The truest lineage of UR royalty was renewed this past weekend at the annual “Induction and Welcoming Potluck” of UR’s Funk and Fusion Tribunal, taking place at ADP. The tribunal sought to review the legitimacy of first-year fusioneers “Nut Butter” as an heir to the greasy throne of River Campus funk.
“It’s a crazy story; this all began last fall, at Eastman on Campus,” noted Nut Butter’s resident Hot Boy and lead guitarist, Gibson LePaul. Toting a Fender Tele and a backwards flat brim, he detailed that October evening.
“We started our set off with a couple originals. People were just fuckin’ standing around though, so we figured we better pull ‘em in with something irresistible: ‘September’ by Earth Wind and Fire.”
“That did jack shit so we started just telling people to move closer to the band in between songs, get that energy flowing. A couple guys from Liquid Sex kept lingering in the back, though, giving us looks like they were casing us. Kinda wigged me out to be honest; they were like the big act of the night.
“After things wound down and I was walking out of Alpha Del, I caught a whiff of some real shitty ditch weed. Then all of a sudden, some dudes had a bag over my head and I was being dragged across the frat quad. The bag fuckin reeked of weed; Jesus Christ, I almost threw up. I said, ‘Whoa, what’s goin’ on, this thing smells like indica. You know sativas are a lot—’ but before I could say anything else, I was hit over the head. The last thing I remember before I passed out was hearing the metallic ping of whatever hit me ringing out — sounded like a G#, maybe an A.”
“I woke up in a daze, slowly realizing where I was. I said ‘This is just the basement of ADP, what the hell was all that bullshit about?’ There were four guys standing in front of me with bandanas covering their faces. They told me they had a proposition for me and my band. If we kept gigging and spilling our groove out upon the campus, they would consider us as successors to the groovy legacy of them and their predecessors. That’s when it dawned on me. ‘Wait a minute, you’re Liquid Sex!’ They wouldn’t admit it, but I knew it was them. I mean, like, I saw them earlier and they were all wearing the same clothes; they just had bandanas on, like, come on.”
Liquid Sex were in attendance at the potluck, serving as leaders of the whole ordeal. Things kicked off with some opening remarks wherein Liquid Sex’s drummer, Bernie Stubblefield, led the group in a recitation of the Tribunal’s creed.
“We carry the burden of imbuing our campus with good vibes eternal. It is our duty to carry the populace with us as we cope out into another reality through the power of groove. We pledge our limber bodies to funk ever more, and to the everlasting bond of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.”
This was followed by a sex-jam rendition of “The Genesee,” going on for about 11 minutes. This was largely comprised of a bass solo by Liquid Sex’s own James Gallien. About halfway through, he activated his wah pedal to uproarious applause.
Mere seconds later, a mighty wind shook the house. The rumble of thunder was heard despite clear skies overheard. There were whispers of the name “Swinburne,” the long-deceased author of “The Genesee,” among those in attendance. Their faces were white with fear.
Noting the sour response, Gallien concluded his solo, restoring calm to the winds.
Now came the moment Nut Butter had been waiting for: the fateful audition. LePaul and the Boys took to the stage, ready to get bodies moving and glands secreting.
Because of time constraints caused by the length of the preceding bands’ sets, Nut Butter was forced to play a tight set of five songs, four originals followed by their famed cover of “September.” After this, the members of Liquid Sex retired to the bathroom to deliberate over the performance.
After an hour and twenty minutes they emerged stoic and confident from the bathroom.
“We have our verdict,” Stubblefield declared.
“Nut Butter, we name you as the successors to our legacy, but on the condition that a number of changes are made to your vibe.”
“Firstly, of your four originals only ONE has any sort of complex meter. You should be including shifts in tempo or time signature at least every ten to fifteen seconds, and in solos there shouldn’t even BE any timing to speak of. Your first three songs were all just in 4/4 — you just can’t do that, I don’t know what made you think you could.”
“Second, your use of modal mixture is very tasteful, and we just can’t have that. Again, shifts in mode should be much more frequent, nauseatingly so in fact. We once had a girl actually throw up when we flipped into Locrian one time; that’s the type of shit we need from you.”
“Lastly, I feel like you guys are trying to let the audience enjoy the music. Remember: it’s not about them, it’s about you. It’s about your solo, your musicianship, your skills honed in high school marching band. To be honest, they’re never gonna understand the pure unadulterated craft happening in front of them, so just don’t bother.”
“If you can amend these points, you will be fine successors to our legacy. We’re all gonna do Take Five, though, so don’t get ahead of yourselves. We might even stick around longer.”
A hush had fallen over the crowd at this point. LePaul weakly said “Th-thanks guys…” and people just kinda started to leave.
Campus Times spoke with LePaul after almost everyone had left and noted the blank, unfeeling look in his eyes.
“I guess this is just…what we do now?” he whimpered, looking down at the Lettuce LP he had been gifted as a congratulations. “They got us a gig at Tin Roof for tomorrow night, so that’s cool.”