After the first day of CMJ panels and wrapping my head around the overly ambitious music schedule I had created (as well as juuuusst missing last call for the open bar at the press mixer), I decided a pizza party at L’asso should be my first stop. That’s where I ran into the congenial guys from New Beard, and a bunch of their friends. Beardos Yazan and Ben were playing with a group of their friends, collectively known as Corrupt Autopilot. They played fun songs that could be equally suited for around a campfire, and enchanted forest, or a pizza joint with with amazing muffaletta-inspired deep dish pies. Seriously, it’s called the Big Muff, and it is indeed a mouthful. Corrupt Autopilot was basically what you get when a group of witty musicians and clever comedians (and handmade puppets) get hopped up on pizza and love, as one friend summed up by shouting out, “you’re pizza to my ears!” One of the best compliments I’ve ever heard.
Then, for something completely different, I headed over to Tammany Hall where the hottest funk and soul throwback band I’ve ever seen was playing: JuiceBox. Holy shit these guys are talented! I wasn’t sure I would be able to write more than two words on them because SICK NASTY is the only thing I could think while I was watching them. They all have some serious artistry and skills going on, pulling from old school jazz, boogie, funk, and soul. Lots o’ soul. Every single one of these guys is crazy talented by themselves (clearly demonstrated when each had at least one solo in every song), and together they are so incredible it’s hard to not shake your head while making the duck face.
This band of dudes looking like classy rat packers is rounded out perfectly with the alluring front woman Lisa Ramey. She’s got ease and swagger for days, with a huge smile on her face, a swing to her hips, and an infinitely soulful voice. She knows when to step back and sip her drink to let the boys bust out their solos, and then jump back in right on time and belt it out. They also had a guy named Francisco jump up for a little jazz-tap dance interlude. What? Yeah. JuiceBox is classy enough to kick it in a swank jazz club (like the vid below), but their performance at Tammany Hall revealed that a funkier, more lively setting can really turn them on.
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