Get your back up off the wall and check out the recently opened Club Fusion on Main Street by San Antonio College. Use the front entrance on Saturday nights for a heavy dose of House Nation DJ Rise, Leonard Trujillo, fresh off his 9-11 p.m. shift on KSYM 90.1. (The side entrance takes you to a cowboy bar. You have been warned.) Opening DJs vary, but you can count on danceable, disco-infused sets. There is no cover before 10:30 p.m.
On Saturday, March 8, House Nation celebrates its eight-year anniversary on KSYM at Fusion. Trujillo, who has incorporated live vocals into past performances, has invited James Moody of Sexto Sol to throw down some beats, backing the anniversary edition set with live percussion. "He's going to play alongside while
|DJ Rise. Photo by Mark Greenberg|
SPUN NOT STIRRED
The Davenport martini bar on East Houston Street has live, "lounge" music four nights a week in its swank setting. Now, "live music," means real live DJs spinning vinyl before your very eyes (however clouded by alcohol). "Lounge" is also used loosely, as the lineup consists of DJs from the local underground dance scene, whose styles are seeped in deep soul, house music, acid jazz, downbeat, and a little R&B mixed in for good measure. Nonetheless, the original Wednesday nights that featured Deepfeel departing from his club norm with rare 45s, James Brown grooves, and superfunk were well-received by the Davenport's thirsty, savvy clientele - encouraging owner Bruce Cooper to extend the invitation to Gibb & Soul Intentions, now spinning on Wednesdays; Rise on Thursdays; Deepfeel on Fridays; and Inrsol on Saturdays. Not exactly the swingin' beatnik jazz quartet you might expect to encounter in the basement of an intimate, retro-chic bar, but the DJs mellow their vibes in the cool environment to spin ambient, almost background beats that really complement the joint.
On a recent First Friday, strange, eerie music drifted down South Alamo Street: Pseudo Buddha, a 12-piece band, was hypnotizing the crowd with other-worldly, Middle-Eastern sounds. The audience - tie-dyed, dread-locked, '60s throwbacks - waved their arms as if at a Grateful Dead concert.
Pseudo Buddha loves to play live, weaving Arabic rhythms with conga drums, tablas, durbuks, synthesizers, saxophones, and homemade stringed instruments. The band releases its fourth CD, 3 Months in Fat City, on Saturday, March 8 at La Tuna.
While the band's live shows create a sense of spontaneity that can't be recreated in your living room, 3 Months in Fat City is the next best thing to being there. The four-track disc (the third cut is 32 minutes long) showcases meandering pieces that sample the band's concert vibe. "We don't say we're going to do this song, it's not a 1,2,3 thing. We just do it," says guitarist and bandleader Bob Dog.
"Bob's a bit of an experimenter, building instruments to form that sound that's in his head," explains Joe Reyes, who plays his oud-caster on the album. (Bob Dog once built a double-necked stringed Eng Cheng, using two perfectly fine instruments and then ruined them by bolting them together with xylophone keys.) Other guests on the album include Symphony clarinetist Stephanie Key, bassist John Cortez, and James Sidlo on baritone guitar.
To create the CD, Bob Dog loaded his computer with a year's worth of gigs: 20 nights and 40 sets of music. "After a while, my brain was numb," he recalls. On the album, percussionist Gil Gonzales, who took a one-year hiatus from the band, returns to the fold. "He is one of the most intuitive musicians you'll ever meet," says Bob Dog. "Gil sounds like a whole drum circle himself. Don `Stewart` and Quinn, we don't have to play as hard. We just kind of fit into the groove." Saxophist James Cobb mixes dissonance with the random sounds of fluted instruments and jungle birds, which emanate from a Power Book, programmed by Quinn the Eskimo, formerly of the Butthole Surfers.
"You don't see bands making this kind of music live around here," says Bob Dog. "But here we are doing it." •
Compiled by: Wendi Kimura, Marian Haddad