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[whitespace] Higher Learning

Faced with the loss of their college-bound guitarist, the Sneeky Creekans are on the hunt for a replacement
six-string samurai

By David Espinoza

ANNOYING MUSICIAN QUESTION to ponder for the day: Is it possible to live in a town where there's a shortage of guitarists? Santa Cruz may apparently be just such a place, at least for local ska-pimps the Sneeky Creekans. For a couple of months now, the sextet (not including its various onstage dancing friends) has been on the lookout for a guitarist to replace Andrew Macy, who is heading off to college.

So far, the attempts to snag the right wrist-flicking six-string samurai haven't panned out, and the time to send Macy off to that place in the sky called "higher learning" is fast approaching. Drummer and lead singer Nate Lieby stresses that the band isn't necessarily looking for a ska guitarist--in fact, some of his best friends are former metalheads, and Lieby even used to be a in a metal band back in high school.

The Sneeky Creekans already have a full-length debut album out (available at Streetlight Records) called Bobo, and the band is currently finishing up work on a second effort at Sunnyvale's I'm Stein studios. Not-so-secret Sneeky Creekans game plans for next year include a tour in January, finding a proper record label, getting the new album out and "spreading [the word about the band] like a cancer across America," Lieby says. Perhaps getting some PR help with that last slogan might help too.


Santa Cruzans can rest assured that the usual amount of customer brawling found at department stores around the holidays will have greatly decreased among teenage boys after last Friday's Guttermouth show at Palookaville (we can't speak for their parents).

In a somewhat cathartic display of aggression, the five-member group let loose a avalanche of apolitical hard-core tunes that turned 80 percent of P-ville's standing space into a mosh pit. Judging by the number of dudes with bloody noses limping out of the crowd, Miller's Outpost, Mervyn's, Sears and the GAP will no doubt be safe havens again, as most of these jock-u-lar fellas will be "taking it easy, bra" for the rest of the year.

With knuckleheaded punk-rock bands like Guttermouth always a ticket-selling sure shot in Santa Cruz, it would be presumptuous to dismiss them as unimaginative, brutish and chauvinistic--which is exactly what they are. Call it lefty-wing PC perversity or just disillusionment with macho stupidity, but telling the few girls daring enough to get up on stage to "make out with the drummer" or asking if "there are any wops out there tonight?!" just ain't shining statements from a semi-intelligent life-form. It's not as though sexual degradation at the expense of women (and sometimes men) is anything new to rock music, but after last year's Woodstock ugliness, it's a wonder some people don't wise up. Oh well, at least the band's name fits its onstage chatter.

Meow Power

This town can always use more all-age venues, so thank the new and improved Wired Rock (formerly the Wash Rock) for hosting a free show with Time Spent Driving and Here Kitty Kitty last Thursday (Dec. 14). While I missed TSD, I did get to catch the tail end of Here Kitty Kitty (pardon the accidental pun), which brought out some of the most enjoyable tunes since George Michael left Wham.

Included in the set was a sloppy shout-and-scream hard-core birthday song dedicated to a friend in the room and a p-rock cover of the '60s hit "Be My Baby." With pink hair, ponytails and tattoos galore, this quartet stands to be the playful, punch-drunk grrrl-rock band Santa Cruz has never had. As for more shows at the Wired Rock, for the time being there's the open-mic night on Tuesdays at 8pm.

PS: If you need a good excuse to consort with Dr. JD a day before Christmas Eve, look no further than psychobilly meisters Hayride to Hell's return to the Aptos Club on Saturday (Dec. 23).

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From the December 20-27, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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