We'll Do It Live

Pimps of Joytime/The Staxx Brothers

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Funk is a grand mutt, as much Saturday night as Sunday morning, able to swerve into a horizontal bounce and just as quickly raise the roof with skipping abandon. As much the child of rock as it is soul, and thus open to many, many interpretations, funk is also remarkably easy to make boring and predictable after 40 or so years, which is why contemporary proponents like NYC’s Pimps of Joytime and Seattle’s Staxx Brothers are such treasures. Both are the rare modern good-footers that kill it live and in the studio, moving the line of their tradition forward with sweaty, aggressive purpose and creativity. The two recently teamed up for some West Coast shows where Staxx warmed up the folks before PJT laid it down hard. There’s just TOO much to like about both bands, who mine different aspects of the funk subculture in ways that make it fresh and relevant, and the San Francisco gig was some of the most irresistible music we’ve laid ears on this year.

Our pal John Margaretten got some primo shots of the two bands in action at SF’s best club size venue, The Independent, when the pair came to town on January 21st, packing the place and lighting a happy fire under our back fields. Once again, John’s snaps capture the mood and feel of the night really beautifully. (Dennis Cook)