Shootyz Groove had one semi-national semi-hit in the summer of '99 (I remember this because it was played on at least 3 different radio stations as I made my way up the Taconic State Parkway to Woodstock '99, a shitshow if there ever was one), but I knew and loved them prior to their short-lived radio fame because of an opening slot they tore apart at the Webster Theater in Hartford before 2 Skinnee J's, a band I'll continue to defend as long as I shall live.
High Definition (purchased at the show) was...fine. Okay, at the time I thought it was amazing. Not all of it sounds good still, but the aforementioned hit (download it or watch the video below) still sounds as good as it ever did, the live cut "Faithful" continues to satisfy, and when album opener "Mad For It" fades in, I'm taken right back to driving around town in the first car I ever owned, playing music louder than I ever could anywhere else. What a feeling.
But Shootyz Groove was a better band to see live than their records let on. I've seen a lot of bands since then, but they still have a special place in my heart as one of the greatest opening acts I've ever seen. Ironically, on the day that I decided to write about them, I checked around the web for them (figuring they'd long since broken up) to find they were playing the Highline Ballroom AS I WAS TYPING ABOUT THEM. I'm buried too deeply in Brooklyn to have been able to make it, but believe me when I tell you that I would've jumped right on a train if I'd had a chance to catch them.
So not only are they still together and performing occasionally (spent the summer on the road with 311, hitting The Living Room in Providence soon), they're putting out a new record, One, this year. I'd be lying if I said I expected to be blown away based on what I've streamed at their site, but I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't still going to check it out anyway.
If there's even a shred of fondness for well-done rap rock left behind the hardened indie rock husk in which you currently dwell, check out what Shootyz Groove has been up to at shootyzgroove.com, or at myspace.com/shootyzgroove.
Shootyz Groove - L Train (video below)
* The "WHAT FUCKING IAN GUY!?!?" scene: Rob goes into his back office and closes the door behind him so Marie DeSalle (Lisa Bonet) doesn't hear him flip out, and there's a Shootyz Groove sticker behind him on the right. I used to have the same sticker on my first car.