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The Avengers of rock and roll: meet the Split Squad

With an keyboardist on loan from Fenway Pahk.
With an keyboardist on loan from Fenway Pahk.

"Josh Kantor." Michael Giblin, the Parallax Project bassist, checks in with the Reader to talk about his side project, a band called the Split Squad that includes Eddie Munoz (Plimsouls), Clem Burke (Blondie) and Keith Streng (Fleshtones). "It's amazing how many people focus in on Josh."

Kantor also gigs in Big Jim's Ego and the Baseball Project. But it's his day job that draws the most attention: "In three weeks, we're playing in Detroit. We may not announce that Josh is the Boston Red Sox organist."

He likens Split Squad ("I cringe when people call it an indie super-group") to the Avengers: "people shine a light in the sky, and we appear." Giblin laughs. "And then, we're gone."

We talk about the 150 or so collective years of music experience in Split Squad, about how they don't dig through each member's band's back catalogs but instead play originals or covers, "like some obscure AC/DC, some Terry Reid." Talk drifts to somewhat forgotten Invasion-era bands like the Dave Clark Five, about the precise moves within a Chuck Berry song.

"When Mick Taylor left the Stones? Right around then, that was when rock was losing its attachment to old school R&B." That's the direction, Giblin says, that the Split Squad show takes -- that lost R&B feel.

Place

Til-Two Club

4746 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

And as for Josh Kantor, who is something like only the eight organist in the history of Fenway Park? "Hopefully, he'll be busy one more day. If not two."

The Split Squad opens for the Fleshtones Saturday, November 9, at the Til-Two Club in City Heights (619-516-4746).

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With an keyboardist on loan from Fenway Pahk.
With an keyboardist on loan from Fenway Pahk.

"Josh Kantor." Michael Giblin, the Parallax Project bassist, checks in with the Reader to talk about his side project, a band called the Split Squad that includes Eddie Munoz (Plimsouls), Clem Burke (Blondie) and Keith Streng (Fleshtones). "It's amazing how many people focus in on Josh."

Kantor also gigs in Big Jim's Ego and the Baseball Project. But it's his day job that draws the most attention: "In three weeks, we're playing in Detroit. We may not announce that Josh is the Boston Red Sox organist."

He likens Split Squad ("I cringe when people call it an indie super-group") to the Avengers: "people shine a light in the sky, and we appear." Giblin laughs. "And then, we're gone."

We talk about the 150 or so collective years of music experience in Split Squad, about how they don't dig through each member's band's back catalogs but instead play originals or covers, "like some obscure AC/DC, some Terry Reid." Talk drifts to somewhat forgotten Invasion-era bands like the Dave Clark Five, about the precise moves within a Chuck Berry song.

"When Mick Taylor left the Stones? Right around then, that was when rock was losing its attachment to old school R&B." That's the direction, Giblin says, that the Split Squad show takes -- that lost R&B feel.

Place

Til-Two Club

4746 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

And as for Josh Kantor, who is something like only the eight organist in the history of Fenway Park? "Hopefully, he'll be busy one more day. If not two."

The Split Squad opens for the Fleshtones Saturday, November 9, at the Til-Two Club in City Heights (619-516-4746).

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