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Pimpin' the Funk

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Pimps of Joytime is an east-coast native band with a funky and rare soulful sound that has the ability to haunt its listeners with the howls and a one-of-a-kind beat interpretation that can only come from a deep understanding of what funk was, is, and can be.

Performing roughly 90 shows a year, Pimps of Joytime's lead guitarist and singer, known to all as Brian J, took time out of his schedule to talk with the Source Weekly about what makes their music theirs, what makes a solid performance and also about the upcoming show at The Volcanic Theatre Pub on March 24.

When asked how he would describe the music created by Pimps of Joytime, J says simply, "It's a groove-dance party...it's a pretty funky situation." Music isn't always refereed to as a "situation" unless it has more than just sound to show for itself. A situation is more all encompassing; it involves more than just calculated sound directed at swarms of people. A situation is something that is experienced, participated in, and remembered.

It is achieved by the Pimps of Joytime, who create a sound that is as rare as it is familiar. The familiarity comes from the funky beat and guitar plucks that force a nod in the shoulders and a tap in the feet. The rarity comes from the manner in which the head and body are almost hypnotized to move: The head nods, but sways with the rhythm. The feet tap with the beat and all ten toes seem to want to participate in the groove, causing each digit to tense and release making the rest of the foot, leg, body and soul follow.

Cracking into the business of playing music on a stage, getting further enough along to be labeled a "professional," and then being able to pay rent with those earnings is something of a dream for most. J feels fortunate to be able to do what he loves as his job. It's the goal of many and the reality of few. "There are struggles in any profession that a person can choose to do," he says. "It's definitely challenging making your art or your passion your business."

This isn't the first time Pimps of Joytime has played in Bend. It was years ago and J recalls the good vibes that came with playing in such a music-oriented town. "Energy and connection to the crowd," says J, is what makes for a solid show. This talented artist speaks about the importance of having a connection with the crowd, a rapport and a mutual energy that can be felt from each other.

A good, excited crowd can activate the groove, he says. He adds, going to shows, regardless of size and venue, a show-goer can sense the emotions just as well as the performers can. The mood can be felt. J wants the people of Bend to come and enjoy all that they have to offer. Bring the want-to, the smiles and the desire to have a good time. They'll bring the funks and grooves, all in great form.

Pimps of Joytime

Thur., March 24, 9 p.m.,

Volcanic Theater Pub, 70 Century Dr., Bend $13 adv., $15 door

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