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By Michael Henningsen

July 21, 1997: 


Friday, July 18; The Launchpad: Most psychoactive drugs really aren't that much fun unless you happen to be a 19th Century poet or depressed novelist. Or L. Ron Hubbard. That's probably because the companies that make such drugs don't have an ear for great punk rock. Take SmithKline Beecham, for instance, the makers of the wonder drug known as Thorazine. For years now, Thorazine has sucked the life out of millions of "disturbed" folks who spend their days shuffling around in paper slippers. When the manufacturer caught wind of the Philly hardcore band of the same name as their fabulous product, they tried to force the band to drop the moniker. Wouldn't want something as nasty as a punk band to defame such a great drug.

True to the old-school ethic (in every way), Thorazine has so far scoffed at the establishment and continued to make some of the best hardcore out there. Did you like Black Flag before Henry Rollins joined and Greg Ginn turned into a real asshole? Then you'll love Thorazine. It's punk rock the way God intended it.

--Michael Henningsen


Wednesday, July 23; Dingo Bar: The last time they were here, as you may remember if you were a member of the largest crowd ever at the Dingo Bar, Hovercraft featured a drummer by the name of Eddie Vedder. Sporting a fucked-up wig and very short legs, he turned out to be a better drummer than a guitarist.

Hovercraft is coming back, sans Vedder this time, but hot on the heels of a surprising new release. And it's Vedder's wife, affectionately known as Sadie 7, who transforms the broad concepts and vast sound designs into pulsating, instrumental euphoria. While the recorded material is only half of the Hovercraft experience (film collages make up the other half), Akathisia, their latest release, is much more cohesive and musical than 1995's Zero, Zero, Zero One. Live, the Hovercraft experience is akin to a very pleasant acid trip. And with no hangover or flashback worries, how can you say no?

--Michael Henningsen

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