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Groovie, Baby!

Turns out Drag the River and the Groovie Ghoulies make a great pair, as they proved at Moe's Alley last Tuesday. These guys have been teaming up a lot lately, but you might not see the connection immediately between Drag the River's heavy country and the Ghoulies' triple-time punk rock. But first, consider that DTR have their roots in punk (Riverman Chad Price is also the vocalist for All) and that the Ghoulies are known to put their punk into roots (in the form of the Americana side project The Haints). Then take this pop quiz: 1. Their cover of the Misfits' "Hybrid Moments" was a highlight of which band's set? 2. This band broke out their rocked-up, JOHNNY CASH-like "The Highwayman" to screams of approval from the crowd. 3. Which of these bands closed with covers of Motorhead's "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.," the Ramones' "Pet Sematary" and Jonathan Richman's "Dancing Late at Night?" 4. Reykjavik is the capital of what country?

Answers: 1. Drag The River; 2. Groovie Ghoulies; 3. Groovie Ghoulies; 4. Iceland. Need I say more about what a kick-ass show this was, or about how Iceland is actually green, while Greenland is ironically quite icy?

Steve Palopoli

Oh My God, Look What the Cat Dragged In

Sometimes, an announcement is so important that it deserves to be a paragraph all its own, and that's what's about to happen right now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Santa Cruz has its very own Poison tribute band.

It's true, and if you were scared to swallow their good-time-glam shtick the first time around, open up and say ... ahh motherfucker, because it's time to party, and Antidote ain't nothin' but a good time. Really, how can you resist?

Makeup and teased hair? Check. Tight leopard-skin pants and low-lung studded belts? Check. Miscellaneous women's accessories, bandanas and white gloves with fingers removed for maximum microphone grip? Check, check and check. Really, though, the best part about their outfits is that they're not exact replicas of this or that performance/album cover. You can tell they just went shopping in the women's section at thrift stores and snatched up all the fluffiest fur and the cheesiest skin-tight clothes they could find, adding a few touches from Hot Topic for flare--and yet they absolutely nailed it! And they nailed the songs, too, belting out anthems like "Talk Dirty To Me," "I Want Action" and "Fallen Angel" with all the conviction and energy of a real live Poison video. They hit the mark on the C.C. DeVille guitar solos and did a fine job on lead vocals. They even hammed it up with a few songs from other '80s glam bands--Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name," AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" and Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart," a few of which proved the old saying true that "every rose has its thorn"--the vocal imitations of Brian Johnson and Vince Neil sounded a lot like a cat getting a vivisection, but even still they really only highlighted the ridiculous extremes to which a lot of popular singers in the '80s stretched their voices. Need I say more than W. Axl Rose?

But overall the show was a blast, taking the guilt out of a guilty pleasure and replacing it with straight-faced irony--who would have thought that the antics of one of the most notorious '80s glam bands would one day enable four young men from Santa Cruz to dress up like women and rock out, no explanation necessary? Even the scantily clad groupies of yore made an appearance in the form of, well, a scantily clad group of girls tarted out in fishnets and ultra miniskirts, dancing with the kind of abandon that only occasions like Halloween or an '80s glam rock show seem to so graciously enable.

Viva la Antidote!


Julian Marley at the Catalyst on Feb. 19. Lonely Kings at the Aptos Club on Feb. 20. Cheryl Wheeler at the Kuumbwa on Feb. 21. Los Lobos at the Mello Center on Feb. 23.

Mike Connor

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From the February 18-25, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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