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[whitespace] Strait Grief

Rockers mourn the loss of Snot's James Lynn Strait

By Sarah Quelland

IT'S BEEN ALMOST TWO YEARS since the untimely death of Snot frontman James Lynn Strait sent the music community reeling. The 30-year-old Strait was en route from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to work on Snot's follow-up to 1997's Get Some (Geffen), when he and his boxer Dobbs (the dog featured on the cover of Get Some) were killed in an automobile accident. By most accounts, Snot was poised to be one of the next bands to hit big. Instead, fans are left with Strait Up, a striking tribute album that was released last Tuesday (Nov. 7). On this powerful memorial, Strait's friends and peers wrote personal, soul-searching lyrics to go along with the music that was destined for Snot's sophomore album. Frontmen for some of rock's biggest names contributed to the album, including Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, Incubus' Brandon Boyd, System of a Down's Serj Tankian and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath. There's also a 13-second narrative by Ozzy Osbourne, who makes the promise, "I'll see you on the other side."

On "Take It Back," Jonathan Davis (Korn) questions his faith: "The angel in flight with a dog by his side/When you took him away, I lost my faith in even you." (hed)pe's M.C.U.D. works through his own grief on "I Know Where You're At" with the lyrics "I see you on a painted road and I miss you/I can't see you but I feel you, I feel your soul, you know this/No matter what I know you still have my back." On "Requiem," Slipknot's Corey Taylor (#8) joins two of Snot's remaining members, guitarist Mikey Doling and bassist John "Tumor" Fahnestock, to eulogize, "Now it's time to lay to rest our friend/And through these songs his memory will never fucking end/We will see that through this loss we'll shed some light on you/Until the day you left us we were ready for anything but this."

Other moving highlights include Sevendust frontman Lajon Witherspoon's acoustic "Angel's Son" and "Catch a Spirit," penned by Soulfly's Max Cavalera. Guitarist Doling and bassist Fahnestock play on all the tracks with Amen drummer Shannon Larkin, and Strait Up concludes with the Snot track "Absent," featuring Strait on vocals, a spoken-word number titled "Sad Air" by Strait and a hidden track. The album is filled with very real emotion, and the entire concept is absolutely heartbreaking.

On Tuesday (Nov. 14), Backbeat Nightclub hosts a benefit concert for the Musondibwa Charles Orphanage. Proceeds will help many orphans in western Uganda whose parents died during the civil war in Rwanda. John Lee Hooker and the Coast to Coast Blues Band, Johnny Wedemeyer, Chris Cain, Maxx Cabello, Danny Denaro and the Jumping Jukes and the Andy Mazelli Band lend their chops to this fundraising event. Autographs and other memorabilia (including items donated by Carlos Santana and goodies from John Lee Hooker and Elvis Costello) will also be auctioned off. ... No Use for a Name's Nov. 17 show at Slim's has turned into a benefit for the Ryan Estes Trust Fund. NUFAN fan and Morgan Hill resident Ryan Estes recently passed away due to a cancer-related illness. Proceeds will benefit Estes' high school drama program.

Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has postponed his 10-date North American tour due to an unspecified illness. The Nov. 17 date at Bimbo's has been moved to Feb. 5, 2001. ... Two of the hottest timba bands on the Latin scene, Cuba's Bamboleo and David Calzado & La Charanga Habanera, give a special performance tonight (Nov. 9) at the Usual. The big event is presented by Metro and Fuel. Tickets are $20 and available at 510.601.TWEB or www.ticketweb.com. ... Tonight (Nov. 9), the Cactus Club New View features Ohms, Hustler, the Cliftons and the Expendables. ... Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack and Disturbed stopped by the SJSU Event Center last Monday (Nov. 6).

PLAN AHEAD: Buckcherry, Nov. 10 at the Cactus; the Melvins, Nov. 10 at Slim's in San Francisco; Oranger, Nov. 11 at the Fishbowl in Sunnyvale; Snake River Conspiracy and Luxt, Nov. 12 at the Usual; Fuel, Nov. 12 at the Fillmore in San Francisco; J. Mascis + the Fog, Nov. 13-14 at Slim's; Home Grown, Diffuser and Limbeck, Nov. 14 at the Cactus; Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen and Doro Pesch, Nov. 16 at the Fillmore; No Use for a Name, Nov. 16 at Palookaville in Santa Cruz; Anger Management Tour, Nov. 19 at the San Jose Arena; Machine Head, Nov. 25 at Maritime Hall.

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From the November 9-15, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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