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Notes from the Underground

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Notes from the Underground was a weekly column in the Metro Santa Cruz from 1995 to 2000.

It was originally written by Michael Mechanic from January 1995 to February 1997. Michael reviewed local shows, local bands and local releases. His attention was dedicated toward documenting and encouraging local music. He also touched on other local interests, such as skateboarding and surfing. His breadth of knowledge of punk history and Bay Area goings-on made his column particularly education and interesting. At a time when not many people had regular access to the Internet, Michael's column gave the local punk community a public voice and served as a public record.

In 1996, the column was shared by Michael and Arwen Curry. Debbie Solomon also wrote for the column during this time. When Michael left in February 1997, Arwen took the reigns. Arwen's reign coincided with a lull local bands and venues, and her writings sometimes focused more on general punk trends and less on local activities. The Basement and California Street ended during her reign, and the Red Room stopped doing shows. Adding to this lull in local music, a number of bands either moved away or stopped playing. Her announcements of upcoming shows had to include out of town shows, or no upcoming shows would be listed. Throughout 1998, the Upcoming shows section not a regular posting in the column. Arwen also reviewed out-of-town zines.

Matt Koumaras joined Arwen in co-writing the column in late 1997 and took over the column completely in July of 1998 when Arwen moved to San Francisco. He continued until his (temporary) departure from Santa Cruz in March of 2000. The Metro did not continue the column after that, and the paper's finger was no longer on the local music pulse in the same way again.

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