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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Groovie Ghoulies Ghouls & Boys: The Groovie Ghoulies pogoed their way to the Pizza Junxion.

Julie Pavlowski

Karaoke Dreaming:
Locals put a punk-rock spin on karaoke

PUNK-ROCK KARAOKE. Isn't that some kind of oxymoron? And more significantly, is an ass something you are or something you become? Whatever the answer, the rebels stormed the punk-rock Bastille at the Catalyst last Wednesday and were supported by punk heroes including Mike Watt from Firehose/Minutemen and Eric Melvin from NOFX. It's really hard to ruin any X, Stiff Little Fingers or Buzzcocks material, but each participant (including myself) truly gave it their best shot. Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge" became uncontrollably bad like that "Achy Breaky Heart" scaryoke session that I just can't forget.

An energetic guy/girl team doing the Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" should make Henry Rollins hear the footsteps at night. The "I Could Be an Extra on Friends" gentleman resorting to robot moves during Agent Orange's "Bloodstains" was priceless. Textbook versions of the DK's "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Let's Lynch the Landlord" had Jello writing super-narrative evaluations.

It's too bad there weren't more antics onstage--come on, Santa Cruz, is doing the humpty dance with Bad Religion's Greg Hetson too much to ask for?

Caught at the Junxion

The Groovie Ghoulies brought their special version of the pogo Olympics to the KZSC benefit last Friday at Pizza Junxion. Thirty-two hits in all! The Ghoulies' version of Daniel Johnston's "Devil Town" was a pleasant surprise, plus "She Gets All the Girls" and "Vampire Girl" had my big feet getting loose from my legs. Roach deserves plenty of candy valentine hearts with sayings like "U Rawk" all over them for her demonic surf leads. When Kepi kicked into the vocals on the divine "New England" and later during Motorhead's "Ramones," I melted like a bad Michael Keaton film--like Jack Frost.

The Muggs scrambled weird time signatures and cooked up some rather pleasant results. The speedy cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" worked well. "Monsters" ripped, thanks to the heavy hitting of Ches.

The Wonder Years also played, and Kevin ripped on the 12-string using a number-two pencil for a pick on "My Sister Is a Hippie." Winnie's burning vocals made me hot, so I stripped off my jacket and tossed it into the pizza oven. Paul earned lots of emo love rays for his nerdy bass work on "Jets to Brassieres." OK, I can't lie. I loved the TV show, but I hate this band.

Two Much

The Huxtables have a new two-song cassette out. While songs about role-playing games and Stars Wars won't get this quartet too many dates, these are concepts that never get dated in my eyes. Two polished pop salves from the Lookout medicine chest. Matt's acoustic leads on "Dungeon Master" are lawfully good. Colt's always been the jedi master of the songwriting dungeon.

The Huxtables' dreamy backing vocals should make the kids at Capitola Mall abandon the 'N Sync-ing ship. "Han Solo" has proudly emerged from its frozen state as a quality song, although it's a little disconcerting how Vader's voice sounds like he's muffled in a Pabst can. The cover art, with an evil puppet master, is metal magic (i.e. very funny).


On Friday, the Huxtables celebrate their tape-release party at Palookaville with Neville Staple and Red Session. On Saturday, Fugazi, the Gods Hate Kansas and the Muggs play the Watsonville Vets Hall. On Sunday, Astron, Woodpecker and Robot God erupt at Moe's Alley. On Monday, Verstehen, the Volunteers and Yaphett Kotto play the Junxion/KZSC.
Matt Koumaras

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From the February 17-24, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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