So last Saturday, I trekked on down to Stubb’s to check out one fo the dudes I missed at SXSW this year. Henry and the Invisibles impressed me while watching how he compiled songs online so I decided to stroll on down there and check it out myself. Needless to say what I expected and what happened was completely different. The opening bands were decent but the real treat was peering inside Henry’s multiple music personality. I got my money’s worth of funkiness.
I was aware of the great sound Stubb’s had outside, but August 13th led me on in to the air-conditioned inside portion of Stubb’s. So in between to sweet smells of BBQ and the sticky smell of beer soaked bars, I traversed both the upstairs and downstairs portion of Stubb’s for a night of funky music. First up was DJ Chorizo Funk and I have to say his skills are pretty decent. Just check out the link above. His angle was taking well known soul songs and slowing them down a bit. I found myself bobbing my head in an even slower motion than usual to the jams. Next up was Kabomba and all I can say is that they were trying to be the Flaming Lips mixed in with some Mariachi sauce, Jalapeno juice, oil based paint, and a lack of the Lips’ sincerity. They are alright but nothing that flirted my skirt.
The night for me entailed Henry and the Invisibles. I love me some funk but I also love me some computer music technology. My initial love for Henry came from both of that. I missed out on him at SXSW and now it was a shot to get my tech funk on. I expected some clean straightforward funk, but what I got was some weird Bootsy Collins like action. I did not expect him to jump up on stage with a bear costume and hand out glow sticks. Needless to say he did a good job of getting the crowd into the music.
Let’s talk about the music. Henry and the Invisibles displays a trend going on right now in music. There’s a trend of loop based, building on the last loop like, live music playing. I just saw the same thing last night, but Henry was the first that I got see, and the first by a dude that was all by himself. So, in terms of technical prowess, I was majorly impressed. He slapped out funk bass lines along with pre-programmed beats, but I did not expect him to wail like he did on the guitar. He’s pretty damn good.
But along with the trend of loop based building, there seems to be a slight disconnect with the emotion behind it. Henry did a great job making us all feel funky, and I especially liked his cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, but it feels like the same energy you get with a full band is just not there when it’s with one or two people and Ableton Live. Still, the trend is young and we’ll get to see some sweet soul from it. Henry is definitely paving the way on that. It’s just not quite there yet. Overall, though, I got my funky sweat on and I can thank Henry and the Invisibles for that sweet soul shaking. Check out my YouTube page for more videos.