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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

Making the Zine:
Local underground publications
continue to flourish

RECENTLY HITTING THE STREETS with its second issue is Concussion, a title that conjures a familiar threat to all serious skateboarders. The young skateboard enthusiasts responsible for the zine have a distinctively snotty, obsessive attitude that reminds me of how it used to be when skating was a viable and subversive underground culture replete with music, idiom, rivalry and a passionate lust for the concrete. The handsome, full-page, half-locally produced zine has reassured me that such a culture still exists, rejecting with its own particular aggression the baggy apathy of the Gen X paradigm.

Concussion's interviews with appropriate bands like the Descendents and the Supersuckers are well-planned and conducted with true affinity, expressing appreciation without colliding with the punk rock pedestal or spewing meaningless praise. Photo "exposés" of various skaters and events are exhilarating, yet detailed and critical. The record reviews are few yet eye-catching, covering a wide spectrum of punk from Assfort to H2O with opinion based more on quality than style. The zine is lightened by helpful essays on home asphyxiation and cop car identification interspersed throughout the photo-laden pages.

Perhaps the most interesting piece challenges the rise of the street "hippie-punk" and subsequent loss of identity of both factions. Concussion has seen a creative boost since its first issue and is generally a catchy zine (P.O. Box 1024, Santa Cruz, 95061-1024, $2), even if you've long ago torched your board.

A half-page zine now in its fifth issue, Playtime Daddy also is taking great leaps and bounds. While the zine is still packed with the very intimate ruminations of a local high school girl, the new issue shows a development of voice in addition to the sincerity of inward reflections in poetry, art, quotations and rants. Editor/publisher Satanica also includes reviews of records, zines, and local shows, invariably from a personal standpoint--which, in her case, is a bonus.

The pages of Playtime Daddy (2566 Parker St., SC, 95065, 75 cents or trade) are filled with seemingly random clips of evangelical clip art, astute and moving comments on a male-dominated, often mindless youth culture, and Satanica's strange, melodramatic artwork. Her writing is frank, but articulated with a poetic rhythm better showcased in her prose than verse. When the newest regeneration of underground culture gains focus and vitality, it will undoubtedly be thanks to minds like Satanica's.


On Wednesday, the Exploding Crustaceans play at UCSC's Stevenson College (8pm, 18 and up with ID, come before 7pm or take the bus to get in). On Saturday, Noah and the Bagels, Abhorrance and The Cleaners play in town (email me at the address listed below for more info).

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From the May 8-14, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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