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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] Chaos Lounge
Lounge Ladies: The ladies from Chaos Lounge show off the garage-pop charms.

Chaos Theory:
Art rocking Chaos Lounge gives some good vibrations on its demo

WHILE ATTEMPTING to make my way to the Xena look-alike convention, I was pulled aside by airport security. They seized my chain-mail backpack, ignored my six-inch sharpened sword and concerned themselves only with my Chaos Lounge demo. After high-speed dubbing several copies for family and friends, security wouldn't give the tape back, because the rocking proved to be a serious aviation hazard.

Chaos Lounge is a new, all-female art-rock band that has more hooks than the Pirates of Caribbean playing twister in a pool of piranhas. The Lounge had been playing its instruments for only about a year when it recorded this record with Bart at the House of Faith, and that's exactly what makes this demo different. It sounds like they're actually having a good time on these songs, proving rock music can be (as 7 Seconds used to preach) "Not just boys fun."

"El Niño" slithers with its mean line driving "And it just ain't riiiiiight" chorus; the backing vocals remind me of Pele Juju, and to a lesser extent, the gangster rap of Brazilian soccer legend Pele. The book-end vocalist team of Krissy and Anji ups the ante on "Chaos," scooping up some nice, splashy harmonies in the Voice of the Beehive/Mary's Danish vein. Kierstin crafts some first-rate drum fills, especially on "Chaos." "No Sleep" is a garage-pop sensation that will soon have legions of rabid fans at the Warfield pelting the group with No-Doz. Cool supercharged guitar power chords from Phoebe, too.

Repeat after me: Alanis, no; Chaos, yes!

Comet at Ya

Cometbus #42, Double Duce is not your average zine: it contains no ads, photos or reviews. What it does offer is some of the most genuine observations of life around. This is Aaron's (Crimpshrine's mastermind of a lyricist) first true attempt at a novel and, with any luck, not his last. Aaron's penchant for detailing his characters' on-the-edge lifestyles never comes off as too detached or overly indulgent. Issue #42 showcases all of the insightful charm that makes his writing the DYI Cliff Notes of wisdom.

Where else can you learn how to unwarp a record in a microwave or to fry up spices in a pan when there's no more food left? The vivid pictures Aaron paints of housemates Little G, Sluggo and Theodotia while he oversees everything in the Duce House attic have more flavor than the Baskin Robbins lox ice cream line. Think the Real World with less Lyme disease and more inspiration.

It makes me recall the scene in Edward Scisssorhands in which Winona Ryder's character asks Edward to hold her, and he sadly points to his stubby shears and says, "I can't." That same instant pathos shoots you in the face here, and the fact that it's all handwritten in Aaron's distinctive scrawl only further cements his work as 100 percent USDA punk rock. Forget that first-edition Catcher in the Rye, flush Cosmo's agony column down the toilet and get with the program today.

Double Duce reminds me of what Paul Simon said when he introduced his musical sidekick to the record label bigwigs--"This is Art." Send a stamp for back-issue info to: Cometbus, P.O. Box 4279, Berkeley, CA 94704.


The What-Nots kickstart the Catalyst with Meat Pizza Sandwich and the Subtle Oak Complexity on Thursday (Oct. 22) at 9pm for $1. Dilligaf, Exploding Crustaceans and Wyrm desecrate the Aptos Club (9pm, $1), also on Thursday.
By Matt Koumaras

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From the October 22-28, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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