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Remoter Control:
Remoter clicks with provocative verse and infectiously moody melodies

By Sarah Quelland

DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE'S Cactus Club played host to an impressive lineup Saturday night (Aug. 21) as Remoter, Crash Landon, VIM and Cosmic Giggle performed. There's been a great buzz on Remoter (which features veteran musicians and former members of Cafe of Regret) ever since its last local performance at the Usual. Putting its own distinctively modern spin on the industrial-synth sound of the '80s, Remoter's live show (and forthcoming album Gun) was full of dark, tortured poetic verse wrapped up in ultracatchy songs with massive commercial potential. Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Fleig has an incredible vocal range that sparks memories of Prince (particularly during his heyday before he became "The Artist") and a confident, captivating stage presence. Lyrics like "Life is a rape in progress buried in anger and distress" ("Just for Effect") and "Could not recognize my soul, I watch it fall away/Dreams are washed up on the shore, I blow them all away" ("Take a Bullet") strike a real emotional chord, and "Infant" was absolutely haunting as Fleig mourned, "I am the universe infinite empty no more emotion it's easy that way." Even "Oblivion," with its undeniably bouncy pop, was paradoxical as Fleig sang, "Yeah, all my friends are gone, couldn't be happier," and the irony in "Feed That Period" was inspired as he sang "Life is a pop song, and I've got a million of 'em/Can't understand a word of it." Crash Landon also put on a good show with its heavy groove pop. The four-piece, featuring Chris Landon, Sean Pike, Dave Ray and Juan Soria, displays a real connection onstage that nicely complements its musical skill. VIM's dynamic fusion of heavy-edged rock to world rhythms was stunning. Various percussives combined with rock guitars and wavery, otherworldly vocals that turned to a scream in a flash. Look for a new album coming out soon. Near the end of its performance, VIM's percussionist stepped off the stage to perform an exotic fire dance that had the crowd in awe.

Details on the SoFA Festival (held all day Sept. 19 in downtown San Jose) are slowly emerging. The outdoor lineup includes Jefferies Fan Club, Dresden, Connie Champagne and the Magnum Brutes, the Blazers and Lisa Dewey on the Gore Park Stage; Lysa Flores, Hot Town Jubilee, Los Mocosos, Tainted Love and Chicken Coupe DeVille on the San Carlos Stage; and B-n-G Productions, Troupe Namaste, Modern Gypsies, Diamond John's Revue, ComedySportz and Grito Serpentino on the Arts Stage. Contestants for the opening-act live-band contest include Spitkiss, Stunt Monkey, M.I.R.V., the Buenas, Miss Puniverse and the Runners Up, the Recruits, Mosca Blanca, Lowrent, Boxlunch, Tincture, 5606 and Von Zipper. Vote for your favorite at www.sanjose.citysearch.com Sept. 1-7. The top two vote getters will open the day on each stage. Winners will be announced Sept. 8. More news on the club lineup as it comes out.

Get a double dose of Salmon Friday (Aug. 27) as the band hits the Cactus Club with Slightly Stoopid, Helva and SWRV and then takes the stage Saturday (Aug. 28) at Gaslighter's Music Hall in Gilroy with HBA, Product, the Boost and EMB. ... MTV holds casting calls for its reality-based The Real World and Road Rules at Paramount's Great America Sept. 4-5. Call 408/988-1776 for details. ...

Sting prepares for a long-awaited tour to coincide with the release of his latest album, Brand New Day, which is due in stores Sept. 28. Area stops currently scheduled include the Berkeley Community Theatre (Oct. 19-20) and the Flint Center in Cupertino (Oct. 22). ... The Backstreet Boys are coming to the San Jose Arena Oct. 21. Tickets for the show are $29.50 and $38.50 and should be gone in a hurry. 'N Sync also has a date coming up Nov. 29 at the Oakland Arena. Tickets for that show are $25 and $38.50.

PLAN AHEAD: Mr. Bungle, Aug. 27 at Palookaville in Santa Cruz; Imperial Teen, RetroMotive and Stunt Monkey, Aug. 28 at Cactus; Bryan Kelley with Scott E. Moore, Aug. 28 at Espresso Garden and Cafe; Stepchild, Mr. Roper and others, Aug. 28 at the Quarter Note in Sunnyvale; the Melvins, Sept. 1 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz; Fear Factory and Static X, Sept. 2 at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco; Run DMC, Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow and Whodini, Sept. 10 at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley; Elvis Costello, Sept. 30 at the Warfield in San Francisco.

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From the August 26-September 1, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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