And there we were, on El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, or as its known in the US of A, Cinco de Mayo. In parts of Mexico, and in the USA this is a day to celebrate the Mexican armys defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. But lets be honest; its also an excuse for a party, and one thing we love in Funkytown is any excuse for a party.
There was a Cinco de Mayo throwdown going on at Lolas with Big City Folk and Trip Mathis, but The Effinays were playing at Magnolia Motor Lounge, and the funk won out over the folk.
The celebration started at 3 on Sunday, but I couldnt make it until late. I was especially hoping to catch Gonzo City (who went on second to last), but I just missed them. The Effinays were already on stage and kicking ass like Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín when I walked in. The band consists of Joe Big Spook Martinez (vocals), Julian King Ayacannoo (sax), Jeremy Pan Blanco Piering (bass), Valenti Funk (drums, keys), Jason Shaggy Kerr (guitar) and Marquise Kool-Aid Jones (sax).
The Effinays are flat-out fun to watch, as a funk act should be. Marquise is all over the place, at one point running through the crowd, around the building outside, and back in the side door. Valenti plays drums and keyboard at the same time, and Jason Kerr, with his hair covering his face though 95 percent of the show, really earns the name Shaggy. But this isnt a circus, and in the end its all about the sonic. And that is what makes the Effinays ones of the bands you have to experience at all costs.
This is weapons-grade funk, with a healthy dose of rock and reggae thrown into the mix. The drums were precise and tasteful, and Piering lays down a solid funk bass line without being showy or overdone. The dual saxes and the excellent guitar work drove it home, and Martinezs vocal work couldnt be a better front for this mess. The chemistry between all these components is what shoves an Effinays show over the line into greatness. There is a sense of chaotic harmony between the members that just makes this a blast to listen to (and watch). They are having fun, and you cant help but join them.
The band finished up, tried to leave the stage, then got roped into doing one more song, then another and still one more. As I tried to walk to my car, I heard the saxophones out on the patio and I went back to find Jones and Ayacannoo engaging in some outdoor sax (in public, no less). An impromptu jam had broken out and a crowd was forming around them. Who could blame them?