Thursday, January 21, 1999
Juice, the drink, has lots of vitamins, is very healthy and strongly recommended for stimulating your vitality. As of late, Juice, the band, has been generously delivering their own brand of rockin'' health food throughout town, a gesture which has been animating local audiences. Must have something to do with their live performances because as soon as they''re up on stage, the party is on.
With barely an introduction, Juice flies into the first song and from then on there''s no stopping them. Lead vocalist Sean Michael White insists that Juice simply plays free-style rock ''n'' roll and recoils from any other labeling one might attempt. You''d be hard pressed to come up with a fitting category while listening to their music. One song may sound like a country rock ballad, making you feel all nice and cozy, and the next one will rip you out of your contented state mercilessly with screaming guitars and a sound that borders on hard rock. Their act keeps you on your toes, and their unpredictability and high energy makes you anticipate what they might do next. If you like surprises and are in a party mood, Juice is made to order.
Opening for Juice is a trio called Righteous Anger, self-described as a "Being, created of three elements." That sounds mysterious enough to raise a few eyebrows, but it doesn''t shed any light on their music. Fortunately, their demo tape reveals a few more details: The "being" translates into a mix of roots/rock/alternative, and the three elements are Josh Baricza (rhythm guitar/vocals), Oscar Rueda (bass), and Kirk Edwards (drums). While the band still lacks a certain amount of experience, their basic sound is promising. Baricza''s voice possesses an interesting undertone of raw emotion, which is only enhanced by a certain melancholic streak in the band''s music. Polished up, Righteous Anger might blind us all.
Juice with Righteous Anger opening, Friday, 9:30pm, Whitey''s Place, 646-8383.
The Blue Fin Caf virtually has a Rockabilly Fest this weekend. Returning from Santa Cruz on Friday are The Chop Tops. One of the most active bands on the Santa Cruz music scene, they have started to attract a healthy following around here as well, promising you a "jumpin,'' dancin'' good time." Moving along to Saturday, Blue Fin welcomes the return of The Hepsters, an old, familiar name with a new and improved sound. They are ready once again to entertain you with an original mix of rockabilly, country swing and Latin sound.
The Chop Tops, Friday, 9pm; The Hepsters, Saturday, 9pm, Blue Fin Caf and Billiards, 375-7000.
Originally, The Uninvited were supposed to play with Cowboy Mouth at Doc''s last Thursday, but when that fell through at the last minute, Torch ''n'' the Bones obliged by filling the void. Turns out that this new arrangement worked out for the best.
When I arrived at Doc''s, I''d just missed T ''n'' the B''s performance and could only stand by as they carried their equipment into the night. I must have looked longingly after them because a woman came up to me and said: "Too bad you''ve missed them, they were really great." She paused and then told me how funny they''d been, how they''d worked the crowd, and it was really too bad I had missed their show. I smiled sweetly. But not to worry. Here comes my second chance to be there on time, and judging from the response on Thursday, you should view this as your chance to catch their act. The high-powered, charismatic Carl Christ is leading his flock away from a Thursday night opener and straight to a Saturday night main attraction. Maybe this time I''ll watch them carry their equipment into Doc''s--just to be safe on the safe side.
Torch ''n'' the Bones with The Mudskippers opening, Saturday, 9pm, Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
If you need a break from work next week, check out Doc''s Tuesday Night Showcase which features strictly local talent. This time around, you''ll get a taste of Naughty Babies. This will be their seventh appearance in the short three months since the band was born. Johnny Love (guitar/vocals), Jeff Johnson (drums) and James Findlay (bass) will be joined by pianist Mitch Fadem (of Juice) to show their stuff. Next up, Slap Happy, that travelling musician quintet, currently calling the Naval Postgraduate School its homebase. This recently formed classic rock ''n'' roll band has put together some original acoustic sound which has, thanks to its members'' varied backgrounds, a little bit of everything from country rock to alternative. Last but not least, meet the heavy rock group, Wyrm. The four band members, Jake Akin (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Mike Lyon (bass), Case Briggs (lead guitar) and Marty Malicious (drums) have mixed heavy metal and hard rock, resulting in what they call a "fresh new approach, combining new wave beats with old school rhythm."
Naughty Babies, Slap Happy, Wyrm, Tuesday, 9pm, $3, Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.