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[whitespace] The Faction
The Faction rolls in to headline the Usual's Last Call.

Yeah, Baby!

SoFA's newest stealth club, 'spy,' brings industrial espionage into vogue

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S NOT OUR fault the press release was misleading. No, really it's not. Other local media ran with the same information we did, ultimately confusing everybody. But we're here to set the record straight. As many have heard by now, the USUAL is changing its name to SPY, a hip new club with a cool industrial-espionage theme sure to have the Silicon Valley tech sector sipping martinis like 007. Austin Powers would love this joint!

Now teamed up with new Sweden-based owner and investor JONÄS FREDERICKSON, the Usual's former leaders, mastermind PAUL GERDHART and silent partner DAVID FARLING, remain involved in spy, with Gerhardt overseeing its daily operations. According to Gerhardt, the Usual's last blast takes place this Friday (July 19) with famed San Jose skate-rock relics the FACTION, plus shit-disturbers H.B.A. and upstarts the NEW STRANGE. On Aug. 2, the club officially changes over to spy with KOVERT, a sneaky operation with an invite-only acid-rock fashion show presented by NIGEL WHO?, a living industrial art exhibit coordinated by new partner Frederickson and music by big-time jet-setter DJ DOC MARTIN plus DJs M3, P.J., GREV and CHRIS ARALIUS. With red-carpet festivities running 7 to 9pm, doors open to the public after 9pm. The new club invites everyone to a huge dance party on Aug. 9 to celebrate its official grand opening.

What the release failed to mention is that there's plenty going on at the SoFA venue while it's in transition between July 19 and Aug. 2. All those upcoming concerts and dance nights already scheduled--including the SECURITY, LAVABONE, KRENSHAW and KARATE HIGH SCHOOL show set for Wednesday (July 24)--will go on as planned. Gerhardt tells me the spy's unofficial unveiling is set to take place July 25 with LATENITEBILLY's underground hip-hop night starring SOULS OF MISCHIEF and Triple Threat DJs SHORTKUT, VINROC and APOLLO.

Visually, the slinky new club has been completely transformed with dark walls and a steely décor. It also boasts new and improved sound and lighting, and an elite VIP room. Sleek and sophisticated with a riveted look, the club will debut some new nights in conjunction with CHANNEL 104.9 and LateNiteBilly. But Gerhardt assures me the changes to the renovated 21+ hot spot are mostly superficial. As spy, the club will continue to indulge its soft spot for local music with Wednesday night's HANDLE BAR. It will also keep hosting the popular '80s Flashback Tuesdays with Cactus Club alum CRAIG YAMATO (voted No. 1 bartender in Silicon Valley by Metro's very astute readers) and appease the South Bay's jiggling dance crowd with hip-hop and house most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

GOOD SAMARITANS: The local jazz community has felt the void left by the passing of A TOUCH OF BRASS' trumpeter JIM ROLLINS. To make matters worse, trumpet player JAMIE GODWIN, also of A Touch of Brass, is battling his own illness. The situation has prompted local musicians to organize a benefit concert to be held Friday (July 19) at the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH at 800 Ironwood Dr., San Jose. A Touch of Brass and the WEST VALLEY COLLEGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE will perform, with special guests expected to show up. Tickets are $10, and proceeds will be split between Godwin's expenses and Rollins' charities.

HOT TOPIC: Not the Tiki Lounge after all: JACEK ROSICKI is transforming the building that housed the Cactus Club in ZÖE, a Nuevo Latino restaurant and nightclub with live music and DJ dancing. He's also building an adjoining patio space and club called Backbar ... Trying to fill the gap in all-ages shows since the Cactus Club closed, DIVIDED, MY FAT SISTER, NEW BEST FRIEND and CAFFEINE are infiltrating the NOVA ALLIANCA HALL (37 N. 27th St. in San Jose) Friday (July 19). Divided is also breaking the rules by playing next Tuesday (July 23) at SOUTH FIRST BILLIARDS. ... Local bar band SAGE releases its new CD, King of the Avenues, Saturday (July 20) at #1 Broadway in Los Gatos. ... Metro's Music IN THE PARK continues Thursday (July 18), 5-8:15pm at PLAZA DE CESAR CHAVEZ with ROOMFUL OF BLUES.

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From the July 18-24, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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