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August 2006

The English Beat Live

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The latest incarnation of Dave Wakeling's legendary ska band, the English Beat, played at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this past Friday with an excellent lineup including Lynval Goldings from The Specials as well as Wayne Lothian on Bass and Fernando on Sax.  Dave played his classic teardrop Vox guitar and later switched to Fender telecaster.  Along with the Specials, Madness and The Selector, the English Beat helped create the frenetic Ska sound of the early 80's.  And they've influenced countless bands since then including No Doubt, Sublime and others.

The band played two sets including many hits from the The English Beat as well as Dave's later band General Public including "Tears of  Clown," "Save it for Later," "Tenderness," "Hands Off She's Mine," and "Mirror in the Bathroom" and covers of classic songs like the Specials' "A Message to You Rudy" and the Staple Singer's R&B hit "I will take you there." 

Dave's touring through California and the midwest this summer.  If you're into the two-tone sound, check it out. 


Rockstar SuperNova

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Following on last fall's Rockstar INXS TV show, CBS has reformulated a new, harder rocking version featuring the pre-fab supergroup SuperNova comprised of Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Jason Newsted (Metallica) and Gilby Clarke (L.A. Guns, Guns N' Roses).  There are more than a dozen smoothly polished ab-perfect rocker wannabes from around the world trying out for the lead singer spot.

The show is kind of cheesy and I hate Dave Navarro's overly scripted imitation of Paula Abdul, but still it has its moments.  The house band, with the novel name, " House Band" has pretty amazing chops, arguably more versatile than the SuperNova dudes, as they crank through songs ranging from classics rock from the Rolling Stones, The Who, eighties hits from Cheap Trick, The Cars, R.E.M. or Softcell, as well as more recent  music from The Killers, Cold Play and Franz Ferdinand.  (And that's just from week 2!)

Remember, it's only rock and roll.  (But I like it.)