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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Vincent's Ear
Ear's to You: Vincent's Ear checks into the Aptos Club on Friday night.

Boys in Space:
Spaceboy, Neurosis, a Ramone and the Sloppy Seconds make for an interesting week in music

SPACEBOY'S BUSINESS IS making omnipotent noise, and business was good last Wednesday at the Catalyst. The song "Strange New Powers" delivered thundering magic and mutated the space boys into men. Clifford's streak of a straight 1,512 good shows without a sour vocal note remained firmly intact. You must witness Adam's supernatural bass work on "Pink Domain" before suffering through the Y2K planet of pain so you can at least say you lived a good life. There's no way to describe the beauty of Bill and John's theatrical riffage during "Stoner Fort" with just words. All I want for Christmas is an endless supply of chips with dips and Spaceboy to play the Catalyst happy hour every day.

Headliners Neurosis were knighted kings of the crescendo with beautifully thick guitars, twisted keyboards and anguished vocals. The kids in the front didn't know whether to start a pit or to stop and write a 5,000-word essay on "Why Neurosis now sounds so much like the Cure." Neurosis wasn't as thrashy as in years past, but it sure could generate a mean drum circle far steamier than those X-rated Tommy Lee/Vince Neil bedroom tapes. Neurosis' lengthy experimental set, complete with a repetitive slide show, grew to be like a Woody Allen biography--too much neurosis.

Mark Files

Excerpts from the Marky Ramone file--Thursday, 11:53pm. Dear Diary: We played the Catalyst in Santa Cruz tonight, a stop sign between San Francisco and Fresno. It was a little different from the last time I played Santa Cruz with the Ramones. For starters, there was no deli tray backstage or complimentary Converse shoeshine. The crowd, although I'm not sure if 30 people can really be considered a crowd, couldn't grasp the Intruders' polished brand of marketable pop punk. We played a couple of Ramones songs, "Have a Nice Day" and "I Don't Care," and ended with the Beatles' "Nowhere Man," but no one respects our original tunes. Luckily, we didn't play long enough for anyone to notice that Marky Mark could sing circles around our two ho-hum singers.

I didn't wanna beat that fan with a bat when he said my set was sedated--it was just a terrible misunderstanding. My mom was right, I never should have dropped out of rock & roll high school.

Those husky Indiana hicks, the Sloppy Seconds, headlined because no one sticks around for us anymore, and they were totally punk rock again. Why can't I write pop masterpieces like "Why Don't Lesbians Love Me," "You Have a Nice Body but Your Record Collection Sucks" and "Smashed Again"? B.A., Seconds' Meat Loaf-with-a-flat-top-looking lead singer, dances a mean footloose and brought out a beach ball for the crowd to volley. I should have listened to my management and had Goldfinger tour with the Intruders instead. At least tomorrow I'll conquer the world at the Los Baños Chuck E. Cheese, which is supposedly a West Coast version of CBGB's.


On Thursday, Dec. 17, Fifteen, Falling Sickness and Loose Change play a warehouse on the Westside--check out Numbskull's Web page for details or call 805/987-2026. Also on Thursday, Time, Seance and Chaos Lounge play the Aptos Club; then Vincent's Ear, Riff Raff and Woodpecker roll in on Friday.
Matt Koumaras

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From the December 17-23, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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