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Tuesday Reviewsday: Rabbit Rabbit, Maracatu New York and Dumpstaphunk

Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi make up the band, Rabbit Rabbit.
Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi make up the band, Rabbit Rabbit.
Elizabeth Friar

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It's time for Tuesday Reviewsday our weekly new music segment. This week we're joined by music critic Steve Hochman

Artist: Rabbit Rabbit
Album: “Radio Vol. 1”
Songs: “The Curious One,” “In the Dead of Night”
Hard to find any one part of Carla Kihlstedt’s career that would be typical. Hard to find any one album. Heck, in the case of Rabbit Rabbit, it’s hard to find even a moment within any song.

She’s been with the eclectic Tin Hat chamber-jazz-classical-pop crossover outfit, odd-rock Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, played challenging art-music and done sessions ranging from Tom Waits to Tommy Lee. "Rabbit Rabbit" is her and husband Matthias Bossi, who’s been in several projects with her before. This album brings together songs they originally posted monthly via a subscription service on their website.  

The first song, “The Curious One” is case in point, the section we played being just one of maybe half a dozen very different approaches that flow together, compellingly. From their web site: “Rabbit Rabbit Radio is independent music in a digital world made smart and sexy for nerds and aficionados like you.”  

By the way, Rabbit Rabbit is an old tradition of what you’re supposed to say first thing on the first of each month, so hence the monthly subscription program.   

Artist: Maracatu New York
Album: “Baque do Brooklyn”
Song: “Roda Baiana”
Maybe the coolest music trend in trendy Brooklyn in recent years has been an explosion of brass and percussion bands, or parade music. Maracatu is a style of ritual and carnival music from Northeastern Brazil, some of it, such as the song “Roda Baiana,” that kind of brass-and-drums celebration.

Elsewhere on the album there are some other sounds drawing on those traditions, including some with fiddles and plucked rural instruments. The one mis-step is what purports to be a Brazilianized version of Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away,” which really sounds just like a so-so rock band. Too bad they didn’t do that with the full brass ensemble!   

Artist: Dumpstaphunk
Album: “Dirty Word”
Songs: “I Know You Know” and “I Wish You Would”
Dumpstaphunk is organist and singer Ivan Neville, son of Aaron. Ivan also played for years in Keith Richards’ sometimes side project the X-Pensive Winos as well as with his dad and uncles in the Neville Brothers.

In its decade, Dumpstaphunk has grown far beyond merely being the Nevilles: the Next Generation of New Orleans music royalty. Yes, the legacy is strong, and New Orleans is definitely a major presence, but they reach beyond to the whole world of funk. You’ll hear things mindful of Sly and the Family Stone, Rufus, and Prince. Ivan’s grown into a forceful leader, and the band added a new power with drummer Nikki Glaspie’s vocals often front and center in the mix.