Buddha's Belly
The seemingly impossible task of classifying a style is something that no musician likes doing. However, as styles crossbreed and bands continue to sprout, it has become increasingly necessary to associate with a genre to stand out. After more than two years of mixing and matching terms to define their music, Chicago's Buddha's Belly has finally found their niche (thanks to their recording engineer): crime jazz.

Guitarist Dan Golden recounts, "Our music has elements of so many different styles. Pasting those styles together for a genre (such as the moniker jazz-funk-jam-rock) never had a good ring to it, nor did it really do justice to what we were actually playing." While at first take most fans don't know what to make of crime jazz, the majority agrees with the term after hearing a couple songs. The Belly's filthy grooves, freakish song forms, unabashed virtuosity, and brilliantly rearranged covers don't seem to follow any laws.

Buddha's Belly
2003 was a breakout year for Buddha's Belly as their loyal fan base expanded with successful tours of both the east and west coasts. The band headlined some of the country's finest venues and shared stages with countless national acts. The Belly has also become known for mixing things up with guests whenever they get a chance. Recently, members of ulu, ALO, AGP, Liquid Soul, Ray's Music Exchange, and many others have taken part in some captivating BellyJams.

Buddha's Belly's second studio release The Governator features five crowd favorites from their 2003 tours. From the rock 'n' roll of "O.S.U.B." to the electronically infused "Dill Stew" and "Trance for Sir Fancy Pants," Buddha's Belly delivers a diverse array of material on this snapshot EP. Listeners are treated to more melodic songs with pointed vocals on "Octogetarian" and beautifully sculpted horn lines on "Red Head." Two of the tracks feature Johnny Showtime, the Grammy-nominated trombonist from Chicago's Liquid Soul. Showtime adds brilliant harmonies on "Red Head" as well as a scorching solo on the album's single "Trance for Sir Fancy Pants."

Listen to "Trance for Sir Fancy Pants!"

In support of The Governator, the band will be taking their crime jazz to the east coast for a 12-show tour this April. During the tour and all of their subsequent 2004 shows, Buddha's Belly is launching a VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE and has partnered with HeadCount.org. While the band chose not to officially endorse any candidate, they hope to increase voter participation and will have registration forms available at the merchandise table for all of their upcoming shows. Updated tour information and free downloads can be found at www.thebelly.net.

April 16 | Friday @ Excuses | Pittsburgh, PA
April 17 | Saturday @ Sky Bar | Somerville, MA
April 19 | Monday @ The Main Pub | Manchester, CT
April 20 | Tuesday @ The Rongovian Embassy | Trumansburg, NY
April 21 | Wednesday @ Jelly Beans | Geneva, NY
April 22 | Thursday @ The Lion's Den | New York, NY
April 23 | Friday @ Big Nick's Saloon | Philadelphia, PA
April 24 | Saturday @ The Royal | Baltimore, MD
April 25 | Sunday @ The Velvet Lounge | Washington, DC
April 28 | Wednesday @ The Joint | Clemson, SC
April 29 | Thursday @ The Brandyhouse | Atlanta, GA
April 30 | Friday @ The Beta Bar | Tallahassee, FL


[Published on: 4/18/04]

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