[Metroactive Music]

[ Music Index | Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

[whitespace] Kinky
Beats and Pieces: Kinky adds to the circus atmosphere.

Misfits of Music

The Ultimate Sunshine Tour is a perfect fit for eclectic Mexican outfit Kinky

By Yoshi Kato

THERE'S A MOVIE theater of last resort in Pasadena that shows films just before they're put out to home-video pasture. A few of the screens are reserved for double features, and tracking the odd pairings has become a minor source of amusement.

This week, the thinking-person's spy pic The Bourne Identity is showing with the expanded rerelease of the Italian weeper Cinema Paradiso. Since the audience for the former is considered to be part of a markedly distinct demographic from the audience for the latter, there are two schools of thought behind these types of eclectic bookings.

The economist's point of view is that matching two distinctly different films doubles the audience. The counterpoint is more idealistic, suggesting that open-minded fans will see good features regardless of genre.

One wonders which theory is the driving force behind the excellent Unlimited Sunshine tour. Modest Mouse and tour organizers Cake both sold out Warfield shows on recent passes through San Francisco. De La Soul sold out the Fillmore the last time it played there and the Flaming Lips have a fiercely loyal audience that matches their club, theater and, on occasion, parking-garage, itinerary.

Omar Gongora,percussionist/ vocalist for the Monterrey, Mexico-based band Kinky, subscribes to the "quality-minded" philosophy over the "demographic target and unify" approach.

"There's a lot of styles. We start with this kind of eclectic electronic stuff. And then after us comes Modest Mouse, which is more down-tempo. And then come the Hackensaw Boys--they play a kind of village country music. Then De La Soul and the others. It's kind of a carnival or circus atmosphere."

The lineup fits in with Kinky's misfit spirit. The founding principle is to unite organic and electronic forms into a borderless brand of joyous dance music. The goal is to make the music so that it would be difficult for dancers--and listeners--to identify where the programming ended and the playing began.

"Mas," the opening track on Kinky's eponymous debut album, combines the monster sound of Big Beat with Gongora's south-of-the-border percussion, jazzy keyboard and double-bass parts and commanding Spanish lyrics. With its frenzied whistle-blowing, sneaky bits of scratched vinyl and kinetic percussion, "Sol (Batucada)" would sound equally at home in the clubs or Carnivale.

De facto leader Ulises Lozano programs, plays keyboards and is a fan of electronic music. Gongora, a die-hard jazz and Latin music head, was at first reluctant to embrace technology but now has no trouble playing to the metronomelike percussion of Lozano's beats and (programmed) pieces.

"In the time that we've been playing, we have become just one sound rather than separate electronic and organic stuff," he says. "At the beginning, it was an experiment. In the end, we found our own style of music. And now it's working."

As the tour's sacrificial lamb that goes on first, Gongora and his Kinky band mates are taking up the challenge. They see it as a way to gauge the mood and thinking of the Ultimate Sunshine crowds. The main four acts come with built-in audiences, while his band is still on the upward trajectory of its "emerging artist" status. As leadoff hitter, Kinky has to earn its props--winning people over instead of preaching to the converted.

It's been a downhill cruise so far. Fans are responding to the diverse musical menu with Kinky whetting the palate.

"People respond great. They don't know what kind of music we're going to play, because we're brand-new here," Gongora says. "But everybody has loved us. People are accepting everything [because] everybody's just waiting for some good new music."


Kinky performs at the Ultimate Sunshine Tour on Saturday (Aug. 10) at the Greek Theatre, UC-Berkeley. The show starts at 5pm; tickets are $35. (408.998.TIXS)


Send a letter to the editor about this story .

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]


From the August 8-14, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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

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




Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate