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Notes From the Underground

The KUSP of Senility:
Public station pulls its only indie rock and punk show

IN YET ANOTHER BLOW to followers of local and indie rock music, KUSP (88.9FM) has given walking papers to Emerson Murray, aka The Five O'Clock Shadow, host of the station's only show where one could hear such noises. In a letter relieving Murray of his show, KUSP Programming Coordinator Howard Feldstein cited Murray's immature on-air behavior, including his supposedly referring to Feldstein as the "Führer."

"I am making an aesthetic choice, and saying what you and your friends frequently do in the studio, on the air, does not substantially contribute to KUSP's mission of serving the community," Feldstein wrote.

I wonder what community Feldstein refers to. I, for one, don't care for most of what comes over the air at 88.9FM, but would be greatly interested in hearing more music aimed at young people and shows that support the large number of talented local bands that are now being altogether ignored by our "public" radio station. While they're at it, they could give such music a more accessible time than Murray's 2-5am slot.

"I'm sorry, but my program is not meant for Howard," says a frustrated Murray. "If it was, I wouldn't be doing my job. They don't seem to consider people who listen to my program a part of the public, and that's pretty disgusting."
Michael Mechanic

To comment on Murray's firing or the need for more local/indie rock programs, call KUSP's listener comment line at 476-3380.

Friday Night Fever

Everyone and their mother decided to grace Santa Cruz with a special event last Friday. Half the punkers I know ran around like Wall Street execs, glancing furtively at their watches in order to catch the next band across town. Soda Pop Fuck You opened at the Whole Earth to a moderately sized crowd and played a great set that affirmed my faith in their continued ascent toward ska heaven, where Vespas frolic and clouds are checkerboard fluffs.

Washington state's Lopez followed the What-Nots, startling me with super-fast, relentless punk rock that seemed completely devoid of pretense. Although their equipment seemed cursed by evil voodoo, this foursome didn't fail to make an impression. Schlong, whose style is loved or hated dearly by most, lived up to their reputation for twisted, whiny oddity. My favorite of their batch of covers was Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen," but there were other gems as well.

I then raced down to the Vet's Hall, where every local punk with a Discharge album was attempting to get inebriated for the Battalion of Saints. After Black Label's set, many locals took off, missing the rockin', leather-panted LA sleaze of Damnation, whose set damn near put them in the hospital with concussive injuries. After a short set of completely unapologetic punk bliss with Battalion of Saints, leather and surfwear alike disappeared as though in a cloud of smoke, leaving a pathetically puny crowd for headliners the Humpers, proving again that SC is a tough proving ground for outsiders, no matter how much promotion they get.
Arwen Curry

Upcoming

On Thursday, DC's the Warmers play with SF's Red Eye and others (look for fliers). Swingin' Utters perform on Saturday at the Vet's Hall with Hayride to Hell, the Lowdowns and Hangover. On Sunday, Herbert plays with Nature at Emi's (21 plus, 10pm). Also on Sunday, the Queers play with Screw 32, It., Reliance and Black Label at the Vet's Hall (see Playing Around pages). On Wednesday (Oct. 2), Slow Gherkin plays the Vet's Hall with Mephaskaphelis (NY), Blue Meanies and Soda Pop Fuck You (7pm, all ages, $6/$7).
Michael Mechanic

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From the September 26-October 2, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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