[Calendar of Events]

Saturday, February 24, 1996

Tilt @ Noise Pop
The Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco

Tilt/Groovie Ghoulies/Maxiwagon
by James Sullivan
courtesy Addicted To Noise

High schoolers in thrift-shop threads and industry reps in nice leather jackets comprised the majority of the turnout for the third installment of Noise Pop '96, an all-ages daytime show at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill. Though a trio of local acts played equally spirited sets on this drizzly Saturday afternoon, the two bands catering to the young'uns scored first and most convincingly.

[Tilt: Cinder Block #1]

Tilt's Cinder Block (left)
Photo by JetPack Magazine

Opening band Maxiwagon, a local entry by way of Davis, delivered a meaty set of uptempo trad-punk tunes. These bandmates surely own their share of Bad Religion and Social Distortion records, but they seem to admire many groups outside the punk party line as well. Visually, the group cut a striking portrait, with the band's Asian boy/girl rhythm section flanked by a pair of blonde-headed male guitarists-- one thin and wiry, the other pushing 230. Clad rather fashionably in a bowling shirt and a choke chain, the big guy deftly manhandled his tiny Les Paul, while his bookend-- a much less imposing fellow with a Converse All-Star sticker pasted to his own Gibson guitar-- sang hyper-melodic lead on most songs. Maxiwagon has a full-length record forthcoming, on Davis' Omnibus label, if I heard right.

It's easy to picture the three members of the Groovie Ghoulies still springing awake every Saturday morning to watch cartoons in their jammies. As usual, this garage-punk trio came to the Bottom of the Hill equipped with an assortment of Halloween-themed stage props from their Sacramento toy box. Bassist Kepi scarcely heeded his recently-broken ankle, pogoing on his one good foot from the first notes of "Hello Hello." Celebrating their invitation to play Noise Pop, the band played roulette with their set list, as Kepi, his wife Roach on guitar, and drummer Wendy each took turns calling out titles from their catalog. Though the Ghoulies just finished recording an album (to be released on Lookout!), they stuck mainly with standbys for this showcase gig. Songs like "I Ain't Talkin' to You!" and "The Beast With 5 Hands" had the group's youthful fans responding in well-rehearsed unison, while a cover of the New York Dolls' "Lonely Planet Boy" proved these perpetual kids haven't neglected their history lessons.

[Tilt: Jeff Bischoff #1]

Tilt's Jeff Bischoff (right)
Photo by JetPack Magazine

Tilt, a San Francisco quartet that has spent a considerable amount of recent time on the road, played a crisp set of angry diva-punk that smacked of bitterness in light of the opening acts' levity. Tilts defiant vocalist spat out songs like "Unravel" and "Lips Tits Hips" like she'd had just about enough of the road, thank you very much, while her bassist's idle threats to cover Ozzy Osbourne and Journey may have been taken a little too seriously by a few audience members, who hollered "You suck!" They don't, but Tilt was probably a bit long in the tooth for this festival's fresh-scrubbed attitude.

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