Pub date November 25, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW Shwayze would be impossible without reality TV, not only because Buzzin’, their own MTV vehicle, gives them the kind of exposure that YouTube, a place where music videos still circulate, couldn’t. Rather, the music on their self-titled Suretone/Geffen debut is about and of Los Angeles in a way that wasn’t thinkable before that form of programming legitimated some of the city’s embarrassingly tired clichés. Apply the sentiments of either of the Malibu duo’s charting singles — "Corona and Lime" and "Buzzin’" — to mainstream music during the early Bush administration, and you get Crazy Town’s "Butterfly" with an insanely pungent dash of LFO’s "Summer Girls." Not much new here, but the setting for these affectless feelings at least can finally be revealed.

What makes the duo feel current, if far from compelling, is that LA plays itself in their music, in a similar way the town stands for itself in, say, the Cobrasnake’s fake-real candids. From hook man Cisco Adler’s feather-weight, momentum-less production style — the template he figured out on Mickey Avalon’s "Jane Fonda" — to Shwayze’s max-relax loverman toasting, all their too-baked-for-love mellowship jams deliver some combination of the same three pieces of information: 1) girls in LA are probably the best ever; 2) there are a lot of parties in Malibu, and shit is laidback; 3) even if you’re broke, if you have weed, it’s chill — you can still hook up with girls.

Image-wise, Adler and Shwayze embody Urban Outfitters realness with a Pineapple Express sense of brofessionalism: both wear skinny jeans, slightly oversize tees, and high-tops, but Adler’s fedora and wayfarers tell us he’s the rock guy, while Shwayze’s cocked baseball hat tell us he’s the rapper dude. Lyrically, Schwayze’s concerned exclusively with girls — they talk about "girls" so much it’s hard not to imagine they’ve fallen in love with the word as a floating signifier. But watch a video and there they are, the word made flesh and Lycra.

SHWAYZE With Cisco Adler, DJ Skeet Skeet, and Krista. Sat/29, 8 p.m., $16.50. Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center, Van Ness and Sutter, SF. (415) 421-TIXS,