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Beat Street

By Todd S. Inoue


Day Trippers: The cover of the Hi-Fives' latest

Big Break Theory
The Hi-Fives get caught in a Green Day mosh

Recent Green Day converts obsessed with pectoral muscles and hair dye may want to busy themselves with the $10 T-shirt booth during the opening act tonight (Dec. 14) at the Oakland Coliseum. Everyone else can bathe in the Dave Clark Five-meets-Dr. Seuss groove of The Hi-Fives. The Bay Area R&B group with the snazzy suits and cool licks was called up three weeks ago after the original opening act, the Riverdales, was dropped from the slot. During its opening gig for Gas Huffer last Wednesday at the Cactus Club in San Jose, Hi-Five bassist Jess Hilliard said that the band is stoked about the opportunity but realistic about its future and what to expect from a frothing festival crowd.

"None of us are star climbers," Hilliard told me. "It's just another show for us. We've known [Green Day] for years, so it'll be fun to play with them in front of 20,000 people who've never heard of us and who'll probably hate us." The exposure will definitely outweigh the monetary gain, seeing how the Hi-Fives are only getting $300. "You figure $15 times 20,000 people equals a big fist up the ass," Hilliard explained. "We're not fooling ourselves. We're not looking at it as a window of opportunity."

The Hi-Fives, with their clean-cut looks and bouncy R&B beat, may actually appeal more to any parents who show up than to the kids. What if the crowd starts chucking stuff and spitting, as is the wont of new Green Day fans? "These are all from thrift stores," Hilliard said, referring to the band's smart suits. "We come off stage all sweaty and smelly, so if they start spitting and throwing things, oh, well. We go through 50 suits a year." The day after the Hi-Fives play Oakland Coliseum, they play 924 Gilman in Berkeley. Talk about disparity.

It's all KKUD

Coffee shops, tune in your dials! Extemporaneous radio nutcase KKUD (104.1FM) hijacks the airwaves on Saturday (Dec. 16) for a special Christmas show. If you haven't heard this station on a Friday or Saturday night, it's a real treat. Everything from classic soul to beat music to edgy hip-hop to Vanilla Ice with no commercials. ... Creativity works in many ways. Machine Wash Warm, billed as a "spectacular misappropriation through technological hindrance," plays at San Jose State University School of Music Concert Hall on Monday (Dec. 18) at 8pm. Under the guidance of musical bad boy Gary Singh, eight computer-controlled washing machines explore their musical potential. But what about pesky static cling?

Agenda

Man, I've gotta get some new threads. Those were the first words that entered the mind stepping through Agenda's majestic doors at last Thursday opening-night party for the newest club in downtown San Jose's SoFA district. Dressed-to-impress clubbers and sloppily attired, freeloading journalists (me included) were treated to exotic hors d'oeuvres, champagne and the lounge stylings of Bud E. Luv.

The paint was still wet when the doors opened at 5:15pm. By 9, the supper club had already carved a reputation for itself--dressy-casual, dreamy, packed. If upstairs was the schmooze place of choice, downstairs was the quiet spot to sign the documents. Celebrity spotting was limited to entertainer Luv and KNTV television reporters. I ran into people in bands who were still tripping on how Nirvana played in the corner window back in the day. The most encouraging sign was the sight of cool clubbers enjoying themselves thoroughly; something the South First Area hasn't seen for a long time.

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From the Dec. 14-20, 1995 issue of Metro

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