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Suite 304 brings its smooth jazz and funk grooves to the South Bay.

Hot Lavabone

True to Form alums regroup with new band

By Sarah Quelland

AFTER MAKING ITS live debut at this year's SoFA Street Fair, Lavabone returns to introduce itself properly with a show this Saturday (Dec. 1) at the Cactus Club with Krenshaw, Motiv, Echoes and Rivals. The new band (which features True to Form alums guitarists Ron Taniguchi and Steve Schmidt and drummer Kevin Jackson, along with vocalist J.C. Franklin and bassist Junior) has been spending many a night downtown flyering and handing out free demo CDs. Odds are good anyone who spends any time at all on South First Street has had a copy of the well-produced disc thrust into their hands already.

In seven tracks, Lavabone showcases its hard-hitting brand of metal with skill and precision. Acoustic guitars complement chugging electric guitars, and the band's young vocalist Franklin (whom some will remember from his days fronting Myopia) sings with a clear, strong voice that demonstrates flexibility and range.

Stepping away from the underground metal scene that's become so familiar to the members of the band, Lavabone intended to complete a record full of potential radio hits. It seems to have met its goal with a new blend of aggressive but fairly mainstream rock. Less abrasive than anything produced by the collective's former bands, Lavabone even tries its hand at the increasingly popular metal ballads with the acoustic guitar-driven "Everything" and the power-rock "Sometimes." Still, with former TTF frontman Taniguchi's harsh thrash-metal vocals in the background, "Sometimes" and "All This Nothing" take some dangerous turns.

ALL THE NEWS: Sultry funk outfit Suite 304, a jazzy export from San Francisco, has two shows coming up in the South Bay where it will perform songs from its slinky new debut, The Make-Out Room (APG Records). The soulful seven-piece group plays Fanny & Alexander's in San Jose Thursday (Nov. 29) and Borders Books in San Mateo on Friday (Nov. 30). ... Hot on the heels of her latest record, Swim With Me, Palo Alto singer/songwriter Allette Brooks holds a CD-release party Friday (Nov. 30) at 8pm at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco. Similar to modern folk muses Ani DiFranco, Lisa Loeb and Jewel, Brooks has a smart, sweet and often sarcastic appeal. At this show, she performs with a full band, and there's a $10-$20 sliding scale cover. ... Jewel and Shelby Lynne give acoustic performances at the special invite-only Alice in Winterland concert Monday (Dec. 3) at Bimbo's 365 in San Francisco. Listen to Alice 97.3-FM to win tickets. ... Next Thursday (Dec. 6), the Usual hosts all-girl AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles with the Skirts and the Hitch. ... Lisa Dewey and Bethany Curve play the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz next Saturday (Dec. 8). ... Hope Child has been added to the Dishwalla show coming up Dec. 11 at the Usual. ... Lisa Loeb plays Slim's in San Francisco on Dec. 16.

PLAN AHEAD: Channel 3, Neon Lobster, Uncle Lucifer and 4 Banger, Nov. 30 at the Cactus; Implant, Shortie and Clearing Autumn Skies, Dec. 2 at the Cactus; Ozma, Dec. 2 at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco; Rival Schools and the (International) Noise Conspiracy, Dec. 4 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco; Jesse Dayton, Dec. 5 at the Elbo Room in San Francisco; Slayer and American Head Charge, Dec. 7 at the Warfield in San Francisco; Pigface, Gravity Kills and Godhead, Dec. 7 at the Cactus; downside, Lords of the Manor, Divided, Trip Device and Superchannel, Dec. 7 at the Gaslighter Theatre in Campbell; Track Star, Sin in Space, Kill Me Tomorrow, Xiu Xiu and Inventing Edward, Dec. 7 at the Los Gatos Outhouse; LIVE 105's Not So Silent Night with Linkin Park, System of a Down, Sum 41, Alien Ant Farm, A.F.I., Puddle of Mudd and P.O.D., Dec. 7 at the Compaq Center; the Mr. T Experience, the Odd Numbers, the Timeouts and Baby Grand, Dec. 8 at the Cactus; Ozomatli, Dec. 8-9 at the Usual; Clutch, Dec. 8-9 at the Pound in San Francisco; Team Sleep and Phallucy, Dec. 18 at the Cactus; Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards, Dec. 29 at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall and Dec. 30 at the Pound; Onelinedrawing, Jan. 5 at the Los Gatos Outhouse; Aerosmith, Jan. 9 at the Compaq Center.

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From the November 29-December 5, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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