Rock Around The Clock
There's plenty of rock in town to roll you through this weekend.
Thursday, July 29, 1999
Coming at you from San Francisco with their psychedelic Beatles/Beach Boys-style rock ''n'' roll is a band called Chantigs. This quartet has made some serious waves around the Bay Area and beyond. Listening to their latest release, Chantigs, I felt like renting a convertible and driving down the coast highway in the sun. Energetic melodies mingle with cool guitar chords, definitely reminiscent of the familiar upbeat pop rock of the ''60s and ''70s. Judging from reviews, their live performances are unpredictable and at times filled with fun and surprising gadgets that will pull the audience under Chantigs'' spell.
Stepping back in time with Chantigs is another band hailing from San Francisco, Supersugar. This five-piece ensemble is led by drummer-turned-singer/songwriter Susan Collins Mallory (you remember her from three spirits and the Sand Jams, don''t you?) and promises you "rock with a cutting edge."
Chantigs with Supersugar opening, Friday, 9pm, STARZ, 375-3056.
Meanwhile, playing at the Long Bar on Thursday will be cool folk/country rock band Mother Hips. Last time they came down from the Bay Area to play Doc''s, the house was packed and rave reviews from critics and fans were unanimous. This is a band that''s been there, done that and hated it. Put together in 1991, it didn''t take very long for the soulful, passionate songs to find recognition among top labels. After their indie debut release, Back to the Grotto (1992), M.H. signed with a major label, and released their following two albums on American Recordings. Amongst all the hoopla of "going Big Time," the quartet suddenly felt the need to retrace its steps back to the basics, which are perhaps less glamorous but much more heartfelt and rewarding, as we can hear on the latest (and once again independent) release, Later Days. Mother Hips doesn''t just sound great coming from your CD player though; it is a most entertaining band at a live performance. Opening for Mother Hips will be Teraplane who seem to have slowly become the opening house band at the Long Bar as of late.
Mother Hips, Thursday, 9pm, Long Bar, 372-2244.
If you prefer a little reggae over rock, you''ll do right by dropping by the Blue Fin Cafe on Friday. The Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) is making its local debut performance with a mix of bohemian jazz, funk and soul that won''t keep a single foot standing still. The nine members of this Santa Barbara-based band name Charles Mingus, James Brown and Steely Dan (some of whom they have also worked with in the past) among others as artists from whom the band has taken a variety of styles to create a sound of its own. When asked about their true musical influences, however, they will simply say "everything," and the never-tiring finger attempting to categorize will have to make due with the fact that ALO does have a little of everything all mixed up into one.
Having had the chance to listen to their CD, A.L.O. vs L.A.G., I can only tell you that you''re in for a musical surprise. Judging from past reviews, I''m not the only one who likes their sometimes wicked themes, namely songs like "Rotting Pumpkins" or "Sick and Twisted Thoughts." With nine players ready to throw in their individual ideas of fun, the band''s upbeat sound is filled with interesting acoustic compositions that are at times improvised.
The Animal Liberation Orchestra, Friday, 9pm, BlueFin Cafe, 375-7000.
Vivahas a slight change of lineup this weekend with an all female-band turning heads on Saturday. Meet Crush, a rock quintet that plays a blend of jazz roots influenced by musical greats The Rolling Stones, Stan Getz and The Specials, to name a few. Even so, lead singer Ashley Anderson''s haunting voice lends a touch of punk to that rock, making a definite categorization simply impossible. You''ll just have to go and judge for yourself.
Crush, Saturday, 9pm, Viva of Monterey, 646-1415.
Saturday, by the way, seems to be the toughest day to make a choice. For some old-time favorites, the Blue Fin Cafe offers the return of Tony Miles and company with some truly beautiful reggae sound, and STARZ welcomes Unshakable for your funky pleasure. Now would be a great time to bring in that shuttle service everybody has been talking about...maybe it''s time to collect signatures.
Tony Miles, Saturday, 9pm, Blue Fin Cafe, 375-7000; Unshakable, Saturday, 9pm, STARZ, 375-3056