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Notes From the Underground

[whitespace] Kuba The Illustrated Man: D.O.A. bassist Kuba kicks out the jams and shows off his gloriously decorated essence at a Palookaville gig last Tuesday night.

© Peter Saporito


The Arrival:
Canada's classic punk rocker troupe--D.O.A.-- makes a heart-stopping SC visit

D.O.A. MAKES SANTA CRUZ A REGULAR STOP every tour, and it's about time we give some props to this fine Canadian trio. Where was everybody last Tuesday at Palookaville? Was the rain hurting your wimpy eyes, or were you saving your cash for that Grateful D.O.A. show? A couple local bands on the bill would have helped, but still, there was a rather below-average showing.

D.O.A's tunes off of Festival of Atheists got real creepy with their reggae diversions, but you have to approach D.O.A. like your parents savor a Rolling Stones concert. They aren't paying $200 to hear anything off of Steel Wheels--they want "Gimme Shelter" and "Under My Thumb."

Always aiming to please, D.O.A. shredded through "The Prisoner," "Disco Sucks," the underrated gem "2 Plus 2," plus "Overtime." The riffs on these classics were just about as sharp as a Gillette razor, and the always charming vocalist/guitarist Joey Keithley still packs more saliva per show than anyone.

Seattle's Zeke, riding the buzz off its "Kicked in the Teeth" release, served up meat-and-potatoes rock whose blood flowed through the same veins as the New Bomb Turks/Supersuckers but infinitely faster. Zeke was a three-chord machine and didn't believe in pausing between songs. Tons of sweat, tattoos and a dead ringer for a Hanson brother on lead guitar created the best rock & roll performance I've seen.
Matt Koumaras

So Says Who?

The odd fiveband line-up at So Say We was rewarded with an impressive turnout on Saturday night, but the crowd looked weary, with scattered fans and supporters hiding by the shadowy walls or sitting cross-legged on black plastic someone had painstakingly laid down over the dance floor.

I arrived in the middle of the Gorehounds' set and caught some songs. Robot God, up next, looked interesting (translation: used a synthesizer). Unfortunately, every time a song kicked in, the band left the guitar leagues away. I heard a bit later that it was actually missing a guitar player, which suddenly made everything much more forgivable. When the frontwoman handed off her bass and worked solo with the mic, the sound was much fuller and the vocals more powerful, though the lyrics--like "Kill yourself for the robot god" 15 times--were often jarringly repetitive.

Kung Fu Bastard, up next, was also pretty weird (but no synthesizer). The band's shtick is, you guessed it, kung fu (I'm not sure where the "bastard" part comes in). This means the singer takes off his shirt, tries to balance on one foot and says "Hi-yah!" and stuff like that. The band's sound was confusing as well--at times it seemed rollicking, swinging into a fast-ish beat with neat guitar moves, then dropped into slow ballad-rock songs that reminded me with a shudder of Tool.

Meat Pizza Sandwich finished off the set with good energy, considering the fact that it was already late and that at least one member had ingested some top-quality muscle relaxants. It played "Speed" and other goofy pop-rockers and managed to be consistent, a quality missing from the rest of the show.

So Say We obviously supports local music (all of the sandwiches I can't afford are named after local artists), but it hasn't promoted a lineup this diverse in the past. Everyone was excited, with good reason, about the use of the dance space for shows, and hopeful that its future will be bright.
Arwen Curry

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From the May 21-27, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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