Bringing it antique-style

California-based Beats Antique brings its masterful merge of electronica and world music to the GLC

Calling all Burning Man fans, goths and electro kids. If Beats Antique isn't already on your music radar, then it will be after Wednesday (Feb. 1) when Sidecar Tommy and David Satori play the GLC, bringing their seductive fusion of sounds to Whistler for the first time.

"Our audience is very vast," Sidecar Tommy (a.k.a. Tommy Cappell) told The Question over the phone from Trinidad, Calif. "It's kind of funny to see everyone come in - they all look totally different."

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While taking the call, Cappell was marvelling at the view from the rental property where he was staying.

"It's completely beautiful, we're on the top of a cliff - time doesn't matter."

Time really doesn't seem to matter to a group that has already, since emerging from San Francisco's underground performance arts scene just five years ago, released four albums and three EPs, gained over 100,000 fans on Facebook and toured with the likes of Bass Nectar and Les Claypool of Primus fame.

"(Claypool) is amazing, that tour was real fun," said Cappell in his laid-back California drawl. "He's this amazing bass player and me and David are super inspired by him, all throughout growing up."

Normally a trio, Beats Antique will be without frontwoman Zoe Jakes, but Cappel and Satori see it as an opportunity to start off small in a town they've never played before and build up an audience for their next time back.

"We'll have our electronic setup, which basically consists of the computer, some keyboards and some iPad apps that we make," said Cappel, who will also play live drums. "And then David plays violin, viola, banjo and this custom instrument he had made, which is a cross between an electric banjo and a Turkish saz.

"The only time we use vocals is when we tell people to scream, and tell people strange stuff about whatever we feel like talking about - it's an instrumental act."

When on stage, Jakes incorporates the element of dance to the group's surreal audio synthesis, which she also helps produce.

"When we're in the studio, it's a fully collaborative effort for sure," Cappel said. "I do mostly the beats and bass lines, David does most of the melodies and Zoe does a lot of the arrangements, and then we all sort of orchestrate it."

Elektrafone is Beats Antique's most recent album, released in October. The year before, the trio came out with Blind Threshold, featuring a collaboration with Blues Traveler's John Popper.

Cappel first met Jakes when he was the drum section leader of a 35-piece brass and drum band called Extra Action Marching Band and Jakes was one of the band's flag team members. They worked together again in the Yard Dogs Road Show, a 15-piece "vaudeville style, sort of circus side show rock band," Cappel described. He was the drummer and Jakes was one of the dancers. Along their travels, they met Satori.

When Jakes, a highly regarded belly dancer, invited Cappel and Satori to help her produce a tribal belly dance soundtrack for the well-known Bellydance Superstars dance troupe, Beats Antique took its first breath.

"All three of us are pretty different - what we're inspired by, what we're interested in, what we play, what we make," Cappel said. "There are some parts that match up and some parts that really don't and I think that's what kind of lends to the amalgamation."

This isn't the first time Beats Antique has toured B.C. The group has played in Nelson, Victoria and Vancouver to sell-out crowds. Beats Antique was also featured at last year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

"We want to make sure that people are having fun at our shows," said Cappel. "It's really open; we just like the positivity at the forefront."

Advance tickets for Wednesday's GLC show are available at the GLC, Billabong, Katmandu and online at www.clubzone.com/ciaconcerts.

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