By now Dumpstaphunk is so reliable a live band that the term “Dumpstaphunk
rager” is redundant. They make lesser funk, groove and R&B bands sound forced and
overindulged, and have hit that sweet spot – hit it, smacked it, milked it, really --
where they’re both preserving the New Orleans funk tradition and defining what a 2013 funk
band should sound like.
[Photo by Michael Weintrob]
The better news? Two years into Nikki Glaspie’s joining the band on drums, it sounds like
this Dumpsta lineup is just getting started. And what their 2013 album Dirty Word
showed is that they can craft songs – resonant, conscious tunes that don’t overdo it on
righteous anger or sentiment but don’t blunt the band’s aggressive attack, either – to put
even more meat on those jammy bones.
The result is that a Dumpstaphunk show is now a fuller thing, not just a groove-fest: jams
for the jam lovers, songs for the song lovers, dazzling instrumental showcases, audience
stoking, pacing, control and not a second that coasts on musicianship alone, even though,
with the caliber of these players, that would probably still be enough.
The knock on Saturday night’s Brooklyn show was length: a two hour set that felt about
three hours too short -- over before it really caught fire. But it was a well-used block:
Dumpsta staples like “Put it in the Dumpsta” and “Reality of the Situation,” bustout
covers like Zep’s “Immigrant Song” and Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement,” and gnarly
sit-ins from Lettuce’s Adam “Shmeans” Smirnoff on “Dumpsta” and Glaspie’s Nth Power
bandmate Nick Cassarino for “Meanwhile.”
Written By: Chad Berndtson