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The Faction
Friday, Dec. 19. The Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose, 408.29BLANK, 9pm. $10

Skateboarding, as we're reminded by video games, commercial endorsements, the Warped Tour and the X Games, is a youth-driven culture that will die out as soon as kids get tired of flipping the bird at society and embrace driving SUVs (i.e., not soon). As the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys and numerous skate videos remind, skateboarding has a history and a culture. The soundtrack that fueled the scene had to come from somewhere, so why not the skateboarding capital of the world, San Jose?

Bands like the Faction are living testaments to skate rock. The Faction exemplified the release and freedom of street riding along with the speed and coarseness of punk rock. The Faction were extreme alchemists that merged subcultures to form a fast and furious hybrid. Skate rock wouldn't exist without Faction classics like "Skate Harassment," "Skate & Destroy," "Let's Go Get Cokes" or "AUK."

Back when Winchester Skate Park was the dominating spot (1982-1985), Steve Caballero (bass and guitar), Gavin O'Brien (vocals), Ray Stevens (bass), Russ Wright (guitar) and Keith Rendon (drums)along with former members Adam "Bomb" Segal (guitar) and Craig Bosch (drums)harnessed the quick, fast style of skate punk, recorded five albums and toured the United States twice before breaking up. The group reunited twiceonce as a lark in 1989 and (probably for good) in 2001.

This isn't the Faction's last ride by any stretch. The group has been recording new tracks. It has also toured Germany and was honored by the Experience Music Project for its effortsand "Skate & Destroy" was included in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 video game. They continue to work around each other's schedules (including Caballero's crazy pro circuit) and play the odd show like this one at the Blank Club. (Todd Inoue)

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Winter Music Guide 2003
The Fingerbangerz
The Faction
David Bowie
The Matches
The Ataris
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Good Charlotte
Hot Water Music
The Polyphonic Spree
Ticketmaster's new bid-for-tickets system
Winter music listings

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From the October 30-November 5, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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