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[whitespace] Showdown at the K Records Corral

By Mike Connor

Contrary to the beliefs of one horribly annoying heckler, performers and audience members agree that it is really fucking rude and disrespectful to belt out SARAH MCLACHLAN's "Angel" in the middle of somebody else's acoustic performance. Granted, it sounds pretty funny now, but "nobody" (as he called himself) was worse than nails on a chalkboard. Fortunately he wasn't there at the beginning of the show, when KHAELA MARICICH, A.K.A THE BLOW, opened up with a fascinating one-woman indie-rock opera. At first I thought her excruciatingly awkward persona was real as she fumbled around with her guitar and rambled on between songs. It was an indie rock show; performers aren't expected to be glib. But no, she was playing the part. Her contrived spontaneity gave her performance an endearing immediacy, blending stories and songs into one brilliant, neurotic whole. Indie rock legend CALVIN JOHNSON then crooned his way through a slow and spacious acoustic set, his trademark baritone voice made comical by his spastic pelvic gyrations. His banter was pretty stellar, but that's all I'm going to say about that, because I don't want to encourage the next generation of musicians to work on developing stellar banter. As my British friend would say: For fuck's sake man, it's just banter! Anyhow, KYLE FIELD, A.K.A LITTLE WINGS, wrapped up the evening with an energetic acoustic set, jumping around barefoot, sweating and playing a bunch of songs from his new album Light Green Leaves. Lots of sweet and snappy little folk ballads with clever lyrics, catchy guitar riffs and a cracking falsetto voice. He's got that lazy Jay Mascis kinda croak going on, a style of singing which I still can't figure out why I like, but I do. It makes me feel like rolling around naked in Tang on a rainy day in the middle of an indoor soccer field. Nostalgic somehow. Then Kyle's friend TIZZY sang a song, and her soft, sweet voice really was angelic--come to think of it, she might have been the inspiration for Mr. Nobody's choice of song. Still, he was a smug little drama queen desperate for some ill-deserved attention, and should be locked up in a soundproof dungeon with no mirrors, poor acoustics and a looped tape of "Angel" playing for all eternity. Inhumane, you say? Then throw in some canned applause and be done with it! After telling him how annoying and disrespectful he was (and I think it's every concertgoer's responsibility to give hecklers a piece of their mind) I asked him why he behaved that way. "I know things," he said enigmatically. True--like how to be an idiot.

Aztec Ascension

For anybody who didn't go to the OZOMATLI show on Friday, please join me in a brief self-help session. Go ahead and talk to me (yes, I'm listening) about how you walked for miles through the rain that night, only to find that the tickets were sold out. Now imagine me saying, "Awww, that sucks! Well, maybe you can catch them next time," in your best friend's voice. Or, tell me how many times you've already seen Ozomatli in a "been there, done that" tone, and tell me how tired you were on Friday night--way too tired to dance and enjoy the fiery frenzy of a live Ozo show. Now imagine me nodding in sympathy, my dewy green eyes pouring forth compassion, as if to say, "Yes, (your name), I guess you're right. It probably wouldn't have been that fun for you anyway."

There, don't you feel better? Good. Now go ahead and enjoy the rest of your day without reading another sentence of this paragraph, unless you want to know the truth. Because damn, that show was freaking PHENOMENAL, holy shit I shook my ass SO HARD it was like a Latin/funk/salsa/cumbia/hip-hop EXPLOSION full smiles and hip-shaking REDEMPTION, the walls were DRIPPING WITH SWEAT as the crowd worked up to a fever pitch, when all of a sudden the Aztec god of dance TORE THE ROOF OFF THE CATALYST AND DEVOURED US ALL, SPIT OUT OUR FLESH AND SWALLOWED OUR IMMORTAL SOULS, AND NOW HERE WE ARE DANCING IN THE BELLY OF THE GOD, and we wish you were here.

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From the December 18-24, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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