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Psycho Breech Party

The owners of the Catalyst celebrate their one-year anniversary with 'Octoberfirst'--and the long-awaited Devil Makes Three CD-release party

By Mike Connor

Before you read this article, take a moment to study the photo of The Devil Makes Three above. Yes, that's a lobster in Lucia Turino's hand. And yes, Cooper McBean is wearing lederhosen. Pete Bernhard recognizes you as the asshole who stole his britches. Think of it as a bit of a Thematic Apperception Test, and see if you can construct your own little story of what's going on. We'll come back to it later to see how you did.

Meantime, a year has come and gone since Dave Farling, Paul Gerhardt, Joel Nelson and Bobby Darwin bought the Catalyst from Randall Kane. So far, they've installed new speakers in the backroom, experimented with more music in the atrium (including lots of--gasp!--DJ nights) and they've even fixed up the bathroom in the front. By their estimation, things seem to be going along rather swimmingly.

To celebrate, the owners decided to throw a big, free party featuring three local bands--the Devil Makes Three, Rockbottom Blues and Shady Groove. But don't bother jumping up to go get your tickets, because they're already all gone--730 snatched up in less than four hours.

For those of you who didn't get tickets, you can try to win two in Metro Santa Cruz's special DM3 giveaway contest (see details below). And you can take comfort in the fact that DM3 will play two nights at Henfling's in November, after they come back from their upcoming West Coast tour. And for those who did get tickets, there's still incentive to show up early: the first 100 ticket holders will get a free "Octoberfirst" T-shirt emblazoned with the Catalyst logo and all three band logos in their respective fonts.

Devilish Thirst

Plus, The Devil Makes Three plan to release their second album, Longjohns, Boots and a Belt, provided they get it from the manufacturer on time. Loyal fans will recognize songs like "Tow," "Never Learn" and "Sweeping" from their live shows, but they may be surprised by the way they sound on the new album. McBean says it's much more mature than their debut, which they recorded only a month after they formed the band.

Now they've got some sweet new artwork, new instruments in tow, more experience playing and sharpened songwriting skills. Above all, they knew what they wanted going into the studio.

"We kind of knew more what we wanted and more what we were supposed to be doing," explains McBean, "and hence there were stylistic differences of opinion, there was a lot more quibbling and bickering and all-out arguing and short tempers, and we had some health problems, so it ended up taking us a lot longer than we thought it was going to. But I think all in all it came out pretty fucking good, which is the really important part."

McBean says that they all like each other again now, but if the picture above is any indication--which it is--they went a bit cuckoo before it was all over.

"We had just sort of lost it, you know?" admits McBean. "We had been stressing out over this thing for so long, we were screwing around at Pete and Lucia's house and said, 'Let's take stupid band pictures!" We ended up naming the album after Pete's costume; it was sort of a nice, lighthearted finish to the whole grim episode."

Yes, Bernhard is in fact wearing longjohns, boots and a belt, which leads us to believe that the album could just as easily have been named Lederhosen, a Shovel and a Lobster That Cooper Stole From the Back of a Pickup Truck for Lucia When He Was 18. Or who knows what else?

Maybe you do. Tell you what, teary-eyed, non-ticket-holding fans: I've got two tickets to Octoberfirst for the person who comes up with the best alternate album title based on that picture by Sept. 30 at high noon. Good luck, buckaroos. I'll see you at the party.

Email contest entries to [email protected] by Sept. 30 at 12pm; the winner will receive a response by 3pm and must claim tickets from the Metro Santa Cruz office before 5pm on Oct. 1.

The Devil Makes Three, Rockbottom Blues and Shady Groove perform on Friday, Oct. 1, at 9:30pm at the Catalyst. (831.423.1336)

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From the September 29-October 6, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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