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[whitespace] Night Prowlers

By Mike Connor

SATURDAY NIGHT was an AC/DC fan's wet dream! Two, count 'em, TWO bands, on opposite sides of town, played the song "Night Prowler" on the same night, within about 15 minutes of each other. Coincidence? I think not. See, on one side of town, we had local power-rock foursome Sweat It Out putting some dual-guitar and keyboard-infused amperage into the AC/DC classic. Only moments before, the local acoustic trio the Devil Makes Three hypnotized me with their gritty country ballads, leaving me no choice but to blubber at them my undying love for their music. I find such behavior unseemly and generally refrain from it, but these three cast a swingin', wicked spell from which I was still reeling when Sweat It Out starting jamming on "Night Prowler." It was like a rockin' cue from above to round up the troops and adjourn to the Catalyst, where the all-girl AC/DC cover band Hell's Belles was rocking the balls right off the beefcake bouncers. Not literally, of course, but the sheer glory and magnitude of the estrogen-infused butt-rock were ballsy enough to put AC/DC itself to shame. I don't care if there were four clones of Lorenzo Lamas rocking out note-for-note; they still couldn't out-hottie these four babes, one of whom can't seem to keep her shirt on. Adrian Connor, a.k.a. Angus Young, always ends up doing a little midshow striptease, playing the rest of the show in a bra and plaid schoolgirl skirt. Can you say "manifesting male fantasy" 10 times fast? OK, so can I, but still ...

Santa Cruz's Finest Reggae Fan

One lucky on-duty police officer got to watch Brooklyn-based dancehall MC Rocker-T bless Santa Cruz with "More Luv" (the title track of his new album) at Moe's Alley. The officer looked enthralled with the energetic performance of Rocker-T, who who was traversing the stage, giving it up tirelessly and passionately to Jah Rastafari and Haile Selassie--and who even got a bit political, condemning Bush and war, and hailing the power of individual action in these changing times. A smile played upon the officer's lips as he watched the crowd dance and sway to T's bouncy riddems. It might have been my imagination, but his stiff-cop stance seemed about to crack at any moment. A friendly word of advice to said officer: The next time you come to a show, leave your uniform, badge and gun at home; give it up to Jah and DANCE!

Golden Graham

At 51, he hasn't yet reached his golden years, but Graham Parker still put on a classic performance last week at Moe's--the first-ever sit-down show at the venue. The rock & roll veteran did a one-man show with just himself and an acoustic guitar, playing songs like "Fool's Gold" from way back in the day (1976), and brand-new songs from his latest release, Deepcut to Nowhere. The man can certainly play, and his voice is better than ever, but some of his swinging, rocking songs lacked punch in the pared-down versions. Still, it was awful special to see an old pro like Parker laying it down solo in front of such an adoring and reverential audience.

Polish Jazz Stanko!

The Tomasz Stanko Quartet put on a mesmerizing performance at Kuumbwa last week, quieting the chatty part of my brain with skillfully sparse and brooding explorations of the endless possibilities of a trumpet, a piano and a set of drums. The quartet's new album, Soul of Things I-XIII, is masterful, sensual, accessible and highly recommended as the soundtrack for your next romantic interlude.

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From the November 20-27, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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