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Numero Uno

[whitespace] Woodpecker
Kym A.

Pecker Up: Woodpecker falls from the sky with its album of metal rock

New album shows there's more to local music than poppy punk

After overdosing on pop punk, I am recovering quite well with a metal treat. Woodpecker's Uno has become a vital part of my day-to-day rehabilitation. I was cruising on my Mongoose bike when this Woodpecker CD fell from the sky and knocked me sprawling onto the asphalt. I can interpret signs, and I vowed from that day forward to be a disciple of Woodpecker.

The guitar leads of Diablo (the artist formerly known as Don) are a fuzzed-out sensation, especially on the jaw-dropping opener, "Salmon of Knowledge." "Bees Knees" is a fine song, too, with unpredictable leads that you won't find anywhere else. Diablo's vocals have a drunken drawl like David Yow of Jesus Lizard, which is always a hoot.

Drummer A.J.'s thunderous downbeats and clever fills, most notably on "Above My Head," should implore Peter Criss to hand over all his Kiss cosmetics because there's a new deity in town. The intricate time changes in each neo-nuclear Melvins-styled ditty are conquered without a trace of awkwardness. My only complaint is that the endless samples before each song reminded me of when I sampled my mom's chocolate-flavored Exlax. After tasting kind of neat at first, the experience got real tiresome real quick.

In addition to finding a new label, Woodpecker's looking to relocate to SF, so check them out here while you can. Overall, Uno is a bundle of sludgy metallic joy. To all you headbangers who quickly crossed over to the Land of Short, Dyed Hairdom, the joke's on you--metal is back, and it's a step in front of you.

For a copy, write Naked Jain Records, P.O. Box 4132, Palm Springs, 92263.
Matt Koumaras

House Broken

I've done my share of eulogizing bands, promoters and other scattered folks who for some reason quit doing their thing in SC. It's gotten to the point where I'm now lamenting the demise of 320A California St. for the third time, and I'm beginning to feel genuinely sad. Its last batch of promoters had a final stint earlier this month--they're now piled in the Yaphet Kotto van, heading for the touring hills.

You can bet they'll return and have hopes of putting on shows elsewhere, but we all know by now that certain houses are just blessed, and the cops have secret transmitters that connect directly to neighbors' porches of everywhere else.

The torch has passed through four or five generations of California Street kids--all of them at least somewhat willing to put on shows in that squished little nook. The residents have generally supported out-of-town bands, often throwing a few locals in. Various people in the house brought in many shades of the indie/punk spectrum, ranging from pop to crust to power violence to garage to, most recently, hard(emo)core. Bands with faithful followings in other parts of the world have their 10 or 12 fans here, and they pitched in gas money these past years to see them. Thanks, fearless show organizers.

SC hasn't given up entirely on the house-show theme, though sometimes it's accompanied by the price of a noise violation. Despite precautions, that's how it went on Saturday night across town from the ex-venue of lore. Usually, the party is broken up and equipment stolen, thus preventing the Damones from ever making it on stage. But this time
Arwen Curry

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From the June 25-July 1, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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