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Kisses Punker Than Wine: Junk Sick Dawn's new album, 'Kiss Me Love You,' features chimelike bass and scintillating guitar.

Notes From the Underground

P.A.W.N.S. to Kings:
Local gigs, a new Junk Sick Dawn CD, radio contretemps and hot picks

By Matt Koumaras

SKINNY MCDOOGLE'S played host to the P.A.W.N.S. and more on Jan. 10. On "Conformity Jane," the P.A.W.N.S. sunk their fangs into meaty kibbles and riffs like a punk rock alpha dog. Brian piggybacked rhythms on drums with lethally tight fills. The stellar "Explosion" was dedicated to founding members Danny and Bob, who were in attendance.

Also on the bill, Political Silence reunited to play a few songs. I haven't been this blown away since my mom told me Darth Vader was not my pop, but that I was formed from a David Crosby sperm donation found in a beer cup. P.S. is still a lightning rod for blistering hardcore.

Sacramento's Millhouse proved to be a fun band with a charismatic female lead singer. The group twisted its way through bubbly tunes about getting loaded, getting laid and getting revenge on Sacto pop rivals the Bananas.

It's pretty hard not to be charmed by a band that updates the Meatmen's "We're the Meatmen and You Suck" into "We Secrete and You Suck." The Secretions played bratty punk in the Tulu-era Queers template. The drummer played so hard on the Misfits' "Bullet" that he blew a massive hole in his cranium that had everyone blaming Lee Harvey Oswald.

CD Alert

Junk Sick Dawn/Kiss Me Love You. This slick CD will spin your rump-shaking jenny into oblivion. "Bottom Feeder" is the pick of this runtless litter, with a sweet rock-tart riff from Tait that cleverly pushes its way into eternity--awesome melodic chimelike bass work from Russ. Tait's scintillating guitar on "Gasoline" sticks a fork in all your senses because you've been done right. "Bag of Brown" is a prized find from the band's ancient days. Should you get a hankerin' to play "Big Dumb Rock Song" for Joey Lawrence, there is a 99.3 percent probability that he will shout "Woah!!!!" This is cognitive music that constantly cradles the boundaries between flashy entertainer and tortured soul.

Free Radio Update

You've killed your television, but you've still got Days of Our Lives on the radio dial. Disappointed with last week's NFU, Brian, a Free Radio Santa Cruz host, says the station is "strictly a collective" and "do not have a station manager," and that it was a consensus decision by the collective to let Merlin go, because he didn't follow station policy. Merlin did not attend the 15-person meeting on Jan. 9. While racy content generated some phone complaints on previous shows, this was not the basis for his dismissal, according to Brian. V-Man at Free Radio Santa Cruz reportedly was served with a citation from a FCC representative last Friday.

I saw the epic video of Merlin's last show. It is bizarre. There is some mild lesbian banter on the air, the bulk of which comes from the hammy mouth of Merlin's co-host, Hans Groper (who resigned on the air last Saturday). The video features an entertaining verbal tirade and door punching from another radio host after Merlin airs a confidential voice mail of that same radio host on the air.


Junk Sick Dawn, Live Wire, Dolores and Watch It Burn are at the Catalyst Thursday; Friday, the What-Nots, Madderhorn and Philistine Tent Camp are at Callahan's; also on Friday, the Lonely Kings, Lodestar (CD release) and Jetlag play the Catalyst.

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From the January 19-26, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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