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10/23 Totimoshi At The Stork Club

Posted by novoscene on October 23, 2007

The Talented Totimoshi

-K. Richards

If you’re trying to look up the definition of Totimoshi in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, you’ll be stuck looking for a very long time. And if you ask one of the three band members to explain what it means, you won’t have much luck. That’s because Antonio Aguilar, Meg Castellanos and Chris Fugitt made it up. “It’s gibberish,” singer and guitarist Antonio told me. “It means absolutely nothing.”

The band was formed about ten years ago during the winter of 1997. When Meg began learning bass, Antonio was bursting with creativity and was beginning to write his own music and song lyrics. They had a rehearsal space on Telegraph across from the old Connoly’s and decided to end their shared participation in Valley Fever to form Totimoshi.

They describe their sound as “dark, heady rock and roll.” Songs like “The Dance of Snakes” serve as a testament by beginning with a heavy, thick bass line and an intimate, delicately coarse vocal entrance by Antonio. The breakdowns in the track are reminiscent of Isis or Mastodon which makes perfect sense. The latter was named as one of the band’s current favorites.

Other bands like The Who and legendary rock and roll superstar Jimi Hendrix also made the list of musical influences. Interestingly, an influence of theirs is also a band they are most often compared to. On their Myspace they playfully inform current fans and fans-to-be that they are, in fact, not the second coming of The Melvins.

The difference between Totimoshi and The Melvins is that portions of their unique song construction and delivery are derived from the band’s personal background. Latin influences run heavy throughout their music. Antonio, the son of migrant farm workers, and Meg, who is half-Cuban, generously distribute their Latin roots throughout their music and artwork. Their eclectic music taste might serve as a bit of an influence as well. They’ve listed both Yma Sú mac, a Peruvian coloratura soprano from the 1950s, and Neil Diamond as artists that make up their music collection. There is also a lot of old jazz, blues, country, flamenco, punk, metal and classics included, too. They’re a pretty well-rounded bunch. And well-liked.

Even though they’re a band that was born and bred in the Bay Area, they’ve also had a chance to tour other parts of California as well as other states. Some of their favorite venues have been the Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit, the Masquerade in Atlanta, The House of Blues in Dallas and the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Still, one of their favorite places to eat is in here in Oakland at Bin Min Quan, a Vietnamese restaurant on 12th and Webster.

Totimoshi is going to be performing at the Stork Club on Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Zechs Marquise and Sons of Oswald. Make sure you catch them while they’re here because after this they’re off to Texas, Florida and beyond.

Totomoshi w/Zechs Marquise and Sons of Oswald


The Stork Club

2330 Telegraph




K. Richards is a novoscene contributing writer. You can see more at ettastrange.wordpress.com


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