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Volume 2, Number 1 - May 9, 2007 - San Jose, CA


BRMC, Gym Class Heroes, Joss Stone, MILFs & Metro Blues

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metro fountain blues festival
Sat. May 12, 12:30pm
SJSU San Carlos Plaza
Fourth & San Carlos Sts.,
San Jose
408.924.6262
$5

Metro Fountain Blues Festival

BUDDY GOT THE BLUES: It's not often you get to see a legend of any genre of music perform for free, let alone in the category of electric blues. And while they're asking a donation of a whopping $5, the folks at this year's Metro Fountain Blues Festival are giving you the deal of a lifetime in the form of Chicago blues king Buddy Guy. Known for his onstage showmanship and unbridled guitar wizardry, Guy is credited with influencing rock-gods like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn--not bad for someone whose career didn't escalate until much later when the 1980s saw a renewed interest in electric blues. Finally, in the form of a stellar record deal, Guy received the credit he surely deserved three decades earlier when his musical virtuosity first became apparent. Witness the three-time Grammy-winning axe man as he showcases his guitar mastery today at SJSU. Who knows, you may just feel the urge to pitch in your $5.

 
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mary axe
Wed. May 9, 9pm
VooDoo Lounge
14 S. Second St., San Jose
408.286.8636
$5

Mary Axe

CLEAN THRASHING: Sure, Campbell isn't exactly a hotbed of rock-star talent, but then again, who would have thought Chico would have produced the Mother Hips or that AFI would have sprung up out of NorCal's Ukiah? Led by guitarist Alex Ponsoy, who also handles lead vocals, Mary Axe produces a clean rock & roll sound that lies somewhere between U2 pop and Metallica thrash. Catchy guitar licks, well-matched bass lines and solid drum-work create a tightly woven style that draws from '90s alternative as well as classic rockers like Hendrix and Santana. With a refreshingly melodic sound and a frontman clearly as talented as any mainstream artist, this trio may just be Campbell's first claim to fame. Also appearing tonight are San Francisco trio Cast of Thousands and indie rockers Company Car.

black rebel motorcycle club
Wed. May 9, 7pm
The Fillmore
1805 Geary, San Francisco
408.998.TIXS
$28.50
buy tickets

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

REBEL YELL: Sometimes rock & roll bands are tough to categorize. Let's begin at the crossroads of contemporary pop rock and ask: Beatles or Rolling Stones? In other words, light or dark? Or better yet, white or ... you guessed it, black (ding ding ding)? Fusing the murky tones of Velvet Underground–style rock with a boldly electrified sound backed by driving guitar riffs and Bonzo-esque drums, BRMC is a garage-rock trio pledged to the Dark Side. Their 2007 album, Baby 81, marks a return to the harder-edged feel of their first two releases, after the band got in touch with their softer side on the 2005 acoustic-folk album Howl. To the band's credit, Howl stands as a noteworthy and musically brilliant effort (think Zeppelin III) in its own right, though fans must be relieved to see the leather-clad rockers crank up the overdrive and proceed to blow out eardrums with their tirade of explosive noise-rock. Taking their name from Marlon Brando's biker gang in The Wild One, the two Bay Area natives and a Brit not only look the part (yes, they wear all black) and act the part (chain-smoke, booze, groupies), they actually play music that comes pretty damn close to epitomizing the brilliantly decadent tradition of down-and-dirty rock & roll. Opening tonight at the Fillmore is Scottish indie-rock trio the Fratellis.

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pablo francisco
Thu. May 10, 8pm
The Improv
62 S. Second St., San Jose
408.280.7475
$22

Pablo Francisco

MR. FUNNYMAN: Pablo Francisco does a funny impersonation of Tony Montana doing a drug deal with Kermit the Frog. His brief enactment of the hypothetical Grand Theft Auto: San Francisco (punch line: the prostitute is a man) is surprisingly realistic, and he does a spot-on impression of the "In a world ..." movie trailer voice. He also satirizes his Chicano cultural heritage whenever he gets the chance. Francisco is not breaking new ground like, say, Lenny Bruce, or pushing the boundaries of decency like Richard Pryor, but the former Mad TV cast member's talent for noises and impersonations, combined with his approach from some sweet spot right in the middle of the road, might actually land him in the realm of superstardom. He's already a sensation on MySpace and YouTube--let's see if those new arbiters of popularity know how to pick the next top comic not sanitized for televisory consumption.

foxy at cardiff with dj benji
Thu. May 10, 9pm
Cardiff Lounge
260 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell
408.374.7477
No Cover

Foxy @ Cardiff Lounge

CAMPBELL LOUNGING: Instead of paying a cover charge to drink and dance at a downtown club, head over to the Cardiff Lounge and use the money you saved on the cover for a few extra drinks. Resident DJ Benji Candelario will be getting "Foxy" tonight with help on the decks from Frederico Zabala. The duo will be spinning soulful house music for the dancing enjoyment of beautiful women and attractive men in downtown Campbell. No cover and excellent house music make the Cardiff Lounge a nightlife hot spot that is often underestimated but never fails.

hell caminos
Thu. May 10, 10pm
The Caravan
98 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose
408.995.6220
No Cover

Hell Caminos

PSYCHOBILLY LUAU: A Hawaiian psychobilly band? Yeah, the Hell Caminos certainly require a double take, but it's a good thing because they certainly deserve the attention that their mismatched hometown and music might generate. Forget the reggae and surf rock that is usually spawned in Honolulu and replace it with three greased up guys and a stand-up bass. Since their formation in 2004, the Hell Caminos have somehow survived in an underground Honolulu scene playing with the likes of T.S.O.L. and The Briefs. Catchy punk and rockabilly collide head-on, causing sparks to fly when the band rocks out. San Jose's favorite dive bar, The Caravan, is always an adventure, but when it's a night of free psychobilly, there's no excuse to stay home.

vault ultra lounge
Thu. May 10, 9pm
Vault Ultra Lounge
81 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
408.298.1112
Usual Coverr
guest list

YRMF @ Vault

YOUNG, RICH & FAMOUS: This one is either too good to be true or impossible to believe. Vault, you have officially outdone yourself. The YRMF (Young, Rich and Muthafcukin [sic] Famous) party celebrates the expensive taste of...well you guessed it: the young, rich and famous. Players from the Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and Athletics have been invited to make guest appearances throughout the night. But wait--there's more! Ladies will get in free before 11pm, but guys will have to bite the bullet and pay $10 before 11pm and "$20+" after. Sounds like there could be a sliding scale. To make the burn of paying a cover sting less, there will be free vodka shots from 11:30pm until midnight. Vault's awesome DJs will be on the turntables all night long spinning the hottest hip-hop, R&B and house for a full club, so make sure to get there early. Film crews will also be shooting footage for a new "BayUpTV Clubs Edition," so make sure to dress your best and practice those dance moves.

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kobalt
Fri. May 11, 9pm
The Blank Club
44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose
408.292.5265
$8

Kobalt

ROCK SHMEAR: Local alternative rockers Kobalt grace the stage at the Blank Club tonight, showcasing their unique blend of rock sub-genres: progressive, alternative, classic and pop elements meld into a perfectly refined sound. Dave Unger's high-octave vocals soar above Scott Berbick's classic guitar licks, while solid drumming by Scott Sutfin keep things crisp. Bassist Patrick DeRosa adds musical complexity with unorthodox scales and modes. Unger's talented songwriting is apparent throughout; well-crafted instrumental breakdowns and extended guitar solos compliment smart lyrical prose. A captivating rock & roll experience from start to finish, Kobalt is certainly worth a listen.

 
flavor of love at vivid
Fri. May 11, 9pm
Vivid
8 S. First St., San Jose
408.279.4444
Usual Cover

Flavor of Love @ Vivid

SMILEY FACE: If only the Flavor of Love event at Vivid was Flava Flav-related. Alas, San Jose will have to settle for an appearance by Smiley from the first season of the namesake show. The reality TV star was also a contestant on the WWE Raw Diva Search and was most recently in a Flavor of Love spin-off on VH1, as well as a collection of other reality shows that most of us haven't even heard of. When it comes down to it, Smiley, a.k.a. Leilene, makes Vivid's Flavor of Love party special because she's downright hot. The Vivid Vixens are also sure to be getting down and dirty on Friday night to the Top 40, house, hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin music spun by sexy Vivid DJs. Stop by and find out how love tastes.

the waybacks
Fri. May 11, 9pm
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St, San Francisco
415.885.0750
$16

The Waybacks

CHARITY ROCKING: As part of the Bread & Roses organization's "May Around the Bay,"an outreach program that brings music to public venues in the Bay Area, the Waybacks are hitting the stage at the Great American Music Hall. The band has performed for the Bread & Roses group on numerous other occasions, bringing their acoustic folk and bluegrass to those who aren't usually fortunate enough to see a nationally touring act. Opening on Friday night, Poor Man's Whiskey will keep it real with rock-infused folk to get the crowd ready for the honesty and power the Waybacks bring. Not only does this group play great music while armed with acoustic instruments, but the event benefits charity and the cover charge is nothing considering the people whose lives a band like this will touch.

milf at taste ultra lounge
Fri. May 11, 9pm
Taste Ultra Lounge
87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose
408.885.1016
Usual Cover
guest list

Ladies Night: MILF Edition @ Taste

GOT MILF: There's ladies night, and then there's MILF Ladies Night. For Taste's Second Annual MILF Edition Ladies Night (by now there is no excuse not to know what MILF stands for), the lounge will stop at nothing to throw a fabulous party. Women will be pampered and spoiled with special goodies until 11pm including champagne, wine tasting and make-up giveaways being handed out to all those beautiful MILFs. DJ Remedy and Leslie Perez will be mixing hip-hop, old-school, mash-ups and more. The fun goes on with a "Hottest MILF Contest" as well as a male review from the Men of Exotica. Get there early and scope out the selection.

drunken public
Fri. May 11, 8pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
408.947.8470
$5

Drunken Public

BARGAIN BLOWOUT: Johnny V's is at it again, bringing downtown San Jose good local music for only $1 per band. Dancing for a Fix opens the five-band blowout with the kind of alternative rock that should be played at a strip club while a blonde writhes to the metal licks. It only gets better as With Report brings out the fast-paced punk rock from Oakland, followed by Drastic Actions and then Nation of Idiots, who all bring politically charged punk to Johnny V's. Closing out the night with one final blow of punk-laced fury, Drunken Public take the corner-stage of Johnny V's to throw the energy level over the top. A whole night of Bay Area punk rock for a deal of a price makes this yet another show at Johnny V's that's hard to pass up.

porcupine tree
Fri. May 11, 7pm
The Warfield
982 Market St., San Francisco
408.998.TIXS
$25 - $30
buy tickets

Porcupine Tree

PRICKLY PROG: Difficult to categorize and impossible to place into any one genre, Steve Wilson's Porcupine Tree dabbles in more styles of music than a traveling Gypsy band, though the former's eclecticism is probably a bit more fashionable these days than the latter. Wandering women aside, the U.K.–based quartet explores the ambient riches of experimental prog rock (pardon the categorization) to create sounds that delve from the vaguely familiar to the completely unknown. Regarded as a child prodigy, Wilson's musical brilliance was actualized on his debut album, On the Sunday of Life, in 1992. Now, 13 albums later, Porcupine Tree has grown into an artistic entity distinguished by melodic sophistication and complex harmonies. With a devout fan-base and a slew of brilliant soundscapes that continue to impress critics, the group makes believers out of those skeptical of music that strays far away from the conventional.

ziggy marley
Fri. May 11, 8pm
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
831.423.1336
$32.50 - $38.50
buy tickets

Ziggy Marley

IRIE MARLEY: As if they really need another reason, Santa Cruzans will take advantage of the new marijuana reform laws and spark one up Friday night with the man who brought them the classic stoner-reggae song, "One Good Spliff," One of three Bob Marley sons with a flourishing music career of his own, eldest brother Ziggy skanks his way to the Catalyst to support his latest release, Love Is My Religion. An ode to the roots reggae his father practically gave birth to, the album shines as a contemporary example of what may have come for Bob had he not fallen victim to cancer at the age of 36. Appealing to westerners and true Rastas alike, Love Is My Religion is a reflective journey beginning in Kingston and ending in CD players worldwide. Warmed by uplifting lyrics and the irie strum of offbeat guitars, Ziggy Marley's music will caress the soul, with or without herbal supplements.

raw grooves at 1015
Fri. May 11, 10pm
1015
1015 Folsom, San Francisco
415.431.1200
$10

Raw Grooves

FRESH HOUSE: Flawless and fresh house grooves take over the night at 1015 Folsom for the Raw Grooves event. There's no need to look for the best place in the Bay Area Friday night for house music because we're telling you this will be it. The massive three-room bender has four DJs and plenty of full bars to quench thirsts. Monty Luke, Galen and John Howard will be on the turntables throughout the night while Hesohi steps it up with a live performance--that's one–of-a-kind house music performed live. Fans of house have no better option than Raw Grooves, especially when the cover tops out at a measly $10.

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shooter jennings
Sat. May 12, 9pm
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
831.423.1336
$15
buy tickets

Shooter Jennings

SON OF A LEGEND: Down South, there's a cottage industry in being the hard-living, hard-ass son of a country legend--Hank Williams III is probably the most notorious of the bunch, with his chaotic live shows that merge metal and honky-tonk, but Shooter, son of original country outlaw Waylon Jennings, is working on establishing his own debauched infamy. Outside of the Shooter is best known for his role playing his father in the biopic Walk The Line, but it's probably only a matter of time before Waylon's offspring becomes better known for his hard-living Southern country-rock anthems. Shooter's tastes run a little more traditional than Williams', hewing further towards the boogie-woogie of Lynyrd Skynyrd than Pantera-esque sludge rock, but when it comes down to it, Jennings is really much more old-school country than he would have you believe. In fact, he has notably disowned his early hard-rock output, saying that he started out as "a country guy trying to be something he wasn't." The Shitkickers open.

the fourfits
Sat. May 12, 9pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
408.947.8470
$5

The Fourfits

DEBAUCHEROUS FOURSOME: The Bay Area's own rebel rockers, the Fourfits, bring their no-nonsense, balls-to-the-wall rock & roll to Johnny V's Saturday for a night of melodic debauchery that would make the late, great Joey Ramone proud. Since 2003, the ferocious foursome has been hammering out power-chord riff-rock that echoes the '70s blues-rock movement, with hints of newer alt-rock acts like Queens of the Stone Age and Wolfmother. Gritty vocals and wailing guitar solos recall the days when Led Zeppelin still ruled the pop-radio airwaves and bands like the Doors got away with a lead singer keen on flashing his you-know-what at sold-out shows in Connecticut. Catch the Fourfits tonight to witness the hard-rock mayhem Eagles fans never understood.

kfog kaboom
Sat. May 12, 4pm
Piers 30/ 32, San Francisco
408.998.TIXS
$10

KFOG Kaboom

KENNY WAYNE BLUES EXPLOSION: Every year, the Bay Area has an excuse to get plastered on BART and go see a free show in the city. The occasion? KFOG's free Kaboom concert. Now in its 14th year, the extravaganza will feature a killer music lineup: headlining is blues prodigy Kenny Wayne Shepard, with appearances by Guster and Ozomatli. Shepard exploded on the scene in the mid-'90s with his version of electric blues, reaching a level of stardom unseen in the genre since the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. Like all bluesmen, Shepard's story reads like folklore. At age 13, he was invited to play onstage by New Orleans blues great Brian Lee, where he held his own with the veteran musician for several hours. Shepard decided then that he would make music his career, and he hasn't really looked back since. With Grammy nominations, a documentary film and one helluvah hot hand on the six string, Shepard's greatness can be compared with legends like B.B. King, Robert Cray and yes, even Muddy Waters.

ruby skye 7 year annivaersary
Sat. May 12, 9pm
Ruby Skye
420 Mason St., San Francisco
415.693.0777
Usual Cover

Ruby Skye 7-Year Anniversary

BIRTHDAY BASH: Get down at San Francisco's Ruby Skye tonight as the super-chic club celebrates its seventh anniversary with a dance party hot enough to melt the sun. Award-winning DJ Dubfire spins eclectic grooves that mix the old school with the new in support of his latest album, Taipei GU31. The club's birthday bash will continue with San Francisco's own DJ John Early, whose international sounds have garnered world-wide acclaim. Finally, DJ Rooz showcases his collision of house, tech and prog beats late into the night. Get ready for a night of mind-bending sound courtesy of three top-drawer DJs, only at Ruby Skye.

shitkickers
Sat. May 12, 1pm
West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga
No Phone
Free

West Fest

UP AND COMERS: Witness the raw beauty of up-and-coming rock & roll talent free of charge this Saturday at West Fest 2007. Headlining is the Shitkickers, a band with enough drunken twang to make Willie Nelson feel like a sober schoolboy. Call them bluegrass, cowpunk or whatever comes to mind when farmer Bob's had one too many--these guys will give you a hangover without even cracking a beer. Also performing is femme-fatal punk rockers Civet, coming all the way from Long Beach to give you a good kick in the balls with their rambunctious fem-rock. Let's not forget the rest of the bunch--there will be performances by a handful of local bands including FTB, Jonny Manak and the Depressives, The Hysterians, Astro Zombies, The Holdup, Reckless Rebels and Parklane.

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asher's satori
Sun. May 13, 8pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
408.947.8470
$5

Asher's Satori

DEEP FLOW: The Asher of Asher's Satori is Santa Cruz's very own version of Jack Johnson meeting Alice in Chains, unplugged. Mostly acoustic, mostly solo, and always sincerely spiritual in a surfer bro kind of way, the artist cordially known as is your personal connection to a flow of ENERGY which connects us ALL and inspires him to write music. Yeah, it's that deep.

gym class heroes
Sun. May 13, 7pm
Slim's
333 11th St., San Francisco
415.255.0333
$17
buy tickets

Gym Class Heroes

ROCK & RAP STEW: Instead of using turntables and spraying spit into a microphone, rapper Travis McCoy is backed by a three-piece rock band, creating a tantalizing amalgamation of indie rock and hip-hop. Gym Class Heroes' most recent single, "Cupid's Chokehold," made it to the Top 5 on the Billboard charts thanks to the catchy hook pulled from Supertramp's "Breakfast in America." The single, like all of Gym Class Heroes' songs, reached a wide audience, as they are played in hip-hop clubs and on alternative rock radio. Witty lyrics make the songs catchy enough for all ages to sing along to even if they have to do it when no one is looking. Wild 94.9 puts together another sure-to-sell-out event by bringing in Gym Class Heroes with the Pack and Tyga opening. It might be a Sunday night but for only 17 bucks, this show is a steal.

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the bad plus
Mon. May 14, 9pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz
831.427.2227
$25

The Bad Plus

UNDERCOVER JAZZ: If you were to take a quick look at their repertoire, you might not initially come to the conclusion that The Bad Plus is actually a jazz trio. You'd probably be misled by the group's proclivity for eclectic source material, as the band has gained its fair share of both fans and critics for interpreting songs by Aphex Twin, the Pixies, Blondie and even Black Sabbath. Lest you think the group is comprised by a trio of snotty hipsters taking the piss out of jazz music, it would behoove you to note that the members come from a staunchly jazz pedigree, and approach their rock and electronic source material carefully and with taste and restraint. purists will never come around, but even if piano-driven jazz re-imaginings of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" don't sound like the best ideas on paper, The Bad Plus' skillful interpretations have earned the group many unlikely converts.

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joss stone
Tue. May 15, 8pm
The Warfield
982 Market St., San Francisco
408.998.TIXS
$35
buy tickets

Joss Stone

YOUNG LOOK, OLD SOUL: It takes decades for most artists to earn BRIT and Grammy Awards, but Joss Stone did it in just two. She might be 20 years old, but the soul in Stone's R&B and blues goes far beyond her years. Working with greats like Herbie Hancock, Melissa Ethridge, Robbie Williams and many more, Stone has earned herself an important spot in the music world that has generated both fame and controversy for her sometimes-erratic behavior. Nonetheless, Stone has stayed true to herself and became her own manager for her most recently released album, Introducing Joss Stone. The music world has been inundated with female U.K. singer/ songwriters as of late--Lilly Allen, Regina Spektor and Amy Winehouse--who bring soul and strength to a male-dominated field, but it seems to be well received. Add Joss Stone's Warfield performance to your list of things –to see and get tickets to the Tuesday show early, as it will almost surely sell out.

dinosaur jr
Tue. May 15, 9pm
Slim's
333 11th St., San Francisco
415.255.0333
$26
buy tickets

Dinosaur Jr.

LITTLE FURY THINGS: Long before L.A.'s KROQ popularized songs like "Feel the Pain" and "Start Choppin," Dinosaur Jr. had already made a name for itself on the strength of frontman J. Mascis's unique whimpery voice (which frequently went falsetto) and the fact that he was throwing giant, sloppy, screeching guitar solos back into indie rock. Dinosaur Jr. rose from the ashes of Deep Wound, a hardcore band out of Amherst, Mass., Mascis and bassist Lou Barlow recruited a drummer in 1983 (their original name was Dinosaur, but they got sued by members of Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe and the Fish, who were already using the name), but by 1989 they had already split; Barlow founded another lo-fi indie rock band, Sebadoh, and Mascis started touring as J. Mascis and the Fog. In 2005, they got the band back together for a reunion tour, followed by a reunion album, Beyond.

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metroactivecoming up
modest mouse
Wed. May 16, 8pm
San Jose State Event Center
7th and San Carlos Sts., SJSU Campus
408.998.TIXS
$35
buy tickets

Modest Mouse

MOUSEKETEERS: A band? A cult? An intellectual socialist group? Just what exactly Modest Mouse is seems to elude even the most informed music buffs, but one thing's for sure- outlandish personalities and an unmistakable sound have made their name synonymous with indie-rock itself. Case in point: appearing in the two "you've-made-it-to-the-top" positions of the music industry: MTV and car commercials. But still, one has to wonder; why the astounding success? Well, for one, they make some damn good music, appealing to a worldwide fan base of emo-kids and generations X-ers fed up with the glam-pop and hip-slop pouring out of fm radio these days. Let's just say P-Diddy can only hold so much allure for suburb Sam, and the N'sync-ers are sick of getting picked on in gym class. Thankfully, a new emergence of sentimental alt-rock has surfaced upon the shoulders of bands like The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Flaming Lips. So forget trying to figure the band out, just focus on Isaac Brock's brooding melodies and lyrical quirks- it's only a matter of time before you catch on to the cynical brilliance of Modest Mouse.

skinny puppy
Thu. May 24, 8pm
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
831.423.1336
$25
buy tickets

Skinny Puppy

MORE RABIES: After nearly three decades of work in the industrial music sector, Skinny Puppy is back and better than ever, continuing to expose the duplicitous nature of power on their latest release, Mythmaker. Since their inception in the outlands of Vancouver in '82, Skinny Puppy has pushed the proverbial envelope, always challenging the listener to re-explore the established conceptions of control. Utilizing more electronics than an uber-sale at Fry's. Skinny Puppy is to industrial music what oxygen is to naturally sustained life. Skinny Puppy hits the Catalyst on May 24.

--This week's newsletter by: RO, AL, GW, MC & PD


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