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Notes From the Underground

Afternoon Delight:
Fledgling label supports local hardcore

Think back to Barbie, that childhood role model. We all knew instinctively that she needed some more flesh to support that big ol' head. The ratio of talented local bands to labels that will support them reflects similarly skewed proportions. In response to the deficit, four local musicians have pooled their hard-earned bread to start Matinee Records, which will promote "whoever we think is good and doesn't have stuff out," says co-founder Casey Watson.

Knowing these guys, that means politically oriented hardcore bands. Aaron and Ryan, singer and guitarist for Black Label, joined forces with Casey and Mag of .Staple. to release Matinee's first--a seven-inch Black Label split with Bakersfield's Champions of a Bleeding Heart, in conjunction with Mindreal Records. The Acrylics, who recently metamorphosed into the Champions, made an appearance at the Basement with Diversion, L.I.F.E., Black Label and Abhorrance in May.

Not yet four months old, Matinee shows precocious tendencies--the founders are planning to put out vinyl from .Staple. in September and, tentatively, releases from The Q Factor and Torches to Rome.

Any profits from the first release will go back into future productions. According to Casey, they aren't in it for the money and they consider Matinee a low-budget, do-it-yourself project. They plan to advertise in zines and are working on distribution arrangements. Regardless of the outcome, hats off to these kids for doing something positive.

As another Matinee hors d'oeuvre, .Staple. has put out a six-song demo, keenly produced chez Mag. Singer Casey is dissatisfied with how the vocals turned out, and I'm afraid I have to agree with him. The emotion is effective at points, but some of his high, short screams sound displaced. Mag's guitar playing, however, distinguishes the sound from the generic "hardcore" brand we may soon see at the supermarket. It's driving and persistent, with the high pitch of a mosquito that eventually gets your attention no matter how hard you try to ignore it.

You can get a copy by sending $2 (cash) to the temporary Matinee headquarters at 661 Prospect Heights, Santa Cruz, 95065. Send $3 for the Black Label/Acrylics split.

The remainder of Matinee has been on the road. Black Label just returned after their tour got cut short (Texas banned 'em) and Mag is drumming for meals with his other band, Seventeen Queen. The What-Nots are also touring--in Canada. Well, as long as there aren't too many shows in town, now's a good time to tour, or record, or start a zine or an all-ages club or even another label. Get to work.
Arwen Curry


On Thursday, Reliance plays with L.I.F.E., plus another band TBA ($2, 7pm, call 469-9901 for more info). Also on Thursday, the Muggs play with Rodriguez at the Redroom (21 plus, 10pm). On Friday, The Lowdowns play at the Capitola Community Center with SF's the Rudiments, Berkeley's Goodfellas, Diversion, Barfeeders and Honky Dong ($6, 6pm, all ages). Also on Friday, former Bad Brains singer HR plays with his band at Palookaville (16 plus, 9pm).
Michael Mechanic

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From the July 11-17, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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