Jim Wuest is a sick, sick individual. I know. I saw what you did, Jim Wuest!
Wuest is the keyboards player for the Heavy Pets, one of south Florida’s greatest exports. And he caused an explosion last Thursday at the Crowbar in Ybor City.
See, what happened was…
Roosevelt Collier and the Heavy Pets were on a short holiday tour in Florida. Roosevelt came out with the Pets’ rhythm section, Tony D’Amato on bass and Jamie Newitt on drums, and the trio took a warm-up lap with a tune that reminded me of the Lee Boys’ “On My Way.” Suddenly, Wuest strode on stage and jumped behind his keyboards, and…
All hell broke loose. They went from a warm-up lap to the Olympic final in five seconds. This song was so funky, so nasty – it clearly came from the deepest end of the funk pool. It reminded me of that magnificent almost-disco vamp the Pets get from my favorite of their songs, “Dewpoint.” And, on top of everything else, Wuest makes the best faces. The Crowbar was in pandemonium. And you know I am all about the rhythm section: D’Amato and Newitt are simply on top of their game. Unreal!
(There is video evidence from the next night at the Culture Room up on YouTube. Look for The Heavy Pets “Jamming with Roosevelt.” Talk about must-see TV!)
Then guitarist Mike Garulli got dragged into the mix. D’Amato instantly threw it into funk overdrive. Finally Jeff Lloyd and guitar made it on stage, helping to close out a glorious 50 minutes of Collier and his south Florida compatriots with a P-Funk-inspired romp. Fortunately, we had not seen the last of Roosevelt Collier.
To say that the Heavy Pets were warmed up would be the understatement of the year (decade? century?). They slammed into the jam, eventually surfacing into “Sigismondi” (which is featured on the new 7” vinyl EP Stolen Smile). Later, a great version of “Girl You Make Me Stupid” emerged to everyone’s delight. Wuest took another wonderfully nasty synthesizer solo. Lloyd and Garulli were blazing.
Eventually, they screamed and hollered for Collier to get back on stage, and things rapidly got ridiculous. Smiles after smiles were seen on stage and throughout the room. When it seemed it could get no more crazy, out came Mista Juanjumon of CopE with his trusty tenor sax for “Strawberry Mansion.” Now we were ALL stupid!
What a way to end the evening!
It started off in fine fashion, too, with DJ K-Slat. I’m convinced K-Slat is a mind-reader and knows exactly what I want to hear every time I see him. This night was no different. I arrived mid-first set to “Slow Fire” by Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee. In my brain, I could see and hear Orgone playing that same tune both nights at Bear Creek. K-Slat owned me for the rest of the set and his second one as well. What a sucker I am for deep house!
At 10:23, twenty minutes into the set by Greenhouse Lounge, I officially became unhip. There was no ceremony, but it was obvious to all.
See, what happened was…
GHL and some other bands, including ZOOGMA (and even Lotus?!?) have been exploring a genre that must have a name, although I don’t know it. It involves playing a recording of somebody else’s music and then playing underneath it and on top of it. At 10:23, they were playing along with some hip-hop tune I had never heard (and hope never to again), and everybody else was singing along and having a great time. And my unhip-ness was apparent to all. *SIGH*
The interesting thing is that I enjoy their original music, and this was a better show than their July performance, where I bailed after 30 minutes. But, in the back of my head, I was paraphrasing the title of a movie I’ve never seen (and probably never will): “I’m just not that into you.” And “that’s what makes a horserace,” as my former mother-in-law used to say. Like Camel Filters, it’s not for everybody. Not for me, anyway. I do get to point out that I was in the distinct minority on this.
Great seeing Thor (WMNF’s In the Groove), Kenny, Kimmie and Kenny (CopE), and Purple Bear.
Incidentally, have you hugged your Moongoddess today? Recently? Praised your Brokenmold Productions? Because they are responsible for so many great shows in a wide range of genres. Without them, things would be mighty boring around here. Just sayin’. Please thank these great people who keep us awash in great music.
Finally, I have a dream. In my dream, I go to see a show at the Crowbar, and I don’t need two sets of ear plugs, because for once the volume isn’t at ear-splitting and chest-pounding levels. I’m a dreamer; aren’t we all?
[Heavy Pets & Collier: Funk Jam 1 (w/ Roosevelt, Jamie, Tony), Funk Jam 2 (w/ Roosevelt, Jamie, Tony, Jim), Funk Jam 3 (w/ Roosevelt, Jamie, Tony, Jim, Mike), Jam* > Iceberg Blues*, How Would I, Sigismondi, Ibis, Girl You Make Me Stupid, Holy Holy*, Strawberry Mansion*#, Operation of Flight; E: Pass It Down*]
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