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[whitespace] Going for Broke

SoCal band (hed)pe prepares to take its new CD to the top

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S NOT OFTEN you find professional tour buses parked along South First Street, but last Friday afternoon (Sept. 29) a bus pulled into the SoFA district carrying a band that's seconds away from blowing up big--really big. The Cactus Club scored a date with (hed)pe, a slick Southern California outfit that's touring to support its new release, Broke. I don't think I've ever seen the club so packed. It reminded me of the rock shows I used to catch when the Edge was in its prime. (hed)pe's like a party band full of aggression, and Broke (on Jive Records) is an infectious, hooky melting pot of rock, rap and funk--think Fishbone meets Limp Bizkit.

The band's imposing frontman, Jahred, looks superhuman with his rippling physique, white-blue contacts and well-styled dreadlocks. And though onstage he's a flailing mass of frenetic energy, it's obvious that he's in complete control. The other bandmembers, particularly the pretty blonde guitarist, Chad (a.k.a. Chizad), also exhibit the type of confidence that comes from the rigorous touring schedule (hed)pe's been slave to since its first album was released. Just as at a real rock show, the stage went dark between every song, a trick that adds to the professional mystique of any band. The set was impressive with favorites, including "Waiting to Die" and the current single, "Bartender." Surprisingly, the band didn't play "Killing Time," a song that's likely to be the second single. My guess is either it got too late or the belligerent drunk who tried to tangle with the band put the guys in a bad mood. Maybe they were saving the song for an encore that never happened. Still, they didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave the club.

While the set was being broken down, guitarist Chad stopped for a drink at the bar. Apparently, (hed)pe and Insolence go way back. At least four members turned out for the show, and vocalist Jahred gave the newly signed Maverick hopefuls a special shout-out from the stage, saying, "I'd like to say What's up to the band Insolence," which he described as "family of ours for a long time." Spineshank, a Roadrunner Records band that has a new album coming out Oct. 10 titled The Height of Callousness, 20 Dead Flowerchildren and locals Reaction 31 did a good job of warming the crowd up for (hed)pe. This may be the best show I've caught at Cactus so far this year.

KSJO DJ Sloppy Joe held his birthday party at the Usual last Thursday (Sept. 28) with Swarm, ManMade God, Los Bastardos de Amor, Sift and Slo-9. He picked a great lineup of regional rock bands. I know I've swooned over Swarm many times in the last couple months, but once again, the band blew me away. Swarm has that intangible "it" that makes a star rise, especially frontman Mark Osegueda, who has such a magnetic presence it's impossible to take your eyes off him. After about 11 songs, the band closed with a sexy cover of Kiss' "She." It was an incredible performance.

Saturday (Sept. 30), classic-rock station 107.7-FM put on its first annual Bone Bash at the Cow Palace. At this celebration of arena rock, German hard-rock band the Scorpions did a special performance with the San Jose Symphony (similar to its collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for Moment of Glory), and Night Ranger opened. Read the concert review at www.metroactive.com/metro.

Folk-pop singer/songwriter Jewel performed at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga Sept. 26-27. A review of Wednesday's performance is also available at the above web link. ... In other news, local punk band Boy Kicks Girl has disbanded. According to drummer Brett Holt, all bookings made prior to the breakup have been canceled, and he expresses regret that there will be no good-bye performance. ... The Shitkickers hold their CD release party at the Caravan tonight (Oct. 5). ... Stitch releases its new self-titled CD (on Prosthetic/Metal Blade Records) next Friday (Oct. 13) at the Cactus with 40 Grit, Movement and Unjust. ... The Dreams of the Fall show lined up for Sunday (Oct. 8) at the Usual has been canceled.

PLAN AHEAD: Ozomatli, Oct. 5 at Maritime Hall in San Francisco; A.F.I., Oct. 7 at the Fillmore in San Francisco; Reggae in the Park with Burning Spear, the Skatalites, Pato Banton and the Reggae Revolution and others, Oct. 7-8 at Golden Gate Park; Modest Mouse, Oct. 8-9 at the Fillmore; Eye See Red, Hostility, Pyracy and others, Oct. 8 at the Cactus; 311 and Zebrahead, Oct. 9 at the Warfield in San Francisco; Maximum Indifference, Oct. 10 at the Usual.

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From the October 5-11, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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