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Notes From the Underground

Grrrls Riot:
Frisco dyke rockers provoke and entertain Redroomites

Women of all shapes, sizes and sexual slants converged in the Redroom last Saturday, and the result was a giddy and sorely missed sense of community. SF's Dirt Bike Gang slammed into a dyke-a-billy set that ended up more festival than how. After their third song, "Permission," drummer Michelle Tea stripped off her shirt and kept pounding away without the bat of an eyelash. Roused by her shit-eating grin and singer Cherie Bombardier's greaser growls, the audience punctured the air with screams and whistles.

Locals X-Girl 13 played a slightly scattered but impressive set. Wiry, tattooed frontwoman Cheri "Lovedog" Huber caught every pierced ear with "Every Six Minutes," a simple, compelling song about blowing rapists to kingdom come with a .38 special. Her deep voice was complemented by drummer Amy's higher one as they cruised from mid-tempo chants to speedy surf ballads, closing with the more frivolous "Punk Rock Girl."

Tribe 8 was the evening's culmination as singer Lynn Breedlove cussed, sneered, cackled and sweated the crowd back to the glorious unclean days of riot rock. The occasional ska riff spiced up fast, powerful songs. When three of these rowdy dykes followed the bare-breasted precedent, a male voice called out "Suck my left one!" and Breedlove retorted condescendingly, "Wrong girl band. I know we all look alike." The already frenzied pit went ballistic to songs like "Dead Clothed Boys" (as opposed to "Live Nude Girls"), and a fight was narrowly avoided as about 10 women pinned an apparently deranged man to the wall. Tribe 8 appears on Geraldo this spring in a "message in the music" show that includes white supremacists and angry dykes. I've little doubt who will come out "on top."
Arwen Curry

Tape Review: Drain's Lower Ocean

This local foursome gives a nod to their 'hood with Lower Ocean, a six-song demo. It's a solid piece of work, and the sound quality is faithful to the intensity of their live shows. Roger Maynard's drumming--simultaneously manic and controlled--accentuates dramatic stops and starts in "Anything You Want," and bass and guitar solos balance Shea Davis' vocals, which range from haunting and melodic to impossibly deep. The morose imagery in "Incision the Envision" evokes Cobain's obsession with medical terminology, while "Call This Free" exudes funk a la Chili Peppers. Drain plays Friday at the Redroom with Wyrm and SF's Thrill Pillows (21 plus, 10pm), and at Emi's on Sunday with Junk Sick Dawn (21 plus, 10pm). Also look out for new demos from Bread and Thunder, Diversion, Witchhook Sky and X-Girl 13.
Arwen Curry

Upcoming

On Saturday, Spaceboy and San Francisco's Crutch play the Redroom with LA's Fu Manchu (21 plus, 10pm), or check out Saturday's ska fest at Palookaville with Skankin' Pickle and Monkey Man (16 plus, 9pm, $8/$6.50). On Monday, Fishbone plays Palookaville with Super 8, and don't miss Ten Foot Pole, Bouncing Souls, Screw 32 and Reliance Wednesday (April 3) at SC Hotel (see Playing Around on page 15).
Michael Mechanic

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From the March 28-April 3, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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