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[whitespace] Bait and Switch

Switchblade Symphony gets into the Halloween spirit and makes like a ghost for Kresge Town Hall show

By David Espinoza

FOR ALL THE TROUBLE it took me just to sneak past campus security and get up to Kresge Town Hall, Bay Area cult favorites Switchblade Symphony canceled their show Oct. 29. Apparently, the band actually showed up in the afternoon only to leave upon discovering that the venue wasn't a club nor were there provisions for special instrumental effects. Word of mouth (one Kresge college assistant and a college programs coordinator) was that a breakdown in email communication among promoters, band and booking agent was to blame. Shouldn't that be all the more reason to eliminate the latter altogether? As for the band, what ever happened to the Halloween spirit of peace and goodwill toward--oh, never mind.

Funny Duckies

Speaking of campus life, "thank goodness for classes that start after noon" seemed like the appropriate mantra for folks attending Del the Funky Homosapien show at Palookaville late Oct. 25. While Del and Aceyalone were unquestionably the main attraction, newcomers Ugly Duckling made quite an impression with their old-school-style rapping.

Acknowledging their own "white-boy"-ness and casual attire, the trio elicited cheers when they clowned tough-guy hip-hop by spinning Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison" while badly dancing the Running Man and Cabbage Patch. The '80s flashbacks didn't end there as the two MCs threw out rhymes about rapping when Michael Jackson was still black and George Michael was straight. (When was that anyway? In Wham?)

The Street Beat

Santa Cruz's folk darling Eli Salzman is back in town and now working with a bassist and drummer. (When we left off, the singer/songwriter had just moved to L.A. to further his musical career.) Interestingly, I found this out because two aliens with a wiener dog across from Cinema 9 caught my attention, as well as a tall, silver Roman god/industrial-looking thing who turned out to be Salzman dressed for Halloween.

Other local musicians didn't take the night off, like dobro man David Scully and Brazilian dance band Sambada (the drum section), who both could be seen making a ruckus up and down Pacific. Scully brought along a couple of buddies who played a washtub bass (broomstick, heavy piece of string, washtub--some assembly required) and washboard, which was almost as fun as seeing a potential fight brewing between rival fast-food-chain mascots Jack from Jack in the Box and Ronald McDonald.

Other great costumes of the night included a computer man with blinking lights that, instead of having the label "Intel Inside," read "Evil Inside." And the woman with 5-foot-tall butterfly wings. An honorable mention for the best pun should go to the guy with a noose around his neck and a sign which read, "Well Hung."

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From the November 3-10, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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