"...Can we get funky now?" ~ Room 11
Hey, blogspot readers, it's a soulfully hot and funkedelic blast of the past! Tonight, SouthSide spent her Friday On The Town adventure catchingup with old friends while rockin' with new ones deep within the heart of Rogers Park's popular night spot, Morseland. And what a HOT night indeed it was as she was there attending the Room 11's CD release party. Hosted by the esteemed Pastor Funk Pleez (aka Big Ced of Room 11), fans crowded this restaurant/bar to see Mos Scocious, Esh the Singer (WI) and Super Moon with of course, the guest of honor - Room 11 tear down the venue with their soulfully funk/R&B/rock groove performances. Blogspot readers are highly encouraged to check out all acts mentioned in this review at their next scheduled show.
When seeing this act performin on stage, think of Mos Scocious as the indie version of jazz-soul-rock fusion band, Spyro Gyra, blogspot readers. Mos kicked off this rockin' CD release celebration with a set full of vibrant music genre combinations from R&B/soul to funk/rock and some Latin flavor on the side to spice things up. Even though this was a short performance, the trio that make up Mos Scocious packed plenty of upbeat tempos, melodic rhythms, classical funk/jazz riffs as well as intense energy into each song played which kept this lively crowd feeling the pulsating beat of music until the very end. Plus it left them wanting more. More of that spicy funk cover version of Eurhythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) featuring a lively rhumba/samba mix that made you want to dance ...or more of that hot electricity felt during the closer - Disco Ball which included a taste of the unknown from the X-Files theme woven inside the instrumental bridge. SouthSide was lucky to find a Mos Scocious CD laying around Elbo Room recently and highly recommends rockin' to original tracks 3 - Shamburger and 5 Garmonbozia (The Alligator Song) as well as their cover version of Gnarls Barkley' Crazy. All tracks on this CD are worthy of a listen however the three mentioned are her personal favorites. For more information about Mos Scocious, you can find them on Facebook or http://www.myspace.com/mosscocious.
"...let's burn this place down..."
With Mos Scocious lighting the match to tonight's hot lineup, Esh the Singer definitely set the stage ablaze with powerful yet dynamic vocals amidst the flaming fusion of rock/soul/and more during her performance. How hot was this performance you might ask. It was SO hot even SouthSide's Sprite couldn't cool off this reviewer after it was over. That's how hot. Esh literally burnt Morseland down to its foundation with her vibrant vocal style, spunky diva-tude, and intense energy that the artist almost embodied the essence, soul and stage presence of the legendary rocker herself - Tina Turner. Adding a bit of feminine sexiness here and there as well as deep vocals sometimes, Esh had this presence, blogspot readers, throughout the set as a tough as nails woman with plenty of heart and soul especially during one particular song in which she clearly stated "...I don't need any boyfriends now...I had to let all of the boyfriends go..." (from Leave). It's not how she sang those lyrics that instantly gave her the rank of Bitch (not in a negative way, mind you) in SouthSide's book but the way Esh expressed them with such fiery spite and passion ...when saying it, she truly meant it. The highlight of this set was her steamy ...smoldering hot version of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. A Zeppelin fan like SouthSide hasn't lived and breathed in this classic rock epic until seen it performed by Esh ...she totally owned this song adding such fire and passion into the lyrics and vocals. It's hard to describe Esh's body movements and facial expressions unless you were there basking in the opulent Kashmir glow. What an excitable rush of nirvana of finally reaching the House of Holy (another Led Zeppelin reference) as SouthSide rocked out to this cover. For more information about Esh the Singer, you can find her on Facebook or http://www.eshlive.com.
"...y'all want more? Let's give them more..."
How does one add more funkedelic fuel to the fiery flames already set after Esh the Singer's performance? By keeping it going with the spontaneous combustion of female vocal lead Talonie and her smooth yet soulful male counterpart, Jorge with the sparks of the band behind them. Super Moon without any warning, blogspot readers, popped onto the Morseland stage with a rockin' bang ...not a little firecracker bang. SouthSide's talking about a HUGE M80 explosive BANG which kept this roaring fire going amongst the hyped crowd. This set was very intense as well as energizing from start to finish ...and believe it or not, this was Super Moon's third show! To say this local band had continuous momentum would be a gross understatement. Even while in a downtempo pace and/or Jorge taking center stage on lead vocals, Super constantly had everyone tightly wrapped inside the furiously sounding, upbeat tempo and rhythms as heard amidst the band's soul/R&B/rock music. There was even some pseudo-ska felt during the song Killer and a "ghetto" vibe during Oh Baby which featured Super's friend Mandy as guest vocalist. What SouthSide liked most about Super Moon besides its eclectic rock themes and sound was the dynamic presence of female lead Talonie who adds a certain musical style ...flare ...je ne sais quoi to the stage especially while interacting with Jorge. She was an absolute joy to behold but also there's a natural chemistry between the two vocalists that this reviewer loved as seen while performing the intensified primal heat of Different Creatures. Lyrics be damned, blogspot readers, - these two sounded so raw and animalistic over the mic that SouthSide thought they were exorcising their sexual demons on stage amidst this rockin' jam. Yet on the flipsife, under a much calmer tempo (almost a lullaby groove mix as heard in Life Could Be A Dream), the two vocalist wonderfully feed off each other's energy and vibe before really rockin' out the show with Kick Out The Jams. For more information about Super Moon, you can find them on Facebook or http://www.supermoonsounds.bandcamp.com.
By now, blogspot readers, this fire was rage was WAY out of control when longtime friend Room 11 took the stage yet it was the steamy hot funkified type of fire (the kind that will sweat out your perm). And though it has been a very LONG time since, SouthSide basked in this band's eclectic mixture of funk/soul/R&B/hip hop rock glow, she had no problem slipping back into that psychedelic groove again. This reviewer loved Big Ced's (aka Pastor Funk Pleez) sanctified look as he stepped onto the stage in his decked out robe and shades to open with Bad Baggage and Dip Wit' Me featuring extended ending. Plus SouthSide must give mad props to the Soul Sisters (Room 11's backing female vocalists) for adding a whole lot of spunk and sexiness as well as diva-tude to the stage. Word of caution, fellas, don't mess with these women while they're getting their funk on especially when harmonizing under such powerfully dynamic vocals. Also liking the male vocal addition Bro African to Room 11's ever expanding lineup during certain songs - he definitely fits in nicely within the "choir" of voices bringing that brotherly soul as the band jammed. With some frizzy curls forming on this reviewer's head, she automatically knew it was about to get seriously funky inside Morseland when Room 11 hit the middle of their party set with Let's Ride (the fog machine wonderfully added more steam to the already funkified groove featuring a classic Stax sound and non-rush ending ...hence the "ride") and The Storm (featuring guest guitarist Luke and Bro African on vocals which truly took the funk energy down to spotlight the power of the Soul Sisters' vocals ...listen closely to the positiv message inside the lyrics, blogspot readers). This reviewer could see why Room 11 chose to include this classic track on their CD - it was powerfully as well as spiritually moving amidst the wicked guitar riffs during the instrumental bridge. There was another message to be heard, blogspot readers, "...sometimes things ain't what they seem..." (Cherri) which SouthSide liked how the band started nice and slow (to highlight the lyrics) before driving home the message raw and rough during the chorus and finish. Yet it wasn't just about the funk all of the time with Room 11. They exhibited a retro rock side to funk within an upbeat tempo in Nah-Stay and lyrical hip hop in the encore G.O.M.F. (Get Out My Face) ...and she not only literally meant it on stage but clearly demonstrated it was well. And of course no Room 11 show would be complete if they didn't perform fan favorite (that features a Frank electric guitar intro) Rock Fever that ultimately burnt Morseland to a crisp. No one ...not even SouthSide escaped the flames as the crowd wanted more. What a HOT way to end a funkedelic night On The Town. For more information about Room 11, you can find them on Facebook or http://www.roomoneone.com
Until next time, support your local scene,