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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

Y'all Come Back, Ya Hear?:
New and practiced locals show off to touring bands

FRIDAY NIGHT WAS AN ACCIDENTAL SHOWCASE of talent for new (and some improved) Santa Cruz bands. Two Taps Left, a three-piece comprised of some of our more prolific and unpredictable local musicians, confused a small, gathering crowd at the 320-A house by nervously practicing before the show, thereby pushing the starting time back by half-hour intervals. Though we all know that tardiness is only a sign of genius in a musician, these guys didn't have much of an excuse. Even if it was their first show, none of them could be considered unaccustomed to performing.

Bunny Foot Charm from Olympia opened the show and accepted the delay with very little whining, even after the rabbit's foot key chain that was its inspiration snapped while the band was lugging in equipment. Fortunately, the bad omen proved a mere superstition, and BFC's set, which one observer aptly called "the true grunge," went without mishap.

At a birthday extravaganza across town, the Cenobites (named after some mechanical critters in Bladerunner) played an intense yet somehow lighthearted set with the assistance of mass quantities of reverb and vocal distortion. Featuring former members of Fat Goddess Friday, the new band seems to better amplify the speed-freak drumming and bassist Shark's obvious skill with computer and otherwise distorted music. To add that warm, friendly edge to a bristly set including titles like "Skullfuck," the band played a Crimpshrine cover, which led nicely into American Steel's pogo-friendly set.

An impressive number of bands, several of whom were displaying their hours of practice for the first time, crammed into the sparse hours of an evening, emphasizing yet again the versatility and endurance of local talent. No one's giving up yet.

Bunny Hugs and Hardcore

In the back of Moonzoom, a consignment shop on SC's Pacific Avenue, check out a tiny section called "Bunny Hugs and Kisses." In a little box tucked in beside the antique platform shoes and sunglasses, you'll find a small selection of brutal hardcore records, along the lines of Spazz, Noothgrush, El Dopa and Grief. The section is maintained by the drummer of Noothgrush, who I believe can only be found on the premises on Thursdays, but her merchandise is always ready for purchase in this depressing retail dry spell.

On that note, it has been rumored that San Jose's Pirate Cat Records is soon to be no more, even after its promising relocation. While it's still possible, we should make it a priority to support the Catters--as well as all small, good distributors. And in the meantime, it would be wise to remember that hardcore can be found in the most unlikely places.


On Thursday, Soda Pop Fuck You plays with Lucky Strike and others at Los Caporales in Santa Rosa (21 and up). On Friday, Superbooty and the Marginal Prophets play at The Catalyst (all ages). Dilligaf plays the Asti on Saturday (10pm, 21 and up, free). On Monday, The Great Unraveling and Blank play at the 320-A house (6pm, all ages, $3).

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From the May 1-7, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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