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Notes From the Underground

Moveable Fest:
Local artists stage lively, warped show in Watsonville

Bored with punk rock, I drove down to Watsonville's Mello Center on Saturday to check out some locally produced modern dance, music and performance art. "Old Haunt" kicked off the collaboration between Moving and Storage Performance Company and Crash, Burn and Die Dance Company. The dancers varied widely in ability and several were impressive, and the show--replete with images of confused, lonely people struggling to get along in a fast-paced society--kept the crowd's attention.

John Connell, ex-guitarist for experimental noise-dance group Violet Skull Troupe and a little-known local band called Freak, composed and performed (with a trio) some neat, textured instrumental noise. Connell also assaulted the guts of a piano with drumsticks and mixed music written by himself, Diamanda Galas, Thelonious Monk, Stravinsky and others to back up the dancers.

Director/choreographer Therese Adams and assistant director Leslie Swaha borrowed elements from Stomp, a popular rhythm and dance company--with dancers rolling on oil drums, strapped to milk crates and dangling with percussive objects. The second piece, "Grope," was captivatingly violent, while the finale, "Charms and Snakes," was most visually impressive--a creative series of scarcely related vignettes performed on a gleaming construction scaffold by dancers who reminded me of psychotic simians. (MM)

New Blood

This town's many underground scenes tend to quietly tolerate, rather than support, one another, but I've lately seen more fans transcend their differences and show genuine enthusiasm for bands outside their sub-sub-genres. San Diego power-trio Tanner played Monday before last at a cop-conscious house-show and were as ethereally heavy as their faithful local fans anticipated. Junk Sick Dawn's appeal expanded into an entirely new circle, and one local musician--who had never before seen the Gorehounds--now calls them his new favorite band.

On Thursday at the Whole Earth, one straightedge hardcore fanatic was nuts over One-Eyed God Prophesy, a manic Montreal noise ensemble whose stage presence was antisocial and self-absorbed, giving the performance the exclusive energy of an elaborate inside joke. The shrieking vocals were ear-shattering and their intriguing acoustic chaos paved the way for Anasarca, Spaceboy and Saturn's Flea Collar to wreak a festival of experimental, tortured, loud-as-fuck noise.

On another front, a local psychobilly roadie raved endlessly about Tennessee speed-surf rockers Los Straightjackets, who pulled off some crazy guitar gymnastics at Moe's Alley on Saturday night. So next time you're feeling claustrophobic in your crowd, remember that you're not shackled to anybody's tour van. It's possible to be inspired by new music. After all, isn't that the point? (AC)

Gates Bashing

Sick of what passes for punk on KOME? Spin the dial over to KZSC (88.1 FM) and check out Technophobic Planet, where DJ Matt Peake spins indie and hardcore on Monday nights from 10:30pm to 12:30am, including a lot of Dischord/Lookout!/Kill Rock Stars type of stuff. Peake, one of KZSC's music directors, is also interested in airing more local stuff. Send cassettes, vinyl or CDs to Matt Peake, c/o KZSC, UCSC Student Music Building East, SC 95064. (MM)


On Friday, Delta 72 plays with Starlite Desperation Show (call 649-0931 for info). Also on Friday, A.F.I. plays with Mock at the downtown Vet's Hall basement (all ages, 8pm, $6). On Sunday, Merry Go Round plays with the Muggs at Emi's (21 plus, 10pm). (MM)

This week's NFU was written by Michael Mechanic (MM) and Arwen Curry (AC).

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From the July 25-31, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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