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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] satirical Pieta
Bend in the River of Life: Never forget all the good things that grandmas do for people, even for the punks of the world.

Raising Hill:
Newest Santa Cruz girl band rocks hard

LAST FRIDAY'S LINEUP AT THE WHOLE EARTH was a barrel of surprises. The Huxtables opened the Happy Hour before running downtown to play another show and were followed by the Gorehounds (who should be cherished like endangered owls--I hear one of their members may be splitting town for the Far East in the not-too-distant future). Then onto the "stage" like a great fire-breathing dragon leapt SC's new all-girl pop trio, the Peggy Hills.

I've always been suspicious of this "Woman in Rock" thing, like Lilith Fair. While the idea sounds positive, it's sort of like an empty embrace, a vast dumb category blotting out any real purpose. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, who doles out inane "advice to chick rockers" like "Don't belt or screech ... it sounds 'hysterical'" and "Don't refer to feminism."

Let's get this "cute" thing out of the way before I have to hurt someone. Miya (of the Muggs), Eden (of the What-Nots) and India (from the jazz world) are all under 5 feet, 3 inches with lovely smiles and homemade
T-shirts, but cute isn't the point. Their first song scared me a bit, but when jazz-trained vocalist India started singing, I felt goose bumps rising.

The P. Hills switched instruments a lot, and although proficiency levels varied, it was actually more fun than tedious. India and Eden traded lead vocals and came up with some off-harmonies that worked remarkably well. The songs themselves were filled with quirks and skips that rippled the predictable surface of the catchy pop formula. A sense of personal history, pride and growth pervaded the lyrical content and convinced me the band was working with a new set of rules. Oh, so good.
Arwen Curry

Old School

My worst fears were confirmed. My 79-year-old grandma is way more punk rock than I'll ever be. I should have detected the signs years ago when she volunteered to be my chauffeur on a three-hour quest to see G.B.H. Later that week when she was crocheting me a blanket, I overheard her humming the refrain to 7 Seconds' "Young Until I Die." She had a content smile on her face.

She soon began dyeing her hair a more drastic shade of blue each week and became pals with the Wayne's College of Beauty vixens. My grandma also takes the bus to the mall downtown every day because she knows that's where real punks earn their chains. Now when we go to Lyons for our weekly biscuits and gravy fix, she gets all the stares.

My grandma got her hip replaced at Dominican last December. She won't say how she hurt it, but my family and I know full well it was from the damage she dished out at the Strychnine show. Then last week, I picked her up at the Mid-County Senior Center from what I thought would be another ho-hum bingo night. When I went inside, my grandma started hurling Tecate bottles at me from the stage. I asked her what she was doing-- several times because she had her ear wedged against an Ampeg bass cabinet. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Sticking it to the man!"

Punk rock is truly for all ages. Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!
Matt Koumaras


On Wednesday, the Huxtables and the Blockheads play the Stevenson Rec. Room (8pm). On Sunday, Physics and A Deer in the Works play Porter Dining Hall (7pm).

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From the May 7-13, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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