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[whitespace] Smash Mouth
Big Show: At a secret show Nov. 10 at Britannia Arms, Smash Mouth lived up to their reputation as pop-music heavies.

Notes From The Underground

Sweet Swing:
Royal Crown Revue takes out a Palookaville crowd with tommy-gun swing and pachuco boogie

By Matt Koumaras

Most swing music makes me want to check into the porcelain office, assemble tons of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and go Elvis. Royal Crown Revue was a shining exception Nov. 13 at Palookaville. The band sauntered through a set of swing, bebop and mafia river dances. The pachuco posse went elemental executing high-flying human aerials. I tried out my new Divinyls "I Touch Myself" swing move and was able to slither my way up to the front. There I discovered the horn section blowing glorious boomtown vibrations while the daredevilish guitarist shot out zesty riffs that forced the fashionable scenesters to submit to Bugsy Malone duck-and-cover drills.

The Chop Tops dissected old-style rockabilly with textbook precision as openers. The lead guitarist was a gem ripping through a jam-packed catalog of clever lines. Any drummer who plays the entire set standing up displays one of two things: one, Preparation H is a sham or, two, serious rockage. Judging from the audience's great response, it was the latter.

Kick in the Teeth

Anybody catch Smash Mouth's secret appearance at Britannia Arms in Aptos Nov. 10? I couldn't attend because of a Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman marathon on Lifetime last week. You know the saying that TV adds at least 15 pounds to your body? It must be the other way around, because reportedly each member of Smash Mouth weighed close to 300 pounds last week, and a bestial chant of "We can't get enough fish and chips, baby" sent the cement ship to a safe hiding spot on the ocean's floor.

Review: District 17/Port Radium split L.P.

As a camp counselor at Foster Farms, I warned all the kids not to go running around because they would run straight into the electric security system that penned all the animals in. Needless to say, my warning led to a group of 12 kids determined to test my force-field myth.

That same feeling of electrical rebellion takes place here with District 17's indie-charged rock syrup. "Skateboarding 101" soars with J.P.'s guitar pulling off some truly incredible distorted magic. "Autumn Laureate" lays down thick and emotional riffs while waxing on a pristine high-end guitar shine. Johnny's four-stringed loops are full of more interesting characters than The Cannonball Run. "Small Block Mopar" shreds-and-dunks the monkey in grease for life with the line "Don't care if I lose every race, I built this motor breakin' my own damn knuckles." As they say in Santa Cruz, DIY or tie-dye! Contact the band at [email protected] or 811 Day Circle, Pacific Grove, 93950.

Washington's Port Radium epoxies solid Superchunk-ish melodies to your noggin with heavenly vocals and tempo rushes that lift you up from the neck. There's an assortment of intricacies breeding behind what seems at times the sparsest of structures. The guitars on "5:46" emit more shocking golden tones than listening to an X-rated Ham Radio convention. Write Port Radium c/o Gallon Key Recordings, Box 815, Olympia, WA 98507.


Tsunami Rising, Punch and the Connection play Brookdale Lodge Friday; Spaceboy, Ominum, Schlep and the Volunteers play Callahan's Saturday.

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

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