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[whitespace] No Show Joe Show

RedHeaded Stepchild makes a Front Street Pub crowd wait

By David Espinoza

THE FOLKS at the Front Street Pub are smart to recognize that TV and talking don't mix. Instead of turning up the volume on the big screen Aug. 31, the people there kept the closed-captioning on, allowing those of us waiting for local trio RedHeaded Stepchild to get the show going a chance to read just what scientists were doing to polar bears on some nature channel.

Two preliminary phone calls to Front Street had assured me: RedHeaded Stepchild would be starting the gig at 9pm. After an hours' worth of watching polar bears get molested (and a couple of pints), the band was still setting up. No biggie; mellow is the word for these last few weeks as summer winds down.

When the band was finally ready to play, they couldn't find lead singer Joe Harbold. Was he in the lavatory? No dice--bassist Adam Wesset already checked. For about five minutes, Wesset and Kevin McGee searched for the elusive lead singer, who mysteriously appeared thereafter. Without question, RedHeaded Stepchild has some Sublime-like action going for it, if not in sound then definitely in look. Between doses of kick-back, sun-bathing&-friendly reggae tunes, RHS took the time to dis' UCSC students with a ska-punk ditty called "Salt Shaker Skank." I guess their collective GPA wasn't high enough.

Good News, Bad News

First the bad news: Ten in the Swear Jar, one of Northern California's finest ongoing experiments in sci-fi electronic modern rockage, has called it quits. In an open letter to fans, lead singer Jamie Stewart states: "dear deer with a human head shot full of arrows, this is a message to let people know that ten in the swear jar as it was is now at the bottom of an abyss." Once the driving force behind IBOPA, Stewart is now focusing on a new effort called Xiu Xiu (pronounced "shoe shoe"), which boasts guest appearances by ex-Muggs bassist and ex&-Santa Cruz musician Miya Osaki, among others.

The good news: September is an indie rockers' wet dream thanks to the Catalyst. On the 19th, Jets to Brazil; the 26th, Sunny Day Real Estate; the 30th, Promise Ring (opening for punkasauruses Bad Religion).

The AFI-ful Truth

Whenever interviewed about what AFI stands for, frontman Davey Havok has always said, "It's whatever you want it to be." Perhaps someone should tell him then that the band's latest press release states that AFI stands for "A Fire Inside." If memory serves, back when AFI was trying to get out of NorCal hick hometown Ukiah, the name stood for "Asking for It." That was a long time ago, though. These days, the foursome always boasts Berkeley as its home turf and AFI as, well, AFI--whatever you want it to be. According to Havok, when the band traveled to Japan, fans figured the acronym stood for "Aggressive Fury Intense." That's better than what this writer had in mind: "Attempting Funny Interpretations." Oh yeah--the point of this was to mention that AFI's new album, Art of Drowning, hits stores Sept. 26.

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From the September 6-13, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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