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Bonobos Convergence

This is one of (many) bands of a musical genre that I've barely noticed. But Praise "Bob" for the Church of the SubGenius, and praise Rev. Ivan Stang for founding the annual X-Day gatherings at Wisteria. It was at X-Day 2007 that I was introduced to Bonobos Convergence, and they became my musical ShorDurPerSav of that summer.For me, it was the best musical surprise I've had at X-Day since the debut of Little Fyodor. Their music kept me awake, interested, and my toes tapping…and I'm not one who normally listens to extended 70s-music-influenced bluesy-jazz bands that indulge in long jam sessions. But THESE GUYS ROCKED! My first thought upon hearing them was, "…something sounds Phishy," probably because the lead singer's voice invokes them somewhat. But their influence definitely comes from other sources. The organist here sounds amazingly like 70s-era Yes, and the songs on their CD Who's Chuck Fimp? (which they sold at Brushwood) show a definite link to blues rock. The music is too upbeat and FUN to really be called "blues" – but that's what makes these guys so great.

And when they did their cover of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," I simply laughed out loud because it was so GOOD. (Geek trivia: "Powerhouse" is better known to us all as "the Warner Bros. cartoon factory music.") When I bought the CD, I was mildly disappointed to learn this track is not on it. (Also wanted from the Bonobos: a song they did called "Rapture This," which they described as their take on abuse of religion. I like music that tells a story or message, and they don't have too much of that; they prefer fun music laced with lyrical nonsense that makes it all the more enjoyable to listen to. "Rapture This" touched on a theme of how blind faith is ridiculous, which strikes a chord with me personally.)

It was when their set was halfway over that I caught a rumor going around the audience: Reverend Vaylor Trucks, the Bonobos' bassist, is actually the son of Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers band. This turned out to be completely true – but it was the sheer talent of the Bonobos that blew us away. One of many things that makes me so proud of this Church is the fact that we have more musicians, artists, writers, and creative persons than any other religious cult out there…and the Bonobos are one great shining example of this.

By the way, Who's Chuck Fimp? by Bonobos Convergence is EXCELLENT and well worth getting from their Web site, if you didn't purchase it at Brushwood. So far the tracks on their that I find myself listening to again and again include "Mash," ("…have you ever found yourself watching MASH at two in the morning?") "Home on Derange," "Freakin' Ordinary" (which they played at X-Day), and what I suspect is their magnum opus so far: "Or." (This one plays on the home page of their Web site.)