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FUNKIN METAL AT THE
GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL

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The Broun Fellinis' David Boyce

By Kat Stevenson

What a great night of funk-in metal! There is nothing like a live show to punctuate the core of what music is all about: it’s instinctual, it strikes that primal nerve that makes hips move, heads bang and endorphins pump involuntarily. Rarely do you see funk, metal, and progressive jazz on the same bill, but in a live situation, they are an excellent fit. Keno Mapp (you read about him last week in BAM) put this show together, and like everything Keno does, there was a message and purpose for this diversity. Forget about genres -- music is about the energy, intensity, and groove, so let’s mix it up, tear it up, and not discriminate when it comes to good music .

The Broun Fellinis started the evening off. A trio consisting of Kirk Peterson (electric bass), Kevin Carnes (drums/electronics), and David Boyce (tenor saxophone/EFX/Moog), these guys have been part of the Bay Area music scene since they formed in 1991. With nine full-length recordings to their credit, their latest is BLAM. They are exceptional players and master arrangers.

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The Fellinis will be playing at Yoshi's in S.F. with the poet Quincy Troupe (co-writer of the Miles Davis autobiography) on Tuesday, March 27, 8pm. Their latest CD, BLAM', is available on CDBaby.com or at their shows.

Then A Band Called Pain hit the stage and absolutely ROCKED! Founders Allen Anthony (lead vocal) and Shawn Bivens (lead guitar) started their first band when they were just 11 years old. After their band Christion signed with Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records, the two parted ways. In the years following, Shawn signed with RCA Records as a solo rapper and went on to become a producer, while Allen turned toward the studio to pay the bills, singing hooks for a number of rappers. In 1999, Shawn and Allen reunited and, along with bassist Bryan Dean and drummer Akili, formed A Band Called Pain. Their music is heavy yet melodic, with relentless groove capable of crossing into multiple markets. See for yourself...take a minute and check out these links…

“Holy” from the Saw 2 soundtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB5hppkJAq8

“Swallow”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRdHwe63rYE

Heart Touch with Keno Mapp filled the support slot. In the same vein with the others on the bill, their phrasing is very unique: positive, thought-provoking lyrics, delivered much like a poet on a pulpit. The band -- consisting of Kevin Carnes on drums, Nicholas Massaro (a.k.a. NickRock) on guitar, Juan Richardson (a.k.a. Uncle Funky) on guitar, and Erik Bleyle (a.k.a. D'Artagnan) on bass -- lock down the driving groove and melodies that surround Keno’s prose.

Katdelic is RonKat Spearman’s newest project since his 2010 departure from funk legend George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. RonKat accurately describes Katdelic as "a high-energy, funky, rockin', all-original dance-driven live music show that makes ‘em dance!" At this show, their regular line-up -- Kevin Carnes (drums), David Boyce (sax), Alan Williams (trombone), Rob Poole (bass), Kirk Peterson (bass), Jewelz Moya (background vocals), and Michael Caveseno (lead guitar) -- was joined by The Broun Fellini's sax man, David Boyce. RonKat is an excellent performer and talented musician, keeping funk alive and jiving in its purest form.

Katdelic will release a new original CD, titled Dance on the Mothership, in late spring/early summer. The entire CD is written, performed, recorded, and produced by RonKat. He plays all the instruments (keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, percussion), with the exception of the horns, and sings all vocals, with the exception of the female backgrounds and the guest vocals by George Clinton and members of Parliament Funkadelic. The "Dance on the Mothership (D.O.T.M.S.)" video will be released soon and features special guest George Clinton.

Katdelic’s upcoming shows in the Bay are:

March 2, Cafe Cocomo (650 Indiana St., S.F.)

April 21, The Boom Boom Room (1601 Fillmore St., S.F.)

Check out and/or purchase their music at their official website, or on their Facebook music store.

All this said, while watching this show I kept thinking, “Where in the hell are the record labels?" Every one of these bands is capable of crossing over to multiple markets, which should translate into a goldmine. These extremely gifted artists are writing the "good stuff," but they can’t be heard on the radio because they are still struggling to get a contract and distribution. Meanwhile, the industry floods the airwaves with a bunch of generic, sterile formula being-hand fed to their newest, pre-fab “super star” who, in actuality, believes the definition of "rhythm" is "a form of birth control." Wake up and pay attention, industry idiots -- brilliance and talent abound! And with true artists, there is no assembly, batteries, or whatever required. OPPORTUNITY is the commodity they lack and you control. But those days are numbered – you can bet on it. Let’s hear it for technology!

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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