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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

The Recliners
They Wanna Be Sedated: The Recliners give new meaning to lounge music.

Sit Back, Relax:
Swing covers of the Ramones and Prince?

THE AUSTIN band the Recliners creates swing versions of popular songs--not "I Get a Kick Out of You" but more like AC/DC's "Back in Black," the Police's "Roxanne," the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" and even the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)." Neal Mehta, lead singer, admits that retooling pop songs in a retro vein is a novelty. "It's a gimmick," Mehta says. "Living in Austin, which is the capital of Americana, we were rebelling against what everyone else is doing in the scene." Mehta compares his outfit to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Indigo Swing--bands that string people along with covers and then hit them with an original. It's just that the Recliners prefer Donna Summer and Prince to Louis Jordan. The Recliners play at the Agenda Friday (Oct. 24).

Random Thoughts

Watching Slow Gherkin tear it up recently at the Gaslighter, I kept thinking, these guys are gonna be huge. Quite possibly the tightest, most enthusiastic ska band going right now in the Bay Area. To get another glimpse, try Palookaville in Santa Cruz on Halloween with the Hi-Fives and Monkey.

Dub Narcotic Sound System performs at Stanford's White Plaza on Thursday (Oct. 30) at noon. In the past month, the Lookers, the Crabs, Mocket and Love as Laughter have played the outdoor spot. Why are such great indie pop bands playing Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Stanford but San Jose gets no love? There are plenty of good people here, but no venue to house such groups. Props to Wendy Yao (of Emily's Sassy Lime fame) and Chi Hui of KZSU for bringing the best of indie pop to the Farm.

On a related note, congrats to KSCU's Speardog and dance partner Naomi for proudly representing the South Bay at last Thursday's Smugglers/Hi-Fives/Donnas show at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill. The duo took home the trophy for the Smugglers' "Shake Your Ass" dance contest.

I went to see Paul Weller at the Warfield, and he's disappointed me for the last time. This is my dream: Weller walks out and says, "Hello. I'm not going to play any new stuff tonight. I'd like to introduce you to some old friends." From the side of the stage come Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton. They get settled on their instruments, and the trio tears into a set of Jam favorites.

Anyone else notice that since CBS bought out Live 105, its promo spots are sounding a lot like KOME's? Anybody else cheesed off by it? Radio isn't a melting pot anymore; it's more like fruit cocktail.

City Revolt is looking for a new owner. Kal Gettle wants to sell the music and politics magazine he's owned and operated for five years. "I want to move on to different projects," Gettle says. Hey, Kal, how about getting that Clay Wheels double CD off the ground? Interested parties can contact Gettle at the CR office at 408/971-8511.

Smash Mouth's Fush Yu, Mang went gold. The band played the Late Show With Letterman last Friday. What spoils hath success wrought? To read a really, er, comprehensive account of a Detroit concert with Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and Plexi, tap into this web site.

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From the Oct. 23-29, 1997 issue of Metro.

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