Aaah, the "birthday show." Each year, we eagerly keep watch over our favorite bands' schedules with the hope that they'll just happen to descend upon our hometown on the very same day we celebrate our birth. The "perfect" birthday show can prove to be an elusive beast, but on those glorious anniversaries when the stars seem to align and shine down on us in our silly party hats and drunken "that's-right-it's-all-about-ME-today" grins, well, ...that's just the shit right there.

And so it was that this year at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica, my drunken grin was fueled by the funkadelic sounds of Boulder's Muppet-funk outfit JIVE, and New Orleans' own Rebirth Brass Band. Dubbed as my "ReBirthday Party", March 29th at the Temple Bar was a dance par-tay, jam packed with fat bass lines and blaring brass, smiling faces from wall-to-wall. Lead off by Jive's super-disco-freaky brand of party funk, the evening held the promise of fun for all, and delivered on that promise, in spades. I'd actually met up with several of the guys from Jive the previous weekend in Colorado at the Telluride Soulive/Galactic show (ooooh, I can't even bring myself to try to put THAT weekend into words, which should say everything), but had never heard their music, so I was indeed curious. I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised by the grooves doled out by this collective, a group of guys who looked just like, well, to quote my good friend Chris Bertolet, "imagine a band comprised of dudes who look and dress like us, playing music that sounds like it could've come straight from the Greyboy catalog, and you get the picture." Indeed.

Next up was the muthafunkin' Rebirth Brass Band. Ain't no party like a Rebirth party, that's for sure, emphasis on the PARTY! I couldn't tell you the name of a single song, but who cares! They all ran together like a big fat N'awlins party mix, increasing in energy as the night wore on. It was so crowded you couldn't move, and yet, the crowd was MOVIN', and I remember turning to a friend and saying, "Man, it's like, Tipitina's hot in here!" Crazy. These guys know how to turn a room into a party, and thanks to another friend, it was made very clear that it was a birthday party, 'cause next thing I knew the sax player (who is CRAZY funny, ...when you can understand what he's saying) was making lewd innuendos about the "birthday gift" he had for me back at the hotel. Though it was a sober night out for me, I couldn't tell you the names of the songs they played but that don't matter none. Actually, I do remember one -- they started off the second set with "Happy Birthday." Awww. Right on! I couldn't stay much later than that, because although it was my birthday, I did have to be at work the next morning.

All in all, a great way to ring in my 29th year. Wish every day could be a Rebirth Day, and that ain't no Jive!

boogie on,
Gina Figliuolo
Los Angeles, CA
Go See Live Funky Music!

[Published on: 4/3/01]

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