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[whitespace] Forward Retro:
RetroMotive stops at the Usual on the way to the Eat'M fest

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S BEEN A while since RetroMotive performed locally, but last Tuesday (May 11), the four-piece outfit brought its captivating gloom to the Usual, sandwiched between locals Your Precious You and Salt Lake City's Velvet Alex. Performing mostly new and reworked material, RetroMotive started with a slightly psychedelic version of "My Favorite Things" (as in "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ..."). The most evident influences on the band's music include the Cure, Pink Floyd, the Smiths and the Doors. Lead vocalist and guitarist Ash reminds me of a young Tim Curry, and he has just as much odd charisma onstage. His deep voice brings a dark resonance to the exquisitely poetic lyrics that have become the band's trademark. After a trip to the Eat'M festival, a showcase for emerging musical artists held in Las Vegas May 19-22, the band will play again locally June 22 at the Usual, opening for 10,000 Maniacs.

Papa Roach is also cruising to Vegas to participate in Eat'M. Touring relentlessly, the band from Vacaville played Santa Cruz for the first time ever last Thursday (May 13), taking the stage with Santa Cruz's own Three Left Standing and the Lonely Kings at the Catalyst. The crew made some new friends and fans that night with its undeniable crowd connection, unpredictability and supercharged energy.

Things could be heating up for local country-swing, jump-blues and roots-rockers Chicken Coupe DeVille. The band was in the studio in Nashville, Tenn., with producer Ray Kennedy and apparently caused quite a stir, even getting a favorable write-up in the country music magazine Music City News. Check them out at their next local show, scheduled for June 5 at the Agenda Lounge.

As we disclosed last Thursday (May 13), hours before LIVE 105 released the official lineup for its annual BFD concert (held at Shoreline Amphitheatre June 18), the roster includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Orgy, the Living End, Blink 182, Limp Bizkit, Smash Mouth, Kid Rock, Queens of the Stone Age and locals Stunt Monkey. Other announced acts are Lit, Silverchair, Cake, Sugar Ray, Eve 6, Pennywise, Imperial Teen, Low Fidelity Allstars, crumb, Dealership, Skip Holiday and Swingin' Utters. Tickets are on sale now, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation.

On a tragic note, a solemn wind blew through the Cactus Club Friday (May 14) as friends, family and fans mourned the passing of ZBS bassist Kenny Simms. Already scheduled to perform, members of ZBS, the Sick, Lica Sto, Criminal Network and Insolence dedicated the night to their friend. Death is a private thing, so it's with hesitancy that I write this, but I knew Kenny in passing years ago. It's always sad when people die, but sadder still when they go before their time: Kenny was only 28. My heart goes out to those who loved Kenny. He was a dedicated musician, and I know he will be missed.

PLAN AHEAD: Hayride to Hell, May 20 at the Catalyst; Gwar, May 20 at the Warfield in San Francisco; April March and Sweet Harriet, May 20 at the Stanford Coffee House in Stanford; Security CD release with True to Form, Systematic, Method 5150 and Krenshaw, May 21 at the Cactus Club; the Demonics and Hayride to Hell, May 22 at the Cactus Club; the Huxtables, May 22 at the Fishbowl in Sunnyvale; Simon Woodstock's Birthday Bash with Herbert, Secrets and PTC, May 23 at the Usual; Nuclear Rabbit, May 25 at Palookaville; Etienne De Rocher, May 27 at the Stanford Coffee House; Insolence, May 29 at the Quarter Note in Sunnyvale.

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From the May 20-26, 1999 issue of Metro.

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