Time is Fire at Rock N Roll Hotel
Lemme tell ya' a story about this band. A year and a half ago Time is Fire were scheduled to play a house show but couldn't because the lead singer was sick. Three members of the band showed up anyway and played a couple of their songs as instrumentals. The result was funky, enough so that they got the audience to dance (a rare thing at house shows in my experience) and got a request for an encore.
This despite the fact that their music has too much gravitas to be "Get up and dance" funky. Of course the music is catchy but it is also a vessel for some pretty serious thoughts. Song titles include "Violence (Brings Violence)" and "Turn Your TVs Off". Political commentary from DC... okay, that's not new. What is new is the unique blending of international styles and perspectives. A Sufi poet from Iran working with the drummer of Gwar (yes, really) was not likely to result in anything usual. There are identifiable elements: some Afrobeat rhythms, psychedelic guitar work, a song with lyrics in Farsi (probably), but the emergent sound is definitely something original.