LIMB SNAPPING 2019 LINE UP
Evolfo is the sound that breaks through the fuzz on the low end of your radio dial and echoes out the back door of a pink neon lit bar. Mainstays of New York City’s clubs and DIY spaces, as well as the finest basement venues coast to coast, Evolfo has cut adventurous tracks through the U.S., gaining initiates and devotees every time they cram onto a stage and deliver their raucous live show. Last of the Acid Cowboys, the band’s debut LP, melts down decades worth of eclectic and bizarro records and puts on wax a house shaking mix of garage rock, psych soul, spiritual funk and ecstatic freakout. Like the faithful crate-diggers who have come before them, Evolfo mined the past for sounds and grooves that history left on the shelf. When they breathe their smoke into these forms, it produces something new.
“The process of writing and recording The Last of the Acid Cowboys was a lot of unlearning for me. My main focus was trying to reconnect with the untainted excitement I had for music as a teenager. Every artist I look up to defies categorization and I think that’s because they all concern themselves solely with making the music, and not labeling it from the get go,” said keyboardist and vocalist Rafferty Swink. “It might sound obvious, but these limitations are hammered into your head as an unknown artist and it’s only after you put both middle fingers up that you can make something real.”
With a guitar sound soaked in the gunk that drips down from an elevated subway train and a fire-breathing horn section, this Brooklyn septet plays garage-soul with the force of the Devil’s belly laugh and the groove of a New Orleans second line. They’re The Stooges playing along to Bitches Brew; Shuggie Otis soundtracking a Spaghetti Western; “Louie Louie” and a bottle of champagne.
In 2011 the rag tag group of seven music students, representing both coasts and the Great Midwest, came together in Boston, MA. They originally called themselves Evolfo Doofeht, a reversal of “the food of love,” Shakespeare’s famous description of music from “Twelfth Night.” Headed by guitarist and vocalist Matt Gibbs, the band had one goal: play with energy and bombast. They cut their teeth on the basement party circuit and earned a reputation for playing bacchanalian live shows. The crew wrote songs about gypsies and demons and quickly became local favorites, netting a Boston Music Award and inspiring Sound of Boston to proclaim “It’s hard, almost impossible, to listen to Evolfo Doofeht without feeling the urge to dance.” Now these boys are young men, they’ve traded Boston for Brooklyn, and they’re simply called, Evolfo.
In a few short years together, Evolfo have drawn the attention of indie rock tastemakers with their songs being selected for several films and television shows, inclusion on Spotify playlists and praise from media outlets like Impose Magazine who declared, “you fall into the depths of the lyrics within seconds,” and Speak Into My Good Eye who called the band, “raucous, dark, sinister, with a warm-psych-soul energy.”
Since their inception, Evolfo has been known for their performances and the band looks to keep developing. “I want the show to go above and beyond. I want to be on bigger stages consistently where we can experiment with the spectacle and the sound to their fullest extent,” said Gibbs. “My favorite thing about my band is that it’s what I do for fun. I live for the tours and I look forward to these shows more than anything else.”
Evolfo carries the essence of weird and raw music forward, one sweaty dance floor at a time. Play on.
Ben Pirani and the Means of Production
Soul music is many things to Ben Pirani: It’s positive and it’s hopeful. It’s a soundtrack for struggle, which is where soul music came from in the first place. That the struggle has been happening largely in the black community is not lost on Pirani, who is white — it’s something he thinks about a lot. “I feel really strongly that soul music is precious and must be treated with care and respect,” he says. “Anything less is colonizing the funk.” That brings us to another crucial point: real soul can’t be faked — it’s an expression of self that is so much more than mimicry of the sounds that have come before. “It’s called soul music,” Pirani says. “You’re supposed to sing from your heart and your soul and not your record collection.” That’s exactly what he does on How Do I Talk to My Brother? Make no mistake: Pirani has a lock on the sound and feel of soul music on his Colemine Records debut. The album contains 11 deeply felt tracks with echos of vintage soul in the vocal harmonies, the way the songs sit back in a deep pocket and Pirani’s unerring instinct for stick-inyour- head hooks. Yet he isn’t just rummaging around in the past on How Do I Talk to My Brother? The New York-via-Chicago singer, songwriter and multiinstrumentalist brings a contemporary context to his music: He’s writing about what he sees going on all around him, and his reaction to it, be it racism, love, war, poverty or politics.
“The music has a message. if you listen for it, it’s there. I think that’s important because soul music without a message isn’t soul music.” Pirani says. “Art is political. If your music doesn’t come with some level of cultural understanding, then it’s just pastiche.” All of it comes from the heart, from the soul, and also a little bit from Pirani’s blood. Raised by musician parents in the post-industrial Maywood neighborhood in Chicago, Pirani grew up around music: his father was a jazz musician who also did session work on soul records, including Terry Callier’s 1972 opus Occasional Rain, and his mother was a conservatorytrained singer. Pirani’s parents were the music directors at a Pentecostal church, but his world truly opened up when a family friend gave Pirani the entire Beatles catalog and a five-piece Ludwig drum kit. He got into punk in high school, dropped out and went on the road as a drummer, coming home to play in various bands in Chicago, rediscovering soul in the dusty record storesand, eventually, moving to New York. “Punk embodies a lot of the same spirit to me as soul does,” Pirani says. “It was about people’s hopes and dreams, love and loss, unless you were on Motown, it was an underground thing. And punk was the same thing.” How Do I Talk to My Brother? is in many ways a catalog of Pirani’s own hopes and dreams. Making the album followed what Pirani calls “a personal renaissance”which is the subtext of “Not One More Tear,” a pulsing, horn-laced anthem to perseverance. "I basically decided to get my shit together and take music seriously. getting married and cleaning up my act was a big part of that." All the same, New York at first was a hard place to make music, and more than one promising project fell apart. He found initial success in 2016 with a 7-inch single, “Light of My Life” b/w “Dreamin’s for Free,” which became a sought-after item on the Northern soul scene in Britain. Things moved much faster once he linked up with Colemine, and though How Do I Talk to My Brother? has been a long time coming, it’s coming out at a perfect time. “Coming together to listen to music is revolutionary” he says. “If we can harness that energy, that togetherness and camaraderie maybe we can make a change in this world.”
Jafé and the Royals
The Royals emerged fully formed from the creative crucible of New York City in 2016. Their groove is an unstoppable force and an immovable object, fusing a wide spectrum of rhythms, languages, and genres to create their self described "Psychedelic Afro-Rock." Lead by underground music veteran Jafé Paulino, the group features some of the city's hardest working musicians at the helm of each instrument - Danny Rose on keyboard and synth, Daddi Longlegz on bass, Jett Carter on drums, and Jesse Berman on guitar Together they are the Army of Love, The Militia of Peace, and The Biggest & Baddest in all New York City, promoting love, inclusion, and empowerment with their motto: The King Is Dead, The Queen is Too, We Are The Royals & So Are You
You want some late night jamming? Jams Bond just got back from Beirut where he was melting faces with his intricate blends of world music and hip hop. He even made us our very own mix to get you all fucking HYPED.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Kahiem Rivera manages to weave a cynical, world-weary perspective into hip hop songs about love, sex, race, and disappointment. “I make ‘em dance and depressed at the same time." There is a whole lot to be sad about, but there's also music. And as much as Kahiem would love to drink a beer and talk your ear off about how awful it all is, he'd rather rap. It’s not all gloom though. If you were willing to return the favor, Kahiem would tell you that he loved you, and he would mean it. He even has a song about f***ing. It was spurred by a very symbolic dream involving paper cranes, but it's about f***ing nonetheless. And who doesn't like f***ing?
Kahiem just dropped the sexiest new music video, check it out at https://youtu.be/1g8fRX6PQJk
Jake McKelvie and the Countertops
If you’ve been to Limb Snapping, you’ve seen JCMTOPS. For five out of six Limb Snappings they have rocked out our stages, even when there were no amps, even when there were no lights. If you want to know what it is to be a snapper, just look to these dudes. They don’t stop touring, so keep a look out for them.
Classically trained in vocals, piano, and cello, rooted in her jazz, folk, and opera musical background, Kimaya Diggs has mastered a genre-defying style. Inspired by the acrobatic folk renderings of Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz stylings, and Lianna LaHavas’ soulful charisma, she draws skillfully from her lineage of musical pioneers, creating a musical lane all her own. Kimaya’s comfortable stage presence and confident mastery of her vocal talent grounds each performance and allows her audiences to fully participate in the experience of each song.
Kimaya’s debut album, Breastfed, is a bittersweet chronicle of a young artist’s growth toward the light. Recklessly urgent, irreverent and defiant in the face of the past, Breastfed boldly wrangles the pain and glory of a growing-up narrative, claiming its narrative with spirit and dark humor.
Watson Village, hailing from Columbia, SC- made a splash at Limb Snapping 5. At that point they were only an idea and a taste of what was to come. Billing themselves as an American heavy rock band they do themselves a disservice. They’re deep, blues filled riffs and swamp rock vibe make every sip of your ice cold beer taste even sweeter.
This year they’re back and we’re stoked.