MUSIC BOX: Get Funked Up

By on January 31, 2017

Six bands, including Galactic, to hijack valley dance floors this week.

The very serious Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Ladies and gents, funk week has arrived. Headlined by quintessential funk veterans Galactic on Tuesday at the Knotty Pine, area venues are jam-packed with wah-wah pedals, psychedelic delays, punchy horns and synthesizers in support of that pulsing groove that transfixes so many freakers-by-the-speakers.

Also on tap is Baltimore’s Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with local staple Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons; the Colorado onslaught of Amoramora; The Magic Beans with Cycles; and up-and-coming locals Freda Felcher.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is among the few bands in the jam genre that’s not opposed to infusing humor in their lyrics and image. “Burning Up My Time,” from the band’s 2015 release Pleasure, is a piece of this light-hearted spirit, be it slightly head-scratching: “Everybody’s talking about the war but we don’t know what we’re fighting for/If you look up you’ll see that your mangos ain’t a priority.” They’re a jovial bunch of dudes in 70s garb bringing “end-of-the-world” enthusiasm and loving every minute of it.

Locally grown funksters Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons share this co-bill for good reason—they’ve been crushing it. The quintet has a groovy new full-length, Dojo, and they encompass a rare touring mentality beyond Jackson, where the band’s hard earned local following of Weaponeers always seem to rally. If you haven’t visited with the Weapons in a bit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the musicality.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons, 9 p.m. Thursday, February 2 at the Pink Garter Theatre. $12., 307-733-1500.

Jake Shimabukuro

Fuzzed-out uke

Listening to the onset of Jake Shimabukuro’s 2016 release Nashville Sessions, you might think for a moment you were still listening to the hard-hitting electro-pyschedelia of the aforementioned funk bands. Critics and purists do not always welcome a mid-career album that steps this far out of the box with open arms, though exploring different textures and themes is an inquisitive artist’s journey.

Fuzzed-out Zeppelin rocking, guitar-like 70s rock-fusion, and saturated reverb on a plugged-in ukulele are not new to Shimabukuro’s fans in the live setting. But Nashville Sessions is a progressive rock snapshot that comes off as more in-the-moment than his high-fidelity acoustic musings, such as 2007’s In My Life.

Drummer Evan Hutchings and his regular touring bassist Nolan Verner joined him for the sessions, and you’re likely to get a nice dose of this jammy material. Verner will join Shimabukuro for this show.

Jake Shimabukuro, Friday at the Center Theater. $44., 307-733-4900.

Support a station with soul

If diversity in music is important to you, you likely already listen to the non-commercial format that is embraced by Jackson Hole Community Radio KHOL 89.1 FM. To maintain this style of radio service with fewer ads, the station runs a membership drive twice a year.  The winter drive runs February 7 to 13.

“We get around 75 percent of our operating budget from these two drives, with the majority of the rest coming from underwriting, which is our version of advertising, and Old Bill’s,” explained station manager Zach Zimmerman. “We get zero state or federal funding. Especially in the current media climate, we are proud to be completely independent and locally supported.” Zimmerman also pointed to a brimming on-air schedule and the variety of programming the station offers on a weekly basis.

The station’s last drive raised a record $56 thousand. This was, in part, because of the popular Dean Ween Group/Meat Puppets show along with the fact that there are more people involved as volunteer DJs and program creators than ever before, including more than 60 volunteers. Another membership appreciation party is in the works, likely for May. Donor thank you rewards vary based on donation level and include a raffle ticket to win a Franco Custom Snowshape snowboard, KHOL beanies, hoodies, baseball hats, and more, along with tons of goodies donated by local businesses. Check out the revamped website for more details.

For 2017, Zimmerman hopes to hear KHOL in even more places. “One thing I am looking to do is start a ‘Listen local first’ campaign, especially targeting local businesses,” Zimmerman said. “Locals and visitors alike come to Jackson for a unique experience, so why not make the radio that you hear in businesses across the valley reflect the community?” PJH

Aaron Davis is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.


The Met Live in HD: Romeo & Juliette (Center Theater), PTO & Stackhouse (Mangy Moose)


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons (Pink Garter Theatre)


Jake Shimabukuro (Center Theater), Freda Felcher (Moose Hockey), Gleewood (Silver Dollar), Chanman Roots Band (Trap Bar)


Amoramora (Mangy Moose), The Magic Beans with Cycles (Town Square Tavern), Screen Door Porch EP Release (Knotty Pine)


Major Zephyr (Mangy Moose), Hof Polka Band (Alpenhof)


JH Hootenanny (Dornan’s)


Galactic (Knotty Pine), Benjamin Beilman and Andrew Tyson (Center Theater)

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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