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Notes From the Underground

Memorial Haze:
Every scene had its day last weekend

A tasty purée of musical styles was set on the table last weekend, but due to several unfortunate mishaps it didn't all come through. Thursday's Bollweevils/Falling Sickness show at the Basement never happened, thanks to a lapse of communication by the promoters. Needless to say, the snafu was poorly received by the out-of-town bands. On Friday, local ska outfit Slow Gherkin played a CD release show at Palookaville, competing with Jughead's Revenge and their supporters at the Portuguese Hall. The former was packed with fans, but the P-Hall show seemed to be heading swiftly toward its bedtime by the time the L.A. headliners took the stage.

On Saturday,'most every PC and straight-edge kid in Santa Cruz showed up at the Basement for a Food Not Bombs benefit starring SC's own metallic punkster prodigies, Diversion. Local newcomers Abhorrance opened up, followed by L.I.F.E. and Black Label, both of whom appear to be gaining a sudden and well-deserved local following. Third on the bill was Bakersfield's the Acrylics, who took politico-vegan hardcore to a new level with a sound that falls somewhere in between Grimple and Born Against. Their last song, "Poverty Content," was a refreshing break from the formulaic, with strong vocals and some new twists to traditional hardcore styles. They have a CD out on Mindreal Records and are planning a split 7-inch with Black Label in June.

The Starlite Desperation Show opened up for the What-Nots at Emi's on Sunday, after the regrettable cancellation of the New Bad Things. Clad in velvet, vinyl and lots of stage makeup, the Salinas trio looked like the epitome of androgynous Warhol-rock. Imagine David Bowie making a guest appearance with the Cramps after they had all snorted speed in the bathroom. The vocals were a little dimmed, but what set their sound apart was the successful combo of two guitars and no bass. Dante White-Aliano's guitar had a fairly stable personality, while Dana Miller mimicked the low reverberated solos of a bass when he wasn't wreaking maniacal havoc on the strings. The result was an exciting retro journey to an era as confused as our own. (AC)

Bomb Scare

Check out the spray-can talent at Atelier Gallery next to the Bagelry on Cedar Street. Artists Peace, Tropic, Some and James One will bomb the gallery walls for a showing titled under-EXPOSED that runs from Thursday­Wednesday. Call 429-9005 for more info. (MM)


US Bombs play at the Basement on Friday with It., Riff Raff and Nothing Cool (all ages, 7:30pm). On Saturday, seven bands including Junk Sick Dawn play UCSC's Stevenson College (1pm-7pm). On Sunday, the Whistle Pigs play at Emi's (21-plus, 10pm). (MM)

This week's NFU was written by Arwen Curry (AC) and Michael Mechanic (MM).

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From the May 30-June 5, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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