Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
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


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location