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If we told you there’s this great band – this balloon bass band – called Unpopable, what would you think? Would you lose respect for us immediately? Would you say you heard Unopopable was opening for the Wiggles Friday night? Well, you’d be wrong. The band, composed of long-time balloon man Addi Somekh and Latin folk-inspired guitarist Henry Bermudez, is no novelty act; it's drifting in from Los Angeles to join plenty of other seriously talented musicians in the North Beach Jazz Festival. Unpopable only involves one balloon instrument, the three-and-a-half octave balloon bass, which doesn’t sound much like a balloon at all. While the band’s style is difficult to classify, Somekh likes to call it “elastic boogie” or “inflatable blues.” Somekh is pretty much insane. He became proficient at the balloon bass a few years ago after he contracted Lyme disease on a photo shoot. (He was being photographed for Martha Stewart Living; he used to make balloon flowers for kids’ birthday parties…). Anyway, after eight months of balloon bass training, Somekh hit the bars in L.A. Bermudez soon joined him, and they released Unpopable’s first record, The Gift-Curse Combo, in January.
Fri., July 25, 8 p.m., 2008

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