PREVIEW: Monophonics & Polyrhythmics 10.30 & 10.31.15 (Seattle, WA)
Words By Coleman Schwartz
Photo By Scott Shrader (J. Scott Shrader Photography)
Halloween weekend is almost here and live music fans everywhere rejoice for their annual excuse to command the dancefloor in costume. In the eccentric neighborhood of Fremont, Seattle, Nectar Longue will be throwing the craziest party in town. In an epic clash of prefixes, Seattle afro-beat superheroes the Polyrhythmics are co-headlining a two night run with SF based psychedelic soul sextet Monophonics. Friday (10.30) will feature the Polyrhythmics opening up for Monophonics, while Saturday (10.31) will flip the order to allow for a good old fashioned Halloween hometown throwdown, which is certain to extend late into the evening. Costumes are encouraged on both nights, but fervent dancing will be mandatory for admission. Doors will be at 8:00 PM each night, with music starting at 9:00 PM! Tickets for Friday are $20.00 DOS. Tickets for Saturday are $20.00 in advance, $25.00 DOS. A limited number of two night passes remain for $30.00. Purchase online or at the Nectar Longue box office!
Monophonics are best described as a soul-funk band that is becoming more psychedelic rock by the minute. They sound like a child born to Grace Slick and Sly Stone. As they blur genres, their sound is anchored by outstanding keyboard/organ work. Poignant vocals and horns combine to carry the melody beautifully and assure that even at their most psychedelic, the soul influence is not forgotten. Their drumming is very bouncy in a way reminiscent of Seattle psych rockers the Electric Prunes, and the guitarist also uses the correct distortion levels to merit that comparison. Their new album, Sound of Sinning, draws heavily from The Beatles and Beach Boys type influences (think Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds, specifically). These new tracks help to even further diversify their catalog and it should be very exciting to watch them mix all of these styles together live.
Once you see the Polyrhythmics, it is difficult to forget them. It’s not every day that you find an 8-piece group capable of grooving this tightly. Horns and Latin-influenced percussion work (particularly the jug) make key contributions to their extremely distinct and refined sound that has been filling out rooms nationwide. They are all instrumental, and masters of building up a slow, sultry groove into an intricate, funky breakdown that compels even statues to dance. Once the rhythm section has locked into their groove, the horns and guitar add tasteful interplay and jaw-dropping solos to the lush, world-influenced soundscape. Thoughtful songwriting allows the unique talents and sensibilities of each band member a chance to shine. For instance, certain tracks see saxophonist Art Brown bust out his flute (Ron Burgundy style) to transport audiences to an underground 1950s jazz club. Their catalog is large enough that they seriously mix up song selection from night to night. I have seen this group ten plus times in the past two years, and have yet to walk out of a show with anything less than stellar reviews.
Nectar Longue is their home venue and this will be their first performances there since May of this year. These holiday shows are sure to be high energy thrillers, so don’t miss out!