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Art and Healing at the Tannery


Listen Listening…3:29
Santa Cruz’s apartment and workspace complex for artists, the Tannery Art Center, has been healing after an eight year old girl who lived there was murdered. Artists at the Tannery say that healing involves continuing to teach classes and host art exhibitions – such as today’s First Friday Art Tour.

In preparation, artist Glenn Carter was putting final touches on Carter’s show, “A Specific Weakness.” The show’s opening takes place as part of First Friday. Carter’s highly complex paintings and assemblage works hang on the walls.

The pieces are all black, gray and white with carefully added instances of red. One series involved three layers of canvas, stitched and glued together with gesso. Carter then applied enough paint so the pieces record the flow of the pooled fluid. He then added ash to the surface and craftsman-like stitching.

“I see these kind of desert ocean expanse landscape horizons with kind of rain of cloud shapes,” he says.

Each piece deserves the kind of time from viewers that he’s talking about.

Around the corner digital painter Linda Levy preps her studio for Friday evening. She plans to demonstrate the process she uses to layer computer images of text or rushed metal or painted walls with figures, mostly nudes.

“Back on Our Feet”

Radius Gallery owner Ann Hazels says the artists and residents of the Tannery have been helping each other heal in the wake of Maddyson Middleton’s murder in July.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of people provide us with many resources for our healing. That now has us back up on our feet. Our feet are now in our studios. Our hands are back in clay, holding paint brushes.” She says. “We want this to be a place for the public to be able to come and take a class or experience the magic of an art exhibition or stroll through and watch children dancing. ”


Kelly O’Brien: KUSP Listened, Now Needs You to Do Same

By Kelly O’Brien, President of the KUSP Board of Directors.

(This piece was also published in the opinion section of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 4, 2015.)

Support by community leaders, listeners, volunteers and the general public make this fact irrefutable: KUSP 88.9 FM is a highly valued public service for the greater Monterey Bay Area. It is also clear that programing changes are necessary in order for it to remain an independent community resource. Through in-depth discussions, we’ve learned that KUSP must change in order to create a new and dynamic community media outlet.

The board of directors has adopted the recommendation of its well-respected consultant, Public Media Co., which is that KUSP must end the redundancy of news/information programming with KAZU in order to best serve the region. We believe this decision sets the stage for the existence of two compelling and complementary public radio services that deliver greater choice and greater variety to current and prospective listeners.

This is a pragmatic decision that expands creatively the local media universe. The greater Monterey Bay Area can support two vibrant and complementary public radio stations. KAZU offers a strong service built upon an NPR-based news and information service. KUSP has provided a very similar NPR service to its listeners with a growing audience since it switched to a predominately NPR news/information service in 2008. But with limited local media resources, we’ve asked ourselves this critical question: Wouldn’t our communities be better served by distinctly local, creative and exciting content?

KUSP is introducing programming that centers around eclectic music and music discovery. Eclectic, noncommercial music stations are rooted in their local communities, local music scenes and local arts and culture. No two public radio music stations of this type sound the same. KUSP music programming will be broad, deep and diverse, a true reflection of the greater Monterey Bay Area. The image is local, friendly, informative and personality-driven. We believe this is something at which KUSP will again excel, while acknowledging that there will be a transition necessary to get us there.

The key to success with this format is local involvement through local program hosts who are active in the community and visible at local events; contributions by listeners and music lovers; and local sensibilities expressed from across the listening area. The format is highly “elastic” — while rooted in music, it will enable KUSP to continue to deliver a thoughtful mix of local information, arts and culture to its listeners. These types of public radio stations reflect the fastest growing public radio format around the country and attract, on average, younger-aged listeners.

The shift represents a return to KUSP roots as a much-loved, independent, noncommercial music source with a distinctly local voice. It also ushers in a new era wherein we can leverage an exciting new format under new leadership in a way that reinvigorates KUSP. Our goal is to increase the relevance and sustainability of KUSP with radio and new media programming that reflects the deep and rich creativity of our region.

The board also has made a leadership change, naming Lee Ferraro as interim general manager. Lee has a great track record of transforming local public radio stations into financially secure, professionally run and much-loved media destinations. He brings demonstrated success with a locally curated music format to KUSP, having spent 16 successful years at WYEP in Pittsburgh, which he developed from a small, overlooked public radio station into an indispensable cultural institution.

Independent, local radio creating and reflecting all that we love about the area we call home. The construction hammers are out and we’re busy building a new and exciting KUSP that we hope you, too, will find engaging. We hope it pulls you in as a listener and actively engaged supporter.

We hope you will join us. Listen, talk to us, contribute in all the ways that you can. Change is challenging but we think this new future for KUSP is exciting. We hope you will think so, too.

Kelly O’Brien is president of the KUSP board of directors.

KUSP in the News

See the Santa Cruz Sentinel September 29th story about KUSP.

More coming soon!
Email contact for KUSP’s Interim General Manager, Lee Ferraro:
lee [at] kusp [dot] org

Get To Know One Of The Most-Performed Living Composers


Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is the subject of a new documentary.

By Tom Huizenga | NPR Music – Originally published on September 11, 2015.

Mystical, monk-like, reclusive — those are a few words often used to describe Arvo Pärt. His music gets labeled as timeless, spiritual and meditative. The Estonian composer, born 80 years ago today, is perhaps all of these things … and maybe none of them.

Recently, Pärt allowed a film crew follow him for a year. The result is a new documentary by Günter Atteln called The Lost Paradise, an excerpt of which the producers at Accentus Music are sharing prior to its fall release. The excerpt here finds the composer at his piano, at a rehearsal of his music with his wife and musing about a healthy kind of pain in art.

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Album Review: Los Lobos Goes for the Gold in ‘Gates’


Los Lobos Gates of Gold

Playing together for over 40 years now without any band member changes, Los Lobos is still going strong. Very strong. With family ties to Watsonville, this East LA band remains a perennial Monterey Bay favorite with an upcoming 2 night local appearance in October. Gates of Gold is their latest album and their 22nd. On this one, The wolves recall their guitar fueled Slash Records days and strike another golden bullseye kicking off with the first track, “Made to Break Your Heart”.

Contemplating life

Gates of Gold finds Lobos guitarists David Hidalgo, Cesar Rojas, and Louie Perez in superb form, leading bassist Conrad Lozano and sax-keyboard player Steve Berlin down very familiar roads with inspired energy, wicked guitar playing and a lot of brotherly love. The title track sets the theme for the entire album. The band members who are now in their early 60’s are pondering what’s behind those Golden Gates as well as reminiscing about their past – “When We Were Free”- and looking to the future, “Gates of Gold”.
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Author Don Winslow


920x920Enter the hearts and minds of those fighting on both sides of the war on drugs as host Rick Kleffel speaks with author Don Winslow about his novel The Cartel.

Winslow explores the intersection of economics, politics, crime and law enforcement the drive a conflict that has little visibility and offers few prospects for resolution

Conversations with the Late Alan Cheuse

Author and literary scholar, Alan Cheuse. Photo: Peter Hedlund / flickr http://bit.ly/1Keg0Cx
Author and literary scholar, Alan Cheuse. Photo: Photo: Peter Hedlund-flickr-http://bit.ly/1Keg0Cx

Author and critic Alan Cheuse died last week at age 75. He regularly participated in interviews with KUSP Rick Kleffel. On this week’s Agony Column Literary Magazine show, listen back to a selection Cheuse’s insightful interviews.

Troy Jollimore, Guest Poet


Show. He sat down with host Dennis Morton to read from and discuss Troy’s newest poetry collection, titled Syllabus of Errors, which will be published on September 29. The title is perhaps partly a reference to a Vatican document by that name (1864), which comprised an extensive list of “errors” on a wide range of “modern” subjects.

The poems in this book have a lot to say about truth, lies, falsehoods, and authority – and the often problematic relationships among them. We should expect no less from a philosopher - Troy teaches that subject at Cal State Chico. At another point in the interview, Troy noted that his students sometimes complain that he answers questions with questions. These poems employ some of that same Socratic approach.

09 - Jollimore



This is Troy Jollimore’s third visit to the Poetry Show. The first was was back in May, 2007, to talk about his first published book, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. Apropos of nothing, the timing of that visit made him the second earliest guest poet in our podcast library. Although the KUSP Poetry Show stretches back into the mists of the early 1970s, we only have podcasts from May, 2007. A second visit, in August 2011, coincided with publication of a second book, At Lake Scugog

For our most up-to-the-minute blog readers, be advised that Troy Jollimore will be reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday evening, August 11. This is the regular monthly “second Tuesday” poetry reading, sponsored as always by Poetry Santa Cruz. Joining Troy will be Maggie Paul – also a past Poetry Show gues

Album Review: Neil Young Protests GMO’s on ‘The Monsanto Years’


neil-young-the-monsanto-yearsOn his latest album, “The Monsanto Years”, Neil Young, is angry. Really angry.  He’s unleashed a fiery burst of rock n roll fury aimed squarely at box stores, corporate farming and ag chemical use.

For the most part the premise works, but Neil does stretches his credibility with a few “you can see it coming” groaners like rhyming “GMO” with “Monsanto” on the whistling-snappy “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”. How’s that for a title?

Nelson Brothers Rock

Young, who will be turning 70 this year, has long championed the family farmer and protested the use of GMOs, donating money to various causes and years of gratis performances at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid concerts. Young’s new five piece backup band is called Promise of the Real, featuring guitar singer brothers, Lukas and Micah Nelson, sons of Willie. These young’ns are the perfect foil for Young’s style of frenzied guitar grunge and sense of urgency. The Promise certainly seems to be drinking their elder’s kool aid because they rock every bit as solid as Young’s old band Crazy Horse and seem just as upset about these earthly matters.

Young lets no one off the hook with stinging lyrics about Walmart, Safeway, Starbucks and consumers alike who all get their britches toasted on several songs such as “Big Box”, where the people “line up for more” at the expense of Main Street’s mom and pop small businesses.

In many ways, Neil Young and Promise of the Real have made  “The Monsanto Years” his most energized political rock album since “Ragged Glory”.  Despite the over all raucous, snappy hard driving rock and all eco-politics aside, not everyone wants to “realty check” along to four songs about Monsanto and 5 more targeting other corporations. And Young is fully aware of this and says so on “People Just Want to Hear About Love”.

American Gothic?

Is Neil Young’s “The Monsanto Years” just an aging geezer’s rant or a rallying call for action? It’s both. What Young is saying loud and clear, is that we need to pay attention to what’s going on with the world’s food chain right now instead of  later.  Or there will be no more Harvest Moon.

- Eric Berg

Additional notes: Check out the album cover which is a takeoff of the “American Gothic” painting with farmer Neil and his current flame, actress turned eco-activist, Daryl Hanna, holding the pitchfork. The cd version of ”The Monsanto Years” includes a very good dvd of Young and The Promise rocking out in a studio setting.



C. J. Sage, Guest Goet



Local poet and animal-rights advocate C. J. Sage visited the Poetry Show on August 2, 2015. She and host Dennis Morton read and discussed poetry primarily about animals. Ms. Sage edits The National Poetry Review, and has five published books:




In addition to poetry, Dennis and C.J. discussed a rescue and sanctuary center for dogs, focused especially on a group of hunting dog breeds known as “sighthounds”.  The center is run by a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Hound Sanctuary Inc. Learn more at houndsanctuary.org.