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Mob Scene on the Far Side

Michael Llewellyn

Fillet of Soul: Zany Fishbone doesn't care what conservative ears think of its over-the-top sound.

De La Soul, Fishbone and the Goodie Mob stake out the far side of black pop music

By Nicky Baxter

THIS WEEKEND'S triple-bill of De La Soul, Fishbone and the Goodie Mob at Palookaville goes right over the top of the far side of black pop music. In one way or another, these bands claim new and underdeveloped territories, while retaining reference points that even less adventurous audiences can get with--if their ears aren't completely blocked. When De La Soul came to the valley recently, the group kicked canned music, popped a little knowledge and promoted its upcoming release, Stakes Is High (Tommy Boy). The album's so bulked up with guest artists that I suspect the De Soul brothers are still trying to show us they really do have the beef, a quality aggressively challenged when Three Feet High and Rising came out and was promptly dismissed for--gasp!--possessing a few humorous tracks.

Fishbone, the zaniest crew this side of the Mothership Connectors, seems oblivious to what anyone thinks. It's exhausting just watching Fishbone churn out its visceral compound of punk funk, dread ska and black rock. The band's stage antics are legendary. When Fishbone last played at the Cactus Club in San Jose, one of the members "swam" from the stage all the way to the bar and back again without coming up for air.

While Atlanta's Goodie Mob isn't exactly the King's X of hip-hop, the group's devotion to God underscores much of what it does. What separates the Goodie Mob from the X men is its commitment to African people. Soul Food (LaFace) is not a paean to lip-smacking victuals that fill black tummies but rather provocative ideas aimed at informing dummies.

De La Soul, Fishbone and the Goodie Mob play Monday (Sept. 23) at 8pm at Palookaville, 1333 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz; 8pm. Proceeds go to Red Hot Organization, an AIDS-awareness group. Tickets are $24/$22.50 adv. (408/454-0600). (TSI)

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From the September 19-25, 1996 issue of Metro

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