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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Drill Team
Alison Dyer

A Disciplined Unit: Drill Team joins the bill with Concerning Eye and Crack this Friday at the Cactus Club in downtown San Jose.

L.A. Story:
Crack comes home again to San Jose

IT'S BEEN a good year for Crack. The band built up a huge following, released a great album (Losing One's Cool) and got on the cover of Metro and inside the Merc. The shows have been over the top, and recognition is at an all-time high. So the band did the next logical step and moved to L.A. The five-man unit returns to the South Bay on Friday (May 23) to play the Cactus Club. Concerning Eye and Drill Team open.

The main reason for the move was to play more venues, and that's exactly what's happening. "We're getting stuck playing in front of no one," admits guitarist Fred Sablan, calling from his apartment in Silverlake, "but the people who are there are into us." Bassist Chris Smith and Sablan found housing in the arty community (Beck, Sukia and Lutefisk all emerged from Silverlake), while vocalist Rusty Gantt, drummer D-Kash and singer/dancer Cliff Dunn located a live-in rehearsal space down the freeway.

Crack is playing two or three times a week and already has several "L.A. stories" to tell. At one show, Gantt was stripped of his pants by fans. Sablan almost collided with Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis, who was driving a Suburban. Sablan also saw Teri Hatcher filming a movie and volleyballer Gabrielle Reese at a grocery store. The guys vowed to make their once-a-month voyage to San Jose to entertain the masses.

The Unassisted

Have you heard Rasco's single "The Unassisted" (produced by Peanut Butter Wolf)? The local underground rapper associated with Various Blends is getting played on KMEL (106.1FM). "It's weird to hear it on a commercial station," Rasco says. "I was used to hearing Various Blends or 'The Unassisted' on college radio. Now with the commercial station playing it, more people are coming up to me and saying they heard it. It's funny driving around in the car. Me and Peanut Butter Wolf were in the car last night, and it came on. It was weird." Rasco's full-length album, Time Waits for No Man, is set for summer release. "What It's All About," "Tagalong Freddies" and "All Quiet on the Western Front" are some of the tracks, but fans can pick up "The Unassisted" right now at local record shops.

Various Blends is still a group and expects to release a new single this summer. "I get to express myself more," Rasco says about going solo. "With Various Blends, I only get to write one verse per song. That shows one side of me. Solo, I kick a whole song."

Rasco appreciates the variety of styles and tolerance locally. "If you look around at all the different people in the Bay Area--from Mystik Journeymen to Saafir to myself to Hiero--nobody is doing the same thing. We're not copying anyone else in L.A. or N.Y. We have the most styles coming out of here. We have E-40 all the way to Various Blends. Other places, like New York, if you don't sound a certain way, you won't be liked. I feel sorry for the underground emcees out there. You have to have a certain sound or persona. Here, you can be yourself."

Daddy Tippa

Soulicious, an underground DJ and emcee event, happens June 7 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Souls of Mischief and the Hieroglyphics crew, Rasta, Hookah Units, Mind Motion, D'Jam Hassan, DJ Chaos, K?ngp?n and Positively Red will perform. ... The one-year celebration of Agenda's Dub Lounge will feature a special appearance by legendary British dance-hall stylist Tippa Irie. The show takes place Sunday (May 25). Also, rockabilly nights return to Agenda every Wednesday starting June 4 with Indigo Swing. As added enticement, the parking lot will be reserved for vintage rides.

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From the May 22-28, 1997 issue of Metro

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