Girthy franks for girly men

For what it’s worth, it’s impossible to rent a sousaphone at the last minute in this town. Perhaps there’s some obscure clause in the Patriot Act that stipulates that if a sweaty guy shows up at a music store with a fistful of cash, demanding to rent one of the huge wraparound tubas, he should be denied the privilege. The idea was to walk onstage at the Crest Theatre, bleating the bass line from Outkast’s hit “Hey Ya!” during the 13th annual Sammies a week ago Wednesday. Fortunately for everyone at the Crest, that bad idea never happened.

It might have come in handy in the lobby bar, however. Those of us who wandered there from the main auditorium after an overly long acceptance speech or two—Hans Eberbach, are you listening?—were treated to a sweltering but charming schmoozefest with some of the area’s musical luminaries. How many times do you get to hoist a few with the lads in Seventy?

But if you hung out in the bar too long, you would have missed the music. And if you were looking for a parking place before the event, you would have missed opening act Jackie Greene—quick, whose brilliant idea was it to put the area’s big breakthrough act onstage at a time when half the audience was still fighting traffic to get to the venue on time? Seventy did play, though, and that band’s smartly Beatlesque pop sounded quite nifty.

The prime booking spot, where Greene should have played, was right after the intermission. The band lucky enough to occupy that spot, Brother Nefarious, made good use of it, winning the crowd over with a simmering funk number that owed much to old-school summer bands like War, Santana and Kool & the Gang.

Other bands played, too. But there wasn’t enough music. Next year, we hope there will be more.

In the “mistakes were made” department, we said in last week’s paper that metal winner Bipolar had broken up. This was wrong. The departing guitarist and bassist were replaced the same day with a new guitarist and bassist, and the band continues to rock. We regret the error. Also, for some reason we listed Jennifer Marks as opening for Bette Midler, when the correct headliner was Cyndi Lauper. Though both surnames have two syllables and six letters, any further confusion was rather stupid on our part.

And, finally, we learned after deadline that unearthly vocalist and performance artist Rinde Eckert began a three-week residency in the UC Davis theater department on Monday, July 19. He will be there through Saturday, August 7, working on Horizon, a piece based on the life of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, which will make its premiere at the Mondavi Center in November 2005.