MUSIC BOX: Everything under the Finest sun

By on February 17, 2015

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – The first thing that comes to mind when a band unabashedly calls themselves World’s Finest is that they must think highly of themselves. Yet the first song on its Web site’s music player is “Da Dip,” the 1996 one-hit wonder from Freak Nasty, so I digress.

World’s Finest self-proclaims tags of “funky punky acoustic dub ska honkytonk reggae jam bluegrass rowdiness” and “neo-Americana” leaving little genre play left to discover, though if you hang around for the entire show, its likely you will get a dose of it all – including groove and rap. Regardless of far-reaching style, the foundation remains primarily acoustic (with drums), which would seemingly put them in a jamgrass class, without the traditional bluegrass background. Like Sam Bush has embraced over the years, bluegrass and reggae have similar attributes, yet the Finest bring the amalgam culture of Portland into music form.

According to PortlandMetronome.com, there’s been a local buzz about the quintet over the last couple of years. They’ve put out two full-length efforts, Pattern (2012) and 33 (2012), mashing guitar, bass, banjo, drums, and saxophone.

World’s Finest, 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 732-3939.

Rhythmic flare a la World’s Finest accompanies the mid-February flush of music offerings. (Photo credit: World’s Finest)

Rhythmic flare a la World’s Finest accompanies the mid-February flush of music offerings. (Photo credit: World’s Finest)

Big band polyrhythms 

Hard driving Afro-beat and syncopated, horn-driven funk via septet Polyrhythmics is of the Fela Kuti nature, modernized by an Antibalas-type hypnotic flare, though perhaps best compared to other all-instrumental outfits like The Budos Band. With more than 60 original compositions, this prolific Seattle octet was named “Best Band in Seattle” by Seattle Magazine in November 2011 before venturing outside the state’s borders to take their sound beyond the Northwest.

Digging deeper into both live and one-mic-in-a-room studio recordings, deep grooving, consistent and multi-layered funk define the band’s original stamp with equal parts reserved for African-influenced syncopation. The end game is tight, talented and titillated dance music in which to shake your moneymaker. Sweaty club music is on tap for the masses.

Polyrhythmics, 10 p.m. on Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Polyrhythmics will induce booty bouncing at the Tavern. (Photo credit: Polyrhythmics)

Polyrhythmics will induce booty bouncing at the Tavern. (Photo credit: Polyrhythmics)

Billygoats gruff

Often rollicking and whiskey-drenched, progressive psychobilly folk-grass Boise band, Jonathan Warren & The Billygoats have a certain spark fire that demands a listen. This is not the squeaky clean approach you might hear out of Music City, but rather a gritty Appalachian campfire version of the hard-strumming, early Avett Brothers with raspy, Southern-drawled vocals that fuse the qualities of Wooden Wand, Steve Earle, even a dash of Tom Waits. Over the coarse of three studio albums – You Just Relax Honey (2010), A Little Something Stronger Than Wine (2011), and the recently released On This Very Evening (2013) – Warren and the Goats have put out a slightly more polished product while remaining true to its uncooked live feel.

Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats, 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort. Free. GrandTarghee.com. 

Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats bring psychobilly to the ‘Ghee. (Photo credit: Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats)

Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats bring psychobilly to the ‘Ghee. (Photo credit: Jonathan Warren and The Billygoats)

Higher with Galactic

Galactic’s new single “Higher and Higher,” features JJ Grey, which seems like a match made in swamp-funk heaven. Though the country’s most road-dedicated funk band plays the Tetons once a year, they have an undying work ethic that most always brings something new to the tool belt. No, Grey will not be touring with them, nor will Jamaican tour mate Brushy One String, but when the dance throw-down is at The Knotty Pine, fringe benefits are not necessary. Galactic at The Knotty is an experience in and of itself.

Galactic, 10 p.m. on Tuesday at The Knotty Pine in Victor. $40. KnottyPineSupperClub.com, 208-787-2866.

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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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