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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Shuffling the Club Deck:
New clubs and dance nights downtown

LAST WEEK, I popped into a couple renovated clubs. My first stop was the Hi-Fi Lounge on 14 S. Second St., San Jose. I really dig what Steve Hoey, Julius Papp and Rick Preston have done to renovate the former Scalawag's location--cool, kick-it couches, spacious dance floor, improved sound system and subtle lighting. It was early, and not many folks were in, but the numbers will most certainly change soon. A spacious city-owned parking lot opened this week near Santa Clara and Second streets. Many people resisted the area because parking was a dilemma. Well, the 111 new spaces should entice many more folks to enjoy what Hi-Fi, Toon's, Mission Ale House and Planet X have to offer.

My next stop was Disco 2000, which has moved from Scalawag's to the former Phoenix location inside the Dohrmann building on South First. The club is fairly unchanged in decor, but the music is way more accessible. The Blue Eskimos, a band reminiscent of Sebadoh or Codeine, performed an awesome set of indie pop. Afterward, the dance floor opened up to dippy '80s­'90s electro pop--Lush, Stone Roses, the Smiths. Live music will continue throughout the month. Check the fliers.

Suddenly, there's an explosion of "modern rock" dance nights on South First Street. The Usual's Whip It drew plenty of folks away from the Speakeasy's intimate '80s dance night, Down Under. It's a buyer's market out there--and it take a little getting used to, as King Raffi found out (a dancer requested "Macarena" and was heartily rebuffed).

Deep Roots

The Usual's new Tuesday hip-hop dance night, Sway Station, opened with a flourish last week. No better group to christen the scene than Philadelphia's coveted Roots crew. The show was confirmed at the last minute, so advertising was confined to a few hastily printed posters and word of mouth. By 10:30pm, hip-hop heads from all over were all up in the place, eagerly anticipating Philly's finest. The crowd was intensely knowledgeable. It's amazing what a lack of promotion does. The dummies, playa haters and the spectators were nowhere to be found. You can read the full review of the Roots show online. Sway Station hits every Tuesday night at the Usual.

Moving the Litter Box

On the indie front, Campbell won't have Pirate Cat Records to kick around anymore. The punk-as-hell record store is moving into the space left over from Underground Records and Daleeps on South First Street in San Jose. To commemorate the groundbreaking, the store hosted a show by Dub Narcotic in the empty space on Tuesday. Hope they acquired the proper permits. ... K Records favorite the Third Sex performs at Cafe Leviticus on Nov. 14 with Angora and Lisa Dewey. A donation is requested. ... A secret L7 show within a 30-minute drive is tentatively scheduled for this weekend. Email or give me a call (408/298-8000 x228) for the latest info and location.

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From the October 31-November 6, 1996 issue of Metro

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