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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Steal Away:
Local band Crack gets cased--plays on

WHAT DO YOU do when your gear gets stolen? The guys in Crack are wondering the same thing. Sometime between last Sunday night and Monday evening, somebody with a key entered the band's Street Noise rehearsal space in Santa Clara and snaked off with a good chunk of equipment. The replacement cost is around $4,000, but the sentimental value alone could max out a number of platinum cards. Fred Sablan's guitar--a red Strat he received in sixth grade--was one of the swiped items. "That goes beyond pissing you off," said vocalist Rusty Gantt. "There's not enough pain and suffering for this person."

The items lost include a red Precision Fender Bass, a Hartke 2000 Bass Amp, the Fender Strat with years of dents, a guitar cabinet head, a power amp for PA and a Casiotone 630. The band was able to scrape up enough stuff to perform a liberating show at the Cactus last Friday with Link 80, Sloe and N.M.E.

The incident was just the latest in a series of band thefts. Squeeze the Dog's drummer Damian Gonzalez had his bag of precious cymbals ripped after the SoFA Festival. In 1995, Skankin' Pickle woke up in San Diego and found its van--containing all its equipment, merchandise and personal items--had been nicked, never to be seen again. Folks, there's some sketchy people out there. Keep your eyes on your gear before and after your set, change the door locks and get insurance if you can. On tour, have one person sleep in the van at night.

Anybody with information regarding the Crack theft should contact the band at 415/593-2165. At its Cactus show last Friday, the fellas offered a free T-shirt for the person with information that leads to the abduction (and resulting disembowelment) of the guilty party. "We finally felt up enough to put together a makeshift practice," said Gantt, prior to the show. "When we practiced, it was kind of weird; it was like saying, 'Fuck you, we're still playing. You're an asshole, and you can't stop us.' "

Hip-Trop Blues

There was a gang of disappointed DJ Shadow fans left outside of the Justice League (formerly the Kennel Club) after the highly anticipated Thanksgiving weekend show was canceled. Apparently, the Justice League didn't acquire the proper permits, so they couldn't open. The venue was switched to the African American Center in Japantown, but the guy who was supposed to do the sound went out of town. When Shadow and the whole Solesides crew (including the Jurassic 5, Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truth Speaker) rolled into the new venue, nothing was ready. By 8pm, the decision was made to pull the plug. No word yet on a replacement date. This time of year brings forth a mess of "Best of '96" lists, and DJ Shadow's Endtroducing has been ubiquitous to all of them. Shadow does things with vinyl and a sampler that will prove to the an epochal moment for hip-hop.

Sneak Premiere

Congratulations to the six-legged groove machine from Santa Teresa High School, Premiere. Not only is the group's video getting rotation on BET and California Music Channel, it's set to embark on a national tour with Immature and the Quad City DJs. When has a local band made such moves? The trio performed at the Agenda in San Jose last week for a mostly older crowd unused to DAT performances and synchronized dance steps. Premiere's slow jam "Something Just Ain't Right" accurately described the faulty sound system. Still, the divas showed their considerable vocal talent, opening with a cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" and plucking three or four tracks from the debut album, Premier.

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From the December 12-18, 1996 issue of Metro

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