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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

[whitespace] Political P.A.W.N.S.:
Punk bands with something to say rock The Point on the Eastside

Political Silence and P.A.W.N.S. played at The Point last Friday. With no cover charge, I knew I'd get my money's worth, but I never expected something like this. Wow! Two great, no-nonsense hardcore bands. P.A.W.N.S. opened the show, and let me just say, it was P.U.N.K.R.O.C.K. The band thrashed with serious authority, reminding me of a quicker, more deviant Blatz. The songs "Fox Hole" and "Explosion" were awesome! The cool female-male tag-team vocals of St. Ann and Warren Sides made me so happy I wanted to pogo in the nude (video is now available at Frenchy's).

I remember seeing an earlier version of Political Silence years ago at the Treehouse. Well, the band is still playing with a tight, tough-as-nails punk style. Despite a feedback problem, "For Your Rights" woke me up from a quick slumber between bands. Ray Dehated belts out insightful lyrics with a fed-up, unpasteurized manner like the insane punk singers of yesteryear.

Political Silence, with its intricate hardcore takes, offers so much more than the plethora of today's punk frauds (see Goldfinger and Smash mouth). Little drummer boy Clark went all out during both sets without missing a single beat, despite a 101-degree fever. He receives my M.V.P. (Most Valuable Punk) award for the evening. You're better support both bands before the government locks them away!
Matt Koumaras

Admiring the Zinery

Worth checking out: one of the free copies of Ezra Ace's Happy Happy, Kill Kill zine which somehow made the trip from SoCal's Encinitas and is now floating around town awaiting your perusal. While I wouldn't pay much for HHKK, I appreciated the voice, which is neither self-absorbed nor faceless and is sometimes engaging, especially the interview with Shepard Fairey--instigator of the Andre the Giant sticker campaign--on public art and phenomenology.

I admit the vast majority of indie publications I've read recently seem to slot themselves neatly into a few categories. First up, the MRR Scene Report zine--noble, but lacking the scope and wealth of resources. This usually has the flavor of the paper it's printed on and burns out in a few months.

Then, the HeartAttack zine: a more self-righteous version, imbued with heavy emotional/political content spaced neatly between predictable interviews.

And last, the Cometbus zine. This one falls most heartbreakingly short of its precedent. It's a diary of reflections loosely linked to the indie/punk music scene. Great idea, but often mimicking.

The zine list goes on forever, but the desire to contribute excuses all lukewarm attempts. And of course, there are many insightful and/or original ideas floating around, whether or not the form is familiar (same goes for the music). It's too soon to give up and start obsessively reading BAM (unless, of course, you really want to).
Arwen Curry

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From the February 5-11, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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