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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

Sink With California Street:
Steady local house shows go the way of the dinosaur

BOW YOUR HEADS, COMRADES--it is time, regretfully, for another venue to receive its due honors, post-mortem. The 320A house and its ever-changing, independent-music friendly tenants have stopped having shows for the very legitimate reason of wanting to keep the roof over their heads. For almost two years ,the 320A kids, like the Basement kids before them, not only supported local music in a fundamental way but were the only folks in recent days to recognize good touring bands and invite them to play--for free, of course--at their clubhouse.

From Assfort to the Warmers, with almost every local band thrown somewhere on the bill, the thin walls have reverberated with the best. It's hard to estimate the hassle and expense--in beer stains, police complaints and broken windows--of providing such a service. My most heartfelt thanks go out to the many people who organized and supported what, ironically enough, was one of the most reliable venues in town.

Revamped, But Not Forgotten

Devoted readers may remember a column in the distant past that contained surreptitious mention of Vintage 46, who opened at the Cubberly Community Center for our stalwart locals Fury 66. At the time, the band's old Brit-punk sound struck me as erroneous--considering the members were swathed in U.S.-made diapers in 1977, and its boyish yells effectively negated the street-worthiness of its bondage pants. However, all snide Rancid remarks aside, the band did its thing with more finesse than expected and even managed to rile up the kids in preparation for the headliners.

Two members of the "vintage" group have moved on to prove their similarity to Rancid is not accidental--its fairly recent new lineup (christened The Forgotten) has a new single stylishly produced by the mega-group's infamous guitarist, Lars Friedrickson. With guitarist Craig haunting UCSC during the school year, the band has made its indentation on the SC scene, though our perpetual venue vacuum has left sparse opportunities for them to play here.

Opening for New York's sleaze-punk staple Electric Frankenstein at the Cactus in SJ last Friday, the Forgotten gave a rather memorable performance. Reinforcing its punk-rock props with irresistible hooks, the four-piece managed to capture some anthemic Stiff Little Fingers sweetness while wielding a snottier edge. Songs like "Trouble" were tight and rocking, with almost impeccable beats by young Shea Rocker tempered by Gordon Vile's more seasoned vocals.

The short set neatly tapered off with a cover of Blitz's "Someone's Gonna Die" (also, incidentally, covered by Rancid, but what the hell). And though nostalgia for a time we never knew may be a disease characteristic of youth in the '90s, at least while listening to old-school tunes by fresh young bands, we can stave off the return of wanky new wave just a little bit longer.


On Friday, Fury 66, Spaceboy, Riff Raff, Reliance, the What Nots, Ashes & Crumbs and the Great Divide play at the Vets Hall (7pm, $3, all ages).

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

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