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Naoko Terai
The Preacher's Son
bar news and views


774: Presidents of the United States of America
773: Keith
767: Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute
764: Kaiser Chiefs
760: Tim and Puma Mimi
759: Ice Cube
758: Vinyl Soul
757: Bajofondo
755: The Troubadours
752: Spiritualized at Summer Sonic
749: Cajun Dance Party
744: Heat and Noise
739: The Checks
737: Blue King Brown
735: Asian Dub Foundation
734: Scouting For Girls
732: Buzzcocks
730: Old Man River
728: The Kills
726: KT Tunstall
725: Jason Collett
722: Brotherís Sisterís Daughter
720: Sufjan Stevens
716: Gossip
714: The Go! Team
713: Cafť Tacvba
711: Celtic Woman
709: Jack PeŮate
706: Soulive
703: Animal Collective
703: Reverend and The Makers
702: Battles
700: Dinosaur Jr
696: The Polyphonic Spree
695: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
692: Golden Age of Rock
691: One Fine Day
688: Rhombus
687: Corneille
685: The Cinematic Orchestra
683: 747s
680: Pete Murray
679: Mice Parade
678: Enter Shikari
676: The View
674: !!!
671: Donavon Frankenreiter
670: Herbie Hancock
669: Krystal Meyers
668: The Roots
666: Lily Allen
664: Two for Christmas
663: The Datsuns
661: Peaches
660: Tapes ín Tapes
658: Mystery Jets
656: Shayne Ward
654: The Beat
653: Eumir Deodato
652: Mt. Fuji Calling
650: Juno Reactor
649: Yo La Tengo
648: Hyde Park Music Festival
647: Juana Molina
646: Sierra Leoneís Refugee All Stars
645: Tool
644: Juan Formell y Los Van Van
643: The Benevento-Russo Duo
641: TV On The Radio
639: Summer Music Festival Guide 2006
638: ESG
636: Editors
634: Greenroom
632: Ben Harper
630: Matmos
627: Arctic Monkeys
626: Erykah Badu
624: Cake
622: Bent Left
620: Mogwai
618: Deerhoof
617: The Album Leaf
616: Tristan Prettyman
614-615: 10, 9, 8....
613: Madonna
612: John Tropea and Incognito
610: Boy
608: Underworld
607: Niyaz
606: The Beautiful Girls
605: Miho Hatori
604: Doves
600: Bang Gang
598: Feist
596: Fantomas
595: Hyde Park Music Festival
593: Little Barrie
591: Juliette Lewis
589: James Chance & The Contortions
588: Carnival: Vice Bongo 1st Anniversary Party
585: Stereophonics
583: Little Joe Washington
581: Caetano Veloso
579: Maximo Park
578: Moe
577: Death From Above 1979
576: Destiny’s Child
575: Megadeth
574: Bandstand
572: Ozomatli
570: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
568: Prefuse 73
566: Pat Metheny
565: Rachel Yamagata
564: The Shins
563: The Music
561-562: Metropolis music survey 2004
559: Blues Explosion
557: The Libertines
555: G. Love
554: Dropkick Murphys
553: Kasabian
552: Fertile Ground
551: Recliner
550: Jah Shaka
548: Faithless
547: Tokyo Rotation
546: Yokosuka Reggae Super Bash
545: The Roots
544: True People's Celebration
543: Trans Europe Fes
542: Matthew Sweet
541: Heaven Artists
540: Manolito y su Trabuco
539: Rabble rouser
537: The Offspring
535: Janet Kay with Omar and Thriller U
533: Critters Buggin’
532: Cyndi Lauper
531: Cat Power
530: Standing in the shadows
528: Missy Elliott
527: Stereolab
526: Organic Groove
525: Questions of the day
523: Tough Cookie
521: Conversion
520: Iggy's inner artist
519: Control freak chic
518: Down to the Wire
517: Incubus
516: Kraftwerk
515: Black Eyed Peas
514: Pretenders
513: Sonicmania
511: Suburban funk boys
509/10: Incognito
508: Celtic Xmas 2003
507: Limp Bizkit
506: Robert Randolph and the Family Band
505: Out on a limb
503: Electraglide
501: Super Furry Animals
499: Geezer's groove
498: Ashanti
497: Syn city
496: Slacker rock rules!
495: Television
494: Lou Reed
493: Joao Gilberto
492: The Used
491: Gypsy Summer 2003
490: The Lucksmiths
489: Maxi Priest & Shaggy
488: Chuck Berry
487: Summer Sonic
486: The redheaded stepchild makes good
485: Positive punk mom
484: Duran Duran
483: Unapologetically acoustic
482: Break and Remake
481: Ron Sexmith
480: Folk Implosion
479: The Brand New Heavies
478: The Blood Brothers
477: Eminem
476: The Kills
475: Jackson Browne
474: N.E.R.D.
473: Shred a tabloid, make music
472: Garage Redux
471: Bringing the jams east
470: Asian Dub Foundation
469: Badly Drawn Boy
468: Massive Attack
467: Teenage Fanclub
466: The All Wave Grrls
465: J. Mascis + the Fog
464: Catching up with Sonic Youth
463: Deep Forest
462: Magic Rockout
461: Jurassic 5
460: Snuff
459: Queens of the Stone Age
457/8: On the phone: The Jeevas
456: K-Ci & JoJo and The Roots
455: Sleater-Kinney
454: Beast Feast
453: Contrasts in young UK rock
452: Tahiti 80
451: Pink
450: The Artist (no longer) formerly known as..
449: Paul McCartney Previewed
447: Jamiroquai
446: On the phone: Taxiride
445: Bad Religion
444: Jennifer Love Hewitt
443: Camp in Asagiri Jam
442: The Cinematic Orchestra
441: On the phone: Moby
440: True People's Celebration
439: Roots Revival
438: The politics of sampling
437: Summer Sonic sampler
436: The Jazz Mandolin Project
435: Indie icons
434: Cato Salsa Experience
433: Get's Bossa Nova 2002
432: Janet Kay with Omar
431: Kottonmouth Kings
430: Bowes & Morley
429: Christina Milian
428: Elvis Costello
427: Space Kelly
426: Diana Krall
425: Jay-Z
424: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
423: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
422: Weezer
421: The Music
420: Lenny Kravitz
419: Speech
418: Tool
417: Green Day
416: Chuck Berry & James Brown
415: Ozomatli
414: Britney Spears
413: Music Mary J. Blige
412: Incubus
411: The Chemical Brothers
410: David Byrne
409: The Prodigy
408: Roger Walters
407: Ozzy Osbourne
406: Lisa Loeb
405: Aerosmith
404: Garbage
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi
401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson
396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel
392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana

by Dan Grunebaum

Suburban funk boys

New Orleans' Galactic offer one indication that the future of funk may be white and suburban.

(L to R) Ben Ellman, Jeff Raines, Theryl "Houseman" deClouet, Robert Mercurio, Rich Vogel, Stanton Moore

Based in New Orleans with its unique gumbo of blues, jazz, funk, zydeco and other forms of black and black-influenced music, Galactic are hardly the first or most unusual candidates to form a funk band. In fact, ever since the Average White Band emerged from Scotland in the early '70s with numbers like the oft-sampled "Cut the Cake," young white musicians have been seized with a fervor for funk.

And it's not hard to fathom why. The uplifting, move-your-body syncopations that figures like James Brown, Sly Stone and George Clinton pioneered have a vitality that keeps funk healthy more than three decades after it was born out of gospel, soul, jazz and R&B.

It comes as no surprise, then, to learn that when guitarist Jeff Raines and bassist Robert Mercurio-who form the nucleus of Galactic-were considering where to go to college, they were drawn to the Crescent City. "Right before we moved down, when we were 15, 16, we started growing up and getting into jazz and R&B and funk," recalls Mercurio by phone from his home in New Orleans. The pair had originally been part of the Washington, DC punk scene, but was increasingly drawn to black music. "When we moved down here it solidified that even more, because the city is rooted in that style of music."

While they were technically college students, Raines and Mercurio's real interest was New Orleans' fertile live scene. "We would look at the calendar, and regardless of whether we had a test or not we would go to see as many shows as we could," Mercurio remembers. "We really did a lot of research and listening to the bands that were around. We would take that home to our practice space-the Meters, a lot of the brass-band stuff that we were digging-and found other college kids and other types of people that we would play with. [We] finally met the guys, Stanton and Rich, [who] are in our band, and clicked with them."

In addition to Stanton Moore on drums and Rich Vogel on organ, Galactic by the mid-'90s came to include saxophonist Ben Ellman and, eventually, the vocalist and Crescent City veteran Theryl deClouet, who also happens to be the group's only African-American member.

Mercurio says that notwithstanding the city's R&B scene being dominated by older, African-American acts like the Meters, the musicians they met were open-minded. "Everybody was really welcoming. The competition was a very open and friendly environment where bands allowed young people to sit in."

This atmosphere provided the environment for deClouet to join the band. "He's more of a veteran of the generation ahead of us in the R&B scene," says Mercurio. "We would see him around town, and when it came time to record our first record, we thought it would be good to have some vocal tracks on it... So we invited him to write some songs with us to include on the record, and we included them and invited him to play a couple of shows with us, and he kind of became a permanent special guest. That was about eight years ago."

DeClouet, whose gravelly voice gives Galactic their distinctive New Orleans flavor, describes in his online bio the odd situation he found himself in, singing with a bunch of college kids 20 years his junior. "We won the Offbeat Best New Funk Band Award...but everybody that's been around-they know how long I been around. They laugh, you know: 'How's it feel being the oldest best new artist?'"

But deClouet says that there was more to it than happenstance. "In this racially segregated, crazy town that makes all this great music, I always wanted to do an integrated thing... It knocks me out every show that I'm up there with five white boys from the suburbs that's making good funk..."

For Mercurio, the hardest part of playing New Orleans funk was not mastering the relatively simple bass lines but internalizing that ineffable thing known as "feel," which in the case of New Orleans has a uniquely loose quality. When asked about the difficulties he faced, he says it was "not really the patterns, but more the feel. A lot of the New Orleans bass lines and rhythms are not that complex-the drums may be but the bass lines aren't as complex-but more the feel that goes into it. And I still constantly work on that. It takes a lot of time and work for a white suburban kid."

While Galactic's growing popularity on the live circuit-not only in the West but in four Japan tours-has proved the mettle of their rollicking brand of jazz-funk, they've tried, with their new record, to hone their jams into more succinct, song-based forms.

"It was a big experiment," says Mercurio of Ruckus, released in October on Sanctuary/Universal. "We were like, 'I don't know if this is gonna work,' but it turned out to be what I think is one of our best-sounding albums." In addition to more compact songs and memorable lyrics, the album also took more of a technological turn with the production alchemy of Dan "The Automator" Nakamura. Having produced Kool Keith and Gorillaz, Nakamura brought more tweaky samples and loops into the mix without sacrificing Galactic's bread-and-butter, ass-burning grooves.

And in looking at the latest iterations of the hallowed pattern of white kids adopting black music-the most famous current example being hip-hop giant Eminem-it seems that Galactic may embody the future of funk. Concludes Mercurio: "It's probably most popular amongst the college kids."

Galactic play Club Quattro on February 4-5. See concert listings for details.

credit: Danny Clinch

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