The locals are full of spirit, check out the music.
Thursday, September 21, 2000
The Metro Santa Cruz printed an article called, "Get in the Groove" as a how-to guide for musicians who want to make it in the Santa Cruz music scene. In it, writer David Spinoza takes a jab at the Monterey scene. He writes: "General things to know. All funk bands that start a jam in the key of E will be banished to Monterey--period. The same thing goes for generic covers of Hendrix, Marley and the Dead."
Is Monterey going to take this? Are we forever to be referred to as the lost and worthless scene?
We need some local spirit; some pride in where we are and support for what new original music can be seen out there on a regular basis. Our blind cynicism has to stop. In the past weeks there have been some things that opened this writer''s eye. Here are a couple memorable moments from the recent past.
First, Steve Moseley. Almost a month ago he was sitting in Viva on a Thursday night hosting his weekly jam session. He had just walked away from planting himself into the rocks off Highway 1 in a serious motorcycle accident. His arm and broken collarbone were tied up in a sling and his legs were mangled with gory road rash but there he sat, playing with his band. He is one of these guys who can play Hendrix covers and get away with it (most of the time), he''s got mojo that flows through crowds like water. Anyway, the scene was surreal: banged-up musician who should have taken the night off instead decided to devote himself to the art of entertainment and camaraderie.
Then there was Trial By Fire. The band took its time coming back to us and when it did, there was a palpable change in perspective from some people. The band played the Long Bar with a positive mood that infected both the old and the new listeners. The strangest thing by far was sitting there finding enjoyment in Terry Terrana''s guitar, James Finley''s bass, and Randy Baldwin''s lyrics. Trial By Fire should be the local figurehead for music. Some people don''t really enjoy the pop-nonsense but you have to respect the ability to stick around Monterey for as long as it has. Trial By Fire is a professional group, loud at times and subtle in all the right pockets. Some people freak out every time the Uninvited come here to play, but even that band can''t hold a candle to Trial By Fire.
Tonight the Mother Hips will return to the Long Bar. They''re a California "out-West" styled group with a knack for pulling off original tunes that might lead a listener to reminisce about driving through the Mojave Desert at 90mph with the top down. They style their work after bands such as the Eagles and Little Feat and throw in all the Southwestern style licks arranged around quick turn-arounds and minor-seventh chords. The last time they played the Long Bar, more than a few people left in that warm happy state that this kind of rock ''n'' roll seems to perpetuate. It will be a good night for tequila and dark rum.
The Mother Hips, tonight, Long Bar, 9pm, no cover. 372-2244
This Saturday the Blue Fin presents Inbalance, one of the Ultimate Band Competition finalists who are perhaps a little more original than your average alternative rock group and who had the chops to make it into the semi-finals where they were shot down by Brother Gumption (which sounds almost just like Inbalance in song structure and the way the singer uses his Creed-like vocal patterns). They will undoubtedly rock the club with a hot alternative vibe.
Inbalance, Saturday, Blue Fin, 9pm, no cover. 375-7000
Hopefully your local-spirit is up for some fun and some musical education. Welcome to the Monterey music scene--we''re the underdogs.