Standout Track: No. 7, “Aphrodite”, a gradually unfolding instrumental that rides a cycle of groovy rhythms into undulating funk-fusion territory. Drummer Chris Farrall’s shakers, bells, and other hand percussion instruments buoy guitarist Josh LaRue’s plucky melodies through all manner of Heavy Weather homage.

Musical Motivation: LaRue and Farrall’s former band, the Sorts, used dubby rhythms and complex stop-start structures that might have defied hip-swiveling. Played Tomorrow is a little less cerebral and more dance-friendly. “This band is simpler in some ways, at least arrangement-wise, than things we’ve done in the past,” explains Farrall, a 35-year-old landscaper. “’Aphrodite’ just sticks on a groove for the whole song.”

Funky Monks: Farrall says Played Tomorrow’s songs are born from heavily syncopated jamming, during which the members are “often just feeling the funk.” Still, he stops short of claiming his band has made a mothership connection. “I would describe it as funk-inspired and funky, but we’re not a funk group,” he says. “We don’t just ride a [single] rhythm for eight minutes.” Besides, Farrall doesn’t think the group qualifies as a true funk outfit. “Maybe we should be a little sleazier,” says Farrall. “But now, with Mark [Cisneros, an account executive at City Paper] in the band playing the vibes—off the top of my head I can’t think of a sleazy funk band with a vibraphone.”

Played Tomorrow plays Sunday, Jan. 4, at the Black Cat.