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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Retirement Blues:
Cafe of Regret reunites for a night

The late, lamented Cafe of Regret will reincarnate for one last show, opening for Squeeze the Dog's record-release party on Friday (April 19) at Cactus Club in downtown San Jose. "This does not represent a comeback," stresses vocalist Andrew Fleig. "We just thought this was a good opportunity to give those who missed our last and completely unpromoted show a chance to get some closure, heal some wounds and get drunk." Too bad it doesn't represent a comeback, as many folks, me included, would like to see Cafe reopen. I even fielded a call from a booker asking for the band's number. Oh, well, once more with feeling. Meanwhile, you can't complain about Cafe's headliners. The rate of improvement is off the scale. Squeeze the Dog has become one of the area's most lush, technically proficient acts. Let's see if the CD captures that mood.

Scamming Around

Remember the Bootsy Collins impersonator who scammed his way into clubs and onto Arsenio Hall's show? There's a local version of that story making the rounds. According to a distraught call to the office last week, someone claiming to be ex-Stray Cat bassist Lee Rocker is using the Rocker's name and reputation to get over on people locally. A call to Lee Rocker's real-life manager, Roger LeBlanc, in Southern California, finds the bassist firmly married for eight years and living happily in Orange County. So if a rockabilly guy rubs up against you proposing to do the Stray Cat Strut in your bedroom, give him tha finga. "He is not looking for a home up there," says LeBlanc, humorously. "Not that he doesn't like Northern California, but he is very happy where he is now." The real Rocker is planning to perform locally, possibly at the Agenda, in late May.

Club Beat

Two local clubs are in different states of disrepair. San Jose's Oasis was officially shut down last week after battles with homeowners and police. Owner Jacek Rosicki was of few words. "It's closed," he said sternly. "They turned a land issue into a police issue." Meanwhile, the Ajax Lounge on South First Street will be closed for two months starting April 22 to complete seismic retrofitting. Rumor is that it won't be reopen as a club but as a banquet room for Eulipia. "We haven't decided what we're going to do with the space," said co-owner Steve Borkenhagen. ... What's up with Black Grape canceling its Cactus show last Monday? Apparently, the group was unimpressed with the sound equipment and radio promotion, so it opted to do a video shoot that day. Poxie British rock-star bullshit, in my opinion.

Put the "Fun" in Fundraiser

Thanks to all the bands who made SFMX2 an amazing, blazing success: Willies Conception, Supersauce, Clubberlang, the In-Citers, Dizzybam, Congo Square, 4-Banger, Ronnie Bauer Experience, King Raffi, Monkey, Soda and Salmon. Big ups to all of you who attended for raising $8,000 for the Metro Community Fund. Look forward to the next two Metro functions: Rumble in the Ballroom on May 17 at the San Jose State University Student Union Ballroom with Skankin' Pickle, San Jose Taiko and Jupiter Sun, and the Metro Fountain Blues Festival on May 18 at the SJSU Tower Fountain with Elmer Lee, Thomas Blues Review, Johnnie Johnson (the blues man, not the 49ers' new running back), Tommy Castro and more.

Oscar-quality Mayer

This I gotta see: a local-music show at Santa Clara University's plush Mayer Theater. It happens on Tuesday (April 23) with Crack, Soda, Lunchbox and Invisible Green. Tickets are $5 and proceeds benefit the Giarretto Institute--a counseling center for abused kids. Doors open at 6pm; first band plugs in at 6:30. Details can be had at 408/554-4000.

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From the April 18-24, 1996 issue of Metro

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