Keep It Local 

Whole Enchilada Records goes nonprofit, throws benefit party.

Sometimes the whole enchilada is not enough. That's why Whole Enchilada Records, the Oakland-based label that released The Best of the Berkeley Slam and bEASTfest2001, is throwing itself an all-East Bay benefit bash Friday night at the Stork Club.

Headlining is the Mass, a "jazzcore" quartet (part heavy metal, part smooth jazz) described by Whole Enchilada founder and music impresario dani eurynome as sounding like a jazz band pushed down the stairs. The Mass is the first local act signed to the label, and its new self-titled CD is only one of the news flashes in eurynome's slightly altruistic world. "My whole thing is about the East Bay," she declares. "Whole Enchilada's mission is to document the rich East Bay music scene and give some help to local bands to release their recordings." But running the annual bEASTfest music series, as well as a fledgling record label, takes money. Whole Enchilada -- founded in 2000 -- has now gone nonprofit as a project of eurynome's Epic Arts organization. Nonprofit means less pressure to be commercial, but also the necessity to hold benefits like Friday night's show.

Sharing the crowded stage with the Mass is Dr. Abacus, a five-piece instrumental group whose vibes-trombone-sax-bass-drums sound dwells on the outskirts of vintage-soundtrack land, à la low-budget Henry Mancini or Nino Rota. Also on the bill are the mime/performance group Puppets and Pie, and Fou Fou Ha!, a female dance troupe "straight from the Pigalle Madhouse." Says eurynome, "They wear these crazy costumes. They're a combination of dance, acrobatics, and comedy." And don't forget Bitesize, a raucous noisepop trio (Leslie Harrison on bass and vocals, Julia Serano on guitar and vocals, Steve "Speed" LeFevre on drums) devoted to what they call "Evil Twee": bright, short, cheerful-sounding, girl-poppy songs about gnawing doubt.

Whole Enchilada is planning two more CD releases in 2002 -- another spoken-word collection (allegedly recorded much better than the average poetry slam CD) and a bEASTfest-style band compilation. Friday night's benefit begins at 10 p.m. $6. The Stork Club is at 2330 Telegraph Ave. (near West Grand), Oakland. For more info: www.daniland.com

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