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Old-school punks return for a Victims Family reunion

During the late '80s, this trio of Petaluma natives made a name for itself at Gilman Street with fast-and-furious, off-the-wall tunes like "They Cut Out His Brain" and "Liars, Pigs, and Thieves." The group's heavily syncopated rhythms and riffs, experimental guitarwork, and sardonic lyrics flew in the face of the average three-chord songs of the day. The band was dubbed "jazzcore" for lack of a better term, and over the years it drew a small but loyal following in the European and American underground. By the mid-'90s, when punk went mainstream, the trio seemed poised for a breakout -- at which point it disbanded.

Ralph Spight

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For the past 22 years, Alternative Tentacles has epitomized punk attitude. The San Francisco­based record company -- run by local muckraker Jello Biafra -- has released seminal albums by punk pioneers like the Dead Kennedys, the Crucifucks, and Flipper. The label's current roster includes a wide range of one-of-a-kind hellraisers, from Vancouver punk godfathers No Means No to renegade historian Howard Zinn. This weekend's AT showcase provides a decent cross section of acts, including Slim Cessna's Auto Club (Biafra's favorite snot-nosed countrified trash) and Dead and Gone (one of the East Bay's leading hardcore groups). But the real draw of the evening is the return to the big stage of Victims Family.Victims Family appears with Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Dead and Gone, the Pattern, and Phantom Limbs

Saturday, May 12, at 9 p.m.

Jello Biafra hosts the show

Tickets are $10

885-0750

Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F

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After the breakup, guitarist/singer Ralph Spight and bassist Larry Boothroyd continued to kick out the jams in Saturn's Flea Collar and Hellworms, but these spinoffs failed to capture the power and passion of the original group. Fortunately, Spight and Boothroyd decided recently to resurrect Victims Family, enlisting Tacoma drummer David Gleza to drop the beats. New titles like "Monstrosity" and "I'm Being Followed Around by the CIA" show they've still got attitude and musical muscle to match.

 
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