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Brooklyn's psych-freaks Oneida will rock you like a hurricane; Three Piece Combo gets weird like its show-mates Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Wednesday, Mar 16 2005
The Oneida American Indians were one of the original five tribes of the Iroquois Nation, and named in their honor are all kinds of municipalities, lakes, and, oddly enough, this freaky hi-NRG psych-rock trio from Brooklyn. Now, here's the deal with psych-rock: It means different things to different folks ingesting different mind-altering chemicals. In the case of Oneida , it means sonically re-creating -- using organ, bass, and drums -- the greatest trip ever: 30 seconds of nitrous oxide. Suck that golden gas deep into the lungs, and feel your head brutally shrink to the size of a chestnut. Feel invisible helicopters zipping all about. Feel your entire existence violently skip like a scratched compact disc. This is precisely what Oneida's psychedelia is like but with one basic difference: These dudes are capable of busting the nitrous groove for over 30 STRAIGHT MINUTES (!), which is what's going to happen when they play 12 Galaxies on Friday, March 18, with the Fucking Champs, Comets on Fire, and Black Mountain; call 970-9777 or go to for more info. -- Justin F. Farrar

You can tell a lot about the East Bay instrumental enigma Three Piece Combo from the company it keeps. For example, virtuosic saxophonist Mitch Marcus recently sat in with the guitar-bass-drums trio at an Oakland warehouse party, the act of which gives jazz cred to the Combo's thorny compositions, which don't exactly swing in the traditional sense. Perhaps a closer-to-home endorsement comes from the studio whiz who mixed the band's forthcoming debut CD: Dan Rathbun, bassist for pomo art rockers Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Similarly to SGM, Three Piece Combo arranges its soundtracks with heavy, syncopated grooves, dramatic stops and starts, jagged rhythms, unusual time signatures, and a crafty application of sculpted noise. Add to this Matt Lebofsky's sophisticated six-string melodies (à la Yes-era Steve Howe) and an overarchingly bent aesthetic that manages a rare twisted tunefulness. Check out Three Piece Combo when it opens for soulmates Sleepytime Gorilla Museum on Saturday, March 19, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or go to for more information.-- Sam Prestianni


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