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Jazz cats the Dead Kenny G's stick it to everyone's favorite wuss; DMBQ drops a bluster-bomb on 12 Galaxies 

Wednesday, Oct 5 2005
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Kenny G is the most reviled composer in contemporary instrumental music. A bombastic performer who can barely play his soprano sax beyond a few trademark gimmicks, he is nonetheless a platinum-plated shepherd to throngs of "smooth jazz" sheep, who don't know Charlie Parker from Parker Posey. Hard-bitten improvisers, who have studied the jazz tradition inside and out and reap the rewards of their lifelong efforts with regular supper-club gigs (if they're lucky), rarely shy away from publicly flogging the G-man. But percussionist Mike Dillon, electric pianist Brian Haas, and saxophonist Skerik -- as the Dead Kenny G's -- take the personal assault to unprecedented lows. The musicians' touring posters feature a lynched caricature of their despised namesake, while their T-shirts depict a bare-assed po' Kenny sodomized by his own horn. This is a punk response to a protracted feud: sick, violent, immature, and likely hailed (behind closed doors) by serious jazz cats and their fans as a long overdue comeuppance. Musically, the improv-heavy, darkly psychedelic DKG's evoke images of a blind and battered Kenny G worming his way through Dante's Divine Comedy. Needless to say, he never makes it past St. Peter's Gates. Watch these three kill Kenny on Thursday, Oct. 6, at Yoshi's in Oakland; call (510) 238-9200 or go to www.yoshis.com for more info. -- Sam Prestianni


The last time Tokyo bluster-bomb DMBQ played 12 Galaxies, singer/guitarist Shinji Masuko jumped from the balcony. At a show in Providence, Shinji lit drummer China's kit on fire, then launched himself 30 feet from a rafter, resulting in his having to play the last three weeks of the tour with his arm in a homemade sling. This sort of bonkers behavior has made DMBQ gigs legendary; stacking all the band's instruments into a monstrous feedback pyramid, wrapping the audience in duct tape, and playing drums and guitars while crowd-surfing are just a few of the riotous antics that have happened at shows past. The band is one of those gotta-see-'em-live outfits, but the music of the Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet is by no means disposable: The group's boisterous riff-rock has been well described as a cross between Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, and early Boredoms. Don't forget earplugs when DMBQ plays Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 12 Galaxies; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com for more info.-- Mike Rowell

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Sam Prestianni

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