SOUNDING OFF ON SOUNDS | New Primitives at NYE’s


Pick a Thursday, any Thursday, and go over to NYE’s Polonaise Room for some New Primitives. The band that Stanley Kipper and Chico Perez built is there every week, keeping the world safe for kick-ass Afro-Cuban Rock. They get out every now and again to big-time, high profile spots like Minnesota Zoo, Fine Line and The Cabooze. But, you can catch them bar-hall up close and personal and, trust me, it’s one hell of a good time.

For one, New Prims have a practically inexhaustible repertoire rich in a highly original sound that drawers on sources wide apart, ranging from reggae, country to fat-back funk. For good measure, they are a dyed-in-the-wool jam band, doing marathon sets full of wild and crazy solos, taking maybe fifteen minutes in between.

The nucleus is Kipper on vocals and traps and Perez on congas with Brian “Snowman” Powers dropping in from time to time to blow sax. Over the years, there’s been a revolving door of fellow band members, most notably Matt Stevens on bass and vocals and Brian Jackson on keys and vocals. Whatever the combination of contributors, each time out, you’ve got that signature, pile-driving sound that gives you dancing feet and will you shaking your hips so hard, you’re liable to dislocate something. Some of the highlights of any given gig might include a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” you never see coming, Kipper singing Powers’ fiery show-stopper “Bring Me Down” or Stevens taking over on lead vocals for a sweet rendition of Rick James’ “Mary Jane”. You never know exactly what they’re going to do but if you go up to one of them and make a request, odds are they’ll work it in. On top of which, they are always adding new numbers.

They’ve got two albums out, New Primitives and American Nomad. NYE’s is at 112 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414. The band goes on at 9:30 and bops ’til they drop. No cover. Anything else you need to know?