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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Let's Go Get Cokes:
Cactus Club goes all-ages for a week

FOR THE WEEK of Oct. 19-25, San Jose's Cactus Club will host only all-ages, alcohol-free shows. The club lost its liquor license for those days, according to booker Calvin Trippett. Seems that Cactus had a couple of Alcohol Beverage Control violations: one for improper permits for a pool table, the other for not having food available when the kitchen was closed because a freezer broke. "The ABC was going to close us down for four weeks, but we appealed," says Trippett. "Instead, we got a 10-day suspension of our liquor license."

Thrash metal rules on Oct. 19 with 10 Man Killer, Osmium, Strychnine, and Eight Eyes Black. The bill on Oct. 20 includes Capitalist Casualties, Noothgrush, Disassociate and Japanese crusty punks Corrupted and Hellchild. On Oct. 23, Jalopy Taco Stand, G.R.I.T.S. and Popa Roach perform, followed by Crack, Curbside and Boy Kicks Girl on Oct. 24. Finally, Salmon hosts its first all-ages Cactus show on Oct. 25.

"We feel if we're not going to sell any alcohol, we'd better have some kick-ass shows," Trippett explains. Banning alcohol for a week may put a hurt on the business end, but it is a refreshing change--for one thing, there will be fewer drunken idiots dictating the enjoyment level of the rest of the crowd. The all-ages shows benefit the kids in an area historically unresponsive to the entertainment needs of teenagers.

Meanwhile, in Campbell

The Gaslighter Theater, all ages and proud, hosts another ska extravaganza with Slow Gherkin, Blindspot, Jamones and the return of Flat Planet on Sunday (Oct. 12). It is a warm-up to the five-band Tomatohead Records tour that hits Northern California in November with Slow Gherkin, Blindspot, Monkey, Flat Planet and the Adjustments (formerly Janitors Against Apartheid).

Skin and Bone

If it hadn't been for a quick-thinking roadie, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony would be minus one rapper right now. As headliners at the Budweiser Superfest, which attracted a less-than-capacity crowd to the San Jose Arena last Saturday, the Cleveland rappers are still getting used to the blazing stage props. During the intro to "Thug Luv," Krayzie Bone was dawdling in front of the one of four flash pots, which were emitting brilliant, cornea-melting pyrotechnics all night. A roadie rushed out and escorted the rapper away just before the flash pot shot up a ball of flame. Bone Thugs must not have a copy of Spinal Tap in the tour bus. From the Stonehenge-like opening to the huge prop skull, the rappers are a living parody of overblown concerts. Plus, they barely rapped; they performed the majority of their hits ("Thuggish Ruggish Bone," "Bone and Biggie") over a backing track.

Mary J. Blige showered an appreciative crowd with hits: "Real Love," "Not Goin' Cry," "Sweet Thing" and "Loving You Everyday." During "Everything," Blige hit the jets and paid a respectful tribute to her fans. Nice touch for a woman often accused of volatility. I began to think of how Erykah Badu, with one album, has challenged Blige's position as the "Queen of Hip-hop." Blige and Badu both have pipes, but Badu wins out because her music is more original and less reliant on old R&B and hip-hop beats.

Catalyst for Change

Some Catalyst shows of note. Salmon on Thursday (Oct. 9); Sista Monica w/Fred Wesley (of Horny Horns fame) on Friday (Oct. 10) and Toad the Wet Sprocket and Michael Penn on Saturday (Oct. 11). ... Also, save some cash for the monumental KFJC Record Swap on Sunday (Oct. 12) at 10am in the cafeteria at Foothill Junior College in Los Altos Hills.

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From the Oct. 9-15, 1997 issue of Metro.

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