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[whitespace] God Save the Queens

By Mike Connor

THOSE OF US who rocked out to the ball-wrenchingly satisfying Queens of the Stone Age show on Sunday at the Catalyst owe a debt of extraordinary magnitude to one of the new queens of independent productions. Hell bent on helping those three kids from west Memphis out of jail (and off of Death Row), Nicky Persnickity first brought us the Bantam/Fleshies benefit show at the Aptos Club, and has now followed up by bringing QOTSA. A portion of the proceeds from the sold-out show will go to the defense team of the West Memphis Three, cuz we all know damn well that it's tough to get a fair trial without truckloads o' cash. Anyhow, the Queens were pretty freaking phenomenal, rocking hard enough to make even the cheesiest light show forgivable. The Queens are one of the most sonically innovative acts on the hard rock scene, so it was no small feat that most of the subtleties in their seriously moody brand of rocking came across beautifully live. Nicky, you have our gratitude.

Hip-Hop Vérité

Heads up to all hip-hop heads, and everyone else interested in learning more about hip- hop culture. The Hip Hop Film Fest lands at the Rio Theatre on October 12 and 13 with a host of underground films and music in tow, brought to us by the grassroots, nonprofit Center for Hip Hop Education. Lively, poignant and raw documentaries delve into the nooks and crannies of this cultural behemoth, setting the record straight on everything from the origins of beatboxing and scratching to the art of freestyling, and looking deep into the backdrop of urban decay and violence that has sparked a cultural revolution. Some of the films will be followed by live performances and discussions. Check out www.hiphopfilmfest.com for a complete program. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 general admission, or $20 for a two-day pass.

Snazzy Goes Daily

Can't get enough of that good old Americana/Folk stuff? Well quit yer cryin', buck up and head down to the Kuumbwa, which will be hosting the new Snazzy series, "Weeknights at the Kuumbwa." A word from Captain Obvious: "I bet this series happens weeknights at the Kuumbwa!" Right again, Captain, and it all starts on Oct. 15 at 7:30pm, when contemporary folksinger/songwriters Amy Rigby and Duane Jarvis will do their thing for their captive Kuumbwa audience, which they will not release until their demands for mandatory attendance at singer/songwriter performances are met throughout the nation.

Soulong

The Soulive show at the Rio this past Saturday lived up to the hype in a lot of ways, but ultimately suffered from a few criminal flaws, starting with a case of stolen identity. The prodigiously talented jazz/funk/groove trio teased us with a taste of sweet, sweet vocals, a moment which shone so bright that the rest of the set-long jam paled in comparison. But Neal Evans spoke volumes with his hands, hammering out bass lines on his Hammond B-3 with his left hand while soloing in the higher registers with his right. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and Soulive's nonstop climax jam-fest left a little to be desired in the way of variety. When they sped up a Jimmy jam to twice its normal speed after grooving on it for no more than 30 seconds, they done went too far, because Jimmy don't need to be rushed, damn it!

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From the October 9-16, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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