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Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

[whitespace] 'Notes' columnist bids adieu
Kym A.

Bye and Bye: 'Notes' columnist packs up her toys and bids adieu to SC as she heads for the big city.

Another local troublemaker hits the road

I'm sorry to report I didn't make it to any local shows this weekend, though I was privileged enough to see Weakling, composed of two former members of ex-SC rock ensemble Bread and Thunder, rock the bejeezus out of its amplifiers at a club in San Francisco. I was reminded of that horror story in which a parasitic worm slowly burrows its way out of a wretched victim's skull as a form of torture. Mine, of course, was voluntary pain, and very worth it. But why, you may ask, was I neglecting the obvious charms of the Santa Cruz music scene to encourage those big-city shenanigans?

Just an obvious pit-stop, I respond, after unloading my paltry possessions from the bed of a late-model pickup and depositing them in a suburban garage. Just a little taste of the metal-infested waters to come. I can't say exactly where my doilies and crystal chandeliers will find a home, but it will be somewhere in that chic City with a capital "C."

Recently, national news items exposed a major syndicated "slice-of-life" columnist who faked names and events to "spice up" her writing. She was suspected of fraud because the quotes she printed seemed too articulate for natural speech. Funny, that. Even funnier how many times I have been helpfully advised by scenesters to just "make up a show," usually because the menu of possible events to attend resembled that old Monty Python "Spam" skit. It can be depressing, at times, when every chunk of live music you bite into turns out to be just another manifestation of Spam. But when the band in question emerges as a triumphant filet mignon, that's a moment to live for. That makes it worth facing the sometimes dreary reality, even when tempted by the glories of the imagination.

I have found myself at times squinting my eyes, trying to criticize bands with a completely fresh perspective, as if I knew nothing about them and had just stepped off a bus from Spokane. But it never works for long--the beauty of SC doesn't lie in anonymity. It's as if all the bands, promoters, zinesters, fans and various crazy kids all had a polygamous shotgun wedding in Vegas sometime in the distant past, and now are destined to grow old, fat and wise together. And there will be blissful reunions, and china-smashing brawls where enemies are made. And there will be those who break off and float away to bigger, colder places.

The list of Last Rites gets pretty exhaustive after six years, needless to say. Last punk-rock karaoke session. ("We just love all those jingly things you kids wear!") Last late-night punk-rock "brainstorming" episode. ("And everybody in the band will have really teeny-weeny amps, so the audience has to be really quiet.") And so on, and so forth. Looking around at a pack of familiar faces, knowing everyone did something, however slight, to make it happen.

Last Rite No. 632, to be inserted between last drug bust at neighborhood laundromat and last trashy cup of gas-station coffee--last Note from the Underground. Penned by me, that is. Matt K. will carry on the torch faithfully for you gossip-famished fans out there, fueled by countless pints of Safeway Select soda and bizarre references to his family (God bless 'em). As for the rest of you goons, I extend my sincere thanks for all your hard work, patience and tolerance for the rantings of two-bit journalists. Take good care, and don't forget to make loud, abrasive and especially thoughtful music.
Arwen Curry

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From the July 9-15, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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