Arts & Entertainment Java

The Years Go by, but the Funk Isn’t Going Nowhere

stlawu.edu
Written by Joey Duggan

Photo via University Communications

We have had some funky weather over the past few weeks, and I do not mean the freezing rain. Another kind of front has rolled back in: Java has been taking the New Year by storm.

The beans have been busy since campus opened up for the semester. On the Friday of syllabus week, we reopened the barndoor for the season and wiped off the thin layer of dust that coated the stage just in time to get down to business.

A van full of brass instruments and people who knew how to sound them off pulled up to the Java Barn, and after a smooth sound check, the place erupted with the timbres of trumpet and trombone, and the sounds of saxophone and soul singer. West End Blend brought a mix of originals and classics for our listening pleasure. Everyone in the house cracked through a whole month’s worth of rust on their hips and got to groovin’. By the time the encore rolled around, the crowd was ready to do just about anything to keep the night from coming to an end. The band seized the opportunity during their rendition of “Shout,” a Java favorite. During the breakdown, every soul in the house got down.

All the way down to the ground, in boot weather.

Despite the cold weather, the dance floor was still warm by the time last Saturday rolled around. Yet the Barn was about to have a different kind of evening. Another van pulled up, and this time a handful of punks who had very little experience with sound checks toppled out. Punk night at Java meant that Danny Christmas, Old Table, and No One and the Somebodies would all push the limits of their amplifiers in our little concrete garage. These three bands had just played a house party the night before, and they were compelled by the power of lo-fi to visit the North Country and blast the good word.

These decibel junkies did not give a flying funk if you liked what they were doing onstage. Dig it or not, they were there to make a whole lot of noise. They did not care if their keyboard was busted up, and they did not really give a hoot if you could not keep the members of each band straight (I know I could not). Nevertheless, their DIY style spoke to many of the usual Javagoers. They kept their crowd until the last fluid ounce of distortion spilled out of the mains. There is something magical about punk night at Java.

Every show brings something new to the Java Barn, so be sure to keep in the feedback loop and make it to as many of them as you can this semester. If you are new to these parts and all of this Javababble sounds like a load of noise to you, be sure to ask anyone within arm’s length what Java is, and then look up our schedule on the World Wide Web.

Or just follow the noise next Friday night.

About the author

Joey Duggan