Remixes and ’burb bummers
Verse, chorus, guitar solo, bah, humbug: It’s that time of year, when local bands gather around a fire with bourbon-egg nogs and water bongs to brainstorm what holiday classic they’ll be reinventing—or butchering. And this year, two collaborations—both benefiting local charities—are worth noting.
First, the longstanding, bad-ass recording studio Pus Cavern has corralled Abe Cunningham of the Deftones, Jonah Matranga, Shaun Lopez and members of Tesla for a cover of John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).” Two more jingles, by locals STD and Punch the Clock, respectively, will drop next week as a CD single—and both are original holiday tunes. The CD comes out at the annual Christmas show at Club Retro, which this year goes down on December 19. You will be able to donate canned foods to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services at the show.
Here at SN&R, there’s a moratorium on holiday tunes. Even Sufjan Stevens. (Nick Miller)
’Burb zombies: Never one to let the steel parameters of hip-hop fashion cage him, Random Abiladeze showed up Saturday to Capitol Garage in a bathrobe. He didn’t explain the casual dress, and I didn’t ask. Somehow it was better that way. An energetic Tais (of Righteous Movement) joined Random for a couple songs to promote his new mix tape (buy it, it’s good) and I left early to catch the rest of David Houston and the Strings’ set at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar. Musician or not, I think everyone should have a string section behind them.
When I showed up to Empire on Sunday night for the Del the Funky Homosapien/ DJ QBert show, it was a grim scene. First, if you’re a bouncer at Empire, you’re probably a dick. Second, the club was basically empty. Most of the patrons in the bar wouldn’t move, like they were electric-fenced in. People looked bummed out, which gave the evening a dark, somber mood. Houston would have enjoyed it. As a side note, I’d like to address those who believe in faux-hawks: Stop it. Anyway, hip-hop zombies stood around, comatose, as State Cap. tried to exude energy. Nada. But I have to give huge props to the evening’s host Jae Synth, who managed to keep it hilarious, even with a crowd of dead people from the ’burbs as his audience. By the time Bukue One got to the stage, I was embarrassed for Sacramento. However, I underestimated Bukue One, who, conjuring the spirit of hip-hop within him, transformed a crowd of half-witted retards into a cheering, participatory group of enthusiastic geniuses. Mr. One freestyled, skateboarded and talked shit just enough to get the room energized, and it was a good save. The club filled out by the time Del took to the stage. And people looked hyped as the veteran emcee went through an all-star set list, with songs like “Catch a Bad One,” “Clint Eastwood,” “Mistadobalina” and “Virus.” Thank you, Del.
And then there was QBert. It tripped me out to watch an audience of several hundred people paying close attention to a deejay. QBert, one of the best scratch deejays in the world, is a bit of jazz, hip-hop, rock and Riverdance all wrapped up into one. It’s just incredible to watch him live. Parting words? Hey, emcees, if you don’t quit with all this unoriginality, we’re going to have to call it Kanye’s Nutsack-ramento. (Josh Fernandez)
This just in: A severe car accident in November left Deftones bassist Chi Cheng in a coma. To aid his family with mounting hospital bills, a last-minute show was thrown together, featuring Will Haven, Phallucy, Tinfed, Death Valley High, Last Angels and Eightfourseven. DJ Frank “Nitty” Delgado (Deftones) and DJ Crook One will spin music. The event takes place on Tuesday, December 9, at Harlow’s, 2708 J Street. Cover is $12, with all proceeds going to Cheng’s family. (J.F.)
Show me! Never forget these gigs: Brooklyn’s Dub Trio, with notorious fliering menace (see this week’s Frontlines story, “Fear of fliering,” on page 8) Zack Lopez’s Middle Class Rut, at Blue Lamp (Friday, December 5, 9 p.m.; $10 in advance). A few days later, Jonathan Richman also will be at the Lamp (Tuesday, December 9, 9 p.m.; $10 in advance). Deejays Sam I Am and Adam J will mix during Lucid, a holiday fashion show this Saturday at the MARRS building (in Suite 120, 6:30 p.m., $5). And Ricky Berger and Daisy Spot will play the holiday party of our publishing cohorts in crime, MidMo, at Bows and Arrows (6 p.m., free, but bring canned food for donation).
Me? When I’m not at the SN&R-sponsored all-ages Agent Ribbons show on Saturday (Luigi’s Fun Garden, 8 p.m., $5), I’ll be on N Street, running over the new Kanye West album with my girlfriend’s car, or inventing new technology to de-Auto-Tune His Westness’ vocal tracks. (N.M.)