R&R | Nu-Funk Crusaders Polyrhythmics Hit the Summit
by Adam E. Smith
Mar 14, 2013 | 1607 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EIGHT OF A KIND – Polyrhythmics will be at the Summit in Durango. (Courtesy photo)
EIGHT OF A KIND – Polyrhythmics will be at the Summit in Durango. (Courtesy photo)

Afrobeat Meets Funk With Polyrhythmics in Durango 

The hard-driving percussive essence of traditional Yoruba music, a derivative of technical Nigerian drum styles, meets the groovy hornscape of traditional funk with Seattle’s Polyrhythmics. Only three years into their existence, the band has already dropped two standout albums with Labrador and the self-titled Polyrhythmics. Both projects implement trace elements of suave instrumental jazz and soul without sacrificing a cohesion that truly positions the band as one of the pack leaders in the nu-funk era. 

The records become even more impressive when considering the unorthodox yet fitting technique of placing the entire band in a one-room studio to capture the songs live on a single take. That kind of focus on execution is what has pushed the band out of their Northwest homebase into the Western touring and festival circuit at a breakneck speed. The eight- member outfit can barely fit on the club stages that they have built their performance reputation on, but sonically the distinction between the three horn players, bass, keys, drums, and percussion travels the airwaves without confrontation. 

Now the Kept Records ensemble that claimed Best Band In Seattle is set to play a rare, must-see show at the the Summit in Durango on St. Patrick's Day.

Polyrhythmics, Sun., Mar. 17, The Summit, Durango, 7 p.m., No Cover, durangosummit.com


Odd Men Out on Tour: Paranoid Social Club in Grand Junction 


Childhood friends Dave Gutter and John Roods started writing music together very early in life. They were 12 when they finished their first song, and eventually formed what is arguably the biggest band to ever come out of the state of Maine. Gutter and Rood’s residency as the famed Rustic Overtones gave way to a disbanding hiatus that quickly became the origins of Paranoid Social Club in 2002. 

Almost incestuously trading members and flirting with positions in other bands, the current PSC four-piece is continuing the psychedelic indie-punk sound overhaul that started a decade ago. Part The Flaming Lips mixed with Spoon, but sounding like neither in particular, PSC’s music isn’t the only oddly dissident thing about the band. While the digital landscape allows for any garage band to have a presence, Gutter and Rood’s brainchild lacks an updated online outpost, and somehow this strangely feeds into their developed cult following mythology. 

Axis II was the band’s first studio release, followed by a double disc titled Axis III & I. Chronologically deficient on purpose, I think, they then dropped a self-titled record in 2004, before a six-year lull that brought Axis IV. The band has a lot of tunes, and a majority of them are so good that listening to them would make any audiophile question why they had not heard them before. In hopes of the disregard for traditional industry methods actually being a calculated effort to cleverly rewrite the status quo required from rock musicians, be sure to check out the quirky Paranoid Social Club at Cruiser’s Bar in Grand Junction on Tuesday.

Paranoid Social Club, Tue., Mar. 19, Cruiser's Bar, Grand Junction, cruisersbargj.com

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