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Stoopidheads Go Stupid for Slightly Stoopid

Sara Felsenstein | Thursday, April 23, 2009

This Friday night, Legends will be hosting the popular reggae/punk band Slightly Stoopid. Slightly Stoopid is based in San Diego, California. They describe their music as “a fusion of acoustic rock and blues with reggae, hip-hop and punk,” and were originally inspired by well-known artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime.Co-front-men Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald are lifelong friends and have been playing together since they were in their teens. Like many artists, the pair had humble beginnings at backyard parties and local clubs. Their chance of a lifetime came when they were in high school in the mid-90s and met the leader of Sublime, the late Brad Nowell, at a club in San Diego. It was Doughty’s mother who persuaded Nowell to come back to the house to hear what the two boys had to offer. Surprisingly, Nowell went along with the offer. It was not long before Nowell signed the duo to his Skunk Records label and they released their first full-length album, “Slightly $toopid,” in 1996. Currently the band is composed of Doughty, guitar, bass and vocals; McDonald, guitar, bass and vocals; Ryan Moran, drums; Oguer Ocon, congas, percussion, harp and vocals; DeLa, saxophone; and C-money, trumpet and keyboard. Slightly Stoopid released one more album with Skunk Records in 1999 – “The Longest Barrel Ride.” They continued performing gigs and released a few more albums, but it was not until 2002 that the band achieved a headlining status, selling out shows from California to Colorado. In 2005 they released “Closer to the Sun,” which includes some of their most popular songs, “Closer to the Sun,” “This Joint” and “Open Road.” Their most recent album, “Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast,” was released in August of 2008. The band calls this album “a collection of odds and ends.” Most people fall into one of two categories regarding Stoopid – they either know them and love them or shrug and say, “Never heard of ’em.” Although it is difficult to categorize, Slightly Stoopid’s sound has been compared to that of Dispatch, Long Beach Dub All Stars, Pepper and 311. A few words to describe the band would be: California, go-with-the-flow, feel-good, laid-back, acoustic and eclectic. There are hints of classic rock, reggae, hip-hop and punk throughout but the music is not overwhelmed by one genre in particular. Their sound is “a little bit of rhythm and a little of soul,” to quote from the lyrics of their song “Mind On Your Music.” The work of Slightly Stoopid is as much about the music as it is about a lifestyle. They bring a little bit of the California surfer life everywhere they tour. Slightly Stoopid is not concerned with the whole world loving their music, but they are very concerned with being true to themselves and their roots – a philosophy that naturally comes out in their songs. Clearly, this philosophy has been successful and over the past 10 years has gained them a wide and diverse fan base of “Stoopidheads,” as the band affectionately calls them. Slightly Stoopid consciously protects its unique identity and averts becoming too mainstream by not signing with a major record label. They want to maintain creative control over what they produce. That being said, Slightly Stoopid has supported big-name music acts like Sublime, Blink-182, LB-Dub, G-Love and Special Sauce and Pennywise. Self-proclaimed “road dogs,” Slightly Stoopid is almost constantly on tour, and performs nearly 200 concerts a year. They greatly emphasize improvisation and interaction with the audience during their shows. They will kick off their “Blazed and Confused” summer tour on July 10 with Snoop Dogg and Stephen Marley. Slightly Stoopid will be making a stop in South Bend at Notre Dame’s very own Legends this Friday night at 10 p.m.. So when “the clock says it’s time to roll ya” be sure to head over to Legends and check out this unique band live at no cost. Although you may not be “partying all night,” or “putting up your peace sign and your index down” like you did with last weekend’s Gym Class Heroes, Slightly Stoopid is sure to be a great concert with plenty of audience interaction. And if you have no intentions of going to this concert and think of this band as some lame Legends act, at least take one thing away from this article – it’s “stoopid” not “stupid,” stupid.