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Column

This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Cypress Hill, Tiny Waves and the New Lows

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I like Face to Face, and, though their legacy's in pop-punk, I actually think the deviating Ignorance is Bliss is a surprisingly good and underrated album of beefy, moody '90s indie rock. However, neither prong of this esteem makes me think "Damn, that would just rule acoustic." But that's exactly what they came to do (Nov. 16, The Social), so I went, at least just to see what they were thinking. The first thing the performance showed was that frontman Trever Keith and, especially, Scott Shiflett on lead guitar actually play with nice dimension, more than you might expect from punk rock guys on acoustic guitars. The other thing that the stripped presentation affirmed was that this album is filled with some sturdy songwriting and that it's not only maybe their most mature record ever, but that it also withstood time better than most of their catalog. And when Keith explained how difficult it was to fit the material into their normal set, this setup made all the more sense.

Although not the most consistent act around, when Cypress Hill is on, no one can touch 'em. Despite some initial sound issues, their recent performance (Nov. 14, Plaza Live) was hyped and prominently featured live Afro-Cuban percussion. To the surprise of exactly no one, the Plaza got blazed the fuck out. But the room was absolutely jumping with raw energy – always impressive for a throng of stoners.

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