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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

The Buzz About B-Hive:
A new club occupies San Jose's second-storied Ajax

I SPENT many good nights upstairs at 372 S. First St. in San Jose when it was known as the Ajax Lounge. Shows by the Roots, Alejandro Escovedo, Ben Harper, the Fugees, Groove Collective and Ronny Jordan all ring in memory. The slightly sordid nature of the joint, with its bohemian mix of artists and suits, made Ajax a prime place to hang out, but a dispute arose between the managers and the owners, the spirit of the club left and I never went back. A chapter of downtown musical history closed soon after.

Last week, I took a tour of the lounge, now retitled the B-Hive Kafe, with new owner/booker/janitor Jacek Rosicki, the force behind the nearby Agenda and Palo Alto's Edge. My opinion? Immaculate; swanky; new floors, walls, architecture, everything. It should have been called A Clean, Well-lighted Place for Music. It's club number two in two years for Rosicki, who opened Agenda in 1995. "It has a great history of music," Rosicki remarks about B-Hive. "It's a great space, great location, good foot traffic, good to manage since we're at Agenda across the street." The opening of B-Hive was a cakewalk compared to Agenda. Separate regulations apply to existing and new buildings.

Music-wise, the bookings will lean toward the blues but will also include modern jazz, swing, rockabilly and reggae. "No disrespect to JJ's, which is a fine blues club, but there's definitely a lack of good blues clubs in the Bay Area," Rosicki says. He also said that many nights Agenda and B-Hive will share one cover charge for both clubs. It felt good to go up there again; I hope the good vibes return. The official opening is Nov. 14 with Bud E. Luv and Horchata. Upcoming B-Hive shows include the Greyboy All-Stars on November 15. The Charlie Hunter Quartet and John Scofield are scheduled for December.

Tuesday Weld

There's something about a spontaneous performance rubbed with a little danger to spice up an overcast Tuesday afternoon. That was the scene last week when Dub Narcotic performed in the future Pirate Cat Records space next to Eulipia in downtown San Jose. A handful of lucky folks got to witness the funky Olympia band get down with themselves for a free show. Leader--and K. Records founder--ebullient baritone Calvin Johnson writhed his way around the floor, even making his way outside to serenade amused sidewalkers and motorists.

Less dangerous was Weezer at the Fillmore last Saturday. Opening with "Tired," "Getchoo" and "My Name Is Jonas," the band showed little interest in entertaining its throng of fans. Let's face it: Weezer has the stage presence of a bad high-school cover band. Rivers Cuomo did little more than stare down into his mic and rock comfortingly back and forth. I could forgive Matt Sharp's pathetic bass work if his constant goading and leaping weren't so incredibly pretentious. The audience's enthusiasm was returned with icy detachment. The pop was tops, so why not lighten up a little, huh?

Booked Solid

Don't forget about Chainsaw Records' lesbionic rockers Third Sex with Lisa Dewey and Angora at Cafe Leviticus on Nov. 14. Trish from Third Sex called from New Orleans last week, and you can read the results next week. Body Count (featuring Ice-T) and Grits perform at the Edge on Dec. 8, then Republica kicks it on Nov. 24. Hip-hop's heralded Hobo Junction crew hops the freight at the Cactus Club on Nov. 17. That Link 80 show set for the Saratoga Teen Center has been rescheduled for December. You can also see Link 80 with Less Than Jake, the Bruce Lee Band (featuring unabashed Tyrone Hill fan Mike Park) and Slow Gherkin on Nov. 25 at the Santa Cruz Vet's Hall.

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From the November 7-13, 1996 issue of Metro

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