing between me and Dave but three feet of space, a guitar and a mic stand. Phenomenal guitar work and a love for music that is incredibly infectious. I’m already looking forward to next time.
10. December 13 – Dragon Smoke, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz
Dragon Smoke is the aforementioned Eric Lindell as well as Ivan Neville and Galactic’s rhythm section (Stanton Moore and Robert Mercurio). They alternate back and forth between Neville Brothers material and Eric Lindell’s songs. Even though it’s just a side project for all involved, they seem to show up at Moe’s at least once per year. It’s a combination that works.
In case you’ve never taken the time to sync up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz, here it is. On the video’s YouTube page, user shelbyfrigginkatz adds some notes about the most significant sync points.