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Photograph by Sabina Holber

My Kingdom For a Microphone Stand: One funny anecdote that Amitai Heller related at the New Thrill Parade Catalyst show was about a 'mmmhoooowwwdda' who 'waaahow'-ed his own 'abuahhhh.'

Beyond Henfling's

After a hectic, rootless week of long hours and many decisions, former HENFLING'S booking agent TOM MILLER--whose name has become synonymous with the club among music fans who trekked there regularly to catch an eclectic and top-notch roster of acts from around the world--has found a new home for his international music series, moving from Ben Lomond to downtown Felton (a boon for Santa Cruz residents, who now need only navigate Graham Hill Road in one semistraight shot) into DON QUIXOTE'S music room, which the restaurant is soundproofing and dedicating solely to concerts. And with 40 concerts already in place, Miller is both relieved and elated that the transition to the new venue is complete--even the new website (www.donquixotesmusic.com) is already up and running. He's also excited about the increased capacity, which he says is considerably larger than Henfling's, and has no structural obstructions limiting the view. Don Quixote's has a full bar, but kids ages 8 and up are welcome to attend seated shows.

Ironically, the SOMETHING ELSE farewell show kicks off the series on Feb. 4.

New Thrills

Some people just walked out, shaking their heads at the curious cacophony coming from the Catalyst Atrium. Inside, a moderately sized group of kids stood in a horseshoe shape around the stage, making room for the singer of the NEW THRILL PARADE, AMITAI HELLER, who was going apeshit in front of the stage like a Tasmanian Devil. Dressed in vintage white tux and a ruffly pink shirt, he screamed his case for discordant melodrama with eyes and mouth smeared a ghoulish black. Behind him, a bearish bassist wearing a big red POOH shirt sucked on his pacifier, his eyes and mouth also smeared black. The guitarist wore a mask covered in crucifixes and a red robe and dress, while the drummer hammered out the soundtrack to a short, nonexistent surrealist film depicting RINGO STARR in the throes of death. Occasionally, a cherubic young man wearing a shirt that read "God of Shit" fluttered around the stage like a retarded ballerina, feeding himself and the drummer mouthfuls of canned whipped cream. A shamisen player plucked from his lute tiny, tinny flurries of saltwater spray, joining a tidal wave of musical madness that filled the room to the brim with no apologies. Children screamed with terror and delight, others were unaffected. In the distance, an organ played. Shamisen, crashing symbols, screams, guitars. Genius--or something terribly similar.

Upcoming

We don't have Ph.D.s in mathematics or anything, but we're pretty sure that the following equation is correct: Alien + Guitar (- Gui) = ALIENTAR. But somewhere in between all the mathematical symbols hide psychedelic secrets that not even the ALLMAN BROTHERS understood, mutating trippy jams into prog-rock meditations on the modern cosmic rock evolution. Catch them on the Idle Hands Show on Community TV channel 27 on Friday, Jan. 28, from 7 to 8pm.

Mike Connor

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From the January 26-February 2, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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