"Music is a constantly evolving rhythmic argument. The harmonies don't change, but every generation adopts a new rhythm."
That's how songwriter David Was notes the changes since the early 1990s, when his band Was (Not Was) released its last CD, Are You Okay? Back then, Was (Not Was) was on the forefront of what some music insiders termed "thinking person's dance music," the concept that music could move your mind as well as the body. There have been a lot of new rhythmic arguments since those days, but David and his partner, Don Was, weren't participating because they had their own arguments to deal with.
The two Was "Brothers" started as childhood friends and collaborators, but split in the early '90s in part because Don chose to produce artists like the Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt over working with David. No good capitalist could blame him.
But what was once Was now is again. The duo have reunited and their 10-city tour that starts Dec. 26 at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach is a prelude to a big year that includes two new albums in 2005.
It wasn't easy burying the hatchet, but David says he and Don patched things up a few years ago when they were working on separate movie soundtracks-the X-Files and Hope Floats.
"It was a forced reunion," David says. "I was having lunch and he knew I'd be there. So I picked up a fork in mock violence and yelled at him across the cafeteria. Then we met the next day."
Soon after, the two got an apartment together in the old offices of Casablanca Records and went to work. But it took time because, as David puts it, "Don picked working with Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] over record company deadlines."
Still, the extra time between recording projects has helped the brothers grow. David, who started out as the lyricist, says he's become more musical in the last 10 years and has been programming hundreds of tracks on his own, some of which may be included on the upcoming albums (which he describes as "soup-still brewing.")
It might be hard for the band to take up where they left off after a 15-year absence, but David thinks music has shifted towards what he calls "queer dance music, not music for queers-although the gay clubs gave us our first hits."Was Not Was plays at the Belly Up Tavern, 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 26. $17. 858-481-8140.