There is a sonic rumbling that is emanating from the musical underground of Brooklyn, New York, and it has caused booties to shake and quake all over the nation this summer. The Pimps of Joytime, in only their third year of existence, have spent the last few months on the road spreading their sound to the masses offering up their musical menu of funk, soul, Latin, and afrobeat grooves.
Here in Portland Oregon in the heat of a mid-August day we were treated to a day/night double header that started outdoors at a mini-festival in the sun soaked downtown waterfront promenade, and ended up late night in a dark and sweaty dance party at the beloved Goodfoot.
For those who haven’t bared witness to what the Pimps are bringing to the dance floor, be prepared to dance your asses off, because these guys are the real deal. Their songs are infectious, and they will have you humming along long after the show ends.
During the early afternoon the Pimps headlined New Belgium’s Tour De Fat on Portland’s beautiful waterfront. This festival celebrates the biking community as well as all things odd, which suits Portland’s eclectic culture just fine.
The Pimps came on stage somewhere between a group of scantily clad, acrobatic, bicycle juggling women called the Sproketts, a mock funeral for a wooden faux Cadillac whose procession was led by 4 giant puppet horse heads, and an all out vaudevillian sing along complete with elaborate costume and frolicking merriment. For a Saturday afternoon in most cities, this scene in the middle of downtown would have turned heads and dropped jaws, but here in Portland it was just another Saturday afternoon in the city.
Once the Pimps took the stage, the crowd sat back, waiting to see what this group from Brooklyn could bring to the table. As their smooth sound started to fly through the air, the audience’s short held defenses were negated, and limbs started to fly regardless of who was watching. It seemed that folk’s undulating bodies couldn’t help but to buy into what the pimps were selling.
They played for less than an hour, which was a short but sweet set, and it left us all thirsting for more. Luckily for us they were sharing the bill at the Goodfoot later this night with another one of Portland’s favorite funk bands, On the One, which is led by acclaimed drummer Jon Stanton.
For those who haven’t been to the Goodfoot before, imagine a dimly lit, sweat inducing underground venue, with eye catching art adorning the walls that hosts some of the newest live grooves and the hottest dance parties in all of Portland. It is the heart and soul of the jam/funk scene in town.
The Pimps were up first, and had a packed house early, which is a testament to their recent efforts in making Portland their West coast home away from home. They have been to Portland four times since Valentine’s Day, and considering they are from NY, that kind of special attention is appreciated and supported by the local music community. They are writing the blueprint for true musical grassroots growth out here, and they are reaping the benefits of an ever-rowing fan base.
Throughout the evening the Pimps showcased a variety of their songs from their repertoire such as their sing along anthem "Joytime Radio," as well as groovetastic selections from their High Steppin’ album such as Bonita, and Working all the Time.
The Pimps of Joytime are not to be missed, and when they come to your town, make sure you bring your favorite dance shoes, and a dry towel to wipe your brow, because they know how to make you shake it and sweat all over.