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Notes From the Underground

Donut Shop Bop:
Caffeine and sugar fuel Ferrell's variety show

I SNAGGED AN APPLE FRITTER and coffee and settled down to hear some rök last Tuesday at Ferrell's Donuts. Permagrin, a buncha artsy locals, did a set of funk- and jazz-influenced stuff that alternated between captivating and annoying. Their drummer is super impressive, apparently jazz-trained and always challenging himself with some weird-ass new beat, ostensibly to fend off boredom.

U?meez were trippers. The closest comparison I've got is the Japanese duo Ruins. Also a duo, of bass (or guitar) and drums, U?meez definitely have that Ruins/Mike Watt/Hedgehog experimental-jazz-punk sound. They switched instruments for their last song--a thrashy Devo cover. Next up: 17 Queen, with ex-Portraits of Past people. Three hep-dressed bleached-blond kids on the strings and, on drums, this cat Mag, SC's only black punk musician to my knowledge, who also plays guitar for .Staple. These guys rip out some pretty neat emo-core stuff, driven by Fender 4-by-12 amps. They were so into it that I got a little sad, cuz I couldn't hear a word of the vocals.

Last on were the Gorehounds, who ROCK!, but were cut a bit short when a cop came in for some donuts. Another drummer told me that when he watches Lee Tom hit the drums, he wants to give up and play ukulele. I concur. (Calm down, Turtle. I ain't dissin' your ukes.)
Michael Mechanic

Pro-L.I.F.E.

Friday's show at the Capitola Community Center was like a small-town smorgasbord--packed with variety and honest flavor. New on the scene, L.I.F.E. opened with a flurry of short, sincere hardcore songs. After only a handful of practices with their new singer, the strength of the set made it pretty obvious they're no spring chickens. Gary Harp sings like Jesse from Op Ivy, only faster. His determined but vague lectures on social injustice drew whines of frustration at first, but soon some of the most vehemently anti-PC were jumping around like spooked rabbits. It was a damned impressive first show, but since the band isn't into the whole rock-star thing, don't be squealing for autographs.

Black Label went on next and threw in some commentary of their own, followed by Locus, who filled in for Berkeley's Redemption 87. Their soulful, bass-thick Seattlite rock was a nice change of pace and surprisingly well-received by the kids.

Fury 66 wrapped it up with style, considering they spent half the time dodging elbows and praying for the survival of their equipment. The lack of a stage was a big hassle and another reminder that we need a new permanent venue.
Arwen Curry

Upcoming

Salmon, Dime Store Hoods, Static and We're Called Peace play at Palookaville on Thursday (16 plus, $5, 9pm). Funk-metal oddballs Dammit Jim! play with Love Dogs at Don Quixote's in Felton on Saturday (9pm).
Michael Mechanic

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From the May 2-8, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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