red_crownBy Michael Aushenker

“It’s not about the perfect song or a perfect show, it’s about a perfect vibe!”
So goes the funk- and soul-drenched maxim of House of Vibe (a.k.a. House of Vibe All Stars), a collection of session musicians from L.A.’s alternative funk-rock and rap scene playing two local gigs this week.
The band traces its roots to Culver City, where local recording artists, including Kanetic Source of Ozomatli and rapper Chali 2na of “backpack rap” group Jurassic5, and musically inclined friends such as former pro-baseball right fielder Tony Tarasco, gathered to make music in the home studio of keyboardist Anthony ‘Brew’ Brewster.
More notables, including Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish, began dropping by what was quickly dubbed “the house” to “hang, record and ‘vibe’ together,” according to the band’s website.
Brewster, DJ Dez of the Detroit rap collective Slum Village and Pocket, a guitarist for Erykah Badu, became regulars of the House of Vibe lineup, with the band landing gigs backing major-label recording artists such as Justin Timberlake, De La Soul, Talib Kweli and Nikka Costa.
While not a founding member of either group, Brewster has played keyboards for both Fishbone and The Untouchables — two important bands linking British Mod ska of the 1970s and ‘80s with the Orange County ska pop of the 1990s.
With a staccato horn section, rubbery basslines and plenty of tommy-gun beats, House of Vibe carries on a co-mingling of ska, funk, punk, rock and jazz.
A Friday night performance at House of Vibe in Venice promises a show as energetic as the lineup is eclectic, part of a joint birthday party for three friends, including Tarasco.
The party continues mid-week as the band resumes its weekly “Westside Wednesdays” residency at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica.
House of Vibe performs at 9 p.m. Friday at Witzend, 1717 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. $10. Call (310) 305-4792 or visit witzendlive.com. The band’s “Westside Wednesdays” residency resumes at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Harvelle’s, 1432 4th St., Santa Monica. $5 plus a two-drink minimum. Call (310) 395-1676 or visit harvelles.com.
Michael(at)argonautnews.com

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