Thursday, July 30, 2009

Andre Nickatina x The Roots = Dope!!!

Came across this while combing through last night. I guess Andre Nickatina's DJ posted this. Fresh. More after the jump, including my interview with him and Pep Love.
I've never been a huge fan/consumer of Nicky T's music, but I eff's with this big time. "Ayo For Yayo" is one of those undeniable Bay anthems. Anytime I hear it I'm reminded of riding home from a game or something with my ol' school Baktun 12 homies. Memoriez:).
While I'm at it, I might as well post up this interview with Andre here. Of course, there's always my interview with Pep Love, which you can view here. Pep and Andre are playing tonight in Salinas @ Fox Theater. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Jupiter 7, Brother Ig performing live in Salinas Aug. 1

Looks like a hip-hop show happening this weekend in Salinas. This one @ The Light music and culture shop in Oldtown Salinas.
Don't have a whole lot on Jupiter 7, but you can check his myspace at He reps the 'Town (Oakland) and has an indie/underground (undie?) sound.
Brother Ig reps for San Jo and has a Gospel/Gangsta steez. You can get more here.
Holla back if you go and let me know how it went. I won't be able to get out there this weekend because I just don't feel like working:)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Pep Love coming your way/ Pep Love performing Friday in Salinas

Just had a quick chat with Igor Katz, president of Ineffable Music Group. He gave me a quick update on the upcoming Pep Love record. Said a new single is scheduled for release in August. Pep is also scheduled to perform Friday night, opening up for Andre Nickatina Friday night at Fox Theater in Salinas. Doors open at 7 p.m.
I'll re-up my Pep Love interview from earlier this year and give you some more details on the show manana. Peace.

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Live: No Doubt @ Shoreline

Late Pass:I attended the No Doubt concert Saturday night at Shoreline Ampitheater. Sans notebook. Here's why:

There was a big flap with my review tickets. I was handed off to the marketing director, who was understandably busy, but never the less apologetic for the mistake.

I didn't get my tickets until about half an hour before No Doubt was set to perform. It was a nice reminder of just how unglamorous this job can be, and how it can happen quite quickly.

So back to my review.

No Doubt started its set by projecting 50-foot tall silhouettes onto a giant white sheet, that sort of ghostly effect that Prince used during his Super Bowl Performance a couple years ago. It looked pretty cool up close, especially with each member walking towards the sheet, their image growing larger with each step as they approached.

Once the sheet was pulled down, the stage revealed an all white set-up with a large, raised spider-looking platform, with a riser drummer Adrian Young and narrow extension ramps.

They opened with "Spider Webs," an instant crowd-pleaser, and sounded studio-tight. Their entire set equaled the sound quality of their albums, impressive given they've been on hiatus for more than six years and lead singer Gwen Stefani was steeped in a successful solo career during that break.

The set list:

Hella Good
Underneath It All
Excuse Me Mr.
End It On This
Simple Kind of Life
Guns of Navarone
Hey Baby
Different People
Don't Speak
It's My Life
Just A Girl


Rock Steady
Stand and Deliver
Sunday Morning

Most of the songs had a sonic sheen to them that was almost mechanical. This was the final stop before heading home to So-Cal for the tour's closing dates, so the band could have been winding it down after a long tour.

While the energy was fluid and the songs were lemon-fresh, there was a choreographed feel to the steps and moves that came off a little stale. Gwen is a great performer, charming and spirited, a punk-ska-cheerleader if there ever was one. But her moves left a little bit to be desired. Her punk-rock karate kicks looked like recycled fare. And when she addressed the crowd with a breathless echo, you could sort of tell the scripted bits.

But who cares when the band looks as hot and sounds as tight as they did. Young stripped to his skivvies and some thigh-high, whit and black stripe-printed panty hose. Guitarist Tom Dumont's faux hawk was as sharp as his licks, and bassist/music director Tony Kanal orchestrated the fury.

And of course, there was Gwen, looking fly and making the guys and girls fall in love with her all over again. Hopefully, this tour leads to some new material from the band, but if this is it, then what we have is one of Cali's best modern rock bands blowing kisses to the fans.

Who need a notebook when you have the memories.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sledge Grits Band making moves

Just got off the phone with "Momma" Wendy Sledge for the Sledge Grits Band, and she shared some exciting (albeit spare) news.Looks like the band is set to meet with some So-Cal agents shortly, and plans are in the works to make the Sledge sistas a household name.
Of course, nothing is confirmed at the moment, and Momma Sledge was under a strict confidentiality agreement not to give any further details, but it's all exciting and redeeming at once.
Of course, the band was robbed (IMO) earlier in the year when they didn't make the second round of the CBS Morning Show's "Singing Family" competition. But the national television appearance did give them some much deserved exposure, and potentially laid the groundwork for them to be freed up for a more solid opportunity.
Who knows, maybe this turns into one of those Jennifer Hudson/Chris Daughtry deals, where losing the contest actually works to their benefit because they aren't bound to some contract stipulation. In any event, the girls are on the move, and we'll be watching.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, that is indeed the girls with Luda in the above picture. Killin' 'em out there!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tonight: Steele of Smif N Wessun on Wednesday Wreck w/ DJ Kazzeo

DJ Kazzeo of KHDC 90.9 FM, just blasted this Tweet:
“’General Steele from Smif N Wessun (Cocoa Brovaz) calling in to my show tonight. Tune in. 6pm. 90.9fm KHDC in Salinas, CA
You can follow Kaz on his Twitter page at Tell 'em I sent ya:)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I goofed up

Editor's Note: I wrote a feature article on local author Gwyn Weger, which ran in the July 19 Leisure section and which you can read here. I made a bone head mistake and misspelled the author's name in the article. Shame on me.

The reader was right to let me have it for that mistake. I stand by the rest of my article.

Dear Marc,
After reading both of your reviews in this Sunday’s paper (July 19th), you have motivated my usually behind-the-scenes rear end off the couch and into action. And no, congratulations to you are NOT in order.
Your “review” of fellow writer and friend Gwyn Weger’s novel is absolutely shameful. If you have any conscience at all, my suggestions to you are as follows:
a) Just pretend you didn’t do that review and get ready to do another one. A REAL one in the upcoming weeks.

b) How about actually READING the novel. Your blog site states right up front that “Marc Cabrera has nothing better to do than watch a lot of movies and television, and listen to a lot of music…”. And look, that’s great and you do excellent work on movies, tv, and music. A good example being your “Reason to Watch the Emmys” article extolling the show “30 Rock” also this Sunday.

c) But you obviously don’t read books (nor do you claim to), so why try to do a review? Being a writer, you should at least have some idea of how much time, energy, heart and soul it takes to write a book (think article times 1000+), so the least you could do is to try to maybe spend at least an hour or so reading at least SOME of it, then at least fake it – and here is the important part young man – by rendering an actual OPINION/REVIEW.

d) And my rule (and recommendation to you as well) is: if you actually invest your time and read it, you can say whatever you want as a critic. Skewer it, give it a medal, whatever. However, if you don’t read it, then you are restricted to only saying good things about it. Here is a suggestion for a rewrite/re-review from me, a person who has read stuff from Steinbeck to David Foster Wallace, and who actually read Weger’s novel and thought it was a great read that I would highly recommend:
"All I really wanted to do," she said, "was write an entertaining book." And that is exactly what she has done. “She” is local author Gwyn Weger. The book is called East Garrison. Not only was the book entertaining, an easy read, and hard to put down, but I found it almost impossible to believe that East Garrison is Weger’s first novel. Buy it, read it, spread the word.
A few Examples without giving away the plot (just like your 30 Rock article).
A paragraph or two about the author. No more. Skip the stupid nazi stuff for Christ’s sake (Would YOUR mother like to read something like that? Come on Dude).
End with a reiteration of “I loved it. Read it” or “Not worth your time”. In other words, an actual critique. Anyway, I think you get the idea….

And oh yeah one more thing MarK: how about spelling her name correctly this time might be a nice touch (you don’t like it either, do ya?) It’s GwYn. Not GwEn).
And lastly, by emailing this little love note only to you and not posting on your blog or writing a letter to the editor or anything intentionally publically humiliating or degrading like that, my intent is to express my anger and frustration to only you (at least at first) with the sincere hope that my note has the desired effect to NOT embarrass you, but rather to you know that people actually READ the stuff you write, that your articles actually do have an EFFECT on the artists you write about, and of consummate importance, to INSPIRE you to want to “make things right” by actually doing your job and actually reading Weger’s book and doing another REAL review.
(name withheld to protect reader's privacy)

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Video: Interview with Sleep of Oldominion/Strange Famous Records

The boy-boy Sleep of Oldominion is scheduled to perform Saturday at “Redemption 3.” I found this recent interview clip on YouTube.
This guy is a dope lyricist and the Sage Francis co-sign is a good look, but is it just me or does he look like a cross between Michael Cera and Jonah Hill? Lyrically superbad, fa sho' tho (sorry, it was there for the taking).

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Video: Sledge Grits Perform live @ Monterey Blues Festival

The lovely young ladies of the Sledge Grits Band serve up some proper goodness on this clip, posted by momma Wendy Sledge earlier this week.

My favorite parts, other than Mimi's wonderful singing and Keiko's absolute shredding on the guitar and Kariel's silky smooth bass playing — little Bo-Pah's tiny head barely visible above her drum kit, her curly locks balancing a miniature tiara on top.

Another highlight: the ladie's voice at the end asking "how old is the drummer," and a response from I'm assuming Daddy Sledge “She's 7.”

The girls are going on a pretty ambitious tour of Monterey County Free Libraries, playing three libraries a day over the next two weekends. Check their revamped MySpace page ( for all the info.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Joints from Para La Gente

I promised these last week, but sorta kinda lagged. PLG is on a mission through Mexico right now, touring through Chiapas and Mexico City with Boca Floja.

Their new album "People Living Growing" is available all over the place, most notably at

“Say Something ”w/ Boca Floja:

“Leaders of the New New School” w/Alex Lee

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“Redemption 3” this weekend in Monterey

It's back for the third go-round. "Redemption 3,” brought to you by the good folks at Project Redemption, returns for another showcase of hip-hop elemental extravaganza.
Summary here Doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 18, with the battles scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. It will be held at Monterey Filipino Center, 629 Pearl St., Monterey.
Among the highlights for this year are a scheduled b-boy battle between Boogeyman of Oceanside, So-Cal crew The Freak Show vs. Eddie Boy of Las Vegas' Runaway Tribe.
Scheduled performers are God Squad, Saylah, Joint Venture (yup!) and Sleep.
Tickets are $7 at the door, with discout two for $10. For more information, visit

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Friday, July 10, 2009

“The Beat @ Wave St.” w/ Stephen Covell

After a two-plus week haitus, “The Beat” returns with a new episode of “The Beat @ Wave St.”
This episode we interview Peninsula singer/songwriter Stephen Covell, a Pacific Grove High School graduate now serving in the U.S. Army and currently stationed in Iraq.
Covell, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne 573rd Cavalry Recon Squadron, sings songs about his military experience. He writes personal, poignant stories of the fears and insecurities attached with serving his country and the bonds that are built in the field and in the line of fire.
The interview also features highlights from his Wave St. Studios performance. Enjoy!

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