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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Attention, A&Rs!:
A list of San Jose bands
a lot like Smash Mouth

WITH Smashmouth, excuse me, Smash Mouth, blowing up the spot lately, major-label A&Rs are taking a closer look at our area. They're sniffing around the clubs, bugging radio stations, hunting for some more raw talent from San Jose to exploit, er, sign up. After all, any area that produced the Doobies and Smash Mouth must have more groups waiting to be discovered. For the benefit of all the A&Rs that might be sticking around town after the SoFA Festival on Sunday (Sept. 21), here's a helpful guide to some of the best bands in San Jose. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. (To get in touch with any of the bands, contact me at 800/SELL-OUT, or meet me at the Laundry Works or Marsugi's any Friday or Saturday night.

Diesel Queens: Christian rock. Badder than DC Talk or Jars of Clay. This band is dying to get on a major label.

Dinner With the Browns: Jokey, unpracticed band in the ironic nonsensical Pavement genre.

Dot 3: Freaky, funk-thrash music a la Primus and Korn.

Epic Rumors: Biggest band in San Jose, bar none. Retro-style dance music with great sense of fashion. Duran Duran with adrenaline.

The Faction: Skate punk with incredible tolerance for nasty crowds. Two national tours under its belt. No Hidden Messages album set standard for skate punk in all its screw-everything glory. All members actually skate. Perfect for Mountain Dew commercials.

The Frontier Wives: Amazing American roots-rock band with Replacements-like swagger, attitude and, unfortunately, work ethic. A lot of trouble, but great guys once you hold their hand long enough to sign on the dotted line.

Heroic Airmen: Third Eye Blind-like jangle pop that would bring independent cred to major label's subproperties.

Inka Inka: Insanely popular white reggae band with strong songs and apocalyptic stage show. Have been doing an amazing cover of WAR's "Why Can't We Be Friends" way longer than Smash Mouth too. Shared stages with Black Uhuru and Pato Banton.

Juliet Slip: Spice Girls that play instruments. Juliet Slip comes with frosty '80s vibe so popular nowadays. Add some "girl power" glitter paint and the world is yours. "Body Language" is instant Top 10.

The Kingpins: As Swingers heps Gen X'ers to its hip patois, rockabilly swing is hotter than Hades at the moment. Former Star Search winners, the Kingpins could produce a perfect game for any label. In Swingers parlance, they're soooo money.

The Living End: Radiohead before there was a Radiohead.

Joe Sharino: Voted Best Local Band, 1997 Metro readers' poll. The people have spoken!

Skankin' Pickle: Multiculti skafunkrastapunk with an Asian singer, girl guitarist and bald-headed bassist. Kooky and unpredictable. Want the next No Doubt? Right here.

Spit Muffins: Frothy, melodic punk pop with an angsty female lead singer named Kimbel. She'll be more popular than Alanis or Meredith Brooks combined.

Stiletto: Hair-flinging metal is the rage, and Stiletto has got the goods: hot licks, tight pants, songs about girls. Kerrang!

Wire Skin and Voice: Surfy and quirky, guitarist Greg C. exhibits endless skill and subtlety. He also penned a catchy song called "Walking on the Sun." A pinnacle of lo-fi construction, Wire Skin and Voice has influenced a lot of what passes as the "San Jose Sound."

Zest for Life

The Santa Clara University Associated Program Board and KSCU (103.3FM) bring the Orange Peels and Bunkbed (formerly the Infinite Loop) to the Brass Rail (located inside the Benson Center) at Santa Clara University on Sept. 25, 9-11pm.

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From the Sept. 18-24, 1997 issue of Metro.

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