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Photograph by Jay Blakesberg

Getting Smashed: Local boys made good Smash Mouth return to San Jose to do some good at a benefit show.

Still Smashing

Smash Mouth kicks off the Fourth with a concert for the homeless on the third

By Sarah Quelland

DESPITE SMASH MOUTH's remarkable success in the national spotlight, it's no secret that the San Jose band isn't always greeted with open arms by its fellow South Bay musicians. Whether it's bad blood from years gone by or an epidemic of sour grapes, the band just doesn't get much love from its peers.

Still, after an avalanche of critical kudos following the 1999 release of the band's sophomore album, Astro Lounge, and a slew of endorsements from companies like Gatorade and Nissan, the savvy San Jose natives, known for their summery retro-rock fusion of ska-punk and surf-pop, still make time for their hometown.

In the past couple years, the band headlined the Cactus Club's 10-year anniversary celebration, held a private listening party at the San Jose Elks Lodge more than a month before Astro Lounge hit the shelves, performed on the main stage at last year's BFD and was one of the few major artists to actually show up to this year's California Music Awards (a.k.a. the Bammies).

Now, the band is going one step further. Smash Mouth is the headliner for the Mix 106.5 Concert for the Homeless that's being held July 3 at Discovery Meadow/Guadalupe Park (the park opens at 4pm; Smash Mouth goes on around 8:30pm), as a warm-up for the America Festival the next day.

Others in the lineup include Dana, Los Cochinos and Fuse. Part of the 10th annual America Festival, the concert will benefit the Emergency Housing Consortium, an organization that provides programs for Silicon Valley's homeless population.

The America Festival will be held July 3-4, and the event celebrates the diversity of the South Bay population with family entertainment, rides, games, children's activities and plenty of other goodies. Tickets are $10 all day July 3 (available through BASS), but admission is free for the Fourth of July activities, which include a huge fireworks display in the evening.

Aside from this local appearance, things have been fairly quiet in the Smash Mouth camp since Astro Lounge exploded last year. The unofficial kings of the movie soundtrack (with inclusions on the Can't Hardly Wait, Mystery Men, Half Baked, Jailbait! and Snow Day soundtracks), Smash Mouth now has a new cover of the Steely Dan song "Do It Again" featured on the soundtrack to Jim Carrey's latest, Me, Myself & Irene.

Yes, Smash Mouth is known for its penchant for cover tunes (with covers of the Mysterians' "Can't Get Enough of You Baby" and War's "Why Can't We Be Friends?" generating early interest in the band), but Astro Lounge's original material, written by Greg Camp, succeeded in annihilating any criticism that the band was a one-hit wonder.

Smash Mouth was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. Now it looks like the band is headed back into the studio this summer and may have a new release this year. Next on the agenda is a UK tour with British pop star Robbie Williams in October and November.

Smash Mouth performs at Guadalupe River Park, San Carlos Street and Woz Way, San Jose; gates open at 4pm. Tickets are $10. 408.998.BASS.

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From the June 29-July 5, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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