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Notes From The Underground

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The Fury Live: Fury 66 played to a sold-out crowd at Palookaville over Labor Day weekend.

Fury Days:
Fury 66 and others make Palookaville a punk-rock haven

IT WAS HARD to make up for the disappointment after Foreigner canceled its Saturday night Catalyst show (their hot-blooded vocalist supposedly had a temperature of 103). But Sunday's punk fest at Palookaville erased everything that was bad in the world. Fury 66 brought the sold-out club's energy to the point of psychosis. Russ from Good Riddance, a founding member of Fury, joined the crew on a tight version of "Why Are We Here?"

If you crack open a fortune cookie after watching a Fury performance, 98 percent of the time it reads "Hardcore." (The other two percent reads "We added something extra in your Hunan calamari.")

I'm guilty of never having seen AFI play live before--there went my last bit of street cred. AFI ruled and proved you can do poppy things in songs without losing any venom. It did an awesome version of the Misfits' "Last Caress," too. Davey's manic "woah" vocals were smashing. These East Bay punkers had plenty of hops on stage, too--must be something in the water they drink up there.

Drummers never get enough glory, but they're the duct tape of the whole punk-rock infrastructure. Sean, Good Riddance's drum hero, pulled off tenacious triplets and fills like nobody's business. "All Fall Down" moved faster and harder than a tornado through a Tulsa trailer park.

While thumbing through my dictionary during a between-bands game of Scrabble, I stumbled upon the definition of lead vocalist Russ, and it just said "The Man." Then, "Years From Now" affected me like Vonnegut sporting a mohawk. "Last Believer" transformed my ass into a hockey puck and ripped it through the five-hole for an overtime winner.

Warm & Fuzzy

Spaceboy opened the second of Sunday night's two Palookaville shows, and its musical intricacies were like the Goodyear blimp--they flew right over the kids' heads. Spaceboy's new CD, Getting Warm on the Trail of the Heat, is too epic for this lesser planet anyway.

"Planet of Pot" is a metallic knock-out and masters the difficult art of forging musical tension. The gargantuan guitars, courtesy of John, Bill and Adam, shuffle nimbly between Slayer-tinged metal and just-plain-weird sounds that are against the law in 27 states.

"Return to Cannabis Island," "Insane in the Membrane" and "Stoner Fort" augment Spaceboy's new musical genre: weed metal. The barbaric "Ancient Civilizations" is more mesmerizing than that old In Search Of episode in which Leonard Nimoy is baptized by pagans in a tub of Crisco.

Clifford's creepy-crawl voice takes the vocal power of the good ex-Black Flag singers and multiplies them by infinity. The jazzy "Pink Domain" even shows that these boys are quite capable of loving and becoming spacemen. "Elf Song" freaked out my two neutered dogs so much that they started violently humping my leg before biting it off.

Take that 15-minute afternoon break, cut your sixth-period P.E. class, just do whatever it takes to buy this album now. For info, write Frenetic Records, P.O. Box 640434, San Francisco, 94164-0434.


Riff Raff, the Force, Exploding Crustaceans, Three Left Standing and Not Hot play the Vets Hall on Thursday (all ages, 7pm), while Vincent's Ear, Witchhook Sky and Time play the Aptos Club (9pm, $1).
Matt Koumaras

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From the September 10-16, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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