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Suck on This

I don't know why I was worried about the SUPERSUCKERS only getting an hour-long opening slot for REV. HORTON HEAT last Monday at the Catalyst. Shit, they can bang out most of their songs in about 2 1/2 minutes. If I could do math, I could tell you how many songs that gives them time for, but anyway, it's a lot. They did new stuff, they did the best songs (like "Pretty Fucked Up") off their last album, they did old favorites ("Bad Bad Bad," "Luck," "Born With a Tail," etc.). And they played a lot of the best songs off my favorite record of theirs, The Evil Powers of Rock N Roll. They even had time to re-create the cool transition between "Dirt Roads, Dead Ends and Dust" and "Fisticuffs" perfectly from the album. And no disrespect to the Rev., but who's home at a reasonable hour on a school night? Me.

And as much as I love taking my mother's advice, that wasn't even the best part. The best part was bumping into KYLE GASS of TENACIOUS D, who was there with his side project, TRAINWRECK. Let me explain ... no no no, there is too much. Let me sum up: New D record, getting laid down as we speak. D movie starts filming in May. Start working on your cock push-ups immediately in preparation.

Steve Palopoli

Jazz Lib

Despite the frankly obscene amount of PHAROAH SAUNDERS MP3s that live in my computer, I am not the biggest fan of free jazz. Its intensity and immediacy usually wears off within about 10 minutes, unless it's ERIC DOLPHY, but it's not, 'cause he's dead. But I digress. ALL EARS plays way out there sometimes--three horns at once, lots of altissimo, no discernible beat, all that stuff--but then, with a hand signal or a whisper, all six of them drop into a tune, a real tune with a melody filled with both humor and punch. These breaks provided a wonderful, cohesive point of departure for the acrobatics that would follow. By offsetting their free material with these pauses, it added both accessibility and enjoyment to the music inside and outside of the tonal barriers. Besides, their drummer, MICHAEL VATCHER, has some chops that even BILLY MARTIN of MMW might want to bone up on. The thump of his bass drum kept the horn line in queue all throughout the evening. Pretty impressive stuff from the Low Countries.

Harp Hero

If your experiences with the HARP are typical, then you probably think that it is best suited to Easter Brunch background music, pre-processional wedding music or cheesy television dramatizations of the hereafter. For those lucky souls who went to see MARTA TOPFEROVA last week, their perceptions of the harp are probably forever altered by the playing of EDMAR CASTANEDA. Carrying the bass with his left hand and frantically throwing out chords and arpeggios with his right, he did the work of several musicians. On solos, he would incorporate an entire arsenal of flashy guitar tricks into his playing: golpes, rasguedos and insane ponticello passages. I couldn't believe either the range of sounds or the level of expression that he was able to chunk out of his instrument. Marta was also impressive, confidently throwing out tunes on the CUATRO and singing with great restraint, but also great beauty. She also throws down on the MARACAS. God, I love those things. So small. So groovy. So polyrhythmic.

Upcoming

I will now give away one secret of the inner workings of Metro Santa Cruz. If you ever send in a press release that's wrapped in a Trapper Keeper folder, it will get opened. (Trust us, the number of times that the music department has collectively watched NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is beyond comprehension.) THE JOKE played upon our love of the lime green keeper to tell us about their upcoming show at the UGLY MUG this coming Friday, April 1. An unassuming and thoroughly enjoyable group, these guys will fire up the unrepentant rock and amusing stage banter around 7pm. In other related local music news, YOUR MUSIC MAGAZINE will put on an installment of the BATTLE OF THE BANDS, Friday, April 1, at 9pm at the APTOS CLUB. And if you vote for SUMMER, all your hopes and dreams will come true. Vote for Summer!

Peter Koht

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From the March 30-April 6, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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