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[whitespace] Waters of Levin

Bassist Tony Levin comes out of 'Big Time' shadow with his own high-powered band

By David Espinoza

IF YOU'RE ONE to believe that most musicians who back up major pop stars never get enough credit, you'll be pleased to know bassman Tony Levin is riding into town June 15 to play Palookaville without his pesky tag-along singer, Peter Gabriel. A longtime studio pro, Levin is the bass sound behind tunes like "Big Time" and a rhythm section heavy for top-names like Paul Simon and James Taylor. Joining Levin will be Larry Fast on keyboards and Jerry Marotta on drums--if those names ring a bell it's because they are also ex-Peter Gabriel band members. Don't expect rendition of "Sledgehammer" or "Red Rain," though. On the set list is material from Levin's latest release, Waters of Eden.

Lost Name

Things are heating up for Black Flag-inspired local punkers Lost Cause. According to promoter Todd Kent, who's putting on Saturday's Skate Jam at the Civic, Lost Cause, with a new recording on Half Pint Records coming out, is working on landing professional management and hitting the road. One slight problem: If you look up the name "Lost Cause" on Yahoo, you get a horror-punk band from Portland, Ore. That's nothing. A SoCal band from back in the '80s apparently has claim to the name. Copyrighting: Ain't it a can of Spam? While it probably would be more fun to add a number to their name (my idea: "Lost Cause 66," in tribute to Fury 66) or do like the Brits and include the city they're from ("Lost Cause SC"), the band has opted for changing the name entirely. The new name? You'll have to ask yourselves. All I can say is that it begins with an L.

Sid Vicious Midgets

Speaking of the local scene, did anyone catch East Coast boys Bouncing Souls' quick shout out to the infamous Santa Cruz band the Vicious Midgets at P-ville June 4? Who would have thought a bunch of guys from Jersey would know about one of SC's favorite underground crews from back in the day? Perhaps it has something to do with Rick Graves, who left the Midgets in 1994 and moved to New York and started another punk band called the Dregs. With Graves back in town, and the Midgets reunited with a new drummer, the timing of the Bouncing Souls' plug couldn't have been better.

As for the Bouncing Souls' performance, it was good but paled in comparison to Boston's Dropkick Murphys. Opening with a bagpipe-playin' guy who looked disturbingly like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the Dropkick Murphys threw down one ornery set of shamrock punk. With tattoos like a sailor and a bark that makes Rancid's Tim Armstrong sound like Britney Spears, lead singer Al Barr moved like a sergeant onstage, shouting out orders and getting anthem-like responses. Already a big name in the tiny oi scene, the Dropkick Murphys is destined to go farther than most other crews. The band's incorporation of mandolins and bagpipes with rumbling punk drumming offers an edge not explored enough in rock music.

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From the June 7-14, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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