Les Claypool of Primus on the Benefits of Folk Music

Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde will be signing copies of Primus: Over the Electric Grapevine, an oral history of the band, at Tattered Cover on Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m.. Primus is also slated to perform at Riot Fest on Friday, September 19. Formed in 1984 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Primus combined funk, humor and the avant-garde. It is the rare band that has successfully transcended what might have been something gimmicky with its supreme musicianship and imagination. Its popularity rose with the advent of the alternative rock era, and its 1991 album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese yielded left field hits like "Tommy the Cat," "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers." Throughout the '90s Primus enjoyed mainstream popularity with The Brown Album and Tales From The Punch Bowl but by the end of the decade it was still releasing quality music even as it became something of a cult band.

See also: The Five Best Reunited Bands Playing Riot Fest

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.