Re-runs Worth Watching--There''s nothing much new this weekend but there''s plenty worth going to see.
Thursday, February 19, 1998
Look, I never promised earthshaking news each and every week in this column. Sometimes, you just have to take it as it comes, and this week it comes in repeat performances. Not that there''s anything wrong with that. For some, it makes good business sense to bring back a successful show, like an encore performance. For others, it''s a way to mine the gold field for whatever tiny nuggets are left.
Case in point, the reopening of Nick''s Place in Monterey. Closed down for several weeks recently, the currently blank business shows signs of life in the arrival of a new management team. The team is looking to kick-start the place through catering to locals with drink specials, local bands on Thursdays (although no one has been booked as of this writing) and DJs on Friday and Saturday. The word is that on Sunday evenings you can drink anything the bar has for $1 per drink, that''s including call liquor. Tonight (Thursday) the doors swing open again, no grand opening, no fanfare, just the hope that you''re in the mood to drink and play a little pool. With plans to be open only Thursday thru Sunday, Nick''s Place could make a slow comeback-or as a long-time downtown Monterey business person opined, it could be like the the ship Titanic (not the movie): It''s about to make its final descent. Rumors are flying about the club''s future. Stay tuned.
Another Phoenix rising from the ashes is The Media Room in Pacific Grove. In October, with hardly time to get their feet wet in the recording/concert business (sorry, couldn''t avoid the pun), the downstairs, state-of-the-art, multimedia facility ran into trouble when a fire in an upstairs business set off the sprinklers and doused the place. Now, they have repaired the damage and are back in biz. The grand opening concert is a CD release party with Shelly Cullin, a cabaret-style singer/actress whose career was put on hold during her child-rearing years. Back on stage again, her coming-out party is a local happening. Her band consists of long-time notables in the jazz community: Bob Phillips, piano; Roger Eddy, saxophone; Brian Stock, trumpet and flugelhorn; Kenny Stahl, flute; Andy Weis, drums; and Stan Poplin, bass. Cullin''s vocal style is classic and her choice of material leans heavily on the old standards that would appeal to a mature audience and those bitten with the nostalgia bug. A reception follows, catered by Tarpy''s Roadhouse & Aril Vineyards.
Shelly Cullin, singing songs from her CD I Only Have Eyes For You, Saturday, 4:30-7:30pm. The Media Room, $30, includes CD or cassette and reception. 655-2010.
Okay, so you''ve seen all these bands before, danced to their songs, dug the scene and now you want to do it again. I don''t blame you. Besides, each event has something of interest outside the usual. Saturday''s show at Doc''s brings back The Uninvited (although their name displays the opposite of what I know to be true). The hard-rockin'', fun lovin'', ready-to-kick-ass-on-the-national level-quartet is always a welcome guest here in Monterey. Until last week''s show with Stroke 9 at Whitey''s Place, The Uninvited were the undisputed best rock band to come through this town on a regular basis. They still hold my attention for a full evening of raw entertainment, and it is rumored this could be their jumping off point for the big time, but maybe they''ll come back someday. What do you say? Opening the show again is local rockers Gel, who at their last performance at Doc''s with The Freight Train, debuted its new lineup. Without much practice coming in, they pulled off a rip roaring set. You should hear them now that they''ve practiced.
Also at Doc''s, Jonah and the Whale Watchers (reggae) and The Cachuagua Playboys (Cajun/zydeco) throw another Mardis Gras Fat Tuesday party, filled with the New Orleans-inspired spirit of fun and debauchery. You know their music, but do you know that the Playboys are working on a CD? I''d say it''s about time.
The Uninvited and Gel, Saturday, 9:30pm, Jonah and the Whale Watchers & The Cachuagua Playboys, Fat Tuesday, 9pm. Doc''s Nightclub, call for cover info, 649-4241.
Because the benefit for Little Wings Farm last October was such a success, director Becca Sansom and project coordinator Jean Lucia have decided to do another one at Whitey''s Place, this time with music by Torch and the Bones. If you don''t know nothin'' about this band, now is the time to see for yourself what years of singing rock ''n'' roll can do to a person. Lead singer Carl Christ is notorious for knocking the jams out on songs that could be confusing if one is not properly warned. With a strong rhythm section and a honking horn section behind him, Christ, the almighty maniac with a mic, will twist even the simplest tune into a big, fat medley of musical styles. Let''s just say, the boy likes to have fun. Come out and support the eight-month-old agency that helps abused children learn kindness and gentleness through the nurturing of a garden, and then, in conjunction with Red Wings Horse Sanctuary, learn trust through interaction with animals. All proceeds go to the Farm to help buy seeds, pots, wood and masonry for the garden and other neccessities.
Torch and the Bones, Benefit for Little Wings, Saturday, 9:30pm. Whitey''s Place. $5. 646-8383.
If you''re interested in something new, let me suggest two shows at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz: Cuban born pianist Omar Sosa and the David Sanchez Quintet. Sosa, who lives in the Bay Area, is a "high energy, lots of chops, macho kind of piano player," says Kuumbwa Director Tim Jackson. Bay Area percussionist Josh Jones joins the quartet for a spontaneous evening of Afro-Cuban, be-bop and funk-styled jazz. Sosa''s latest CD is Free Roots. Sanchez is a young tenor saxophonist with multiple major label releases, most recently Obsession on Columbia. "Discovered" in 1991 by Dizzy Gillespie, the Puerto Rican has been recognized as a Latin jazz artist who is not content to rely strictly on tradition, but who pushes the music forward.
Omar Sosa Quartet, Friday, 8pm, $8/advance; $10/door. David Sanchez Quintet, Monday, 7:30pm, $15/advance; $17/door. 427-2227.