News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.


home | north bay bohemian index | music & nightlife | band review


Electronic Admissions

I used to hate Bassnectar, and I was a total idiot

By Gabe Meline

So there I was, going on and on about how everyone should have an open mind about music, and how everyone should approach new artists with no prejudice or bias, and how it takes a disciplined mind to hear music as a clean slate, blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is that two years ago I clicked on Bassnectar's webpage, saw some tribal-looking bullshit, heard a few bars of crappy neo-rave music and ran screaming.

My prejudice: the name, Bassnectar. What a godawful name, like something unsavory that slides down your leg. My prejudice: the Burning Man hippie electronic underground, which has pumped out warble after woofer warble of repetitive siren noises that sound totally amazing when you're on E and terrible the morning after. My prejudice: Maybe I was in a bad mood that day.

My transgression: I wrote off Bassnectar for months.

My confession: Lord, I have sinned. Underground Communication, Bassnectar's debut album, is one of the greatest electronic albums ever recorded on this good earth. It is as cerebral as Fourtet, as layered as Squarepusher, as calming as Kruder & Dorfmeister and as funky and party-rockin' as Quantic. Because of a closed mind, these simple facts, and the rapturous artistry of Underground Communication, criminally eluded a usually astute musical radar.

My restitution: Penance was paid by missing Bassnectar's show in Sebastopol, in 2007, and in actually losing sleep over the mistake. In the meantime, Bassnectar headlined the Fillmore, the Greek Theatre and a huge New Year's Eve party in San Francisco alongside Thievery Corporation. The least I can do is to tell the public to get their asses to Sebastopol and witness a rare small-club appearance when Bassnectar miraculously comes back to town on Monday, May 4, at the Hopmonk Tavern, 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $25. 707.829.7300.

Send a letter to the editor about this story.