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April 26, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Combining heavy-metal bass lines with country-fried weirdness, Primus is coming to The Blue Note on May 3 to kick off this year’s 9th Street Summerfest, an outdoor concert that closes down the block of Ninth Street between Broadway and Walnut.
Columbia is the first stop on Primus’ U.S. tour to promote the 2011 Green Naugahyde album, the band’s first new album in 14 years.
Where: The Blue Note, entry gate on the north end of Ninth and Walnut
When: May 3, 8 p.m.
Known for songs like “My Name Is Mud,” “Mr. Krinkle” and the Grammy-nominated “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” Primus has a distinct sound and style, with music videos that are simultaneously clever and creepy — assuming you find tobacco-spitting grave diggers, cello-playing pigs and latex-suited cowboys creepy. The band cites Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd as influences, which makes for some decidedly funky tunes, such as “Lee Van Cleef,” a disturbingly catchy number on Green Naugahyde that seems reminiscent of Zappa’s “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama” crossed with The Hollywood Argyles’ “Alley Oop.”
Primus currently consists of bassist and vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane. Originally called Primate when formed in 1984, the band changed its name after facing legal threats from The Primates, a preexisting group. Primus performed until 2002, and then went on hiatus in 2001 before regrouping to release a DVD/EP, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People in late 2003.
Primus’ music is strange, for sure, but it is also fun and surprisingly catchy. Even if you’ve never heard of Primus, you’ve probably heard its music featured in Rock Band 3, and as the original theme for South Park.