Over the Sneezeglass!

It had been a wild Santa Ana weekend: Squelch's closing reception/punkstravaganza on Friday shut down early when some generally harmless drunken carousing ended up squelching a set by The Alleged Gunmen, prematurely putting a bullet in the head of an evening that saw Thee Makeout Party keyboard virtuoso Dustin sliding his crotch up and down his poor little Casio and Squelch himself parading around with a whirring constellation of lights attached to his much-lauded genitals. "I got it at the mall," he reported. So we needed to wind down—thus to Koo's, where the only drunken carousing involves transvestite hookers in the alleys a block away.

Tonight promised to be a dark one. Once the high school emo bands cleared out, the serious musicians (in that they were dressed all in black! Often with black hair!) took the stage, and we damn well got our Goth on. Frisco's Heart of Snow fluttered solemnly down somewhere between Lydia Lunch and Siouxsie and the Banshees, most obviously because of their operatic basso singer. She sang slow, low and sad, which went from impressively tingly on the first few songs to hypnotic to droning to the point where kids were falling asleep on their feet. Turns out that gentle swaying wasn't dancing; they were just trying to keep their balance! And really, that explains so much about so many shows, doesn't it? We weren't on downers, but if we could have scored some, it would've been a hell of a night. Certain bands should just hand out pills when they perform, you know? For art's sake, at least.

In between bands, we bought coffee slurpees (as physically debilitating as hard drugs but cheaper and more fun to drink!) and staggered back in time to catch, er, Heart of Snow again? No! But talk about separated at birth. While Heart of Snow watched intently from the sidelines, their long-lost twins Love Life ran through what sounded like the set we'd just heard: same repetitive bass lines, same magic assortment of guitar tweaks that makes a power chord sound like a piano, same sunglasses-at-night fashion aesthetic—but with a singer who could really croon, all sweetness and raw edges and that sort of thing. Pretty, but it was an overdose. We left way too wound down, like the living dead only a bit more stylish. But that's pretty much what the night was about anyway, wasn't it? (Chris Ziegler)

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