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[whitespace] Preteens Preteen Angst: Santa Cruz's the Preteens--whose pop-punk stylings are heralded as the next big thing--play the Girl Fest at the Vets Hall on Saturday.

The Preteens

Female musical unity hits the Vets Hall

By Matt Koumaras

IT ISN'T TOO OFTEN that a decent show rears its fickle head in the downtown Vets Hall nowadays--I mean a human being can only take seeing the same Agent Orange bill so many times in his/her life. But here's one that has an actual vision--female unity--and is oodles more diverse than the standard "sell tons of merchandise to all the kids and play new songs that nobody cares about" evening. On Saturday night, Santa Cruz's Shane Star Productions and G9 present Girl Fest Santa Cruz 1999--just like Lilith Fair, except it doesn't suck.

San Francisco's Tribe 8 storms back into town for the first time since its last epic performance at the Red Room some five years ago. Vocalist Lynn Breedlove, a slave to her estrogen, is a complete entertainer in the old-school punk-rock sense. Seeing Tribe 8's theatrical live show is definitely something concertgoers will never forget--even Tribe's many sturdy recordings don't do them justice. This group has the rare ability to generate an immediate response from the get-go (think the Spice Girls with strap-ons, kids).

Fabulous Disaster, local artist/musician Cheri Lovedog's latest musical escapade, is also on the bill, making its long-awaited Santa Cruz debut. Lovedog has always had a knack for penning deep, affective lyrics that consistently shoot from the hip and hit the heart. Described by the S.F. Weekly as "the Go-Gos sharing speedballs with the Buzzcocks," Fabulous Disaster sounds like an intriguing departure from the sludgy L7 tirades Lovedog whipped out back with X-Girl 13.

Also on the Girl Fest menu are the rootsy blues rock offerings of Seejanerun and the mystical pop stylings of Lisa Dewey. Dewey, a San Jose resident, creates dreamy, ethereal soundscapes in the Cocteau Twins/Dead Can Dance realm. Michelle Steele, formerly of the Bangles, is also rumored to be part of Dewey's entourage, so everyone must limp like an Egyptian to check this act out.

But perhaps most intriguing is the band that a little birdie keeps whispering all sorts of delightful things in my ears about--Santa Cruz's the Preteens. The bird's word is to expect a fusing of Fugazi and the Breeders, so I am already putting on my bib to prepare for the drool.

San Francisco's Violet also brings its psychedelic jazz and folk trips to the table. Toss in a little spoken word (as opposed to the various words that are never spoken) from locals Len and Debra Fay Holton and this all spells Hootenanny with a capital H. Ovary power!

Girl Fest 1999 plays Saturday (8:30pm) at the SC Vets Hall, 846 Front St., SC. Tickets are $8 and it's all-ages.

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

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