Koo's is dead. Long live Koo's!

We come today not to bury Koo's Art Cafe but to praise it—and to praise the sweethearts at the Garden Grove Youth Drop-In Center, who've dropped in to pick up some of the shows left in limbo when Koo's had to drop out. Youth services manager Diana Meier was a stalwart Koo's-goer back in '94 and '95, handing out condoms for Planned Parenthood and making all those emo kids blush. When she started working with the Drop-In Center, Dennis Lluy made sure her outreach efforts were always welcome at Koo's—and now she's returning the favor. "[Dennis] has always been available to us, so when he needed space, we were really excited to give them the opportunity," Meier cheerfully reports. "We're both dreamers, and we both love teenagers!" So far, they've only had one small trial-run show (smaller than expected, thanks to the headliner canceling). But it looks like the Drop-In philosophy will jibe well with Koo's—all shows are still a paltry $5 donation, all ages, and free of drugs and alcohol (so do your drinking at home when your parents are gone like good teenagers, okay?). It's also a convenient way for the Drop-In Center to reach out to at-risk youth and aid in local HIV-prevention efforts. "It enables us to reach kids who wouldn't have heard about it otherwise," Meier says. "It's a mutually rewarding relationship." For info on shows at the Drop-In, check the Koo's website at www.koos.org or call (714) 590-3140. (Chris Ziegler)

MAIL WORSE THAN ANTHRAX!
We get some of the strangest, freakiest post here at LowBallAssChatter: desperate pleas from publicists looking for ink, invites to dull-as-dishwater club shows, oodles of unlistenable CDs that would serve best as music to scare dogs or small children by. Take, for instance, the package of European death metal we just got from World War III Music, a distributor based in, of all places, the Carpenters' home town of Downey. The music's crap, but we certainly took pleasure in guffawing loudly over the band bios, like this description of Austrian band Belphegor (which sounds like the name of an intestinal parasite, but bear with us): "The band themselves describe their infernal hellride as 'Cruel Blasphemic Hyperblast Aggression'—attributes of hell that hit like the tip of a lance on the flesh of nazarene." Or this one, of Germany's Mystic Circle: "This malicious and pitiless entourage was born in 1993. . . . Their mission is to honor their gods 'Satan' and 'Wotan' by making anti-christian music. Mystic Circle surprises critics with their unbelievable sound supported by sorcery-like vocals, brilliant guitars, thunderous percussion and bewitching keyboards. The growth is realized; the door is open to other realms!" Not revealed is the fact that they all wear KISS makeup, which at least opens their door to realms of Potential Lawsuits. Funnier still—and closer to home—is the package and video we got from new local public-access show Beans and Rice Television (BNRTV for short), created by Mike Lanza, formerly of Electric Ink magazine. Though the note Lanza penned to us was certainly optimistic ("I think you'll agree that Beans and Rice Televisionis one of the best local TV shows to hit Orange County in a long time"), his show is really nothing more than a third-rate jerk-off video for OC's wifebeater-tank/pimp-'n'-ho/mook-rock nation, an endless flashing of fake titties, skanky thong-wearing ladies, bad Elvis impersonations (done by the incessantly mugging, obnoxious Lanza), and some of the worst bands ever—OC-spawned and otherwise. Featured bits include a segment on still-desperate-to-make-it-but-never-will (hed)pe (whom Lanza says "developed their own style of music called trip-hop"; we think a few Brits would beg to differ), who whine about how they just have to become huge rock stars because they just can't go back to their old, menial jobs (hot tip: get those résumés ready, kids!).In another, a woman with a particularly bony ass writhes and crawls along the floor toward the camera, cooing "Beans and rice!" as if she's about to come. Commercials for surf/skate clothing companies and doofus bands like Blink-182 and the Kottonmouth Kings seem to pop up every three minutes, extending the show from its scheduled half-hour to something that feels like an eternity. Even funnier—yeah, it's possible!—Lanza comes on camera to tell us his program is "home of the underground music scene," apparently clueless that just about all of the bands he highlights are signed to major record labels. We're sure Lanza thinks his show is the shit (it airs on Time Warner cable channel 16 in OC, if you must know), but tune in, and we think you'll have the same reaction we had whenever we eat beans and rice for a solid half-hour. (Rich Kane)
 
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