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Notes From the Underground
By Arwen Curry

SC library gets in on the local action

DESPITE THOSE NASTY OVERDUE book threats, the public library remains the friendliest of government institutions--shining an even more ominous light on the DMV. A group of SC Library employees has rallied for building a young people's listening collection of local bands to be housed in the kids' room upstairs. The employees have succeeded in funding this project and are now awaiting contributions from bands which include at least one member too young to vote. Bands from out of town might also take advantage of the offer.

Demo tapes and other recorded material, along with promotional info, are being welcomed at the downtown branch. And so far, censorship has been out of the picture, so c'mon, kids, if you want to be heard for free, bring it on down. It could be a new hangout spot, a new Mecca. Pretty soon, older bands could be faking IDs to make themselves look younger, just for this.

I'm With the Band

Santa Cruz has a pathetic lack of venues for its many talented bands. Besides showing my penchant for stating the obvious, here are some suggestions to help you survive these dismal times. Play any party. Keep in touch with your Aunt Bertha, who's always planning some sort of "50th this, 60th that" event. Why do you think the White Trash Debutantes has that Geritol-riddled grandma in its band? You can wait six months to obtain a noise permit, or shine it because cops really dig punk-rock today. Keep the show short--the D.I.Y. standard is four days.

Approach a local business about having a show. Imagine: Live at Frenchy's, Stench playing a very intimate unplugged and buttplugged set. If they ask about insurance, emphatically reply, "Yes!" You have car insurance, right?

Or set up your amps on Saturday morning outside Zachary's. The hungry people waiting outside are a perfect target audience. Your band should get a solid 10-minute set (that's 20 songs if you're crafty) before your band gets escorted away by the Downtown Association, which, I understand, also loves punk rock.

Use this next technique on a touring band, like one of the dozen toxic incarnations of Sublime. Arrive at the venue and load in before the real band gets in town. When the real band shows up, bitch to management about getting rid of these impostors. Remember, people buy your CDs from Columbia House, so show up with attitude. In the best-case scenario both bands get to play after shedding a little blood.
Matt Koumaras


Hellbillies and American Steel headline at Gilman on Friday. Stratford Mercenaries, Jakeson Five and personal faves Strychnine rip it up on Saturday. Headcheese (Prisoners/Exploding Crustaceans members) plays San Jose's Cactus Club on Dec. 10.

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From the Dec. 4-10, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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