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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

Same Old Sugar, Twice the Caffeine:
Soda Pop Fuck You puts the fizz back in ska-punk

THE ASTI CAFE HOSTED YET ANOTHER impromptu show last Sunday featuring a very smiley Soda Pop Fuck You, dolled up for the occasion with polished shoes and new punky hair all around. The band members looked smashing, and in the weeks since they've played have tightened their sound considerably.

The Asti's one-band set policy allows hours of playing time. This can be, of course, a detrimental factor when bands have only six songs committed to heart and ingeniously resort to replaying their sets after a short intermission, convinced (almost always correctly) that the patrons will soon be too inebriated to notice. While Soda Pop's set was not exactly professional, it did consist of genuinely original tunes to be recorded in the near future for the group's first album. The as-yet-unnamed disc will probably be produced by Bad Monkey Records in conjunction with SF's New Disorder Records.

Not only are Soda Pop's beats getting slicker, stops more pronounced and presence on stage more comfortable, but the new songs chart an interesting diversion from the well-beaten path of the band's sound. Without retreating into a danceable rehashing of established ska beats, the band maintained the ska-punk premise while attempting more difficult, bluesy, off-tempo structures. The fact that Soda Pop fumbled a bit over the new songs is only a symptom of the healthiest kind of growing pain.

Some exciting projects, including the new album, seem to have renewed the Soda Poppers' energy--perhaps they've taken the leap from Safeway Select to Mountain Dew, to reign some day as the kings (and queen) of caffeine.

Cooperative Update

In slightly more sober news, Jeanette Aguilar, spokesperson for the still-unnamed music cooperative project currently in the works, went on the air at KZSC last Wednesday night to introduce some plans to the listening public. Unable to make it to the set, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the positive response phoned in. One girl even pulled off the freeway on her way home from Gilman St. to offer her commiseration and assistance. Meetings are being held weekly and--judging by the feedback on the air and by some of the letters I've received bemoaning the scene--the turnout should be considerable. Once again, for info on meeting times or to offer your services as sound operator, construction worker or bored millionaire, call 427-1607. The importance of such a space cannot be stressed too greatly.

Upcoming

On Wednesday, Widespread Panic plays the Civic (8pm, $20) and Undercover S.K.A. plays the Catalyst (21 and up). On Saturday, Fury 66, Reliance, Chances Are and Blind Side play at 361 Orange Ave., Sand City (8pm, all ages, $5/$6). Also on Saturday, Gorehounds and Unsafe play the Asti Cafe (9pm, free, 21 and up). Live shows on KZSC (88.1 FM): St. James Infirmary next Monday, and, hopefully, Gorehounds on Tuesday, both at 9pm.

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From the March 27-April 2, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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