[MetroActive Music]

[ Music Index | Metro Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

God Save the Queers:
Homo-core dreamdates hit SC with a vengeance

A BURST OF FRENZIED ENTERTAINMENT marked our second-to-last August weekend in SC, beginning a little ahead of schedule with the Team Dresch show on Thursday. The Satyrs started up, setting a precedent for the evening by eschewing the big yucky stage at the Vets Hall and playing face-to-face with members of the audience--most of whom were seated in an oral-tradition-round-the-fire pose that was more appropriate at some points than others. The Satyrs isn't a completely polished band yet, but--fronted by a confident and talented vocalist--it made me suspicious of what other good local bands might be sneaking around, escaping the eagle eye of a small town. I was soon to find out.

The Gashers played, followed by some powerful solo folk by local Jessica Rose and interspersed with plenty of angry spoken word. Angora, from San Jose, had a vintage punk rock sound tempered with an amphetamine good nature. It opened a short set with a cover of "God Save the Queen" that was technically accurate (not, admittedly, hard to accomplish) but thieved with enough grace to cause a second of disorientation. Other songs began with similar riffs but launched into a high-energy, old Bay Area sound. The singer, seemingly unaware, emulated the thin, high melodics of Penelope Houston in 1983, but sang light-heartedly about her girlfriend ditching her (and similar topics of little political intent) rather than the downfall of the American Dream.

But that was then--these days a return to liberation through guileless rock & roll, especially good rock & roll (though quality isn't inherently important) is assuredly in order. Too many well-intentioned liberals concentrating on too few causes (pointedly, sexism and homophobia) tend to gradually extract the soul of defiance from them, wilting it temporarily until only the truly devoted are left to brilliantly rebel again in obscurity. The same, of course, could be said for punk rock, but that's another story.

Pansy Division, at Streetlight on Saturday, offered more proof of the political persuasion of high-energy live music. These activist gay punks sing about sex and the praises/critiques of gay culture openly, and have a really good time doing it. Take that, music industry! "Angry, bitter, dangerous, are we?"--Pansy seemed to smirk, rocking out in the tropical indoor heat--"prove it!"

Lead singer Jon Ginoli, between harmonizing on songs from the new Lookout! release More Lovin' From Our Oven, admitted that it's not clear whether to classify the band as punk or not, but then, that's not the point. The evidence of true subversion came during a cover of Judas Priest's "Breakin' the Law" ("the sodomy law"), when a member of the Elm St. Mission next door came in to ask if the band could quiet down during the evening mass. Sorry folks, thee's no silencing good, clean fun.


On Thursday, a feast of local bands, not yet announced, is served at the 320A house (call 458-5033 for details).

[ Metro Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

From the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate