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The Phenomenauts prepare for takeoff.

Something Like a Phenomenaut

The Phenomenauts put on a phenomenally fun show at the Cactus Club

By Sarah Quelland

THEIR MODE OF transportation was reason enough to catch the PHENOMENAUTS' performance last Friday (April 5) at the CACTUS CLUB. Parked in front of South First Billiards was a silver curiosity that looked like the Mystery Machine had crashed into the Death Star en route to Planet Mongo and splattered some poor little green man on the window along the way. More than a van, this was a work of art.

The Bay Area-based band opened MONKEY'S CD-release show, and the Cactus was jam-packed early with already-anxious Phenomenauts fans crowding the front of the stage from the moment the band took off. Clearly, they'd seen them before and knew what was in store.

Not only does this campy retro band offer toe-tapping rockabilly pop songs, but its off-the-wall live show leaves a smile on your face. The Phenomenauts crew--COMMANDER ANGEL NOVA, MAJOR JIMMY BOOM, CORPORAL JOEBOT and CAPTAIN CHREEHOS--uses everything from flaming cymbals to a toilet-paper launcher to a bubble machine to show its fans a nonstop good time. The band performed songs from its debut album, Rockets and Robots, and got everyone in full audience-participation mode during the hot-rodding outer-space tune "Phenomenator." "Tiny Robots" was another particularly fun one: "If you want to rock & roll with me / You got to build yourself a ship to cruise this galaxy / Tiny robots, laser beams, space invaders are living my dreams." Visit www.phenomenauts.com to keep tabs on these guys.

ALL THE NEWS: Saturday (April 13), the GASLIGHTER THEATER in Campbell is hosting a huge rock & roll marathon featuring DEPTHS OF DEPRESSION, RIVALS, DIE TRYING, TEEN REJECT, the STORY, OUTTALINE, THROAT CULTURE, ALIEN LOVE SYNDROME, VOID, VILE DESCENT, SUPERCHANNEL, VITAL and DELTA ACTIVITY. Tickets are $10, and doors open at 1:30pm. ... The Cactus hosts two shows Sunday (April 14), with EMANEHT, the GENUES, FALLNUP and NOT LENNY playing an early matinee show and PURGATORY'S GATE holding a CD-release party in the evening with DEATHXDEATH and AGGRO. ... Fans of GRAND FANALI PRESENTS can help ERIC FANALI celebrate his birthday at the LOS GATOS OUTHOUSE on Sunday (April 14) with live performances by MATES OF STATE, RILO KILEY, SIN IN SPACE and the VELVET TEEN. ... The MOUNTAIN AIRE 2002 FESTIVAL has an exciting lineup this year. TREY ANASTASIO headlines both days of the event (held May 25-26 at the CALAVERAS COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS in Angels Camp). On Saturday, WEEN, LES CLAYPOOL'S FROG BRIGADE, JOHN PRINE, DEREK TRUCKS BAND and BETH ORTON perform, while ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTORS, GALACTIC, ROBERT RANDOLPH and CORNERSHOP take the stage on Sunday. TODD SNIDER, the GABE DIXON BAND, JERRY JOSEPH & THE JACK MORMONS and the EXTRA ACTION MARCHING BAND play the side stages. Tickets are $55 for one day and $100 for both. The camping fee is $15. Visit www.mountainairefestival.com for more info. ... Some changes have been made to the OZZFEST 2002 lineup. The local date (August 29) at SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE will include OZZY OSBOURNE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, ROB ZOMBIE, P.O.D., DROWNING POOL, ADEMA and ZAKK WYLDE'S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY on the main stage and DOWN, HATEBREED, MESHUGGAH, the APEX THEORY, LOST PROPHETS, PULSE ULTRA, NEUROTICA, MUSHROOMHEAD, SEETHER, CHEVELLE, GLASSJAW, the USED and SWITCHED on the other stages. ... KID ROCK played the COMPAQ CENTER last Sunday (April 7). Read a review of the concert.

PLAN AHEAD: NARCOTICA, April 11 at the LIDO; SIFT, BREACH, BEARING, the COUNCIL and MINDSICK, April 12 at the POUND in San Francisco; SLOE and the SABIANS, April 12 at the COVERED WAGON in San Francisco; the PIMP STICKS, April 13 at PLANT FIFTY ONE; SUPERCHANNEL, LIFTED, the RESTITUTION, PHYLLIS and TWO STEPS BEHIND, April 13 at the Cactus; MY NEW LIFE and HIDDEN POCKET, April 13 at the SANTA CLARA SPORTING CLUB.


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From the April 11-17, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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