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Barefoot Hockey Goalie - "Darius: A Rock Opera"

This is the oddest album of 1995, hands down. How many bands make a legit rock opera centrered around a guy named Darius, with size 22 feet, whose only focus in life is to win the Stanley Cup. He's a goalie, he does play (on the ice) barefoot, and this is his story. It ain't no Tommy. With characters like "the Ghost of Gump Worsley" (the last NHL goalie to play without a mask) and the additional fact Darius is also a narcoleptic, this entire creation is no doubt the product of minds laced with too much acid and sarcasm-or too much cabin fever in the long Canadian winter. Musically these guys are as goofy as everything else going on might imply, but they really can play and sound entirely original. I want, no, need to see this performed onstage (on ice?) in its theatrical glory. So weird, so cool; nothing else sounds like Barefoot Hockey Goalie.

     - Larry Kay, Carbon 14

Barefoot Hockey Goalie, Darius: A Rock Opera. Not since the Who's "Tommy," has there been a rock opera worth listening to. Not until Barefoot Hockey Goalie's Darius: A Rock Opera, that is. The album sports a seven-song interrelated opera about the grotesquely huge-footed, social outcast, Darius, who wants to be a hockey goalie. Appropriately, the opera opens with "Star Spangled Oh Overture" , a cacophonous hybrid of The U.S. and Canada's anthems which will have you attempting to sing along. The story follows the plight of young Darius speaking to the 'hockey gods' in "Follow us to the Pond" and finding his true destiny in life in "Narcoleptic Pee Wee Hockey League." Highlights of the opera include "Agent of Fame," a slam on sports endorsements, and culminating in Darius' end: "Frostbite Baretoe Tappin' Dance." The second half of the album presents eight additional songs, mostly of hilarious lyric story-telling, from "Sugar Mama." "Ten Meter Naked Carpet Swim Meet" and "Enema Karaoke." They often poke fun at white trash and do it with infectious energy. BHG brilliantly combines elements of funk, rock, lounge, and punk through real guitar playing by the versatile Tony Acquerelli (Toeknee Paderelli) and gorgeous tenor vocals by Blair Hatch (Berto Catch). The band successfully does something different from others, and will have you reading the lyrics in the liner notes and playing selected songs for your friends. Live, this band performs each song complete with costume changes. Check out the hidden track at the end of the CD, "Camel Toe."

     - JH, Snackcakes

Barefoot Hockey Goalie Shoots And Scores!

Of all the local bands currently trudging the crowded path to rock stardom, only Barefoot Hockey Goalie is likely to have the distinctive every American Artist craves: to be worshipped by the French in the same way the worship Jerry Lewis. That's because Barefoot Hockey Goalie, a PB-based quartet, has pushed musical boundaries I a few other bands dare. How many bands have the guts, much less the musical ability, to create a rock opera as musically adventurous and as emotionally gripping as "Darius?"

My point exactly.

"Darius," the group's rock opera, which was written by lead singer Berto Catch and guitarist Tony Paderelli, is the touchingly twisted (and true) story of Darius Kasperitus, a Canadian boy who only had one dream to life to play hockey.

"(Darius) was Tony's pen pal," Catch said. "He lived in Canada and grew up with 13 brothers and sisters. His parents, Nelma and Feduk, couldn't buy him skates 'cause his feet were weirdly shaped, but the hockey gods helped him become the best. Gump Warsley, the last goalie to not wear a mask, came to him in a dream and made him into the best."

Catch and Paderelli swear the tale of Darius, the barefoot hockey goalie, is a true story.

"After Tony read his letters, he started writing the songs," said Catch, who has added his own lyrics and unique vocal stylings to the band. Onstage the band members wear hockey masks (and look like Jason from "Friday the 13th" fame) while running through a multitude of costume changes including large foam feet when Catch is playing the role of Darius. In another aria Catch does a duet with himself using bizarre-looking hand puppets to differentiate between characters.

Catch and Acquarelli said they wrote the opera about a year ago and performed as a duo until they hooked up with bassist David Arias and drummer Matt Lockout. They discovered their band mates by checking personal ads in opera magazines, according to Catch.

"We were impressed with David because he had also written an opera," Catch said. "His was about golf, and had 18 movements - one for each hole." Arias has a slightly different tale "Golf is just a metaphor. It's called I'll Kill You, You Gringo Caca Pig'" he said.

Barefoot Hockey Goalie is currently playing around the country at discriminating clubs. They expect their first release to be out on Accretions Records July 3. In the meantime, it would behoove music fans to check out Barefoot Hockey Goalie's hilariously touching opera, "Darius," before the French do.

     - David Moye, San Diego Union Tribune

Novelty act? "Lately, I've been calling it 'vaudeville rock,'" says Barefoot Hockey Goalie vocalist Fedik. He refers to the wacky props and unique rock operatic themes that are trademark BHG.

Last year, Fedik went by the name "Berto Catch," the main character in Darius -- A Rock Opera about a barefoot hockey goalie. The new name, says Fedik, was adopted as his band delved into the world of animal vivisection and pulverization and wrote Fedik's Butcher Shop.

"I guess we were traveling through the L.A. area and saw Fedik's Butcher Shop, owned by four brothers," says Fedik. "They're from Estonia, northwest Russia. We stopped and talked to them, got a little background of who they are: Long-bearded guys that talked about their homeland...

"They sold strictly organ meats. They were doing pretty good; they had their customer base. They were pretty happy with what they had. They had almost lost the shop, almost got deported."

Though most of his this story is hard to believe, "Deportation" (the tenth track on the disk) represents pure fiction "when the secret spice in their meat cures cancer," explains Fedik, "so Janet Reno gives them their green cards and they get to stay." (songwriter Fedik seriously says he "... ate a mixture of pancreas and liver sausage at the [L.A.] shop. Good stuff.")

Will the real Fedik and his brothers see royalties from disc sales?

"They get, like, one-tenth of one percent of all the big sales," jokes Fedik the imposter. Then he says in a more beliveable tone, "they ere excited. They said they supported us 100 percent."

Seriously now, where and why does your band come up with this stuff?

"Jesus Christ Superstar was a good influence, Tommy as well," says Fedik. "But when he wrote Darius we weren't thinking about either one. We just thought it would be cool to try to write as many songs about [a barefoot hockey goalie] as we could. Once we wrote Darius, we decided to try it again. It's cool to have that sort of flow. Live, we can play one, two, or all of them, depending on how much time you got or what the audience is like."

     - R.A.M., San Diego Reader

Although Hefe's nightclub in Eureka had the most punk shows booked in August they were not the sole purveyors of non-mainstream music. The Humboldt Brewery has sporadically welcomed the over-21 punk rock crowd with free shows including local favorites Vegas and the Carnies (formerly Jacoby Whorehouse) and San Diego's Barefoot Hockey Goalie. The Barefoot Hockey Goalie show at the Brewery was indubitably the best show of the month, and the best bargain, too. How can you beat a free show where the bands are excellent AND they give away free T-shirts and demo tapes? I was familiar with the name of the band since they played at the much missed Brewin' Beats. However, this was my first chance to see BHG. After seeing them at the Humboldt Brewery I was disappointed that I never went to see them before. You have to admire the wit of a person who rhymes dumb with scrotum, sings about karaoke while holding an enema bag, or asks that ever important question, "Can you be a butcher and a dancer?" The performance was accentuated with a multitude of costume changes and props that never seemed gimmicky or overshadowed the music. All that and tap dancing, too. Although none of their songs will ever become another "Louie, Louie," I did find myself singing one or two in the shower the morning after the show. Oh yeah, the Hockey Goalie wasn't wearing shoes. Don't miss the next Brewery show with the Bar Feeders, Thursday, August 28.

     - Coleman, Humboldt County Entertainment Monthly

Barefoot Hockey Goalie? You ask. What the hell kind of band is that? It's a Zappa-meets-Buster-Keaton-meets-Ken-Dryden kind of band. Zappa in that this quarter is your basic avant rock, pursuing strange and goofy musical ideas, creating wild rhythmic structures, and making fun of all sorts of shit in the process. Keaton in that there's a show, there's theatre here, full of physical comedy, pantomime, costumes, and band members wearing goalie masks. Dryden? That's the hockey end of the show.

And show it is, with the singer, Bare Toe Catch, narrating in an alternately-glowing, glowing, unctuous voice the story of our hero. Some guy named Darius, who starts out as a hockey-playing, rink-rat kid and passes through life to wind up( if I followed the narrative properly) in some level of trailer-park hell. In the midst of all this, Bare Toe continually falls off stage, changes costumes, rolls on the floor, and even does a ten-meter carpet swim. It's sporadically amusing, in the way of much avant art that substitutes screwiness and improvisation for inspiration. It can be mighty cool - or mighty stupid.

Musically, though, the band has it together. Bass (Kneel N. Pray), guitar (Toe Knee), and drums ( Matlock Out) are all fine. Chops prominently on display. To what pur-pose? Who knows. Trying to decode the band's run-and-shoot musical assault could scramble your brain. Searching for any over-arching imperative, massage, meaning, song structure, and such white-wine sipping niceties is futile.

Thank God! It is more than a little pleasing to run into a band that is actively taking risks, rather than working the verse-chorus-verse thing to death. Whether or not it's successful depends. On who you are. And how much disbelief you're willing to suspend.

     - Philip Dawdy, SLAMM


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