Word to the monkey elevator man

Really, I mean it, Loose Booty in the park Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m. with DNA@shocking.com.
There are two ways to enjoy a band. One is to listen to its CD and hopefully find brilliance in its melodies, songwriting abilities, harmonies, intellect and ability to spin a good song. Second is to see it live. In concert, many bands faithfully play what you have heard on their CDs note for note. Other bands take the stage as an opportunity to improvise, expanding the space between the notes till the song breathes and new worlds are explored. Some bands that started off as “jam bands” have returned to resting on the laurels of a good song: Pink Floyd and the Allman Brothers, for example. Locally, jam band scene has hit an all-time low in the last five years. Whereas one used to be able to go out and see Electric Circus, Puddle Junction, Spark ‘n’ Cinder, Jordhuga, Stout & Downers, Blue Dye Fire, Honey, Nothing Day and Friday Nite Simon, lately groove bands have been hard to find.

Fear not, dirt twirlers, spinners and snake charmers, 2002 looks to be the return of the “good time” band. Juice, which used to wow crowds with creative lyrics and a thumpin’ band, is now back as Harpoon. Buffalo Creek has stuck it out through the lull and is in a prime position to lead the pack with its tight harmonies and strong songwriting skills. Soul Maze is beginning to work some originals into its array of soul and Motown classics and can jam a song better than Smuckers. Loose Booty is an all-star band that features many talented players but crushes the weak of heart with Gary Dutra’s terrorist guitar licks. Chocolate Hukah Rebirth has appeared out of left field with a great debut in the field of R&B funk. Another worthy band on the scene that will hopefully stay together through the summer is Chingus, which features the guitar wizardry of a young upstart named Gonzo. The solid vocal and guitar work of Sloan makes Nine Balls Deep and any of his side projects worth pursuing. Jeff Pershing has worked long and hard to get his band sounding so stellar. Brown House, A Dog Named Blue, Spark ‘n’ Cinder, Kozmic Engine and many others are also adding to the thick of it.

On the reggae front changes are underway. Mystic Roots is about to head south and relocate closer to the Mexican border, where bassist Chris Henderson has already settled in. Levi Jr. and Cornerstone are calling it quits with a final free show in the park. Bassist and the most important herald of reggae in the North State, Jay "Boomshot" Langworthy, has finally gained escape velocity and is Maui bound, so catch Dub Revolution while you can. Nuff said.