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Notes From the Underground

Partying Punks Attract 'the Man'
Friday-night revelry threatens the Basement

Could the basement's glory days be dwindling? Let's hope not, but the temporary Band-aid that the underground space generously applied to our gaping wound of a venue crisis threatened to peel off last Friday when "the fuzz" presented one resident with a written warning at the U.S. Bombs show.

Nothing Cool opened up, followed by Riff Raff and It., both of whom lived up to their local reps with tight, relaxed performances. The audience consisted more of seasoned punks and skins who crawled out of the woodwork to see the old-school SoCal headliners. During It.'s set, neighbors got peeved at the large group of unruly, beer-swilling show-goers littered about, and the cops proceeded to break up the party. But after a hurried session of punk-rock phone tag, the tipsy crowd disbanded, relocating at the Riff Raff house in Soquel.

Things got even more out of control safely behind closed doors. The Bombs played rowdy and fast pop-punk with lyrics they've sung so many times that even a case of Natural Pilsner couldn't erase them from memory. Adorable beer-spraying stage antics completed the picture. It was a classic drunk-punk fest--replete with manic pogoing, vomit and angry brawls--that's been a stranger to sensitive SC. Despite the complications, the show breathed a taste of sweaty, belligerent youth rebellion into the scene and made it pretty clear that the Basement needs to rule out certain shows for survival's sake.

Anyway, future shows will probably be set up by the Santa Cruz Music Collective, which is reconvening to provide more cool stuff for "da kids."

Some of the same crowd showed up at the Redroom to see Hayride to Hell on Saturday, and showed no signs of sobering up. Craig Hart is a demon on the stand-up bass, twanging through a set that marked the Santa Clara psycho-punk foursome as one of the best local acts of its kind. One highlight was the shameless theft of a Led Zeppelin bass line in "Fartbreaker." Riff Raff opened with yet another polished set, followed by Buddy's Riot, after which the audience lost all decorum in a degenerate hickster mosh-pit.

Hayride has a new tape available. Write them at 2325 Lafayette St., Santa Clara, 95050.
Arwen Curry


On Thursday, Berkeley's Accustomed to Nothing and female rockers Squat are scheduled to play at the Basement with The Zero Tolerance and Task Force. On Friday and Saturday, Pisces Underground Theater Company performs what they describe as a "live zine," flanked by the music of local bands Staph Psychiatrist and Unsafe at What is Art? (2044 N. Pacific, 8pm, all ages). Also on Saturday, SoCal's Coathang'r Kids play with Berkeley's Schlong, the What-Nots and Tap Toe Tale at the Basement. On Sunday, Vincent's Ear plays at Emi's with the What-Nots (21 plus, 10pm).
Michael Mechanic

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From the June 6-12, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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