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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

Ukelele Dick
Uke 'Em: Ukulele Dick hangs more than 100 of his beloved ukuleles on the walls and ceiling of downtown SC's So Say We.



Pick of the Litter:
A crop of Santa Cruz's female musicians and artistes pile in to What Is Art? for a good dose of WomanPower

LOCAL YOKELS CONVERGED on What Is Art? on Saturday and Sunday for a showcase of what local women have to offer. A mix of music, spoken word and a wee bit of dance, WomenFolk II picked up where last spring's first installation left off. I just gotta say that either What Is Art? has an industrious PR department or the show's performers convinced everyone they know to come to the show--Sunday's performance was packed to the limit, all the seats filled and most of the floor space cluttered with folks.

While dark, dank and sweaty may be very bohemian, it also provides for a very uncomfortable--not to mention disrupted--viewing experience, what with all the opening doors, fervent whispering and restless shuffling. But showgoer discomfort aside, WomenFolk II proved to be an adventurous outing. The usual roundup of female What Is Arties hopped on stage, once again accompanied by really great sound and creative lighting. A dash of folk, a little rock, some bassy stuff, and a whole bunch of "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar" made up for interesting performances.

Cat and Shout and their respective guitars made some beautiful folky music together, lulling the audience with political lyrics, sweet voices and convincing instrumentality, though they did enter into syrupy territory with a wee too much "You be you and I'll be me."

Jade stirred things up with a little poetry/spoken word/dance package that had everyone straining their necks to get a better look. Ruminating on the sexual vulnerability of women through movement, words and strength, Jade made quite an impact. And did I mention she was naked? I'd wager that's why the audience took a marked interest in seeing the stage all of the sudden.

Once again Debora Holt was a shining star, with her smoldering bass, raw simplicity and sexy stage presence. Performing songs about Snow White, disillusionment and one that I can't remember--I was too preoccupied with being squished among the door, people and chairs--Holt did it with a winning combo of finesse and sensuality. Lopi LaRoe, Nyshka, Andrea Zvaleko and a handful of others also performed, including a great spoken wordie who doled out her venomous offerings with rhythm and flair.

Ukuleles, Anyone?

While ukuleles may not be the first thing one imagines when thinking of instruments, you'd be amazed what you can do with one. One man who knows just what a ukulele has to offer is Ukulele Dick (pretty convenient name, huh?). This guy can strum one like nobody's business. For the next month and a half, ol' Dick lays down his beloved instruments on the walls and ceiling of downtown SC's So Say We. Yes, more than 100 of his ornate, hand-decorated ukes will be on display for one and all to ooh and aah over. They'll adorn the walls through August.

FutureThink

The Femme Vitale Tour '97 rounds the bend into the Walnut Avenue Women's Center on Thursday, emerging from the clouds of Seattle for one night of music (8pm, $6-$10 at the door). ... Guitarist Ivan Klipstein plays What Is Art? on Friday (8pm, $1-$2), and, just in case you haven't been paying attention, Amy Rachelle, Peter Gault and their Psycho-Sexual Incantation take over Bookshop Santa Cruz for reading and Actors' Theater for a kinky little stage show on Aug. 2.

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From the July 23-30, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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