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[whitespace] Worldly What-Nots

Web fans land Santa Cruz indie-rockers on a new South American compilation

By David Espinoza

REMEMBER THE SCENE in the Gen-X flick Singles where Matt Dillon, playing the lead singer of the rock band Citizen Dick, boasts to a journalist about how his band is a huge success in Belgium? If only he'd said that in today's Internet-connected world, we might have believed him. As it stands, the What-Nots obviously won't be laughed at when they tell people that they have fans in Argentina--mainly because it's true. It seems that SC's very own indie-rawk foursome has sold at least 200 copies of their debut CD in Argentina, thanks to a fan who discovered them on the web. What's more, the fan, named Diego Martinez, has his own DIY record label and has recruited the What-Nots to record a song in Spanish for an upcoming tribute album in honor of Los Violadores (The Violators). The song, "Mercado Indio," will not be available on their upcoming album Too Much of Everything, but will find its way up to the states on the comp.

New Releases

In a completely unrelated matter, Cara Dura and the What-Nots are gearing up for a show in the SC Vets Hall basement Oct. 23. Both bands will finally release their long overdue new albums, though Brendan Thompson of the What-Nots insists it isn't a "release party," as that would imply, well ... you know. Funny, it's been almost two years exactly since the What-Nots released their debut CD in the Vets Hall basement alongside the now defunct Gorehounds, and Buddy's Riot. Kinda says a lot about the longevity of local underground bands, doesn't it?

Jurassic 5 has a new EP out called Improvise. With only four tracks, the mini-album is just enough to hold fans over until the major-label debut comes out early next year. Until then, there's always The Funky Percent hip-hop comp, which has songs not only by J5 but also by Dilated Peoples and the Beat Junkies.

Whiter Shade of Dub

It's been almost three years since the Long Beach Dub Allstars picked up the broken pieces of Sublime and started touring on their own. Basically the exact same band minus lead singer/songwriter Bradley Nowell, the LBDA had no problem inheriting Sublime's already large fan base. Until now, though, the rowdy pack of dub reggae-playin', tattoo-covered stoner guys have primarily relied on old material written by Nowell. So it might come as a surprise that the LBDA's new album, Right Back, is actually quite good. Starting off with a smooth dub reggae tune aptly titled "Righteous Dub," the new album flows from track to track like the waves that the members love to ride. To their credit, the LBDA has added to Sublime's style, throwing in more elaborate hip-hop beats and singing feel-good party songs like "Rosarito" and "New Sun."

Like Nowell, many of the LBDA not-so-tan members have a distinct "I was raised with Latinos, blacks, and Asians" attitude that gives the music an edge. It's always been the best thing about Sublime, the combination of different cultures in the L.A. area--"black, white, American Indian, or Japanese"--that's made them one of the definitive bands of the '90s. Thankfully, the Long Beach Dub Allstars haven't lost the cultura.

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From the October 13-20, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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