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Don't Let's Restart: The upstart Restarts play the Med March 24.

Country Charm

Local country music struck again at Henfling's last weekend, where The Devil Makes Three packed 'em in at the little venue for two consecutive nights. Saturday evening began with the saw and accordion duo Blackstrap, who performed the week before at Caffe Pergolesi. The difference between the two shows was unfortunately huge, and reminds me of similar problems that DM3 encountered when they tried amplifying their all-acoustic music at various little venues around town--the perfect simplicity of their live acoustic act was marred by uneven amplification. Megan's untutored voice, charming in a tiny room balanced with accordion and saw, became overpoweringly shrill when amplified, especially when the vocal melody was mirrored by an equally overamplified saw. Like an unsatisfying bootleg of a live show, the charm of imperfection was destroyed when removed from its natural setting.

The sound was even a bit off for DM3--too quiet, with muffled vocals. But the band itself is sounding better and more confident than ever. And as new songs continue to creep into their repertoire, it's pretty clear they've got enough material for another album. Bassist Lucia Turino said they'll be looking to make that happen after they get back from a mini-tour in France.

In an unrelated story, Cooper McBean finally put to rest the mysterious disappearance of Boaz, the band's former drummer. Without getting into the gory details, the lesson learned was essentially this: if you want to keep your drummer, don't pee in bottles where he sleeps, and be sure to shower regularly.

No Longer En Fuego?

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of 97.9 KEBV, a.k.a. "En Fuego," a hip-hop (y mas!) radio station serving Salinas and Watsonville, please call 831.457.9000, ext. 213, immediately. It seems to have vanished without a trace, and its mommy and daddy are very worried.

Upcoming

Based in Potsdam, Germany, Le Scrawl produces, quite simply stated, the most terrifying sound to invade my headphones ever. Seriously, I'm listening to their album, Eager to Please, right now, and there's something about the fusion of grindcore, death metal, ska, jazz and even flamenco, and combined vocals that sound roughly like an extended belch delivered at the precise moment that an elephant crushes a living human head, that causes a curious sense of revulsion not unlike that felt when a beetle crawls into one's ear. It's horrible and brilliant and completely unlike anything I've ever heard. Hear them live with Nigel Pepper Cock at the Mediterranean on Saturday, March 20.

The London-based Restarts fall into the straightforward, anthemic, screaming, sometimes unintelligible but always polysyllabic mode of punk rock that is, once again, a vicious deconstruction of the "one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars." Check out the band in action at the Mediterranean on March 24, along with the hardest-working punk band in the county, Los Dryheavers (whose new album on Lorelei Records, Heartaches, Hangovers and Hangups, comes out on April 1) also perform.

Mike Connor

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From the March 17-24, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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