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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Oliver Brown Ukulele Dreaming: Oliver Brown, with the help of Pinky the ukulele, offered sharp humor at UCSC.

Oliver's Twist:
Oliver Brown and his legion of ukuleles dazzled at Cowell College last week

NO ONE CAN GLIDE as effortlessly through songs about Fidel Castro's baseball career, Old Milwaukee romance and basement goose bumps as ukulele messiah Oliver Brown. Brown, a performer in complete command of his art, dazzled his minions at the Cowell Coffee Shop on April 25. Along with his ukulele, "Pinky," Brown proved that he's the most engaging local performer around, and, yes, that even includes Fury 66's lap-dance routine.

Smoke fogged up everyone's eyes during Brown's smarmy Vegas version of "The Girl from Ipanema." Brown substituted some passionate "jazz" singing for the horn solos, with humorous effect. Such heavenly falsettos give me reason to believe that Brown must have been drilled by an errant split-fingered fastball from a certain cigar-totin' dictator.

"Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz" is the only song stamped with the official Westside yodel. "Billy the Goat Girl," a pretty tale of impossible love, proved pathos can be achieved in 30 seconds. The Hefty-bag hooks to "Tropical Storm" and the Beatlesesque lilt of "Water" scored two for the ukuleles in their never-ending battle against guitars. There were nice ukulele flips too. After the release of Brown's live album this summer, it will be impossible to ignore the glorious clang of ukuleles carrying the thousands of Jeep Cherokees across Highway 17.

Jeff Manson and the Barometers opened up the Cowell show with clean, pastoral tunes about surveying the range for the next sleeping cow to tip. The electrifying "El Dorado" country fried everyone's personal steaks and won the trio extra meals from Marriott Food Service for rhyming Colorado with avocado. Slim's bouncing bass pickings were a snug, perfect fit--just like finding that special pair of Justin boots at the Westerner.

Manson's revved-up version of the Pixies' "Gigantic" was like Dudley Moore trying to ride a bull--funny, but inevitably falling short. And Manson didn't exactly make a lot of friends by refusing to play "The Beautiful People" and "Happy When it Rains" either.

Squash Soup

Another fine installment from Squash, the "friends-hyping-friends magazine." Features include articles on the Gorehounds, Swedish skater Mould Carlsson and Christian wrestler the Missionary Man. There's also a party toilet story that shows why friends should never let friends drink toilet water. The anagrams of David Hasselhoff ("Dad lives off hash") are pretty chilling, especially with word of a Seinfeld-like sitcom starring Der Hasselhoff in the works in Germany.

"Fractured" is a sad chronicle of an old, injured skater's thirst for excitement in a dry month. The "Canvas of the Month" is a wicked tribute to the "hard-working men and women who come home everyday and party like there is no tomorrow." A response-based flowchart in regard to accidental defecation (example: "Can you play it off or blame it on an old person or infant?") deserves to be in every Fruit of the Loom package.

If you're a diehard Olsen twins fan, there's a dashing photo of the two in sailor outfits that should make every heart in every house full.

And to the editors of this ëzine for realizing the symbiotic relationship between Journey and the Streetlight staff, kudos to you! Send a couple of stamps for a complimentary issue to Squash Magazine, 117 Coloma St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060


On Thursday, May 6, Thumbs Down and Grab Ass take over the Catalyst (9pm). On Friday, May 7, Herbert, Astron, Noise Clinic and Ominum play up at the Pizza Junxion (7:30pm).
Matt Koumaras

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From the May 5-12, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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