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Notes From the Underground

Something in the Water:
NYC hardcore band H2O makes its mark

THE MANY, MANY PEOPLE ATTENDING last Friday's Good Riddance show in the Vet's Hall basement--who practically broke the portable stage to get closer to their favorite local band--got a taste of the East Coast flavor as support band H2O just plain rocked the joint. New Yorkers are such the funny, distinctive breed, with hella posturing, shit-talking and sending a shot out to this crew and that--a style obviously influenced by the street culture of old-school rap and hip-hop.

H2O started out as a joke band, just a bunch of pals who had one song, "My Love is Real," which they would get up and do when there was no opening act at a show. Eventually, these natural performers decided to go legit. It's pretty rare for bands to get an SC crowd going on their first trip through town, but H2O has an energy that's hard to resist, and they played their dynamic hardcore songs tight as can be. Not bad, considering their drummer had broken an arm, and their stand-in drummer had only a week to learn all the songs before they went on tour. Good Riddance played a great set, too.

Conspiracy Theory

The National Public Radio interview program Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross, airs on KUSP­88.9FM every Mon.-Thu. at 4pm. That I neglected to mention this in an article I wrote about Gross, combined with a piece I wrote in this column about KUSP sacking it's only indie/punk show, has led the folks at KUSP to believe I have something against the station. Absolutely, positively untrue.

I like and respect many of the musical genres KUSP plays, including jazz and classical. However, our public station's near total lack of attention to youth-oriented and local underground music is something I think needs to be remedied, regardless of whether Emerson Murray and KUSP were an appropriate match.

On that note, a show called The Trip--a continuous mix of ambient dub, trip-hop, acid jazz and techno has been airing on KUSP for two years in a 2am-5am slot. The DJ, Chris Niemitz, has been seeking a more reasonable time slot for quite some time now. If people want this show to continue at a more accessible time and/or hear more types of music that appeal to the younger crowd, show your support by calling the station's listener comment line at 476-3380.

Upcoming

On Thursday Fiendmaster Freak plays a free show at the Asti (21-plus, 9:30pm). On Saturday, 14 local bands--including Soda Pop Fuck You, Black Label, Slow Gherkin, the What-Nots, Herbert, the Muggs, Vincent's Ear, Fury 66, Riff Raff, Gorehounds, Junk Sick Dawn, Diversion, X-Girl 13 and Exploding Crustaceans play an all-ages Santa Cruz Sucks!!! CD release and benefit for Above the Line at the Vet's Hall. Local zines, collectives and D.I.Y. labels are invited to come set up tables in the basement (they should show up at 6pm). Doors open at 6:30pm, and the music starts at 7pm sharp. Come early and support all the bands.
Michael Mechanic

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From the November 21-27, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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