Rooster Concert Review


Impressions by Petra Arnold on camera
and Darrow Boggiano on pencil.

CitySites checked out Rooster in San Jose a couple weeks ago at the downtown block party and again this weekend at Slim’s. Some true hip-hoppers; they are comprised of James D’Angelo (left)who writes about 70% of all their tunes; Smash (right) mo’ than backs up on vocals and adds an energetic stage show to their soulful rap vibe; Ben Eastman booms on drums keepin’ things live and Mark Casqueiro is found on the thumpy stand-up bass. Sean Moody is guitarist and co-song writer who does a cool sounding “Dobro” thing with the guitar in his lap. Yes, I know I spelled dobro wrong (they left that one out of the spell checker). James calls himself an ‘indignant civil rights child who tends to get motivated “in the here and now” to write about either a current news story or more often, his sex life which he labels ‘unrequited’. D’Angelo has received numerous rave reviews over his writing for the band “Goats”, which he led back in Phillie.

He has recently hooked “Rooster” up with a publishing contract at Chrysalis even though they don’t have a recording deal just yet. Chrysalis must think they are pretty special, since the publisher usually only steps in after the record deal has been signed. They got in with Chrysalis after James sent a copy of his tape to his brother in L.A. who was playing it so loud that his neighbor heard it. She had just gotten a job at Chrysalis and liked it so she brought it in to her boss and voila! . . . they were signed.


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134k RealAudio

“Train I Ride”
97k RealAudio

“Donut Holes”
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“Virgin Record Sto'”
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D’Angelo and Sean Moody started putting Rooster’s tunes together a couple of years ago, after Moody came down to Frisco from Oregon. Their lyrics are sharp, political and often funny – “I met a Ho’ at the Virgin Record Sto’. . . ” “The guy’s say her love for me is phony, but her ass is so fine, it’s worth the palimony”. “You be the cornish hen, I’ll be the rooster; if you’ve had a tetanus shot, I’ll be the booster”. D’Angelo told us he finds excitement in women he can’t have and says the best cure is to tickle them a lot and cook them pasta fungill. On the ride to San Jose we asked James what it is he raps about. He puts on this “heavy, homey, brotha’ rappa” voice and says “’bout politics. . . ’bout people tryin’ to keep white folks down in the suburbs. . . and people tryin’ to confuse da issues ’bout bein’ real wit’ yo’self or playin’ wit’ yo’self and I’d just like to say that I wanna’ play wit’ myself, but I don’t wanna’ stay wit’ myself. So keep it on da’ real.”

Smash said jokingly that he’s the token black guy in a rap band and that sometimes they say “Smash, it ain’t black enough for me, can you make it any blacker? . . . I’m doing the best I can, ya’ know”.So, like it or (obviously) not, we asked Smash some race issue and romance questions. . .
James butts in to say “We’re into fractions, not ratios.”

Q: “A lot of brothas’ and sistas’ consider it to be defecting if they go out with a white guy or girl. Do you date white women and if so, do you feel pressure from others because of that or because you are in an otherwise “white boy” hip hop band?”

A: “I don’t buy into the theory that one black person can speak for an entire race and you can date whoever you want, even guys – right. Folks who choose to be involved in whatever way interracially are not defecting from their race. Let me put it this way . . . right now, black pussy is exotic!”

Q: “What are some of your best or favorite lines?”

A: “She might be asian, but that don’t make her less fun, cuz when it comes to dumplings, she’s all that and dim sum” and “I’m the freckled face rooster, cruisin’ in my limo; pullin’ up to the curb and hangin’ panties out the window.”

Next time you hear about an upcoming show – check out Rooster – we think they’re all that AND a bag of corn meal!

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