October 13, 1995 in Seven

For A High-Fever Stage Show, Try The Five Fingers Of Funk

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Take this bit of advice: Head south to the Zoo in Pullman on Saturday night.

Oh, you need a reason?

Five words: The Five Fingers Of Funk.

One of Portland’s hottest bands, the Five Fingers of Funk collides freshly original, rear-shaking funk with street-conscious, nicely executed hip-hop.

That’s still not enough?

The 10-member band unleashes one of the most feverish stage shows since Black Happy.

If you think Portland’s not capable of hatching a hip-hop band, much less a decent funk band, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

This band again proves geography has nothing to do with great music. And because most of the city is glutted with forgettable guitar bands, the Five Fingers of Funk, which leaves distortion and feedback in the garage, easily stands out.

As displayed on its debut CD, “Slap Me 5,” the band’s members are astute students of old-school rap and Bootsy Collins-style funk. In fact, bassist Allan Redd smacks out a few lines on the album that would make old Bootsy proud.

What separates the three-year-old band from its hip-hop contemporaries is that the music on “Slap” is 100 percent organic, in that all the sounds originate from actual instruments, not studio electronics. Heavy use of studio-generated sounds is one reason hip-hop groups typically fail to assemble compelling live shows.

“Slap Me Five” is one of Portland’s best-selling local CDs.

Doors open at 9 p.m.

Elsewhere in the night

Portland rock band Trip 21, which got its moniker from a license plate, plays Ichabod’s North on Saturday.

The guitar unit has never played Spokane before. Therefore, singer/ guitarist Clint Darling doesn’t have any high expectations about the show and doesn’t care if a crowd shows up. “We just want to get in there, so we can play to two people,” he joked. “I don’t mind playing to a small crowd. I just like to get them enthusiastic, and, hopefully, they’ll open their wallets.

“Our usual strategy is play to no one and then play to no one’s friends” the next time.

As far as the band’s sound goes, fans of shimmering guitar rock a la Husker Du should find Trip 21 worthy.

So far in its brief career, the quartet has clashed on stage with a number of bands, from jazzy noodlers Critter’s Buggin to wholehearted roots rockers Goodness to flesh-tearing noise purveyors Killdozer.

Trip 21 will release its second tape in a matter of weeks. The band calls this tape its first “real recording.” So watch out.

Joining the band are Spokane’s Silent Rage and Junkbox.

Clamor kicks in at 9:30 p.m. Cover’s $3. Bring your ID.

Random note

Last Wednesday, at the Red Aunts/ Tanner/Cheater Slicks show at the Big Dipper, all three members of Berkeley’s Jawbreaker spent the evening at the club. One of the country’s hottest upcoming bands - Jawbreaker’s video for “Fireman” airs almost hourly on MTV the band had a day off before a show in Missoula.

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