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Standing By

The KPIG parking lot was quite a sight on Sunday, when fans of the weekly live show PLEASE STAND BY gathered to celebrate the show's 300th installment. Well, OK, not 300th, because that would have been normal--rather, in a fashion more becoming of host SLEEPY JOHN SANDIDGE's sense of humor, it was the 298th show that got the blowout party.

Wisely, it was performers who have had a special link to the show who were invited to fuel the celebration with more than four hours of live music: SHERRY AUSTIN, UKULELE DICK, LARRY HOSFORD, THE WHITE ALBUM ENSEMBLE and others. There were some links to the pre-KPIG history of this show, too, as Sandidge and former General Feed and Seed owner JERRY KAY explained how they had done 200 installments of that now-famous (thanks to old episodes you can still catch on Community TV) series, making the true number of installments in this live-music lineage 500 (yeah, yeah, I know, 498). Perhaps coolest of all for those of us who never got to see those Feed and Seed shows the first time around was the fact that BOB BROZMAN reconvened the house band from that series to play a great set. Actually, Brozman sat in on several sets, pounding away on everything from steel guitars to his own chair in his instantly recognizable style.

I just want to say one more thing about this: after all the money and time we've seen Clear Channel pump into the pro-war rallies and other arch-conservative onslaughts, it made me feel good about this country again to hear that dissent and free thinking could still be voiced so openly and so often on a commercial radio station--to the appreciative hoots and hollers of the live audience, it should be noted. Here's to 300--er, 298--more.

Steve Palopoli

Social Distension

It looks like I'm not the only one who blew off my New Year's resolution to eat healthier and exercise more. SOCIAL DISTORTION lead singer MIKE NESS lumbered out onto the Catalyst stage last Monday with familiar tattoos and greased-back hair, but looking beefier than usual. But before this column turns into an episode of QUEER EYE FOR THE ROCK GUY, let me just say that the new gut is one of the most obvious reminders that the Orange County-based band has been around for 25 years. That's a hell of a long time for a punk band, especially when your lead singer was renowned for his indulgence in a rowdy, debauched, drug-addled lifestyle.

But other than the eyeliner dripping down his face while he sweats at shows, Ness has cleaned up his act, which is more than I can say for a few of the miscreants that were in the mosh pit. I still love me a good mosh pit now and again, and my girlfriend loves them even more, but I can't help but shake my head at seeing the same antics I put up with 13 years ago--machismo galore, unfriendly brawls and the obligatory drunk chick on the side of the pit throwing fists in the faces of happy-go-unlucky pitsters.

And speaking of "cleaning up," you know that shit-stink that polluted the Catalyst main stage for a couple of weeks? Sources say it was coming from some broken sewage lines in the spa next door. There's still a bit of a dank smell in the Cat, and it's unclear what Ness was referring to when he asked if DAVE MATTHEWS had played the club the night before, "because it stinks in here." Some say he was talking about some nasty reefer, others think he meant that the residual sewage stank.

While these debates raged on, so did Social D. And just when we thought that they'd be playing the same old songs forevermore (which wouldn't really be a bad thing), the guys played a new one from their upcoming release, Sex, Love and Rock and Roll. But it sounded so much like a BEATLES song that it may as well have been old. Oh well, not their fault really, seeing as the Beatles pretty much ruined it for any future band hoping to be wholly original--with the notable exception of WESLEY WILLIS, R.I.P.

MIke Connor

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From the September 1-8, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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