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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

No IDs Required:
Mr. T. Experience performs at Elmore Hall

THE Mr. T. Experience just returned from Japan, where the band played a stretch of sold-out shows and cavorted at numerous Drug Penguin pharmacies. Folks still titter at the band's name, but Dr. Frank, Joel and Jym may be the best communicators of unrequited love since Morrissey. Unlike that celibate celeb, MTX uses rapid-fire "punk-pop" weaponry and a salacious grin to slay the masses. The band plays at Elmore Hall, a tidy spot near Santa Clara University, on Friday, Aug. 9. The all-ager also features local gadabouts the Odd Numbers, and Hi-Fives side project the Bomb Bassets. Show starts at 8:30pm.

Fish Shtick

The last South Bay band I went to see at San Francisco's Fillmore was 10Bass T in 1994. After watching Salmon at the Fillmore, the second of two nights opening for No Doubt, it was a more surreal experience. This major-label thing has its pluses. Salmon members all had brand-new equipment. Even Lawrence Martinez was startled by the throng of people actually there to see his band play. "Thanks, everyone, for sticking around," he mumbled near the end of the set, a tad confused from the years of playing in front of dwindling crowds. I hooked up with two Salmon fiends from Redding, way up in northern Northern California, where one copy of Flourished With Candies has become a hot commodity and an oft-taped item among their crew. Martinez even complied when asked to autograph some giddy kids' body parts. It's out of control.

DJ With No Girth

At Kamp KOME last Thursday, head counselor DJ With No Name, while introducing Goldfinger, decided it was a good time to model the latest in nutsack apparel. To borrow a line from David Niven, it's sad that the highlight of this young man's life was to show off his shortcomings. I was happy for Smashmouth, who turned in a ripping 15 minutes and made plenty of new fans. These fellas are really onto something. Beck was the bomb; his shows are getting progressively better each time. Not too many folks have the skills to blend multiple styles--hip-hop, folk, country and indie--so seamlessly. Beck was joined at the end for "Disko Box" by an audience member on beatbox. His skills were novice at best. Somebody explain the attraction of Goldfinger. Not only is the lead singer an unabashed Billie Joe Armstrong biter, but the song repertoire carries naught an original bone in its beefed-out body.

Triple Fast Action

Interesting triple bill at Agenda on Tuesday, the 16th: Ronnie Bauer Experience, Simon Stinger and Elton John protégé Ryan Downe. Word is that Downe is a sure hit, a dynamic vocalist destined to be signed to a major by the end of the year, or there is no justice. Simon Stinger runs fast and hits hard with stingy power pop and cloud-chasing vocals from Alicia Purrone. And you know Ronnie Bauer, right? ... Punk-rock record store Pirate Cat in Campbell will host three afternoon shows to enliven the neighborhood. Fu Manchu plays Aug. 8 at 5pm. Betty's Love Child hosts its CD release party Aug. 11 at 2pm. Then Aug. 18 finds Bridget and Calm doing damage at 2pm. By the way, the new self-titled Calm single entertains with lo- to mid-fi ramblings with clutches of sticky sonic soundscapes. Its label, Unleaded Laboratories, plans to open a 16-track analogue recording studio soon in downtown San Jose. ... Another Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon hits on Aug. 18 with ska-swingers Jump With Joey, Monkey, and Rankin' Scroo and Ginger. The following Groovin' function is set for Sept. 22, the day of the SoFA Festival, where seven bands plan to take it to the Plaza de Cesar Chavez stage. ... Speaking about SoFA, an interesting entry landed in the Opening Band contest mailbag: a package from last year's co-headliners No Use For a Name. Cool with me.

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From the August 8-14, 1996 issue of Metro

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