Maui gig: Friday, May 21 at the Lahaina Civic Center; $25, all ages; go to www.bampproject.com for tickets
Web site: www.slightlystoopid.com
Essential tracks: “Closer to the Sun,” “This Joint,” “Collie Man”
A long time ago (two years, to be exact), I looked forward to spending all day at the beach, skimming until the world was a blur and, every so often, face-planting so hard that I would swear sand had lodged itself into my cranial cavity. I’m pretty sure the sand is still there, but now the only thing I look forward to is the mailman (usually because he’s delivering the fruits of my terrible, terrible eBay addiction). Instead of driving toward sunrises and running from sunsets, Monday mornings fill me with unspeakable dread; the only way I get a tan now is by staring at my computer screen. Thankfully, Slightly Stoopid, the band that played the soundtrack to my wonderful summer days (and sometimes not-so-wonderful summer nights) is here to stay. And they’re coming to Maui.
Slightly Stoopid is based in Ocean Beach, California. The band boasts dual front-men, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald (guitar, bass and vocals). The pair formed the group in high school, where they created a sound they describe as “a fusion of acoustic rock and blues with reggae, hip-hop, and punk.” In 2000, Doughty and McDonald founded their own label, Stoopid Records, to avoid signing a deal with the Man while maintaining their DIY work ethic and keeping their music free from industry politics. Today, the band has grown to include Ryan “RyMo” Moran (drums), Oguer “OG” Ocon (congas, percussion, harp, vocals), C-Money (trumpet, keyboard) and DeLa (keyboard). Together, they’ve released a total of nine albums and live recordings.
They draw their influences from greats like Bob Marley, Sublime, Agent Orange and the Dead Kennedys. Slightly Stoopid sounds the way Sublime might have sounded if Brad Nowell had kept off the junk and stuck to the herb. Speaking of Nowell, it was thanks to him that Slightly Stoopid was first signed to a label (Nowell’s own Skunk Records), while the boys were still in high school.
Musical tastes run the gamut on Maui; fortunately, Slightly Stoopid has something everyone can enjoy. Maybe you’re sick of chill, Sunday morning “Mellow Mood” music. Maybe you want to get stupid with your friends and a couple of green bottles? In the mood for something “Questionable”? Something that an “Officer” will come knocking at “2 am” about? Or maybe you’re feeling really relaxed and looking for something that will help you feel “Closer to the Sun,” without paying for a dime bag? Perhaps the force is strong in you, and you want to proclaim your “Jedi” status to everyone. Even if you’re ready to have some knowledge dropped on you about the wild world of reefer madness, Slightly Stoopid is there to help all those squares with “This Joint.”
While Slightly Stoopid’s albums reflect their high-energy style, it’s their live shows that really stand out. These dudes are known to jam endlessly, focusing on improvisation and crowd interaction. The group has played sold-out shows all over the world, including Australia, Japan, the U.K. and the Netherlands. They’ve gigged at prestigious venues like Coachella, Lollapalooza and the New Orleans Jazz Fest. And now, they’re hitting the Valley Isle. Whether you’re a diehard Stoopidhead or just experimenting (remember kids, it doesn’t count if you don’t inhale…or so I’m told), making time for this show is the smart choice.