[Dixielandjazz] CMJ Music Marathon - NYC Day 3

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 4 13:04:40 PST 2006

Looks like Pareles didn't much care for Day 3 and the Jittery Funk from the
Nerdy Punk end of the spectrum. :-) VBG.

I wonder what today will bring. No rap yet. It seems as if the "kid" music
scene in very broad and fragmented and very different from what we old folks
imagine. Must be room for some jittery OKOM somewhere in it.

Steve Barbone

NY TIMES - By Jon Pareles - CMJ Music Marathon: Oct. 31 - Nov. 4

DAY 3 - Jittery Funk from Nerdy Punks

Collegiate indie-rock fans have long prized their nerdiness: the horn-rimmed
glasses, the semi-ironic T-shirts, the collections of vinyl EPs. But even
the CMJ contingent could feel less nerdy than Born Ruffians, a Toronto band
whose lead singer, Luke LaLonde, is a skinny, gawky guy with a high yelpy
voice. On Friday afternoon, was wearing both a sweater vest and white
sneakers. Born Ruffians hark back unmistakably to the early, hiccupy-voiced
Talking Heads, but they learned the right things. The songs are brisk,
staccato, jittery funk mechanisms without a wasted note, hurtling forward
and stopping precisely. And the lyrics pack shy observations and nerdy
uncertainty into a minimum of syllables: "You say yes/I say no but I can't
complain/It's just sex." Any whining would kill these songs, but Born
Ruffians sound comfortable being uncomfortable.

At the other extreme was the Archie Bronson Outfit, an English trio intent
on primal impact, something like ZZ Top reinvented by Pere Ubu. It uses raw,
rockabilly guitar tones, pounding drums and only a chord or two per song,
creating a larger-than-life drone; Sam Windett, the guitarist and lead
singer, wails with a reedy, keening voice, singing tales of obsession and
violence. And when it slows down, it finds a kinship between modal Celtic
murder ballads and the bleakest side of the blues.

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