By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
In the tradition of massive things that start with "M" -- Motorhead, Melvins, Mountain, Melville -- Matterhorn takes the Nantucket sleigh-ride straight to the heavy metal torture chamber. Its debut album, Set to Rise, conjures up images of leather-clad dwarves grunting and sweating while pumping the bellows of a huge furnace. White-hot sparks singe the arm hairs of a burly giant who is forging a new kind of rock. After recently losing the services of singer Scott Carter, the rest of the band -- bassist Matt Zwicker, drummer Eddy Dishart, and guitarist Rob Kimball -- plans to make its new creations even more complex and dissonant. Matterhorn's first tour kicks off Oct. 17 with an appearance at the Covered Wagon's revered heavy metal showcase, "Lucifer's Hammer"; parents across the nation should lock up their angry teenagers and shut down the local minimart parking lot. Soon the BMX bikes and hot-rodded El Caminos will be headed for the hills.
For Sparrow's Point, it's all about the rock, and for often-shirtless, leather-clad, and occasionally bloody frontman Sean Cip, it's all about gettin' Iggy with it and shooting for that metallic KO. Taking its name from the gritty Baltimore-area steel town where Cip and guitarist Kenny Stoned first forged their raucous bludgeon, the Point celebrates the Grand Guignol of rock 'n' roll. Shunning subtlety, these monsters of histrionica prefer to channel the bombast of influences like Kiss, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson. Like its psychodramatic contemporaries, the band's forte is live spectacle. While Stoned churns out chunky Les Paul riffs over a bedrock provided by bassist Carter and drummer Chris McGrew, raven-maned, pec-flexing vocalist Cip is liable to don a straitjacket or white latex nurse uniform as he lunges to and fro and primal-howls about pleasure, pain, and delusion (à la the group's three-song demo CD, Silence Makes a Sound). Meanwhile, producer/keyboardist True Margrit Eichler brings festivity to the bacchanal with her swirling embellishments and synth-abuse. Sure, it's over the top and somewhat retro, but entertaining nonetheless, and there aren't many local bands going this route.
Our Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Lucky
Beni B., president of ABB Records
Anthony Bonet, booker for Bottom of the Hill
Karen Dere, founder of GiantPeach.com and DJ for KALX-FM (90.7)
Dirk Dirksen, co-founder of Dirksen-Malloy Productions and booker for legendary Mabuhay Gardens
Paul Kopf, organizer of Baypop Festival Dennis Mitchell, founder of Future Farmer Records
Don Stroud, organizer of Baypop Festival
Fisherman’s Old Time Burlesque Revue with Cantankerous Lollies
Eddie Dane’s Dames
DJ the Now Sound
Stinky’s Peep Show Large and Lovely Go-Go Girls
Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess
SF Weekly Wammies 2000 Staff:
Executive Producer: Troy Larkin
Co-Producers: Alan Parowski of Liftoff! SpaceCapades and Silke Tudor
Assistant Producer: Lani Stackel
Advertising Director: Todd Korab
Program Editor: Dan Strachota
Program Contributors: Mark Athitakis, Chris Baty, Vanessa Bee, David Cook, Glenn Donaldson, Ezra Gale, Fred Medick, Mike Rowell, Dan Strachota, Denise Sullivan
Copy Editor: Deborah Lewis
Art Director: Darrick Rainey
Art Designer: Tristin Handley
Original Photography: Paul Trapani
Layout: Jenny McElhiney
Award Design: Chase of American Custom
From Doug E. Fresh to the Beastie Boys to the Roots, hip hop has always had a strong tradition of live instruments and beatboxing. Local act Felonious -- composed of one rapper, one rapper/keyboardist, one rapper/beatbox, one rapper/beatbox/drummer, and one bassist -- is carrying the torch and making it shine brightly. Since the group's release of its debut EP, Fight for Light, Felonious has played live shows with rap powerhouses like the Roots, Black Eyed Peas, Jurassic5, and De La Soul. Plus, Felonious was the much-touted darling of this spring's True Music Seminar. It doesn't stop there. These ambitious young men also penned and perform Beatbox: A Raparetta, an award-winning performance piece that rapper Dan Wolf described as "the first of its kind -- a hip hop theatrical production written entirely in verse." While workshopping Beatbox this fall at the Last Day Saloon as part of the Tuesday night "New Roots to Hip Hop" series, Felonious is hard at play on its first full-length LP.
Not too long ago, independent hip hop acts like Quannum and Hieroglyphics were struggling to establish themselves in the corporate-dominated world of rap. My, how times have changed. Nowadays independent acts like DJ Shadow and Souls of Mischief are household names, and a second generation of Left Coast independent hip hop groups -- like Cali Agents, People Under the Stairs, Visionaries, and Foreign Legion -- is coming up. Foreign Legion features two MCs, Mark Stretch and Prozack, plus local hero and Stones Throw producer DJ Design on turntables. The trio is known for hard, clean beats and down-to-earth, funny lyrics (Prozack doubles as a stand-up comedian). In 1999 the group released a three-song 12-inch on ABB Records (which also helped launch Dilated Peoples and Defari); earlier this year, it signed to the nascent label Insidious Urban Records and released the single "Nowhere to Hide." Next month Foreign Legion drops its long-awaited debut full-length, Kidnapper Van. The album, co-produced by Madlib (of Lootpack and Quasimoto), is already causing a stir. You can't buy it in stores yet, but you can download the entire LP in MP3 format -- for a price. Hey, just because Foreign Legion is independent doesn't mean it doesn't want to make a buck.
In a time where it seems like every musical genre has been divided into sprays of subclassifications -- each earning its own divider card at the record store -- it's worth noting that nobody's quite figured out what species Live Human belongs in. Part of the reason is the peculiar backgrounds of the trio's members: DJ Quest toils with the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters and is considered one of the best scratch DJs and beat experimentalists to come out of the Bay Area, while bassist Andrew Kushin and drummer Albert Mathias have roots in the local avant-garde jazz scene. Into hip hop but not strictly of it, the group -- formed in 1996 -- has taken its disparate experiences to create a fusion drawing from Bitches Brew-styled electric jazz, downtempo funk grooves, Kraftwerk electro, psychedelia, noise, and old-fashioned Bay Area beat science. After finally getting an American release for its debut album Monostereosis earlier this year, Live Human followed up with this summer's Elefish Jellyphant, a dark, lush, and freewheeling exploration of sound that throws everything from old-school hip hop to Chinese opera into its sonic blender. The approach has led a few overenthusiastic fans to get a little ahead of themselves: Earlier this year, KUSF instituted a Live Human moratorium after someone plastered the station's control room with band stickers. And as Elefish made the rounds, more than a few well-placed folks took notice; through October the band will be touring with the Talking Heads spinoff Tom Tom Club -- no doubt hoping to pick up a bit of the beat-wise sophistication the Heads once reveled in, and which Live Human is now carrying forward.