The very first time I heard Sacramento band San Kazakgascar way back in 2008 at a small show at Javalounge, I was hooked. What wasn’t to love about their “Quasi-Middle Eastern/Indian psychedelia” sound? First off, they have a badass clarinet player (Mike Woo), which I’d like to see more of in live band settings, and secondly, they play a style of music that, at least to my knowledge, nobody else in town even comes close to. Imagine Sonic Youth jamming with a sitar player at an open-air market. Imagine that killer backing track you just couldn’t put your finger on in a VICE documentary. Imagine The Black Lips tinkering on weird instruments after smoking a “peace pipe.” Imagine tribal drumming and sweet weaving melodies from an electric violin with drone-y, chant-y vocals. Smash all that together played by a bunch of dudes here in the Sacramento area and you’re getting close to San Kazakgascar. Well, sort of. After releasing two full-lengths their newest EP, titled Drought Times, will be their first self-recorded release. The band recorded it at bassist Greg Hain’s “modest wood dwelling,” and it is also their first release with new violinist John Cypher. A clutch addition I must say. Guitarist and vocalist Jed Brewer, drummer Paul Takushi and the aforementioned Woo (on clarinet) round out the group. On songs “The Switchbacks Are Crumbling” and “Crispy Lords,” Brewer used a custom-made gourd guitar that the band says “creates a quasi-sitar like sustain.” They will be performing new songs at their show on Nov. 3 at Luigi’s Fungarden, where you can also snag their new EP. Knock Knock and Nacho Business will also perform. Show starts at 8 p.m., all ages are welcome, $5 cover. For more information on the band, visit

    Jonathan Carabba

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