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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Street Cleaners:
The name change is just the beginning for SoFA '96

AS WITH ANY major event, this year's SoFA Festival in downtown San Jose (formerly the SoFA Street Fair), set for Sept. 22, is easing through subtle changes to help it adapt to success. First off, the music stages haven't been abandoned, it's just that the edgier punk and hip-hop groups will be housed in the clubs. National acts (Chris Isaak is a name being kicked around) will take their place, with Bay Area bands opening. Local-music fans needn't fear; there's enough talent with good pull and festival-friendly sound (i.e. Jupiter Sun, Vim, Squeeze the Dog, Dreamstation) to please organizers without cheesing the hardcore fans. Also, the "Opening Band" contest is in its second year, so a harder-edged group can get a chance to play in front of its friends early in the day.

Bands looking to get on the rock stage, or to enter the Opening Band contest, should send a tape/CD, bio and picture to Gary Walker Productions, 12805 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, 95006. Indicate whether you're shooting for the rock stage or the Opening Band contest. Remember, neatness counts, so the more professional your package looks, the better chance of making it. The event will be gated for the first time. Entrance will be controlled through both ends of South First Street. With similar events being gated--the America Festival, Cinco de Mayo--this shouldn't be a big surprise. The hotline number is 408/236-3476.

Major Label

The band members have put in their notice at their day jobs, but now Salmon will have to work harder than ever before. The local favorites have signed with Red Ant, a new Beverly Hills label started by former MCA head Al Teller. The band is scheduled for seven records. Monetary terms weren't disclosed, but "everybody's really excited," according to manager Gary Avila. The band's CD, Flourished With Candies, is being remixed, repackaged and re-released for late August/early September. The band also might play at Lollapalooza in San Jose, and is being considered for the 311 and Rage Against the Machine tour this fall. You can see Salmon opening both of No Doubt's days at the Fillmore or at Kamp KOME's second stage (Aug. 1 at Shoreline) along with Soda and Smashmouth. By the way, KOME gets props for including those three bands. Now how about putting some of those bands on regular rotation?

Raising Heck

Sorry to say, I was disappointed in the Run-D.M.C. show last week. The duo was lackadaisical. Run's voice was shot, D.M.C. could hardly be heard through the mix, and the midsong introductions needed refreshing (I've heard that "Yo Jay" skit the last three times I've seen 'em). The ultimate disappointment was watching the pioneering rappers half-jog through "Walk This Way" and not hearing "Hit It Run." Two upbeat sights and sounds prevailed: hearing Jam Master Jay re-create the scratches to "Peter Piper" live and seeing someone's well-preserved "Run-D.M.C. Adidas" sweater waving in the crowd. Like Kiss, Run-D.M.C. works much better in a large stadium environment. If you don't believe me, go to KMEL Summer Jam next weekend (Aug. 3 at Shoreline).

Worth It

Check out the precision punkology of A.F.I. at Cubberley Community Center Thursday (July 25). Also on the bill are Groovie Ghoulies, Fury 66 and Vintage 46 (no relation). ... A quick change of headliners for the benefit concert for the Redwood City Health Center on Thursday (July 25) at the Edge. Monkey and Your Mother will perform along with high schoolers Nobody's Favorite, Pirates of Funk, Wisper and Happy Hour. ... Vim, Dreamstation and Drivin' Like Buddha take over Toon's on Tuesday (July 30) for a free show. Both Buddha and Dreamstation have new CDs out.

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From the July 25-31, 1996 issue of Metro

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