this sunday!

neofunk_3-15-09The funk/soul band is back, and this time we’re kicking off what will be a weekly thing: Sundays at Neomeze in Old Town Pasadena.  The live sounds of late 60s / early 70s funk and soul-jazz, with a touch of boogaloo and a dash of Dap-Kings flavor.  We’re taking this music seriously–this isn’t just a bunch of cats jamming over a funk beat, we’re going for the authentic, classic feel and sound.  Expect some early Kool & the Gang, James Brown, Lou Donaldson, and more… lots of rare funk breaks.  Same amazing band, featuring 3 members of Breakestra.

Neomeze is a really nice joint, with an outdoor patio, beautiful full bar, great food, and an excellent selection of beer on tap.  Plus NO COVER!  Oh, and they arbitrarily started advertising us as “The NeoFunk All-Stars,” so I guess that’s are new name, for now at least.

Sunday, March 15, 5-8pm
The NeoFunk All-Stars – Jazz/Funk/Soul Sunday Afternoon Party!
@ NEOMEZE Bar & Lounge
20 E. Colorado Blvd. Ste. 102, Pasadena, CA 91105

Chris Bautista (of Breakestra), trumpet; David Moyer (of Breakestra), tenor/baritone sax & flute; Christian Wunderlich, guitar; Patrick Bailey (of Breakestra), guitar; JP Maramba (of Van Hunt), bass; Miles Senzaki, drums

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 11:28 am  Comments (1)  

atomic show

nancyMy dear friend, amazing singer, and forever cool kid “Atomic” Nancy has a DJ set she did last month at Dublab up on their archives.  As usual, she spun all 45s, many that were originally in the Atomic Cafe jukebox.  Here’s a little background on why this is so awesome:

The Atomic Cafe opened in 1946 in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles by Minoru and Ito Matoba. During the late 70′s to mid 80′s their daughter, Nancy, quickly transformed the quiet neighborhood bar/ cafe in to one of L.A.’s most popular hang outs for the local punk rock scene, politicians, and the Japanese mafia. On any given night you could see the likes of Blondie, The Go-Go’s, Devo, X, Warhol, David Byrne, Bowie sitting down having a bowl of noodles in the company of old Japanese men with full body tattoos. The legendary jukebox played everything from The Germs to Mori Shinichi until 4 in the morning as crazy waitresses would be jumping on top of tables trying to serve food. The Atomic Cafe closed its doors on November 23, 1989.

Nancy was not only the boss “crazy waitress” and default bouncer (apparently there were always fights to break up) but also music supervisor–she was in charge of the jukebox, and she befriended all the local (and some soon to be famous) bands who brought in their 45s and covered the walls and ceilings with flyers.  So yeah, she knows her shit.  I had a lot of fun listening to her DJ set–lots of seminal punk and new wave, with a touch of film score kitch and rockabilly.  And it’s nice to hear the warm crackle of an old 45 spinning around!

Download here.  Playlist and more info here.

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 1:16 am  Comments (26)  

we laughed, we cried…

2-wall…we played in a cavernous jazz auditorium, we played in a tightly packed bookstore; we performed while clad in classy suits, we flailed wildly on stage in muppet costumes; we banged away as a famous smooth-jazz drummer walked out of the audience in disgust, we played an outdoor art festival whilst in front of the stage a homeless woman revealed her breasts and danced; we impressed Echo Park hipsters and we made teenage metalheads throw up the evil hand; we had shows in wealthy institutional museums, we had gigs in transvestite dive bars; we did what we came to do, and now we’re done.  Well, sort of.

In these harsh economic times, one must do what one must do to survive.  And Sean Leviathan has found opportunity across the continent in a land we call the East Village.  And thus, the Leviathan Brothers have announced their premature retirement.  Or rather, “indefinite hiatus.”  As Sean so eloquently put it:

It was a year ago this week that Brett Favre announced his first retirement before going off to sling the pigskin for New Jersey several months later.  In his honor we have created one last jam using some LB samples with a little assistance from Mr. Favre’s retirement speech.  So consider this our first retirement and not necessarily last.

And so we present to you “What That Would Be Like”–conceived, recorded, mixed, and mastered at Grandma’s Dojo in one afternoon:

(right click here to download for free)

And you can always keep track of Sean’s adventures on his Leviathan Brothers blog (in case you weren’t aware he moonlights as a professional music journalist–check out his writings!).  Our CDs are still for sale too.  The last juicy bit of gossip is that we may play one final show sometime in April, so stay tuned.

Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 2:15 am  Comments (2)  

[atari] punked?

littlesynthOver a year ago I bought this little monophonic synthesizer about the size of a guitar effects pedal, based on a rave review in the gear section of Tape Op magazine.  The review said it was this really unique little box that generated rich, unexpected tones as you twiddled the two knobs (that’s all it has) .  I’m always looking for new and weird sounds, especially cool looking and lo-fi little boxes.  When I received the box, I discovered that they were right–it did generate some really interesting sounds and I ended up using it on at least one of the songs on Boundary Waters.

Then this morning, while reading the GetLoFi circuit bending blog, I came across this thing called the Atari Punk Console.  It’s a “simple DIY noisemaker circuit” that is based on a schematic that was originally published in a Radio Shack booklet back in 1980.  It has two knobs which interact with each other to produce varying square wave tones.  Hmmm sounds familiar.  So I clicked on a sound sample that demonstrated it in action.  And by golly, if it didn’t sound exactly like my little box.  For which I paid about $100.  GetLoFi sells a kit for about twenty bucks.

But you know, I don’t feel too bad that I put down a Benjamin for a box I thought was a uniquely designed boutique synthesizer but may in fact be a cheap DIY circuit that has been in a Radio Shack booklet for about 30 years.  Because I paid for the handcrafting of a quality metal case, silk screened lettering, and cool vintage knobs.  And plus, I have better things to do with my time than learn how to solder electronics for DIY noise-making circuits. Like, writing stupid blog posts about them.

Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm  Comments (1)