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[whitespace] Samba Dada

Sambada has played here before and will again--just not this weekend

By David Espinoza

IT MUST HAVE BEEN wishful thinking on the part of Metro Santa Cruz and the Catalyst in last week's issue, as we both incorrectly printed that local Brazil-o-philes Sambada would be joining forces with L.A.'s Aztec gods of dance Ozomatli at the club this Friday (Feb. 23)--all apologies. Sambada will open up for Ozomatli, but the show will take place over the hill at the Usual in San Jose. It's a shame really that Santa Cruz will miss out. The thunderous drum line that starts off every Ozomatli gig is what Sambada does all the time.

Speaking of what Sambada does all the time, the six-piece crew threw down one excellent party at the Crow's Nest last Saturday. The juice was turned up at half past 9, and the upstairs dance floor never stopped brimming with groovin' bodies, some in costume for the carnival theme.

It's nearly impossible not to immediately fall head over heals for samba music--the sound is so bright and delicious you'd have to be a lobotomized chimp not to feel moved by it. And while the members of Sambada may be old hands at club gigs, they aren't simply another Caribbean cruise-ship attraction for the tourists. When the band brought out the drum line to back up three dancers from the troupe Fusao, they worked a few hip-hop beats into the mix--an impressive feat when using petroleum-barrel-sized drums.

For those who've never heard the rhythm of samba (in my opinion the best Latin beat next to cumbia and old-school salsa), you can start off slowly with some basic crossover hits like "Obvious Child" by Paul Simon or "El Matador" by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Better yet, just go hear the real thing at the Cocoanut Grove on March 9--Sambada will be playing along with two bands directly from Brazil (I believe Sambada has one-sixth Brazilian representation).

Electronica Update

And now for something completely different. Anyone out there who has an affinity for drum 'n' bass (I'm currently developing my own tawdry love affair with the sound) must check out The Metallic Blurp Sunday nights, 8:30-10:30pm on KZSC-FM (88.1). DJ Nman keeps the talking to a minimum, and lets the music bleep for itself.

While we're on the subject of electronic music, a genre that's becoming as diverse as rock & roll, local gadget-heads Silicon Breakdown have a new three-track CD out called Syn Thetic. An ongoing project between James Gideon, Noah Katz and a few other sample-happy knob twiddlers, the extended-play all-instrumental tracks reach deep into a cold ethereal world of pulsating bonks and swirls, hitting a 7 on the dotcom-Richter scale. There are no crescendos or climatic moments, but other local techno folk would probably understand it better or at least be impressed by the array of equipment used to produce it--Oberheim SEM x 4 and OBX, Marion MSR2, EML 101, Prophet VS, Syntovox 222 Vocoder, um, can we get a English-to-Silicon Valley dictionary?

A History Lesson

Once upon a time, in a quiet little beach town called Santa Cruz, there lived a happy hard-core anarchist punk band named Power and Wealth Need Slaves, or PAWNS for short. One day the band had decided they'd had enough (possibly due to blood-sucking housing prices) and moved up to an inland hideout called Chico--little has been heard from them ever since. This year, just in time for more WTO-IMF-FTAA free trade talks in Quebec scheduled for late April, the PAWNS are coming back with their fourth full-length release, Rebellion of the Cold War Children.

The current lineup--St. Ann on snotty-grrrl vocals, Ray Dehated on snotty-boy vocals, Fisquid on bass and LDB Clark on dee-rums--rocks more furiously than ever before. The new effort, which is in the finishing stages of production, is their longest to date and is reminiscence of the Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables days with plenty of anti-capitalists rantings. Keep dem eyes peeled for the return of the PAWNS.

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From the February 21-28, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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