Saturday, March 17, 2012

MONOPHONICS : This One Goes Out
To My Man The Groove Merchant

Tonight at Harvelle's Santa Monica MONOPHONICS are taking over [official website]. From the Bay Area, they are just signed to UBIQUITY (one of the coolest labels ever!)

from the press release:
Monophonics were formed in '05; originally a instrumental ensemble comprised of guitarist Ian McDonald, bassist Myles O’Mahony, saxophonist Alex Baky, trumpeter Ryan Scott, and drummer Austin Bohlman, the band has recently added the dynamic soul vocals of keyboardist Kelly Finnigan. The result is a psychedelic soul & heavy funk sound, which harks back to the stylings of the late '60s and early '70s, all while keeping its feet planted in the present.

Their Ubiquity debut, In Your Brain is now available for Pre-Order. Also be on the look out for a special 7'' to be released on Record Store Day.

San Francisco and it's out laying townships and suburbs have a long history of soul funk, psychedelic soul, acid jazz, rare groove, and other unclassifiable yet deeply funky stuff. Not just the known stuff from the 60s and 70s, like Tower Of Power and Sly & The Family Stone, but obscure artists like The Propositions, The Mighty Ryeders, and Spanky Wilson, continuing through to modern bastardizers  like Limbomaniacs, Primus, Deli Creeps, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, new traditionalists like T.J. Kirk, Charlie Hunter and Mo'Fessionals and revivalists like Mike James Kirkland, Orgone and Monophonics, going strong today.

I spent much of the late eighties and early nineties making regular trips to San Francisco specifically to The Groove Merchant* to collect rare vinyl and everything on the Luv N Haight label which was primarily vintage tracks no one ever heard, available for the true groove connoisseur, the true crate digger looking for the ultimate head bobbing track. In the Beastie Boys song Professor Booty, they pay tribute: "This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant/ Coming through with beats for which I been searching". Brilliant. Many Luv N Haight titles are available [here].

Of course, with YouTube and mp3s and funk blogs and many compilations from all over the planet filling every nook and cranny and every niche genre, it's all well documented and readily available. But there's nothing like hearing it live.

MONOPHONICS are blasting off tonight at Harvelle's 1432 4th St. in Santa Monica (between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd). Come down, it'll do your soul some good.

*note: the URL doesn't seem to work any longer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Vintage Trouble in Long Beach : Love With Me!!
Comin' Soon To A Shore Near You!

Ty Taylor sings his soul out
Celebrating it's six months in existence, Harvelle's in Long Beach hosted the mighty Vintage Trouble on Friday Mar 9. VT started their career with a weekly residency in 2010 at Harvelle's Santa Monica, and they've been touring and recording and making fans around the world ever since. Tonight was their first L.A. (adjacent) performance since January when they sold out The Troubadour in Hollywood. The night was filled with the hardcore fans (aka Troublemakers) along with the curious, as well as locals who just happened to be there because it's Harvelle's and a Friday night, which is always a great combo.

VT has been in the studio and is on the verge of releasing their 2nd album of dynamite hits and rockin' soon-to-be classics!  So tonight was a soulful work-out of the new stuff and some new arrangements of the favorites. You know how these guys rock! 

Rock n' roll with it baby : Nalle Colt and his Les Paul
Richard Danielson pounds the skins into submission
Rick Barrio Dill is straight up steady mobbin'!
With the new album in the can, Vintage Trouble are off to Austin, TX for SXSW, and then they're on tour with Van Hunt and later this year Lenny Kravitz! With less than a quarter of 2012 gone, this is shaping up to be a truly stellar year for the boys in the band.