By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
The SnoCore Icicle Ball -- not to be confused with the SnoCore Rock Show to be held at the Pageant the night before -- promises to be a churnin' urn of burnin' funk and some decidedly left-of-center jams as well. Co-headlining the show are New Orleans funkateers Galactic (above) 0and one of Primus frontman Les Claypool's many side projects, Frog Brigade.Galactic actually comes by two of its members by way of Washington, D.C. Bassist Robert Mercurio and guitarist Jeff Raines grew up in the nation's capital but attended college in New Orleans and were quickly swept up in the city's music scene. Initially an octet, they've now pared down to six members -- organist Rich Vogel, saxophonist Ben Ellman, drummer Stanton Moore and "permanent guest vocalist" Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet are the others.
On Late for the Future, the band's third album, Galactic throws down a bit more rock guitar and adds some free-jazz skronk and drum loops to songs like "Baker's Dozen" and "Two Clowns" DeClouet's vocals on "Century City" and other tracks are nice, but it's the propulsive jams of songs like "Black Eyed Pea" and "As Big as Your Face" that have made Galactic a favorite.
Judging from its moniker, Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade sounds as if it might be something out of a Bullwinkle cartoon. That'd probably be just fine with Claypool, who, with Primus, Sausage, Holy Mackerel, Oysterhead and various other musical projects, is quickly amassing one of the more purposely oddball résumés in rock.
The other members of the group have their jammin' credentials in order. Drummer Jay Lane (formerly of Primus and Sausage) is in Bob Weir's Rat Dog, as is keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Guitarist Todd Huth was in Primus, Sausage and Porch (who recorded for Claypool's Prawn Song label). Saxophonist Skerik used to be in Galactic and now leads Seattle's Critters Buggin'. Bay Area guitarist Eenor, meanwhile, was handpicked by Claypool from a number of musicians auditioning for the gig. Truly this may be one evening where you can't tell the players without a scorecard.
Opening the show are Baltimore's Lake Trout, who play a mix of funk, drum & bass, and jazz that they call "organica." Their latest release is a live collaboration with DJ Who, Alone at Last.