Cheap Thrill: From Australia, Twerps Headline Power-Packed Bill

Australia’s got more than tour-cancelling Igloos going on these days — to be precise, the Land Down Under boasts the jangly pop of Melbourne foursome Twerps, whose newest album Range Anxiety has been garnering attention around the globe for its simple melodies, sunshiny riffs and shared Velvet Underground-like vocals.

On a typical run of nightclubs and festivals in the U.S. before heading to Europe in May, Twerps have a curious date on their tour itinerary: a DIY show with five bands at a "Christian Fellowship" church in Santa Rosa.

Chalk it up to the passionate, anything-goes booking of Pizza Punx Presents, an underground promotion team that for the last two years has stridently shaken up the oft-quiet atmosphere of wine country. The Twerps show this week celebrates the Pizza Punx' two-year anniversary, during which time they've hosted wild punk and indie shows in living rooms, parks and warehouses in and around Santa Rosa.

A Pizza Punx flyer asking for use of unconventional venues. (Photo: Jake Bayless)
A Pizza Punx flyer asking for use of unconventional venues. (Photo: Jake Bayless)

Though the city doesn't lack all-ages venues willing to book loud music, Pizza Punx shows retain an immediacy and spontaneity not found at regular nightclubs or community spaces. And they're willing to try just about any means to find those unique pockets to make the magic happen: the first I heard of them, they hosted Qui, the noise-rock band once featuring David Yow from Jesus Lizard, inside a home built for the park ranger at the city's largest recreational park. Recently, they flyered all over town looking for other outlets: "Host an Underground Live Music Event," the flyer offered, asking to use strangers' homes, workplaces, or garages for shows.

This week's show is the first time Pizza Punx have partnered with a religious organization, and the dichotomy should be interesting to witness -- the last time the downtown space opened its doors to punk rock, well, let's just say it was an awkward relationship. But whether the Punx and the Christians pair up for more shows after this week is beside the point; Pizza Punx seem to enjoy the fleeting one-off, the here and now, the music in the moment.

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And what music there'll be. Appearing with the band in Santa Rosa is White Fence, the acclaimed outfit founded by psych-rock wizard Tim Presley; Pennsylvania's Sheer Mag, whose power-pop puts an emphasis on "power"; Los Angeles retro-styled singer Peach Kelli Pop; and last but not least, San Francisco's own punk icon Tony Molina. Bring $10 to get in, bring a sense of adventure -- and bring pizza.

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