Friday night is apparently retro night at the Velvet Lounge as the three bands on the bill all look back. While revivalism has its drawbacks, this trio appear to reach into the past in interesting ways.
Locals Black & Tan Fantasy, featuring onetime Fugazi percussionist Jerry Busher, bassist Ashish Vyas (who has played with Thievery Corporation), and busy keyboardist Will Rast go for American funk and soul.
B & TF, named after a film featuring Duke Ellington, cite James Brown, Stax, Sly and the Family Stone, although the cuts on their MySpace page remind one of the Meters. On a visit to Peru, Frenchman Olivier Conan, owner of the Barbes club and indie label in New York City, discovered ’60s Peruvian chicha music. Named after a corn liquor reportedly favored by the Incas, chicha was Latin American cumbia gone garage rock. Conan quickly snatched up all the records in the style that he could find. Last year he released a fine collection of some of these songs entitled “The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru.” Not satisfied with simply reissuing this stuff, Conan was also playing it himself. Soon Chicha Libre was born. With Conan on cuatro and other band members on farfisa, bongos, bass, and guitar, the group recently released “Sonido Amazonico!” At times more loungey than psychedelic, the cd nevertheless is a fascinating look back on an era that most never knew existed.
Os Magrelos, from Richmond, rounds out the night by looking back instead to Brazilian samba and funky ’70s jazz-rock sounds.
The show starts at 10 p.m.