KITTEN 1999 NOTESBefore the rise of alternative rock and after the initial explosion of punk is where our second musical journey begins. "Kitten" was the third release on Reflex Records. Favorable reaction to our first Minneapolis compilation "Barefoot and Pregnant" (Reflex B) paved the way for this new collection. Since the label was run on a shoestring budget it was decided a cassette only project was the easy answer. It would feature Hüsker Dü, Man Sized Action, Riflesport and a host of hardcore bands central to the scene. The seedy structure located downtown at 2nd and Glenwood was the site of many of the era's greatest shows. The Deck was basically a split-level workingman's bar/strip joint until 1982 rolled around. It was at that point when owner/manager Dan Cotlow hired a burly, friendly bouncer who loved hardcore punk. Enter Fred Gartner. Cotlow and Gartner made an arrangement; Cotlow would manage the strip joint downstairs, Gardner would utilize the "ladies rooms" upstairs as Goofy's Upper Deck, the palace of punk and hardcore. The Deck's six-inch high stage played host to many traveling bands of the day. Most memorable were Black Flag, Minutemen, and the traveling hardcore circus known as B.Y.O. (Better Youth Organization) featuring Youth Brigade, Social Distortion and I believe Battalion of Saints. From an intimacy standpoint you couldn't get closer to the action than Goofy's. It was truly an in your face type of place. Sadly, a punk rock club on the fringes of downtown, which doubled as a strip joint also, attracted the attention of the Minneapolis Police. In August a full-scale riot ensued when Final Conflict belted forth a white-hot set. After Mike Etoll, leader of the very bizarre Exmo-6-Desmo combo liberated a toilet from its mount sending it crashing to the concrete two floors below, the party was over. By that fall Goofy's Upper Deck was a punk memory, albeit a great one. Herein lies a sound, an attitude and a presence peculiar to that time alone. Another audio snapshot more vital and urgent than many comps to follow. Close your eyes, feast your ears and ready yourself for a bone jangling experience. The decline of the mid-western civilization! Terry Katzman "18-Years-On"
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