Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jan 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Funky Shaman

music_PimpsOfJoytimeFor The Pimps of Joytime, the groove is sacred
If you ask Brian J, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for the Brooklyn-based The Pimps of Joytime, what the “J” in his name stands for, he might tell you, but he certainly won’t respond if you call him by the moniker he inherited from his father.

And that isn’t because he has anything against his dad—the man who instilled J with his love of R&B, soul and funk by keeping the stereo pumping in his household. It’s because, as J puts it, his legal surname is “the name I use for government shit.”

When J is onstage with his band, as he will be tonight at Moe’s Alley, he doesn’t want to think about taxes or long lines at the DMV. He wants to lose himself in the unique primeval catharsis that can only be achieved through rhythm.

“The groove is very deep and serious,” J says, referring to the pulse most music possesses, and that is especially present in The Pimps’ music. “It speaks to something primal in us. We approach it from a place of respect for where these rhythms come from.”

J wants his audience to feel that connection as well.

“The best gigs we ever do, that’s what it becomes—some sort of ritualistic type thing,” says J, who sees himself a bit like a modern day shaman, creating a musical rite through which he hopes the crowds might find a sort of spiritual release. “We’re not dancing around a fire, but we’re definitely bringing a fire, musically.”

The Pimps of Joytime bring that fire with a piping hot amalgam of just about every musical genre you can imagine—swinging adeptly from one style to another. On the title track from Janxta Funk, the group’s May release, The Pimps showcase their familiarity with roots soul and funk: a simple, air-tight beat struts behind, the treble changa-chang guitar and harmonizing horn punches; you can just about hear James Brown screaming “Hit meh!” from beyond the grave.

On “Take the L Train,” the group takes a Shaft-esque skeleton, and beefs it up with a fuzzy bass synth that sounds like it belongs in a Justice techno anthem, Michael Jackson flourishes, and a smooth jazz saxophone solo that gives way to an old-school-tinged rap verse from conga player and occasional emcee, Chauncey Yearwood.

And on “Workin all the Time,” hip-hop boom-bap and some dexterous record scratching morphs into a riff that simultaneously recalls Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” and The Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.”

Watching J onstage and hearing the music he writes, it is clear that while he certainly takes his craft seriously, he and The Pimps also have a whole lot of fun playing.

“We do this night after night,” J explains, “so the grooves and the sounds and the vibe is fun and the kind of thing that makes us want to do it every night.”

J’s father didn’t play an instrument, but he did play a lot of records for the youngster, who grew up in New Jersey listening to Otis Redding, Ray Charles, traditional and New Orleans jazz, along with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

He first sat down at a drum kit around the age of 7, and now, according to J, “if it’s got strings, I can mess with it and start making music with it.”

The Pimps of Joytime are looking forward to their stop at Moe’s, according to J, who says, “We play all over the country and Santa Cruz is definitely one of our favorite places to play.”


The Pimps of Joytime play at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 479-1854.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots