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New in Town


Reviewed by Nicky Baxter

When I stopped by Scalawag's, the barflies and pool sharks were already doing their respective thing. Even a cursory glance suggests that what was once JJ's Blues Downtown is now emphatically something else. Scalawag's management has modified the venue, knocking out the previous owners' office space to allow more legroom for patrons. With a microbrew bar in one corner, video games and a winking jukebox in another, Scalawag's offers sights for bored eyes--and sounds, as well. Everything from cover-band rock and blues to Latin-beat music of various shades can be found here.

In fact, moments after my arrival, a platoon of mariachis filed into the club. Fanning out across the joint, the musicians doodled away on trumpets, guitars and guitarron for a bit and then made their way onto Scalawag's stage. The band was here to play for someone's birthday. And indeed, just as I gulped down my last round, the mariachis broke off a couple of choruses of "Happy Birthday," evoking a round of ear-splitting hoots from the audience. Never did figure out whose birthday it was.

14 S. Second St., San Jose (408/295-6969).

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From the June 13-19, 1996 issue of Metro

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