Smash Mouth comes out of San Jose, Calif., with a wild but accessible sound that includes influences of '50s rock, funk and ska. The band, featuring lead singer Steve Harwell and guitarist/songwriter Greg Camp, hit the big time this year with the single "Walkin' on the Sun." The song harks back to '60s garage rock and has turned Smash Mouth into a modern-rock force. Smash Mouth performs Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Showplace Theater, 1063 Grant St.
SCENE'S BIG FIVE
1. Jonathan Butler: Wednesday at the Tralf, 100 Theater Place. Butler comes from South Africa, plays guitar and is a worldwide attraction with his singing and songwriting.
2. Slaughter: Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Rock 'n' Roll Heaven, 207 Youngs Road. Hair metal band returns in style with hard-rocking songs.
3. Voices of Cheese: Tonight at 11 in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. Tom Fenton and a host of special guests get together for a Halloween celebration and tribute to Frank Zappa.
4. Buck-O-Nine: Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Showplace. Young, alternative rock band comes to town.
5. C.O. Jones: Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Tralf. C.O. and company bring back dance and funk to a post-Halloween party.
BIG BEAT STORY OF THE WEEK
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has just named the new members of the Class of 1998. Performers to be inducted on Jan. 12: the Eagles; Fleetwood Mac, which plays Marine Midland Arena on Nov. 23; the Mamas and Papas; Lloyd Price; Santana, and Gene Vincent.
AROUND AND ABOUT
Biggest surprise at the U2 concert this week in Toronto was the inspired performance by the young rock band Third Eye Blind. It was the group's first appearance on the U2 tour, and Third Eye Blind rose to the occasion. "Six months ago we were playing in a bar in San Francisco before 50 people. Now we're here in front of you," vocalist Stephan Jenkins told a crowd of about 53,000 fans in the SkyDome. The band played a rousing set, including its MTV hit "Semi-Charmed Life." . . . Hip-hop performer Usher has been dropped from the Puff Daddy tour, which comes to Marine Midland Arena on Nov. 8. Performers on the bill include Foxxy Brown, Lil Kim, Mase, 112 and Busta Rhymes. . . .
Jack the Ripper is a fitting name for an act to play some scary blues tonight at 10 in the Lafayette Tap Room, 391 Washington St. . . . Top 10 from Oct. 31, 1962: "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Picket and the Crypt Kickers.
John Hammond plays his style of blues Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the Calumet Arts Cafe, 56 W. Chippewa St. . . . David Kane and Them Jazzbeards play Saturday at the Como Lounge, 204 Como Park Blvd. Kane was incorrectly identified as playing with the band Turning Virtue. . . . Buffalo native Tom Hambridge is keeping a busy schedule. The drummer, who now lives in Boston, has toured and played with some of the biggest names in rock music, from Chuck Berry to Jimmy Buffett. Hambridge, who plays at the Wilson Field House at Rich Stadium on Sunday before the Buffalo Bills game, recently performed at President Clinton's 50th birthday party. "It was a lot of fun and a thrill," Hambridge said. . . . Sonic Garden plays some party music tonight at 11 in Broadway Joe's, 3051 Main St. . . . Scene quiz: Who said, "Works of art can often teach us things about ourselves we would rather not know"? Was it Marilyn Manson, Pee-wee Herman or Sister Wendy? Answer: Sister Wendy, PBS art master. . . . The Vinnie Barbarino Experience brings '70s sounds Saturday at 11 p.m. to Nietzsche's. . . . Terry Sullivan, Doombuggy and David Watts play tonight at 11 in the Star Bar, 414 Pearl St. . . . The Steam Donkeys perform tonight at 11 in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. The Pine Dogs will open. . . . Top 10, Oct. 31, 1973: "Yes We Can Can," by the Pointer Sisters.
Metallica is set to release a new CD, "Re-Load," on Nov. 18. . . . Country superstar Garth Brooks and rapper Warren G are suing each other over trademark infringement. Brooks insists that his circled G trademark does not infringe on Warren G's trademark. . . . Mike Oliver, who looks something like Buddy Holly with his new hairdo and glasses, appears with Go Dog Go tonight at 11 in the Calumet Arts Cafe, 56 W. Chippewa St. . . . Johnny Rotten is happy after appearing on the "Judge Judy" nationally syndicated TV show. Rotten, who came to fame as lead singer of the Sex Pistols, went on the show to resolve a dispute with drummer Robert Williams. The drummer claimed damages of $5,000 after losing a gig working on Rotten's last album. Rotten claimed that Williams quit, and Judge Judy agreed, ruling in favor of the singer. "Now I'm going to get on with my life. We're going after the real killers," Rotten said afterward, borrowing a phrase from O.J. Simpson. .. . . David Lee Roth on former bandmate Eddie Van Halen: "Eddie doesn't read. (His brain) is a muscle he doesn't use." . . . Top 10, Oct. 31, 1993: "Whoomp! There It Is" by Tag Team. . . . Billy McEwen brings soulful sounds tonight at 10 to Jemiolo's South, 4190 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park. . . . This week's words to live by, courtesy Smash Mouth: "Remember when I used to be your jelly bean."