Bochinche Goes Underground For Metro Bus Tunnel

The new Metro Bus Tunnel will echo with the lively sounds of Latin music tonight as Bochinche joins several other local bands in celebrating the new facility. Bochinche plays at 6 p.m. on the platform level of the Convention Center Transit Station, across from the Paramount Theatre. It should come as no surprise that the talented eight-member band is participating in the event, because the group has become a beloved institution through its appearances at virtually all local celebrations - from Bumbershoot to the Folklife Festival to the Out to Lunch series - as well as its busy nightclub schedule. Bochinche has played at many schools in the state, as part of an ongoing cultural enrichment program.

The allure of Bochinche is in its fiery rhythms, which ignite the dance urge in everybody from children to seniors. Even if you don't understand the Spanish-language lyrics, you get a feel for them through the passion and drive of the music. Lead singer Eduardo Quintero, a native of Venezuela, has a warm, likable style that works with any audience. He arrived here seven years ago as a student, and now is as attached to the Northwest as any native. He's been the lead singer for Bochinche since it started five years ago.

The essence of Bochinche is captured in its new release of tropical dance music, ``Caracas,'' which is getting national airplay on Latin stations. Quintero said that the group hopes that interest will translate into an international audience for its music. But right now it keeps busy fulfilling a demanding schedule here. For example, here's what the band is doing over just the next week or so: After the bus tunnel performance, it heads to the waterfront to perform at Pier 70 at the Spirit of Puget Sound's ``Midnight Cruise'' club show; band members get up early tomorrow to play at 11 a.m. outside the student union building at Bellevue Community College; on Sunday, it can be heard at 2 p.m. at Seattle Center, as part of Fiestas Patrias; at 7 that night it performs at the Lakewood Mall in Tacoma; next Friday and Saturday it's Lox, Stock & Bagel, the new live-music venue in the University District; and then a week from Sunday, the band plays Prosito's in Tacoma. Whew!

Sanctuary returns to its stomping grounds for a show tonight at the Moore. The Seattle thrash band shares the bill with two other screaming metal groups, Death Angel and Forbidden. Sanctuary is touring the country in support of its latest album, ``Into the Mirror Black,'' which has been getting good notices in metal mags. Kerrang! gave it four Ks (or stars) and called it ``engaging from start to finish. . . adding poise and steel to what are well-written songs.'' Metal Mania called it ``a masterpiece. . . a hellstorm of unrestrained fury.'' Metal Hammer weighed in with ``stunning. . . harsh minor chord ministrations applied with taste and discretion.''

A couple of other notable performances this weekend: Delbert McClinton, the versatile, bluesy Texas singer-guitarist, performs with his band Sunday at Parker's. McClinton just released another album of strong material, ``I'm With You,'' which reflects his eclectic rock-blues-R&B influences. His raw roadhouse style makes for a gritty, powerful show. David Baerwald, one half of the former duo of David & David, plays Thursday at the Backstage. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has just released his first solo LP, ``Bedtime Stories,'' an interesting collection of pop tunes that reflect his wide-ranging tastes, which lean toward R&B and classic rock.

The local club scene is bad enough, but now comes news that the Backstage, the most important club in town, is in danger. The Ballard basement nightspot had its worst summer ever and is struggling to survive. Thus, the ``Backstage Bummer Summer Benefit,'' is set for tomorrow and Sunday, with musicians and staff members donating their time, radio stations doing free ads and record companies supplying give-aways. Kristen Barry, Capping Day, First Thought and Hammerbox play tomorrow, starting at 9:30 p.m. The Posies and the Walkabouts, both performing acoustic, headline Sunday, when music starts at 7 p.m. Also set for Sunday are Orville Johnson & Kim Scanlon, Ginny Reilly, Scott Cossu, Sam Weis and Terry Lee Hale. Everyone through the door gets a free prerecorded cassette tape. Tower will be giving away five $15 gift certificates, and the club will offer annual Backstage passes for $500. Tickets are $5 tomorrow and $10 Sunday.