Bush Tetras @ Madame Lou’s

Feral, edgy, party-centric funk 🕺

📸: Bush Tetras

Friday, Sept 2 • 6:30 pm

Too funky for the No Wave crowd and too No Wave-y for the funkateers, Bush Tetras nevertheless garnered a devoted cult following in the fertile New York City music scene of the ’80s. Featuring guitarist Pat Place of the feral and jazzy No Wave group Contortions, vocalist-lyricist Cynthia Sley, bassist Laura Kennedy, and drummer Dee Pop, prime-time Bush Tetras created some of the edgiest yet most party-centric funk of their era. 

Their music—which has been released by esteemed labels such as 99, ROIR, Stiff, and Fetish—resides somewhere between Gang Of Four’s caustic funk and the Slits’ brashly feminist dub. Tracks such as “You Can’t Be Funky” and “Too Many Creeps” achieved serious club play throughout the Reagan years and beyond, lending a snide and slinky vibe to dance floors. With the perfectly titled 3xLP box set Rhythm And Paranoia: The Best Of Bush Tetras released last year and the addition in 2022 of former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley to the lineup, Bush Tetras have momentum to push old aficionados’ nostalgia buttons and win over new fans. “Das Ah Riot,” indeed. 

Author

Dave Segal

Dave Segal

Dave Segal is a freelance music writer for The Wire, Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, and other publications. He formerly served as staff writer at The Stranger and as managing editor at Alternative Press. Find him on Twitter @editaurus