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Xing Swerver

[whitespace] Local band gets ESPN stamp of approval

By Sarah Quelland

IT LOOKS AF IF ESPN really digs local heavy rock & roll trio Swerver. The band just signed a contract with the cable network to use songs from its CDs--Ugly Songs for Pretty Children, and the newer Muscle Car--in its 1999 X Games coverage, which features aggressive in-line skating, bicycle stunt riding, skateboarding and big-air snowboarding, to be broadcast live, worldwide, June 25-July 3 from San Francisco. Watch for an ESPN-produced animated logo set to Swerver's music to air before each event.

After breaking up last August, Salmon is officially back together. According to drummer Pat Ruiz, the band is reuniting largely for the fun of performing together and plans to do a blowout comeback show within the next two months. Ruiz will continue to drum for Plush. ... M.I.R.V. will release its latest, Dancing Naked in a Minefield, at an all-ages CD-release party May 7 at Slim's in San Francisco. Word has it a major label is really hot for these punk-funk tricksters known for songs like "Chupacabras" and "Unabomber." ManMade God and MCM and the Monster open and Buckethead's drummer is scheduled to emcee the whole thing. ManMade God just recorded nine new songs, and according to manager Cole Gill, the band will head into the studio in May with Stone Temple Pilots drummer Eric Kretz, who will produce three to five of the new songs for the band to shop to major labels. ... Local singer/songwriter Allette Brooks throws a party for the release of her second self-produced CD, Silicon Valley Rebel, on Sunday (April 25) at 7pm at Luna Sea in San Francisco. Brooks has a real knack for weaving her social commentary and life observations into punchy alternative-folk melodies and modern poetic lyrics complemented by her sometimes sassy, sometimes sweet vocals.

Apparently Mark O'Hara, 37-year-old lead singer of 15-piece retro-disco funk band Superbooty (regulars at the Usual and the Catalyst), announced that he's running for mayor of San Francisco. The flamboyant frontman, known as Skippy Tornado, plans to follow in the footsteps of recently elected Minnesota Governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura and campaign under the Reform Party banner. He's not the first musician ever to run for San Francisco mayor, Jello Biafra (who gives a spoken-word performance May 8 at the Cubberley Community Center), former frontman of punk band the Dead Kennedys, ran in 1979.

April 16 was KSJO DJ Laurie Free's last day. Apparently the leader of the hard-rock station's "at-work army" is off to greener pastures. ... It's time to start planning the annual pilgrimage to Burning Man (held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, Aug. 30-Sept. 6). Tickets just went on sale and are $80 per person through June 15, $90 June 16-July 31 and $100 Aug. 1-29. Visit www.burningman.com or call 415/TO-FLAME for more information.

On a sad note, Skip Spence of Moby Grape fame died last week in Santa Cruz, just weeks before the arrival of a tribute album titled More Oar.

PLAN AHEAD: Outtaline, April 23, Campbell Community Center; Hootenanny Tour, April 23, Palookaville in Santa Cruz; Slow Gherkin, April 23, at the Cactus Club; Insolence, April 24, at the Cactus; Black Crowes and Everlast, April 24, at Shoreline; Storm & Her Dirty Mouth and the Chums, April 25, at the Usual; Sully's Last Ride!, April 29, at the Edge; the Hi-Fives, April 29, at the Fillmore in San Francisco; Warsaw, April 30, at the Quarter Note in Sunnyvale; Papa Roach, April 30, at the Cactus; NOFX, May 1, at Maritime Hall in San Francisco; Loveline (with Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla), May 8, at Frost Amphitheater, Stanford.

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From the April 22-28, 1999 issue of Metro.

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