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Turning Eyes to the Sky

Article: "Turning Eyes to the Sky" (p.26)
“From “Dude” to “Dude” - cultural stereotypes live on in new images. The land of The West is just as captivating as the figures who used to roam it. Where there were once cowboys blazing the trail of Manifest Destiny, we now have surfers who keep their gaze fixed on the horizon, waiting for the opportunity to work with the ocean around them. Instead of treating the land as something passive, waiting to be claimed, attitudes have shifted toward praise and reverence for the beauty of which we are constantly surrounded.

Support Your Skeleton at Santa Barbara’s Monkeytail Fitness

Rita Madlock Combines Architectural and Medicinal Knowledge to Build Better Bodies

After extreme vestibular nerve damage, Rita Madlock of Monkeytail Fitness suffered from severe vertigo that left her world spinning. When traditional Western medicine could not heal her, the commercial architect combined her knowledge of architecture with her research into Ayurvedic medicine to design a new path of healing attuned to her needs.

“The skeleton is architecture,” said Madlock, who views the body as

‘Ninja Scouts’ by Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle is a man of many talents. When he’s not hard at work putting his master’s degree in physics to use as a materials engineer, he spends his time singing smooth tenor melodies with the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus. And when he’s not doing that, Doyle imagines, writes, and creates comic books.

A self-described “child of the ’80s,” Doyle’s love for comics began like mine — with Saturday-morning cartoons such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Tick. He began to develop his comic sk

Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus Prepares for First-Ever Concert

Keep your ears tuned and hearts open ​— ​we’ve got a new Gay Men’s Chorus in town, and they’re getting ready to give us a show.

Led by UCSB’s Director of Choral Music Nicole Lamartine, whose conducting experience stretches nationally and internationally, the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus (SBGMC) is a tenor-based group, meaning it is composed of people with lower, deeper voices. And I say “people” intentionally. Despite its name, the SBGMC aims to be inclusive and welcomes anybody who can hold

Watermelon Apparel: The Summer Treat on State Street

“If you look around downtown, you can see Apple and lululemon. They’re both big and successful companies, so there’s something there with fruit names,” joked Athena Wang, a UCSB student and the founder/designer of Watermelon Apparel, when I asked how she came up with the name for her brand. “Watermelons are also a fruit, and I’m very superstitious, so I hope there’s some truth there.”

Watermelon Apparel is Wang’s clothing brand, which features cute and comfortable clothes like oversized T-shirt

Gary Bradley’s Hope for Public Art

Santa Barbara can thank artist Gary Bradley for the incredible new mural on the back wall of Eos Lounge, which faces toward the east on Haley Street, less than two blocks from State.

Atop a pink-and-blue sunburst pattern is a massive figure clad in a green cloak. He is made of metal, and his riveted face is fitted with a stygian snarl. He looks down upon you as you walk (or drive) past with an imposing glare in his eyes, pointing, and seemingly both demanding and commanding your attention.


My 10 Minutes with Andra Day

Already an esteemed artist due to her Grammy-nominated debut album, Cheers to the Fall, in 2015, Andra Day can now add “actress” to her repertoire — and she’s a decorated one at that. In her first role as a lead actress, starring as the iconic Billie Holiday in Hulu’s biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Day scored a Golden Globe win and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Day chuckled when I asked what the transition was like from her past film experiences — namely, a pre-rec

Indy Book Club’s February Selection: ‘Parable of the Sower’

Octavia Butler once said that she had intended for her novel Parable of the Sower to be cautionary rather than prophetic. Originally published in 1993, the novel takes place in a 2020s United States during the presidency of a man who “wants to make America great again.” Sound familiar?

Though the United States still exists and functions to some extent, climate change and socioeconomic crises have led to a severely restricted way of life, where belonging to a community is essential to survival.

Santa Barbara Artist DJ Javier Draws His Dream World

Illustrator and Surfer Uses Art to Address Social Inequalities

An artist and illustrator whose work graces global brands and walls from Los Angeles to New York City, DJ Javier just opened a new studio in the Funk Zone, but he’s been in Santa Barbara his whole life. Now 27 years old, the skateboarder turned surfer was raised in El Encanto Heights on the western edge of Goleta, where he began developing his craft at Dos Pueblos High School.

Today, his work can readily be found around town on

LOKUM Is Santa Barbara’s One-Stop Shop for Tasty Turkish Treats

My father always told me that you eat with your eyes first, and LOKUM is most certainly a feast in that regard. Ornate chandeliers hang from high ceilings over beautifully tiled floors, and the lighted glass cases contain row after row of jewel-hued squares, some filled with nuts and others encrusted in flower petals. The wall directly across is lined with shelves full of teas, coffees, and intricately designed tea and coffee sets.

Despite the luxurious appearance, owners and brothers Bulent an

Brittany Campbell is the Musical Avatar for Duality and Justice

Singer, actress, writer, artist, and animator extraordinaire, Brittany Campbell, is no stranger to performing on stage. Having been a professional musician since the age of 7, Campbell has made her mark on the world as a solo artist, as a member of the Hamilton cast, and most recently, as one half of the dreamy duo, Mermaid.

Campbell’s most recent solo single, Matter, which has a music video drawn and animated entirely by Brittany herself, is a tribute to several victims of police brutality. Ma

Shamir: The Non-Binary Superstar Who's Back to Save Alt-Rock

Shamir, the 25-year-old Las Vegas native rockstar/songwriter/self-manager, first hit the public eye with their single, “On The Regular,” from their 2015 album Ratchet. Since then, Shamir has released three more albums, with sounds that range from alt-rock to grunge, to electric dance-pop.

Shamir’s song “Running,” channels the musical sound of late 90s/early 2000s alt-rock and their latest single, “Other Side,” is full of rocking country spirit. Shamir’s Black queer perspective is seriously unde

Indy Book Club September Read

The first installment in an upcoming trilogy, N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became gives new meaning to the phrase “watch the city come to life.” (Seriously, take a peek at the cover using the Google Lens app.) A masterful worldbuilder and storyteller, Jemisin creates an immersive fantasy on the streets of New York City. The story’s impactful moments are more acute for those familiar with New York locations, but it is still enjoyable for those of us that have never set foot in Time’s Square.

In th

Black People, Emotions, and the Right to Complexity

The smile I usually wear started out as a nervous one. Kids at school always thought I was mean for some reason, so I figured that the best way to get around their assumptions would be to smile more. And it worked. Eventually, I started enjoying the world, and the smile stuck around. But my entire life, I’ve had to deal with people assuming my feelings because of the look on my face. Emoting for Black people is a marked phenomenon. Whether we’re seen as too loud, too ghetto, too intimidating, we

Roller Skating Resurrects ’90s-Baby Fantasies

When I think of roller skating, I see warm summer nights and hear music. Whether you’re stuck to a tile hallway in your apartment or cruising down the street without a care in the world, roller skating is good fun and a great workout. Just make sure you wear your helmet!

I spent a huge amount of time as a child racing around my neighborhood on rollerblades. I loved going as fast as I could, and at one point, my stubborn self decided to try skating with my hands and my feet. After sliding down t

Rose Los Angeles’s Delights

My first time eating an edible was a nightmare, to say the least. I wolfed a brownie down, trying to avoid having the cruel mixture of flavors sit like glue on my tongue; I wasn’t aware that I should not have eaten the whole thing. Suffice it to say, I’ve been apprehensive about edibles ever since.

Still, I recently decided to try Rose Los Angeles’s Delights, which are cannabis-infused, Turkish-delight-esque candies. Company founder Nathan Cozzolino believes people’s edible initiation should be

Review | Little Dragon’s ‘New Me, Same Us’

There are few artists with an ability to make music that transcends genre and classification, and then there is Little Dragon, a band that has turned sonic fluidity into their core sound. Since their 2007 debut, the band has consistently proven themselves capable of boundary-defying experimentation by incorporating elements of EDM, soul, funk, R&B, and pop.

With their latest release, New Me, Same Us, Little Dragon once again showcases their ability to fluctuate between different spheres of infl

Review | Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’

British meteoric pop sensation Dua Lipa’s second album Future Nostalgia is perfectly timed to soothe the negative feelings about social distancing in the COVID-19 crisis. Lipa has delivered decades’ worth of dance club sounds directly to listeners in a neatly wrapped 11-track album.

Lipa’s sultry, velvety voice skips around the sonic tug-of-war between heavy basslines and dramatic violins, and as she sings of fear, heartbreak, yearning, and love, she has a hell of a time doing it. Lipa has a cl

Free More People from Santa Barbara County Jail

Decarcerate. Since COVID-19 became a national emergency, that call has come from every corner of the country as a public health necessity. Prison activists, defense attorneys, and sheriffs alike have worked to thin jail and prison populations to prevent the spread of the virus.

The reasons for decarceration are numerous, among them:
• Prisons and jails are susceptible to overcrowding, making social distancing guidelines logistically challenging and nearly impossible to follow. California’s co
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