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Things are heating up in the jungle

Brian Ross

nFriday- There are certain bands that changed everything for people. Many residents who go out on a nightly basis may be too young to have gotten the full effects of one of these bands, but they have certainly seen or heard plenty about them: Kiss. While I don’t have the privilege of announcing that they are playing at 8150 this weekend, it’s as close as you can get. Hotter Than Hell is playing. They are the only official Kiss tribute band, as proclaimed by Ace, Paul, Gene, and Peter. These guys were handpicked be Gene Simmons to portray the band in the feature film Detroit Rock City. For $7, you will feel like your seeing the real thing with all the effects: fire-breathing, blood dripping, smoking guitars, pyrotechnics and full costumes, of course. If you ever dreamed of seeing the real thing, but weren’t old enough, this might be your closest chance.

“The Short and Tall of It” is also in town all weekend. Chris Kuchler and Nathan Parrish are playing both today and Saturday on the first floor of Sanctuary. These two locals are here to bring deep, funky house to those who enjoy a chill lounge scene. Chris, a seven-year local originally from Milwaukee, has been spinning for 10 years. He got into the rave scene and began traveling to parties in Chicago, where he was introduced to house music. He and Nathan have now joined forces. They like to start the night off with more mellow sounds such as down-tempo and jazzier house tunes. Gradually they build the tempo and energy up until the time is right to drop deep funky house on your unsuspecting heads. If the urge to dance comes upon you, feel free right there on the floor, or go upstairs and visit Mike McGoun on the dance floor. Mike is there all weekend as well.

nSaturday- As always The Bridge plans to pull you in with the Technics Chainsaw Massacre. Kyle and Steve will be spinning all they’ve got and aim to please. Meanwhile, the show I am truly excited for is at 8150. Africa Baby Bam and Mike G, a.k.a. The Jungle Brothers, come to town. These talented artists have been around since the golden age of hip hop. Their original release “Straight Out of the Jungle” in 1998 joined them with other acts such as De La Soul, A Tribe called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah and Mos Def in a style that combined samples, breaks and beats of jazz, soul and funk classics with intelligent lyrics that relied on vocabulary, not toughness. These groups joined together as Native Tongues, a collective that believed you could rap about life and what’s important without East/West rivalries, guns and hos. The JB’s, as they are called, next released “Done by the Forces of Nature,” which has been ranked with the other creative masterpieces of the time like “Paul’s Boutique” by the Beastie Boys and De La Soul’s “Three Feet High and Rising.” Most recently they have been delving into electronic music, with their introduction to jungle while on tour in the U.K. Their song “Jungle Brother” was re-mixed with drum and bass style by Urban Takeover to become a worldwide hit. Now they have teamed up with Alex Gifford, one half of the DJ duo the Propellerheads, to produce their new album, “V.I.P.” I’m not sure anyone knows what’s in store for the crowd on the famous floor – I just know I can’t wait.

nSunday- DJ .Com returns with Greg Warren of Jive to The Bridge for Sunday Night Solutions. DJ.Com will lay down the dub and funky tracks while Greg plays live sax and flute. Locals remember it’s a night with no cover, and drink specials cater to you.

nMonday- 8150 brings another chance to prove your skills. Open turntable night lets the first six DJs get on the wheels of steel to show their stuff. It’s a $10-cover, but drinks free wells and draught beer all night.

nWednesday- A mellow night of live jazz fusion at Sanctuary after the Street Beat concert is a possibility, or gong show-like entertainment at The Grind with open mic night.

There are some great choices this week, some novelty and some classics. Things are definitely heating up, and with the holidays about to hit it’s only getting better.

Brian Ross is a snowboard instructor at Vail and a bartender at 8150.


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