Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Stumblebum Brass Band at Rodeo Bar & Grill

The Stumblebum Brass Band, aka the Stumblebums, shows up at the most unexpected places sometimes. The trio, made up of Smidge Malone on vocals and trumpet, Disco Ronnie on tuba and Hitomi on a snare drum, are known to kamikaze subways, parties and bars, suddenly breaking into punky jive music. Occasionally they even play a legitimate music club. Together, they appear to be absolutely mad, but they play great music. The band has a new CD, F*** You Lady Gaga, except the “f” word is spelled out.

Is this a marching band? Is this a New Orleans Mardi Gras band? You have never seen anything like this, so imagine the following. At the Rodeo Bar tonight, Malone, the hot-wired guy with the dyed Mohawk haircut, sang fast be-bop songs gruffly like Louis Armstrong. When he was not singing, he was blasting his trumpet with fury. Ronnie, looking rather cowpunk, played bass lines on his tuba. Hitomi played a full set of drums tonight instead of just a snare. The high octane songs seemed frantic, like a Cab Calloway 33 1/3 rpm record played at 78. Too punk for guitars and amps, the bare-bones music was left raw and assaulting. Live at the Rodeo tonight, the Stumblebums were loud, rowdy and brilliant.

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