Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jul 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Warehouse Music

music_beatsBeats Antique blends the urban with the urbane
To the casual observer, the tough city of Oakland might seem like an unlikely birthplace for a group like Beats Antique, whose fusion of Middle Eastern, gypsy, electronica and hip-hop music sounds more inspired by DMT than DMX. But Beats Antique drummer/keyboardist/producer Sidecar Tommy (a.k.a. Tommy Cappel) says he and his bandmates—guitarist/violist/saz player/producer David Satori and composer/arranger/producer/belly dancer Zoe Jakes—are right at home in Oakland’s vibrant warehouse scene, which also includes conscious-minded electronic musicians like Bassnectar and Heyoka.

“People from all over the country and all over the world come here just because of the sheer number of people that live here that are attached to the Burning Man scene and music production, music performance, visual art. It’s just bubbling up on the East Bay,” Cappel enthuses. He adds that Oakland’s low cost of living makes it a practical choice for the bohemian on a starving artist’s budget. Its edgier side, however, can be a shock to such a person’s aesthetic sensibilities. “I walk out of the compound that I live in, and there’s serious stuff going on out there. That’s why I stay home and make music!” Cappel notes.

Oakland’s juxtaposition of the urban and the urbane is reflected in Beats Antique’s sound, which is exactly what the group’s name implies: a braid of ancient music and modern synthetic beats. Apparently the world is ready for Cappel and company’s sonic hybrid: Beats Antique has attracted a surprisingly large following for a band that formed a scant three years ago. Recent conquests include a string of shows with Primus’ Les Claypool in February (ending at The Catalyst, where the group returns on Friday, April 9 to play with Kilowatts, The Great Mundane and Aligning Minds) and an appearance on the same bill as Muse, Metric and Toxic Avenger at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in March.

Cappel says he, Satori and Jakes used their spare time at SXSW to work on the group’s forthcoming fourth album. He claims the group has been spending eight to 10 hours a day crafting new material. “When we go out on the road, we have all of our stuff, and we set up a studio in the green room, or we set up a station at somebody’s house or the hotel in the lobby when we’re waiting for the airport guy to come pick us up,” he notes.

Beats Antique’s latest musical experiments include the creation of loops and drum samples that sound like typical hip-hop, but that are actually played on live instruments. Cappel, who played in bands like Crash Worship, Extra Action Marching Band, Eenormus Sidecar and Yard Dogs Road Show before joining Beats Antique, says the group has also been doubling synth parts with instruments like accordion, clarinet, saxophone and Turkish saz. “It’s more ensemble playing, more based on live music, yet still fitting into the electronic music category,” he offers.

Cappel, whose studies at Boston’s Berklee College of Music in the mid-’90s included electronic music classes (“Back then, it was very simple: ‘You can play this note, and it will play on the other keyboard!’” he recalls with a laugh), admits there was a time when he judged musicians for using preprogrammed material in live sets. Since then, he’s come to appreciate the value of the laptop as a musical instrument. “It gives you the ability to play things that you can’t play live [otherwise],” he observes. “When you combine [that with live instruments], you get the best of both worlds. I think that’s what Beats Antique is about, in a sense.”

 


Beats Antique plays at 9 p.m. Friday, April 9 at The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $17 in advance or $19 at the door.
For more information, call 423-1338.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays