Primus: 14 October 2011 - Chicago

Funk metal legends Primus stopped by Chicago Friday October 14, 2011 in support of their eighth studio release Green Naugahyde (Prawn Song/ATO). Enthusiasts gathered at the sizable Congress Theater for two full sets.



City: Chicago
Venue: Congress Theater
Date: 2011-10-14

Funk metal legends Primus stopped by Chicago Friday October 14, 2011 in support of their eighth studio release Green Naugahyde (Prawn Song/ATO). Enthusiasts gathered at the sizable Congress Theater for two full sets. The first set was dedicated to old favorites and the second featured the new album in its entirety.

Lead man/bass master Les Claypool was joined by resident Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane, who spent nine months in the band in 1988. Lane appeared on Primus' first demo, Sausage and departed before the release of their first album Suck on This. Lane spent significant time playing with Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead in his bands Ratdog and more recently Furthur. He departed Furthur in 2010 to join Primus on a national tour. His energy clicked with Claypool and LaLonde, and the three began writing new material together. Their efforts resulted in Green Naugahyde, Primus' first studio release in 12 years.

Lane did not come across as hard hitting as previous drummers Tim “Herb” Alexander or Bryan “Brain” Mantia. Instead his style sounded more funky, improvisational and poly-rhythmic with textural fills. His looser drumming paired nicely with Claypool's dexterous bass skills. With Lane on board the band charged into more experimental jams than I have witnessed in past Primus performances. Together the musicians explored new boundaries of progressive funk and experimental rock that powered the crowd to new heights.

Set one lasted over an hour including at least one song from every studio album, minus 1999's Antipop (because let's face it, what were they thinking when they collaborated with Fred Durst?). Primus opened with the colossal “To Defy the Laws of Tradition”, filled with enough bounce and testosterone to charge a premature mosh pit. Included in the set was the popular hit “Jerry was a Race Car Driver” and the dance-ready “Over the Electric Grapevine”.

Set two showcased Green Naugahyde which was a dark, heavy funk full of imbedded textures. In interviews Claypool has noted that the album reminisces a grown-up Frizzle Fry, and I could not agree with him more. Each song was classic Primus rich in slap bass and wit, colored funky with a slick and savvy bounce.

Following Green Naugahyde the band returned to the stage and followed up with a two-song encore. They brought the night to an official end with crowd favorite “Wynona's Big Brown Beaver”, totaling nearly a three hour performance.

Set 1: To Defy the Laws of Tradition, Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread, Groundhog’s Day, The Pressman, Over The Falls, Drum and Whamola Jam, Eleven, Mrs. Blaileen, Jerry Was A Race Car Driver, Over the Electric Grapevine

Set 2: Green Naugahyde in its entirety

Encore: Harold of the Rocks, Wynonna’s Big Brown Beaver


In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

Scholar Judith May Fathallah's work blurs lines between author and ethnographer, fan experiences and genre TV storytelling.

In Fanfiction and the Author: How Fanfic Changes Popular Culture Texts, author Judith May Fathallah investigates the progressive intersections between popular culture and fan studies, expanding scholarly discourse concerning how contemporary blurred lines between texts and audiences result in evolving mediated practices.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.