Tom Tom Club Bring 'Genius' Jams to New York
The funkiest song of 1981 is also the funkiest song of 2010, and anyone who doesn't agree probably wasn't at Santos Party House in New York City on Thursday night. It was there, nine songs into the first of two homecoming shows that mark the end of its fall tour, that Tom Tom Club dropped 'Genius of Love.' It's the source of a million rap samples, a summer jam no matter the season and a party-starter even at 11:45PM on a work night.
'Genius' might not have been written for wage slaves, but Thursday, when bassist and frontwoman Tina Weymouth sang the line, "What you gonna do when you get out of jail?" many in the room were probably thinking of cubicle walls, not prison bars.
"I'm gonna have some fun!" the audience responded, watching as Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz -- the married pair that made its name as the rhythm section in Talking Heads -- led the seven-piece band through the song's bittersweet quasi-hip-hop bounce.
At a Tom Tom Club show, you come for 'Genius,' but you stay for the other tunes. The best of the rest included 'Wordy Rappinghood,' a goofy rap jam nearly as good as Blondie's 'Rapture'; a spare, spiky cover of 'Under the Boardwalk,' complete with turntable whooshes; and 'Who Feelin' It?' a 2000 number that picks up where 'Genius' left off.
The ska song 'She's Dangerous,' also from 2000's 'The Good, the Bad, and the Funky,' the band's most recent studio album, found Jamaican vocalist Mystic Bowie standing in for Frankie "Toots" Hibbert, who sings on the record. On 'Le'Elephant,' Weymouth and singer Victoria Clamp went bilingual, singing, "Kill, kill, kill,"