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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Top of the Gill: The folk-pop quartet Hummingfish swims into the Brass Rail in Santa Clara on Feb. 6.

A Great Day in the Bay:
Hip-hop heavies turn out in droves for 10Bass T show

THE FINAL NIGHT of the 10Bass T residency at the Elbo Room brought out an awe-inspiring collection of Bay Area underground hip-hop stars. There was Hobo Junction selling tapes by the stairs. The Mystik Journeymen crew starting a beat-box circle by the women's bathroom. Kevvy Kev, Sacred Hoop and Billy Jam talking shop. Chocolate Connection rocking the microphone. 10Bass T doing its thing. Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious) and DJ Shadow playing pinball. DJ Shortkut from the Invisible Scratch Pickles backing up Lateef the Truth Speaker and Lyrics Born. David Boyce of the Broun Fellinis joining the Butta' Break Band for the whole night. With so many heavy-hitters around, a free-style session broke out with Hobo, Mystik's PSC, Aesop, 10Bass T's Solrac and an unknown emcee wrecking shop. A photographer should have gathered everyone together outside like the A Great Day in Harlem picture.

The good news is that 10Bass T has confirmed a similar month-long stint for the Agenda Lounge in San Jose every Thursday in March. It'll lean toward the jazz side and feature drop-in guests, including David Boyce, Midnight Voices' Will Power, T.J. Kirk's Will Bernard and David Ellis.

Goooo Team!

The night before, at the Bottom of the Hill, Team Dresch learned that its message of lesbian empowerment is not lost on the audience or new band members. After performing an older track, bassist/vocalist Jody Bleyle replied, "I can't play that song anymore. I'm so post­identity politics." New guitarist Amanda "Jack" Kelly approached the mic and quietly yet bravely spilled her guts about how much the death of her personal hero, Tina Brandon, affected her and what being part of Team Dresch meant. Guitarist Donna Dresch comforted Jack with a long embrace centerstage before the foursome ripped into the next song together. Sometimes the most punk-rock thing in the world is revealing your true feelings in front of everyone. Jack rocked it a capella; "I almost cried when I said that," she told me later.

Then, two 8-year-old girls got Bleyle's attention with a miniature bomber jacket with the words "eyes," "knees," "groin" and "throat" stitched on it--a reference to the Free to Fight self-defense jingle "Primary Targets" (the eyes, knees, groin and throat are the four potent targets to hit when being attacked). Charmed to the teeth, the band invited the girls on stage to sing the instructional ditty. It's sad that kids have to learn such preventive measures so early, but it was reassuring to see these kids recite the words while others recite Westside Connection gangsta-rap lyrics.

Skankin' All-Stars

Judgment day in Skaville: The future of longtime ska-punk band Skankin' Pickle is in jeopardy. Word is that drummer Chuck Phelps and slide trombonist Gerry Lundquist have departed, leaving only guitarist Lynette Knackstedt and valve trombonist Lars Nylander as original members. The Rudiments' Brent Wilson has been mentioned as possible drummer replacement. With only two Pickle people left, look for the name Skankin' Pickle to change to the Dill Records All-Stars.

Radar Love

Some shows that probably missed the mass-market radar: Janitors Against Apartheid, the Pirates of Funk, Chachi, Boba Fett and Wookie perform at the Saratoga Community Center, 39655 Allendale Ave. on Friday (Feb. 7). Doors open at 7:30pm. Portland's folk-pop quartet Hummingfish swims into the Brass Rail at Santa Clara University on Thursday (Feb. 6) for a free 9pm show.

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From the February 6-12, 1997 issue of Metro

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