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30 years of Rock ‘n’ Ska | Offbeats

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 by Tim No Comments

Is 30 Middle Aged ? – You Decide

This is what 30 years of playing in a band with the same folks looks like. Does that make us a middle-aged band – being 30 and all? Rumor has it that Offbeats have recently been sighted, moving out of the studio and back to the stages. This video is a mix of two performances, from 1992 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz and a recent performance at CCRMA’s Ballroom in Stanford.  If you appreciate us – you know what to do – please go to our FB page @EastBayBeats  and like us, subscribe to our Youtube channel: Offbeats, and join our mailing list on our website: www.offbeats.com so we can connect with you. We’ll be posting more video like this  and hopefully see you soon on a stage near you.

New Facebook Short name @eastbaybeats

Posted on: March 6th, 2018 by Tim No Comments

Our process to get a short name on Facebook was pretty interesting. At first it seemed that we did not have some number of “likes” or “followers” or perhaps that the name “Offbeats” was taken. Time and again we tried things like “Offbeats Band”, “Offbeats”, “Offbeats NoThe” and kept getting errors. Finally I noticed an error message saying we had “illegal characters” that could not be used. Whaaaaaat? Was someone confused here? Isn’t this English? Illegal? Should I have chosen Latin? After contacting their development techs, searching again and again through help pages and blogs I FOUND IT. You cannot use the letters F and B together in a Facebook Short name. As in OF FB EATS. HMMM. FB – Facebook. I wonder why?  Gee. Golly. Someone might confuse the FB in offbeats with Facebook and go to the Offbeats Page instead thinking they were on Facebook. Whaaat?


So all you folks out there who are trying to get a Facebook Short name – if you have these two characters – you are illegal and should actually change the name of your band, product, book or whatever so you can get a short name… or just adapt. Hey, Facebook is a free service right. Like I should complain. Thank you Facebook!



Second Blues Video of the Seventh son of the Seventh son….

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by Tim No Comments

The Bistro, 11-17-02. Hayward, California. This is the second video and the second tune from the second set in that 2002 show – is that like the seventh son of the seventh son of the … ? Never mind. This track also features our friend Irving Lubliner on blues harp. Are you confused yet? Good. If not – see the previous post/video.

This video is also the second in our Blues series. Offbeats is not a blues band, by any means, but we have all been influenced by the blues, as have most of our generation. Though we play what we call Rock’n’Ska it’s like: “We have to have a genre, right? OK. We’ll call it Rock’n’Ska.” We play blues, rock, ska, reggae, funk, motown, New Orleans, South African, 80’s, 90’s originals, covers, and even a few tunes from this century! And the cool thing is that it all sounds like us. You gotta see us to understand!

“You Got Me” was originally recorded (the CD track, that is) after lunch one day at CCRMA studios at Stanford. I only had ONE beer with that burrito, really, and I remember we had an audience in the control room so it pumped us up. We burned on that session even though I thought that we were recording “scratch” tracks (to be used only to accompany DP’s final drum tracks). Though I tried many times to get a better bass track with overdubs I was never able to equal the original so that’s what you hear on our 2nd CD “Rock’n’Ska”. Irving later came in to the studio to overdub his harp and it really lent that true blues feeling to the sessions.

So, by November in 2002, we also got Irv to play live with us at the Bistro. Though these videos from the Bistro have little bass in the mix, the band was still smokin’ and Irv’s harp sounds as good as it did in the studio.

And if you like this video, please like our page on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/Offbeats-572733659405921

Offbeats’ Blues / Born in Chicago

Posted on: March 21st, 2016 by Tim

Offbeats is not, actually, a Blues band (big surprise) but on November 17th, 2002 we played a gig with our friend Irving Lubliner at the Bistro in Hayward who is a blues musician. Irv had played harp in the studio sessions for our 2nd CD “Rock’n’Ska” on one of Jay’s songs “You Got Me”. His harp really blended with us on the recording so we asked him to sit in with us on stage as it was too much fun to stop.

It was a good night at the Bistro. We started the second set with this tune, a cover of the Butterfield Blues Band‘s “Born In Chicago”, written by Nick Gravenitis, a tune that Irv and I must have listened to a zillion times back in the day. There are also two other videos from this show with Irv that we will upload soon. Keep an eye on our video page.

A bit of personal blues history

The back story is that though Irv and I were not actually born in Chicago, I’ve known Irv since we went to high school together and he is one of the first musicians I hung out with. We spent a lot of time immersed in music together, in the late 60’s, mostly listening to Blues, Rock, and Psychedelia. Everybody from Canned Heat (who’s blues style we later discovered was derived from John Lee Hooker) to local blues bands like Mother Earth and The Loading Zone were on our personal charts. Of course we (or at least I) also loved bands such as Pink Floyd which were hardly Blues at all, but we came together on Jimi Hendrix and some of the Grateful Dead’s tunes (featuring Pig Pen) not to mention oddities such as Captain Beefhart and his Magic band all of which had blues influences – some weirder than others. Irving has kept the tradition alive and now teaches beginning harp in Oregon to younger musicians, imparting the secrets of the art like soaking your harp in water to get those reeds just right.

Having published this, Irving says: A couple of corrections with regard to what appears on your website: (1) I’m actually teaching harmonica at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute here in Ashland. My students are all over 50, and most of them are older than I am. (2) Though I used to soak my harmonicas, I don’t do that anymore, nor do I recommend that others do it with theirs. If there’s a bit of grit causing a reed not to vibrate properly, I will rinse the harmonica to try to free up the reed, but I’m not soaking harmonicas anymore.


Backing up Doug

Posted on: February 23rd, 2016 by Tim No Comments


You’ve heard of backing up your hard drive, of course, and these days you wonder if folks back up their phones and perhaps their cars. We recently had to back up our keyboard player, Doug, as he had to take some time off from the band to visit the hospital. Fortunately for everyone involved, they let Doug leave and he is now doing fine, thanks for asking.  But, it was Quite A Conundrum, Indeed! Especially for a poor, mortal, bass player like myself. Fortunately for me I use Finale, which allows me to work out music transcriptions on my laptop and backup my keyboard player with ease, well, maybe not “with ease”. (By the way, what software do you use to back up your keyboard player?) Like most, cautious, ex-mainframe programmers I also had Doug backed up to CD, with many copies stored offsite, in the form of “Offbeats” and “Rock ‘n’ Ska” the two releases we recorded with him primarily at CCRMA studios, where Jay works. So – I took two of our most formidable tunes: Madame Mim and Insomnia, both of which I wrote, and listened to the tracks again and again, trying to discern all the random ones and zeros firing off in Doug’s brain and committing the results to paper. (Punch cards would not work, in this case. Doug is a modern guy.) It was just like to old days when I would drop a needle on a particular vinyl cut to figure out what some bassist was doing. Ah, youth. But I digress.

The best news is that, though we have been rehearsing weekly with Linda Kadis our new singer and second keyboard player, since last May, and during Doug’s absence she has learned a lot of Doug’s harmony vocals, comping parts (playing chords) and some of Doug’s solos, we have not actually had to restore Doug’s brain directly into Linda’s brain. As much as Jay (our guitarist and Linda’s husband) cares for Doug, I bet he is quite happy that we did not have to try this drastic experiment and do a Doug restore. Kids – do not try this at home… results can be unpredictable. Stick to safe methods like cloning.

So this is what Doug’s brain looks like while playing a song about tarantulas (Madame Mim) and lying awake at night (Insomnia.) To hear these (and other Offbeats type tracks) head on over to our music page and listen!



New ! – Beat Complex – Live from 1990

Posted on: January 20th, 2016 by Time No Comments

So – Trivia Question: Do you have any idea of where you were right after the fourth of July in 1990 ? Four of us do (or at least we do now.) Offbeats played two shows, almost back to back (on the 5th and the 7th) in San Francisco – as a “Summer Shows in the City” tour (freezing in the fog, of course) with the appropriate poster with the weird guy with shades and a trench coat (Who came up with this stuff? Clue: he still plays bass).

This version of “Beat Complex” has video from both shows – first at the Hotel Utah and then at Morty’s (which is now called “Club Cocodrie”). We play this song completely differently now, more as a Rock-Shuffle than Reggae, but you can still hear echoes of the later CD version in this live version. Our first drummer, Andy Scott is playing drums. The keyboardist and songwriter (Doug) and bassist (Tim) look quite different now. Jay, our guitarist, of course looks exactly the same (He may have the same barber).

If you are actually reading this on facebook, please “Like us” so that the club booking folks know that someone might actually think we are a real band. After nearly 30 years you would hope that is true!

We discover What’s Going Down

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by Tim

Can you spell Analogue ? I think we were partying like it was 1999 … probably in 1999 of course. We began recording the second CD in Jay’s Garage, continued at CCRMA, and Tim’s studio and ultimately re-recorded it back at CCRMA on everything from my Fostex 8 Track to Pro Tools. Several generations of audio, video, and computer gear later we had our 2nd CD out “Rock’n’Ska”. Another episode in the long strange trip. What’s Going Down indeed.

Ancient Video survives Y2K

Posted on: July 19th, 2014 by Tim No Comments

“You Got Me” is an older video – with our third drummer Darrell Preece from the recording of the Rock’n’Ska CD. It was the deep dark days of December 2000 and though we had gotten through most of the CD recording (I think) and Y2K we were still working on YGM. This mix still has no lead guitar, and no blues harp by our friend Irv Lubliner, but I wanted to play with video anyway. Software was glitching, my Intel 486 could not keep up. The Net was around but most of us had modems. GAK. We dive deep here to an archive off of my Windows-95 machine – the video that never made it to the ‘Net before now because one version came out upside down due to a bad device driver and never mind the fact no one had the patience to download it. It’s old. Enjoy.

Old Poster Re-appears Like a Bad Penny.

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 by Tim No Comments

(What’s a Penny, mom?)
Oh you lucky Sots. (Or Scotts if you are from Scotland.) We have found an ancient Offbeats Poster that was only on the website for the duration of the gig on May 30th, 2004 and did not make it to the infamous Poster Page.
So Here you go. Enjoy it in all it’s glory.

May 30 Poster

New Web Site! (At least in Test)

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 by Tim No Comments

Gee golly wonkers. We have a new website – based on WordPress. At least, it runs in my localhost environment. Wowie zowie!!