Funk rules Rat’s semester finale

Last Friday night, some of the College’s home-grown musical talent was on display at the Ratshkeller during the final Student Band Night of the semester.

Frankenstein’s Alibi was the first of three bands to take the stage. The band’s combination of acoustic guitar, piano and hand drum made for a distinct sound, demonstrating how each member of the young off-beat band is from an individual musical background.

Caryn Feder, percussionist and leader of Frankenstein’s Alibi, cited musicians such as Incubus’s Jose Pasillas and former blink-182 drummer Travis Barker as some of her influences.

The band’s guitarist, Steven Klett, said he was trained in classic rock but listens to an eclectic mix of music.

“I listen to everything from hip-hop to classical Indian music and the blues,” Klett said. “I love to sing the blues.”

Alibi’s pianist, Samantha Negraval, cited Ben Folds and The Beatles among her influences.

“You heard us cover Ben Folds’ ‘Brick’ tonight. He’s had a huge impact on me and I love to play his music,” Negraval said.

Along with the Ben Folds cover, the band covered songs from bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, The Gin Blossoms and Temple of the Dog.

Next to take the stage was Titus Andronicus. Never announcing their band name or any of their song titles for the crowd, the band immediately launched into its high-energy, high-volume set

The band’s fast-paced garage rock, complete with nearly indiscernible lyrics, was accented by the ferocity of guitarist and lead vocalist Patrick Stickles’s performance. Stickles looked as if he was doing battle with his guitar.

The last band to perform at Student Band Night was Human Sounds, an impressive fusion jam band that combines elements of funk and good-old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll for an enjoyable, entertaining and energetic set.

With song titles like “Nice Blues Wanna Funk?” and “Bluesy Floozy,” it’s apparent that these guys have a sense of humor to match their musical talent.

Lead singer and percussionist George Szczepanski prefaced one of the band’s more laid-back tunes, “Leaving You,” by addressing the crowd.

“Cozy up to someone you love. Peace on the streets and don’t drink and drive. We’re going to ease it up a bit now,” Szczepanski said.

Human Sounds has been influenced by legendary ’90s rock acts like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam, but bassist Brian Corbett cited a more versatile list of influences.

“I listen to a lot of jazz and funk. I really like (electric bass player) Victor Wooten’s music.”

It’s hard to believe Corbett has been playing his instrument for only three years. The talented musician said he was happy with the band’s performance.

Corbett thought the show went well despite a mistimed move in the peformance.

“I jumped at the wrong time but that’s OK,” Corbett said. “It still went well.”