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Rock gets resurrected at the Icon.

Sharper Image

The Icon Nightclub reinvents itself in the image of its past incarnation: the Edge

By Sarah Quelland

AFTER A MILLION DOLLAR overhaul and a short-lived existence as a jazz supperclub, the Icon Nightclub has truly returned to its rock & roll roots. Any doubts were laid to rest last Wednesday (Jan. 30) as Los Bastardos de Amor conducted a live recording of its bouncy hard-pop tunes and veteran rockers L.A. Guns played a long set of oldies but goodies.

As history has proven, the former home of the popular nightclub the Edge (and before that, the Vortex and the Keystone Palo Alto) is a great space for a rock venue. With professional sound and lighting, an elevated stage and a fresh, clean ambience enhanced by rich woods and a cool blue color scheme, the new Icon sacrifices neither quality nor intimacy. The sophisticated club has also abandoned nearly all pretense of poshness. There's no more roasted young hen in the house; instead, Mas Sake provides the vittles of choice with its freestyle sushi--an experimental fusion of Latin and Japanese cuisine. Local club impresario Jacek Rosicki has reportedly taken a backseat on day-to-day management of the club, instead giving the reins to its other investors. Upcoming shows at the Icon include the Cheeseballs' Valentine's Day Bash (Feb. 14), the Motels featuring Martha Davis plus Kiss the Girl (Feb. 20), Chris Clouse (Feb. 21), Faster Pussycat with Gilby Clarke (Feb. 27), Luce and Adam Ben (Feb. 28), Grooveline (March 21) and Double Funk Crunch (March 28).

On Friday (Feb. 1), the line to get into Channel 104.9's invite-only one-year birthday bash at the Usual--featuring Pete Yorn, Course of Nature and Picnic--stretched far along the sidewalk past South First Billiards. I can't recall a show at the Usual with such an impressive line. Across that street the same night, a good number of fans packed into the Cactus Club to catch two.steps.behind, Hostility, Luxt, Stitch and Jada Morning, a loud, lethargic art-noise-metal startup featuring former members of the now-defunct Broken Vision.

ALL THE NEWS: It didn't take Insolence long to find a new drummer. The band just announced that Kevin Higuchi (formerly of Salmon) will be filling the spot left open by the departure of former Insolence drummer Mando Cardenas. ... downside has been spending time in Los Angeles with notable producer Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm) doing preproduction work on its new material. There's still no record deal in place, but the band plans to head into NRG Recording Services to record the new songs sometime in March. ... Willie Nelson has rescheduled the last date of his four-night run at the Fillmore (Saturday, Feb. 23) for Tuesday (Feb. 19) so he can perform at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Tickets for Saturday will be honored on Tuesday, or refunds are available at the place of purchase. ... Meanwhile, Rufus Wainwright has added a second night at the Fillmore where he'll perform March 9-10. ... Rolling Stone journalist Ben Fong-Torres will be appearing at the Booksmith on Haight Street tonight (Feb. 7) at 7:30pm to promote his latest book, The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio. DJ Bobby Ocean appears with him. ... Chabot College is hosting a huge battle of the bands this Saturday (Feb. 9), 7:30-10:30pm in the Auditorium (25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward). Brickhead, Bridge, Conpanna (featuring Rene Escovedo), Flashover, Joe American, Kaos, Mystic Rage, No Direction, Solemite, the U.N.I.T, United and Vantage-X duke it out in the finals. Tickets to the all-ages show are $8 if bought from the bands or $10 at the door and proceeds benefit Hayward Parks and Recreation. ... Stunt Monkey plays a free all-ages show this Saturday (Feb. 9) at 7pm with Dexter Danger, Audiocrush and Diary at the Hava Java Cafe on the UC-Santa Cruz campus. ... KKUP-fm (91.5) is holding its annual bluegrass, country and folk fundraising marathon this Friday (Feb. 8 at 3pm) through Sunday (Feb. 10 at midnight).

PLAN AHEAD: Bodies in the Basement and the Black Furies, Feb. 7 at the Lido; Suite 304 and Groovy Judy, Feb. 7 at Fanny & Alexander's in San Jose; Emaneht and Casual Soul, Feb. 8 at the Usual; Reaction 31, Movement, Key to Arson, Unjust, Feb. 8 at the Cactus; Lonely Kings, Shortie and First to Fall, Feb. 8 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz; Floppy Rods, the Expendables, Fill in the Blank and Lowfat, Feb. 9 at the Cactus; the Blind and Atomic Mint, Feb. 9 at C&J's Sports Bar.

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From the February 7-13, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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