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San Francisco's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club heads south for Coachella.

Clique Clique Boom

Karate High School dresses to kill

By Sarah Quelland

THERE'S A CERTAIN MISCHIEVOUS GLEAM people get in their eyes when the name Karate High School comes up. With big stage energy, a great sense of humor and plenty of confidence, it's no wonder. The engaging young group knows how to entertain a crowd. No amount of technical difficulties seemed to faze it last Friday (Feb. 15) when it played the Cactus Club with Unjust, Sikness, Depths of Depression and 3rd Rail.

The band dubs its unusual brand of rap-rock "arcade rock," and the keyboards are essential to its exuberant personality. They give Karate High School's music a summer carnival feel--full-tilt fun and just a little bit crazy. Frontman Paul McGuire's melodramatic delivery of songs filled with angsty teenage woe--including "Never Gonna Get None" and "Wave Goodbye" from the band's self-titled EP--also command attention. The group seems to be toying with costumes onstage with each band member loosely illustrating one faction of a high-school clique: the football jock, the track star, the prep, the geek, etc. They're not quite there yet, but this likable band shows a lot of potential. With shows lined up around the Bay Area all this month, its next South Bay show takes place at Gaslighter's Music Hall in Gilroy on March 23 with Movement and Soul Aggression. Visit www.karatehighschool.com for updates.

ALL THE NEWS: Though only in its third year, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (scheduled for April 27-28 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif.) has become a major concert destination drawing fans from all over with its diverse lineup of rock, hip-hop and electronic artists. Tickets for this year's event (which includes headliners Björk and Oasis, plus Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Belle & Sebastian, Ozomatli, Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, KRS-One, Mos Def, Paul Oakenfold, Basement Jaxx, Sasha & Digweed, St. Germain, Tiesto and Groove Armada) are $65 a pop and go on sale next Saturday (March 2). ... The Sno-Core Rock show, with Alien Ant Farm, Adema, the Apex Theory, Earshot and GlassJAw, hits the Warfield on March 23, while the Jagermeister Music Tour, featuring Coal Chamber, Drowning Pool and Ill Niño, ambushes the Fillmore on April 8. ... Radio favorite Incubus brings its sensitive modern rock to the SJSU Event Center on April 14 and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on April. 16. Hoobastank opens. ... Green Day and Blink-182 are playing shows at Bay Area venues yet to be announced on April 27 and April 29. ... And the ever-enigmatic Prince just announced a date at the Chronicle Pavilion in Concord on May 3. ... Next Thursday (Feb. 28), Alice 97.3's morning hosts Sarah and Vinnie celebrate five years on the air at the Sound Factory (525 Harrison St. in San Francisco). Witness performances by Sarah's band Slappy and Vinnie's band Scrotum Pole, along with a swimsuit contest sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft. The radio station has cobbled together a commemorative disc featuring 15 classic bits and two songs from each host's band; Five Years of Spills (& Thrills) hits shelves on March 19 and proceeds will help establish the new Donor Advised Fund. ...Don't forget Noise Pop takes over San Francisco's hottest clubs all next week, starting Tuesday (Feb. 26) and ending Sunday (March 3). Visit www.noisepop.com for a complete schedule of bands. ... Big local shows this week include Divided, Tenfold, Lonely Kings, Vent and Trip Device this Thursday (Feb. 21) at the Usual and Lavabone, SECURITY, Moodfrye, Keno Champ and Rivals this Friday (Feb. 22) at the Cactus Club.

PLAN AHEAD: Splyt, Disquiet and Discretion, Feb. 21 at the Cactus; Woodshed and Totimoshi, Feb. 21 at the Lido; Willie Nelson, Feb. 21-22 at the Fillmore; Tenacious D, Feb. 21 at Slim's in San Francisco; Fairview, Fighting Jacks, Audio Crush, Deimos and Rod, Feb. 22 at the Los Gatos Outhouse; Shredfest with Becoming, San Resina, Imagika, Zero Hour and Revivall, Feb. 23 at the Cactus; downside, A Burning Water and Fleur de Lis, Feb. 23 at the Gaslighter Theater in Campbell; Stitch, Unjust and Fellatia, Feb. 23 at the Pound in San Francisco; Save Ferris, Feb. 24 at Slim's; Machine Head, Feb. 28 at the Fillmore; Ratt, Feb. 28 at the Pound; A Tribe Called Quest (just Phife Dawg and Jarobi, not Q-Tip or Ali) with the Fingerbangerz Crew, March 29 at the Usual.

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From the February 21-27, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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