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Published: 2001/07/20
by David Steinberg

Jive/Shakara- Rainbow, Seattle 7/17

Last night we got a double blast of instrumental
funk/jazz/danceable-but-interesting-to-sit-and-listen-to bands at the
Rainbow. $5 got you the Boulder band Jive and the world-renown
Shakara from Seattle.

Jive were extremely interesting. They were a cross between your
standard good funk band and rock and roll. They had two guitarists
and two horns. They played really well and around 11 I was ready to
buy their cd after their set. They then committed the cardinal sin of
an opening band. Never overstay your welcome. Call it the
Chucklehead Rule1.

11 came 11:15. Not only were they sucking up all of my time to be out
in a school night, but they were running a bit low on ideas. Their
first hour was much better than their last 45 minutes. 11:15 became
11:30. I no longer had any interest in buying their album. A fan of
theirs requested another song. Their songs were all at least 10
minutes long. "We're going to play 2 more now… oh ok 1 more…"

In their defense, looking at their schedule that I picked up shows
that they thought that they were the only band that night. The
Chucklehead Rule goes both ways it seems. Now that the bitterness is
gone, the good parts of their set seem more important. If I were in
Chicago on August 31, I would definitely see their show with 20th
Congress.

By the time Shakara came on stage, it was midnight. Shakara was the
name of a new combo band made up from Dale and Jessica from the Living
Daylights, PK and Dara from Rockin' Teenage Combo, and Thaddeus from
Maktub. The name was a very recent addition, and a bad one. What
they should have been called is, "Oops All Berries." After all, it's
not like the Captain Crunch part of Crunchberries is bad, it's just
that the Crunchberry to Captain Crunch ratio is way too low. The sets
of RTC and the Living Daylights were never bad when they played
together; they were just overshadowed by the big ending jam with
everyone on stage. Next time one of these combos form, call it "Oops
All Berries," ok?

When they came on stage, neither Thaddeus nor Dale were anywhere to be
found. Two different drummers who I didn't know and one of the sax
players from The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet [2] were on
stage again. At the start of the set, Dara announced that they would
be playing for the next 5 Tuesdays at the Rainbow. Oh, it's another
one of THESE. Like the Mad Tea Parties of 2000, like Das Rut of
2001, this is another of these Seattle constructs. Define a core band
and rotate players in and out each week. The constant lineup changes
are a slight detriment towards them being able to communicate
effectively but it's has the massive advantage of preventing them from
getting complacent and stale.

Last night was the warm up set for this lineup. It seemed that they
were feeling each other out, remembering what everyone can do.
Jessica and Dara were giving each other space, perhaps too much space.
When one was soloing, the other would drop out completely or play
a little percussion. They didn't turn it up to 11 much in the 45
minutes I saw before the realities of a Tuesday late night concert
started to kick in. The first real dose of overdrive was happening as
I was leaving. I dragged my heels walking to my car, trying to hear
the music as long as possible. It's not quite there yet, but it was
getting close. We got 5 more weeks of this coming up. By the end,
they're going to be a monster.

[1] 12/31/90. Phish at the World Trade Center in Boston. The tickets
listed no opening band at all, so the fans there were excited for a
long Phish show. Then Chucklehead showed up. Chucklehead played for
2 hours. Nearly 11 years later, I still can hear them repeating,
"What's our name? Chucklehead! What's our name? Chucklehead!
What's our name…" I think quite a bit of my hatred for repetitive
playing comes from this night.

[2] See the footnote at the bottom of March column for an explanation
of them.

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