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[whitespace] De Luxt Show

Sacramento's Luxt delivers a sinister growl at Cactus performance

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S ALWAYS A RUSH to see new talent come through town. Last Saturday (Jan. 8) Sacramento-based Luxt performed at the Cactus Club with Spitkiss, 419, Soul Aggression and others. Having never seen Luxt live, I didn't know what to expect, but when frontwoman Anna Christine took the stage, the band immediately had my attention. Delivering driving electronic rock full of heavy grooves, distorted vocals and wicked sensuality, Luxt sounds something like a more aggressive, more industrialized Garbage.

Though Christine provides the primary vocals, Erie Loch throws his vocals into the mix from behind his drum kit, giving the band an added edge with his dark, sinister growl. The male/female dynamic achieves a fairly unusual balance rare in this genre. Luxt is actually a duo, with Christine and Loch writing and recording all the songs, but live the band features E.J. on guitar and Crash on bass, with Dick running the band's wild, pulsing light show. Influenced by bands like Front 242, White Zombie, KMFDM and Depeche Mode, Luxt is a powerful machine, and its music takes dangerous turns into the realm of hip-hop, techno and rapcore without losing its focus or its identity. With her heavy dark eyeliner, black lipstick and flailing platinum blonde dreadlocks, Christine possesses a striking confidence onstage--confident enough to pull off a cover of the Lords of Acid's "Pussy." The band has also released covers of Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance," Gary Numan's "Cars" and Yaz's "Winter Kills." With a whole slew of albums and compilation contributions, the band's latest offering is a four-song demo titled Americoncussion Demo, and features "Genocide Skin," "Knock You Down," "Brutal" and "Vulgar Monkey Love." The luxurious grinder "Brutal" is an instant hit.

Luxt and Spitkiss made for a great double bill. Spitkiss further developed its ultratech angle, bringing computers onstage that flashed messages like "Standby," "Defragging Spitkiss" and "System Overload" throughout its set. Segueing from the "Secret Agent Man" riff into "Respect," from Not for Human Consumption, Spitkiss has been taking unlikely turns in its music. Incorporating a dark and dusty Western twang into "Deeper Scratch" works well with the song's theme of desolate pain. The band also tried out a new song titled "Again" before closing with its single "Digits."

Last Friday (Jan. 7) Moodfrye released its CD Teen Dream at the Chemical Free Zone in Campbell with the Wunder Years and other bands. Taking a bouncier, more melodic direction within the punk scene, this young band stands out musically. Its upbeat, fun-loving attitude reminds me of Blink 182 with an easiness suggestive of Sugar Ray. Led by lanky, tattooed frontman Mo (who was downing Red Bull between songs), Moodfrye had tons of energy during its performance. Oddly though, it seemed the band only performed one song from its CD ("Poor Starving College Kid").

Smash Mouth was nominated for a Grammy award in the "Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal" for "All Star." The band is in the company of Backstreet Boys, Santana, TLC and Sixpence None the Richer. ... A radio station in Peoria, Ill., (WWCT Rock 106FM) is looking to give some independent Bay Area artists airplay. Visit www.rock106.com to check out the station, then email Karmen at [email protected] or Scott Smith at [email protected] for details.

PLAN AHEAD: Papa Roach, Broken Vision, dredg and Downstream, Jan. 15 at the Cactus Club; Spike 1000 and Laundry, Jan. 15 at the Usual; Pulley, Jan. 15 at the Odd Fellows Hall in San Jose; The Mr. T Experience, Jan. 15 at Slim's; The Kids in the Hall, Jan. 15-16 at the Warfield; Stuart Davis, Jan. 16 at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco; the Chums, Jan. 18 at the Usual; Guster and the Chums, Jan. 20 at the Edge; Stitch, True to Form and DIELAB, Jan. 21 at the Chemical Free Zone in Campbell; Monkey and the Brownies, Jan. 21 at Cactus; Lonely Kings, Jan. 21 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz; Imperial Teen and Trackstar, Jan. 21 at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco; Sno-Core with System of a Down, Puya, Mr. Bungle and Incubus, Jan. 22 at the Warfield; Misfits, Jan. 23 at the Edge; Cher and Lou Bega, Feb. 5 at the San Jose Arena; Anthrax, Feb. 5 at the Warfield; Korn, Mar. 3, Oakland Arena.

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From the January 13-19, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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