Music News

Critic's Choice

In the early '70s, when Funkadelic decried gluteal oppression with their smash hit "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow," bumpers and grinders the world over realized the unlimited possibilities between mind and body. And behind every subsequent jig lurked a booty-addled alchemist like Dr. Funkenstein in the wings, beaker poised, ready to cloud up the magic dance potion all over again. For Bop Skizzum, a hard-grooving, horn-driven outfit, that cat is Andy Guerrero, and the formula for funk remains celebratory -- equal parts soul embrace and ass contortion. Hosting a CD-release show this Friday, April 16, at the Gothic Theatre, with Love .45 and the Fray, Guerrero and the gang unveil Waiting For (reviewed in the March 18 Playlist), their punchy new full-length on homegrown Angry Burro Records. An inextinguishable act that burns with more brass than a coven of four-star generals -- thanks to trumpeter Joe Ferrone and saxophonist Serafin Sanchez -- Skizzum might declare itself "so much cooler than your boyfriend," but the band seems to puff out its chest with loftier intentions: "Hate Sickness" mates aggro-funk with quasi-political statement, something the Red Hot Chili Peppers were known for, while "Tell Me" blends Latin-tinged swing with a soaring melody that recalls Conjunto Colores. Put it all together, and it's liberation time for gray matter and keisters alike.
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John La Briola