The Temperature of My Mouth

Sound-check or disco-punk John Cage tribute? Rafter's drummer pounds out quarter note kicks in time with programmed 808 bass drops; square-rimmed Rafter Roberts strumming Gibson SG makes no sound till the tubes get warm. A minute or two of nothing and you think this must be some lousy art piece until Lizeth Santos explodes onstage in pink top, black bloomers, red lips, and wild hips that dictate the booming beat. A mellow Anti-Monday Casbah eases into the light-hearted dig-it-if-ya-wanna dance-down electro R&B rhythms, and then the tepid gyrations warm up to P-Funk bumps and New York Noise chicken scratch and synth.

"We're having a dance competition," says Santos, a Latina Gwen Stefani.

L.A. hip-hopper Kenan Bell crunks the vibe with witty wordage, proclaiming, "Love is ambidextrous, right and wrong." A tipsy blonde is pulled onstage to key a two-note bass line, but Becky's rather tickled and loses time, pumping what-up palms to the night.

All are hot to dance when Oakland's Wallpaper powers up the tongue-in-cheek Calvin Harris meets Mayer Hawthorne Auto-Tuned electro-pop.

"How many of you had Mexican food for dinner?" asks satirical alter-ego Ricky Reed in fedora and shades. "About 98.6 percent of you? That's the temperature of my mouth."

  • Concert: Rafter, Kenan Bell, Wallpaper
  • Date: June 28
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: front-row dance-off

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