One Track Mind: Mike Dillon, “Carly Hates The Dubstep/Bullsnake [Live]” (2013)

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Mike Dillon calls himself an “electronic vibraphonic go go funk punk rock jazz screaming being,” which is 100% accurate, and if that doesn’t get you interested in his music, then GTFO.

But seriously, Dillon is a seriously good entertainer. “Entertainer” is not a word you normally ascribe to vibraphone players, but other vibraphone players are not Dillon. Gary Burton can probably play circles around Dillon, but Dillon is the guy who’s going to have the audience smiling, laughing and up on their feet dancing. That’s because he’s absolutely fearless and a little nutty. But it’s those qualities, as well as some nimble vibes, forceful percussion and a damned deep understanding of so many music forms that’s made him the soul of Garage Á Trois and The Dead Kenny G’s, two of the better fringe fusion bands in operation today.

One of his many diversions is hip-hop, and he’s about the only guy I can stand to listen to rap (aside from an occasional Marc Ribot), because he’s so genuinely funny when he does it and is still playing some honest-to-goodness handmade music alongside it.

So imagine how that sounds live. Well, witness the video above. Dillon, who also gigs in Les Claypool’s band, likewise combines wit with the unpredictability of jazz, even if it’s not always really jazz. Watching him on stage gives me flashbacks of Krazy George, the old Houston Oilers mascot, running around with that manic persona.

“Carly Hates The Dubstep” isn’t a dubstep, it’s a lot of yelling, rapping, hopped up percussion, and Carly herself — Carly Meyers, that is — who prances, raps and plays a nasty trombone. And maybe Trombone Shorty can play circles around her, I dunno, but she matches Shorty in the swag department. Besides, that FX-enhanced growl she gets from that ‘bone at the 1:50 mark is dope.

Sometimes jazz just needs a swift kick in the nuts, and Mike Dillon is always happy to do the honors.

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Here’s where Mike and his band will be performing this summer:

June 4 | The Chimney’s | Gulfport, MS
June 5 | The One Stop | Asheville, NC
June 6 | The Pour House | Charleston, SC
June 7 | Boone Saloon | Boone, NC
June 8 | The Hot Spot | Waynesboro, VA
June 9 | Niagara River Rocks | Niagara, NY ***w/ Primus
June 10 | The Bullfrog | Williamsport, PA
June 11 | Venue of Merging Arts | Johnstown, PA
June 12 | Nectar’s | Burlington, VT
June 13 | Cafe 939 | Boston, MA
June 14 | The Ocean Mist | Narragansett, RI
June 15 | The Press Room | Portsmouth, NH
June 16 | Pittman’s Freight Room | Laconia, NH
June 18 | Outer Space | Hamden, CT
June 19 & 20 | Zirziman | New York, NY
June 21 | Madsummer Meltdown | Schuylkill Haven, PA
June 23 | Fairfest | Fairfield, IA
June 25 | Whisky Junction | Minneapolis, MN
June 26 | Martyr’s | Chicago, IL
June 27 | The Demo | St. Louis, MO
June 28 | The Brick | Kansas City, MO
June 29 | George’s Majestic | Fayetteville, AR
June 30 | The Colony | Tulsa, OK
July 2 | Hodi’s Half Note | Ft. Collins, CO
July 3 | 320 South | Breckenridge, CO
July 4 | Knotty Pine | Victor, ID
July 6 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
July 9 | Winston’s | San Diego, CA
July 11 | The Mint | Los Angeles, CA
July 12 | The Forestville Club | Forestville, CA
July 13 | Boom Boom Room | San Francisco, CA
July 16 | Jambalaya | Arcata, CA
July 17 | Applegate Lodge | Applegate, OR
July 18 | Urban Onion | Olympia, WA
July 19 | Sunset Tavern | Seattle, WA
July 20 | The Goodfoot | Portland, OR
July 21 | Skyway | Rhododendron, OR
July 23 | Wild Buffalo | Bellingham, WA
July 26 | Emerald of Siam | Richland, OR
July 27 | Black Sheep Music Festival | Eugene, OR
August 1 | The Barkley Ballroom | Frisco, CO
August 2 | Cervantes’ Other Side | Denver, CO
August 3 & 4 | Telluride Jazz Festival | Telluride, CO
August 8 | Corkland Tavern | Detroit, MI
August 9 | Thunderbird | Pittsburgh, PA
August 10 | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY ***w/ Galactic
August 11 | Moe.Down | Turin, NY
August 15 | Sully’s | Hartford, CT
August 16 | Bullfrog | Williamsport, PA
August 17 | Rootwire Music Festival | Columbus, OH
August 22 | Doc Taylor’s | Virginia Beach, VA
November 14 – 17 | Bear Creek Music Festival | Live Oak, FL
January 4-9 | Jam Cruise | Miami, FL

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