No exit from Sac’s punk underground

There are venues that hold punk shows, and then there are punk clubs. One can see local and national punk bands on the stages of Old Ironsides, the Boardwalk or Capitol Garage on any given weekend. The venues are safe, the exits well-marked. There are bathrooms, cold beverages and easy escape routes to the cool, outside air.

Then there are punk clubs: venues that are nothing more than bricked-in rooms with no windows; rooms with one exit, unmarked; sketchy electrical systems; rooms so packed full of people that when the mosh pit starts up, it is difficult or impossible to get out of the way; and rooms that smell like sweat, where there is nothing to drink, where the sound is ear-shatteringly loud and from where there is no escape.

Enter West Coast World Wide (WCWW). Pure and simple, WCWW defines Sacramento punk. There are no visible markings on the outside of the building and, save for the darkly garbed audience members milling around outside, you might never even discover it is there. If you do discover it, you will find a black door guarded by two huge, tattooed men. Beyond it, a zig-zagging doorway and then the sweat box: a brick-walled room lined periodically by glued-on foam boards for makeshift soundproofing. The only lights are behind the stage, making the band into silhouettes. When the lights blink out (as they did last weekend for several minutes), the room is plunged into utter darkness—visions of Great White’s Rhode Island apocalypse.

The most mysterious thing about WCWW is that the venue has been operating for three-and-a-half years in a completely underground, word-of-mouth capacity. Punk fans and friends know it exists, but it is virtually unknown to the general populace. Show organizer Mike Hood (of local punk mainstay Hoods), wants to keep it that way. “This is one of the last real places around,” he said. “It’s existed as a completely underground club, just for bands and fans.”

Those fans who know the secret can find national touring punk acts like Boston’s Bane and Los Angeles’ Terror in the tiny, packed room. It is hardcore the way hardcore should be seen: in a junked room filled with moshing punks.

Hood asked me not to reveal the location of the club, but he did agree to reveal the Web site ( Beyond that, you’ll have to find WCWW the same way everyone else does: by hunting down those few hundred people who are in the know and asking if you can tag along.

In other news, Sacramento-based electro-industrial metal quintet Luxt is riding high on the success of its new Blackliner Records release, American Beast. The album has charted with FMQB Chart, CMJ Loud Rock and Crucial Spins, and it continues to show strong nationwide interest. Luxt has been on the verge of breaking out into the national arena for a long time now; perhaps the current hard-alternative market presents the perfect environment for the band to meet with a national audience. The next few months will tell.