Carlos "Loslito" Guaico's band the Rebirth used LA as their launch pad to a spot as one of the globe's most chic new soul bands, but does he ever have stories about OC: grew up in Anaheim, matriculated at every JC in the county in search of a mentor he never quite found, watched old Huntington's beach-bum charm sink beneath a new club called Hurricanes. ("I remember the turning of HB," he sighs.) And that was before he was an early member of the Black Eyed Peas and helped incubate Ozomatli (who were originally a Latin cover band blowing off steam from Loslito's original group, Mesh of Mind). And before he figured that the third—well, fourth?—time would be a charm for the Rebirth, a deep-soul band that translates the feel of the crate-digging, rare-groove club scene (oh, Loslito is also a founding member of the Root Down Sound System) into a slick live band. And what charm: the Rebirth's debut single "This Journey In" took off with still unbelievable velocity, at one point putting the band on a European tour with nothing to sell at the merch table besides a few 12-inches and some rush-job CDRs.
"That's why we call it the little song that could," says Loslito, the keyboard player and one of the lead vocalists in the Rebirth. "And it's still going!"
And hot on its heels was the next single, "Everybody Say Yeah," originally a slow burner but now apparently a soundtrack for NBA playoffs cheerleadering routines, or so Loslito is told. A longtime vinyl finder and well-known soul scholar, he says the Rebirth's sudden and unexpected success validates both the original vibe of the band—the feel-good brothers-and-sisters vibe of the later Jackson Five or maybe the Family Stone, further hotted up by vocalist Noelle Scaggs' smoky voice and a six-man elite backing band—and do-it-yourself music in general.
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"I throw things out there and I don't know it gets anywhere, but it gets there," he says. "That continues to prove to me that in the mainstream culture we have, if you allow people access to something and let them decide if they think it's good, then good music keeps cutting through."
That might be part of the philosophy behind the Rebirth's OC appearance as part of a benefit for unsung soul virtuoso Rodney Mathews this weekend. The onetime member of often-sampled band the Mighty Ryeders is struggling with mounting medical expenses, and a formidable selection of next-gen soul and rock & roll bands (flagshipped by Ubiquity label artists at Detroit) aligned to flush out a little necessary financial help. The Rebirth—who started life as a band with a mostly covers set—had even recorded their own propulsive version of the Ryeder's famous "Evil Vibrations" (famously sampled by De La Soul on "Saturdays") for Ubiquity's Rewind covers series, making them an almost mandatory act on the bill. Since the Ryeder's reputation came a little harder than the Rebirth's—they didn't get the hit records they warranted, says Loslito—it's a chance to reach right back and put some credit where it's long-deserved.
"When we played in London, we did 'Evil Vibrations' live and De La Soul was in the house, and we did the little 'Saturdays' bridge and they were there and it was great!" says Loslito. "And now we're going to play it for the guy who wrote the song!"
THE REBIRTH PERFORM AT A BENEFIT FOR THE MIGHTY RYEDERS' RODNEY MATHEWS WITH NINO MOSCHELLA AND BLACK SHAKESPEARE AND THE KING ROCKERS PLUS THE ABSTRACT WORKSHOP DJS AND MORE AT DETROIT BAR, 843 W. 19TH ST., COSTA MESA, (949) 642-0600; WWW.DETROITBAR.COM. SAT., 9:30 PM. $10. 21+. OTHER EVENTS WILL BE HELD AT AVALON AND EVOCAL ACROSS THE STREET—PLEASE CHECK WWW.UBIQUITYRECORDS.COM OR WWW.ABSTRACT-WORKSHOP.COM FOR FULL LINEUP DETAILS.