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Even Money on Odd Numbers

The Odd Numbers
Higher Mathematics: The Odd Numbers' newest album is "A Guide to Modern Living."

Local heroes prepare for another European tour

By Todd S. Inoue

THE INSIDE COVER of the new Odd Numbers album, A Guide to Modern Living (Eight One Nine Productions), depicts a dreary sky over a pier in Brighton, England. Any Who or Jam fan would place the shot from Quadrophenia or Setting Sons immediately and respectively. "I took that on vacation four years ago," guitarist and vocalist Dave Baisa says. "That was one of a few Quadrophenia references on the album. I wanted to have that kind of look." It was two years ago when the Odd Numbers flew off to Europe to perform on the continent's rock-festival circuit. The European tour turned tragic when drummer John Cummings suffered a complex leg fracture in a motorcycle mishap. Cummings is progressing well, Baisa says. Until Cummings is 100 percent, Dave Conrad is filling in on the drumkit.

The tour gave the Odd Numbers confidence and incentive to continue as a band. "It was an ultimatum," Baisa says. "We had to keep going on. Once we realized we could work Europe and get stuff taken care of, we were getting stoked again." A Guide to Modern Living is the result of the group's resurgence. The album moves from the tinny AM radio sound of the Odd Numbers' early singles into thick, sculpted mod (not modern) rock grooves. "The Easy Life," "Another Day" and "When the World Was Young" are classic retro rock, beefed up with bigger production values. The addition of Modesto Briseño and Scott Burnhill on horns pumps up the sound even more.

Another European tour is scheduled for the end of April, but don't expect the Odd Numbers to forsake San Jose for Europe or L.A. The band is inextricably linked to this area, especially the front bar at the Usual in downtown San Jose. "We have a good reception in San Jose," Baisa says. "It's always been good for us. I wish every place was San Jose, actually."

The Odd Numbers, Crack, Soda, Clay Wheels and New Mosquitos play Wednesday (March 26) at 9pm at the Edge, 260 California Ave., Palo Alto. Tickets are $5 adv. (415/324-EDGE)

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From the March 20-26, 1997 issue of Metro

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