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Volume 68, Issue 132, Monday, April 14, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

A funkini good time at Caféis Earth Fest

By Stefan Breitweiser
The Daily Cougar

Last Concert Café was the scene of the first annual Earth Fest, a benefit concert for the "original Texas music station," KPFT. 

Clad in everything from Birkenstocks to designer Italian shoes, the patrons of the festival were just as diverse as its music. The crowd started out calmly in the early afternoon, with a few families listening to a stand-in act of Bob Marley covers by two LCC regulars. 

Opie Hendrix and his wife Carrie Ann Buchanan played soothing Texas sounds on the deck between sets, as visitors enjoyed their nachos and frozen sangria on the patio.

Once Red House took the stage, it was a different story. Although none of its members are more than 20, the bandis musical talent shows through. The crowd started to accumulate. With a light alternative rock sound and a lead singer whose voice is reminiscent of a young Bob Dylan, the band started heads nodding. Be on the lookout for these kids. They should soon be drawing a much larger crowd.

Alternative rockers Red House played a free concert along with Ice9, Collin Brooks, Plump, Felix Madison and the nightis headliner Zwee to benefit 90.1 KPFT at the Last Concert Caféis Earth Fest last Saturday.

Photo courtesy of KPFT

Red House was a difficult act to follow, but Ice9 tried its best. Its on-stage antics brought smiles to the faces beginning to gather in the fading light. 

Ice9is music had definite promise, although its lead singer needs a stronger stage presence.

Shortly after Ice9 left the stage Austin artist Collin Brooks played the crowd some Texas-style twangy guitar with mellow vocals and a groovy keyboard adding some funk.

Hi Ficus, an enthusiastic band with a funky modern sound, had listeners rocking out and making good use of the giant hula-hoops. Even better than its music was its sense of humor. After its set, lead singer Ben Parks passed out fortune cookies praising the crowd for their "great taste in music."

As the headliner of the festival, the crowd expected nothing less than a great performance from local funk and blues band Zwee, the leader singer of which, Frank Zweback, is an HISD elementary school teacher.

While free bead necklaces were passed out to the crowd, Zwee played groovy, mellow tunes.

Plump and the Felix Madison jam band kept the crowd until shortly after 2 a.m. Even when the alcohol dried up, the crowd kept high spirits.

Located north of Downtown in a warehouse district, Last Concert Café is a secluded Mexican restaurant and live music venue that draws an alternative crowd sick of the high prices and dress codes of the Downtown scene. Its former owner turned the onetime brothel into a restaurant before passing it on to proprietor Dawn Fudge

"Itis a great alternative hangout with live music, especially if you want to stay away from the crowded clubs of downtown," junior English major Chrissy Sweeny said.

Earth Fest

Last Concert Cafe

The verdict: Be on the lookout for some of these up-and-coming stars.

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