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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Breaking Us in Two:
Inka Inka calls it quits after seven years

A SAN JOSE musical fixture has suspended operations. Inka Inka has broken up. Inka Inka went through ups and downs during its seven years of musical life, but interest definitely peaked in 1995­96, when the band won BAMMIEs for Outstanding World Beat Album and Bay Area Club Band of the Year. In a press release, the band listed the "difficulty of continuous touring in order to stay afloat financially as well as the lack of a major record deal" as its reasons for dissolving.

I feel bad for Inka Inka, who were tireless workhorses and always gave 100 percent at live shows. The fact that radio stations and major labels have no idea how to market reggae, especially when it is played by a band with a multi-ethnic lineup, adds to the pity. But longtime fans should take heart that Inka Inka consisted of talented individuals who will reappear in other musical forms in the future. Also, Inka Inka will fulfill all its scheduled performances through October, culminating in an Oct. 12 show at the Usual in downtown San Jose.

Sign the Bottom Line

In other label-incited news, Soda--which recently parted ways with guitarist Steve Caballero--is unhappy with its deal on Binge Records. Discrepancies over publishing rights, merchandise sales and numbers that Soda thought were completely self-owned, are being fought over. Soda's Meegan Goad feels that all bands, no matter how friendly they are with the label, should read the fine print and/or hire a lawyer. "It was our fault," says Goad. "We were naive and trusted our friends, and they lied to us. You have to ask yourself, 'Who are your friends?' You have to be real careful. You could lose your shirt."

The departure of Caballero opens the door for contract renegotiation. Caballero, who was in Europe skateboarding with the Warped Tour, could not be reached for comment. The big message here is that it isn't just major labels that take advantage of a new band's naiveté; indies can be just as onerous. Ultimately, it's the band's responsibility to mind its business matters and think before signing anything.

Magnet for Life

The irreverent Santa Cruz zine Monkey Magnet is releasing a brand-new CD compilation called SANTA CRUZ SUCKS!, featuring 22 unsigned punk, hard-rock and ska bands, including Fury 66, Slow Gherkin, Black Label, L.I.F.E., Riff Raff, Diversion, Exploding Crustaceans, Junk Sick Dawn, Vincent's Ear, Locus, It., Witchhook Sky, Herbert, Gorehounds, Vessel, Lost Cause, Fat Goddess Friday, the What-Nots, X-Girl 13, Soda Pop Fuck You, Reliance and the Muggs. Forty percent of the CD's proceeds will go to local youth charities--20 percent to Above the Line shelter for Santa Cruz homeless teens and 20 percent to the Santa Cruz Youth Center Organization, which is building a new teen center where bands can play for all ages. The CD, which comes equipped with issue #5, is $7.50 (postage paid) from Bad Monkey Records, c/o Monkey Magnet, 343 Soquel Ave., #311, Santa Cruz 95062. Look for it soon in local indie record stores.

Shake Some Action

Jane Weidlin, the former Go-Go's guitarist with the perky voice, anchors Frosted at the San Jose's Agenda on Tuesday (Sept. 3). The band played the Cactus a few months back in a lucid, groove-pop affair. Opening the show is Korea Girl, which made "Demo Tape of the Week" status in the SF Guardian recently--the first South Bay band in a long time to do so. ... Free show alert! The Lefties, Dragon Rojo and Angora perform at Pirate Cat Records, 14 N. Central Ave., Campbell, on Sunday (Sept. 1). Bands start at 2pm.

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From the August 29-September 4, 1996 issue of Metro

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