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Brooklyn’s Best

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Chico Mann : Who You Runnin’ From
taken from the album Manifest Tone Vol.1 on Kindred Spirits (2006)

Pimps Of Joytime : Bonita
taken from the album High Steppin on Wonderwheel (2007)

Two weekends in a row, I’ve been lucky enough to take in some of the best live music that Brooklyn has to offer. It’s no coincidence that these bands are doing shows together either, seeing as how band members overlap and similarly-minded cats tend to magnetize each other. But if you’re not in the area, then I strongly encourage you too seek them out on your own – or hey, reach out and try to get them to come to your city. Setting up shows like this is actually easier than one might imagine.

It started off last Saturday, when I found myself at Studio BPM in Williamsburg, where DJ’s DRM and Nickodemus were spinning in between sets from Chico Mann and The Pimps. I had seen Chico Mann (who I guess is actually based in Derty Jerz) at Joe’s Pub like 6 months ago when they opened for Bronx River Parkway (which is a latinized incarnation of the El Michels Affair). They were good then, but they got WAAAAAY better. Victor Axelrod (aka Ticklah) was on keys, Vinia Mojica was on vocals, and my boy Telekinetic Kat was bringing the beats. “Afrobeat made with Nintendo sounds” is what DRM said, and I think it’s a rather appropriate comment. The recording is cool, but hearing it live really felt like witnessing the future. If their show is any gauge of what’s to come, expect bigger and badder sounds on Vol.2!

Then it was The Pimps Of Joytime, playing songs from one of the few albums I’ve actually had on repeat this year. Funky New Orleans flavored soul, with healthy touches of Prince and Fela in the mix. The whole set was on point, but when they brought up Cyril Neville (please tell me you know about where this man comes from), the whole place shook and shimmy’d. They ended the show in the way that all my favorite shows end, with the amps turning off and only hand-claps percussion remaining. They walked into the crowd and we all did call and response over a badass mardi-gras bounce for a solid five minutes before calling it quits with the whole place smiling.

I’ll tell you about this past Saturday when I get a minute, but right about now I’m 15 minutes late… stay tuned.