Foot Patrol
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Foot Patrol

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Comedy Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Fun Fun Fun Fest Review"

Most successful gimmick:

As a band who sings nothing but funky odes to feet, Austin's Foot Patrol is dangerously close to being just an eye-rolling novelty act. It’s a limited concept—albeit one delivered with panache by Austin’s own man-who-would-be-Prince, T.J. Wade—rounded out by a three-ring circus of cops-and-robbers costumes, a trio of choreographed dancers, foot-shaped props handed out to the crowd, and on-stage contortionists, which sounds like a recipe for overkill. Still, Wade and Co. pulled it off marvelously, packing their early time slot with plastic foot-waving acolytes who eagerly sang along to the band's toe-sucking anthems. That was in stark contrast to Metallagher, whose clever concept—having a Gallagher impersonator smash fruit and tell intentionally dated jokes in between shaky covers of Metallica songs—was mostly just a mask for a lack of any real musical talent, stupidly fun though it may have been. -,35178/4/

"Spin Magazine Best of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009"

And last, but certainly not least: Austin's own Foot Patrol, an air-tight funk band whose songs are all about feet, and who coaxed a sing-along to the Big Red jingle. -

"Texas Music Matters Performance Review"

If you like the sounds of Parliament and… feet… you might want to check out Austin’s favorite foot fetish funk band Foot Patrol. They put the fun in funk with danceable grooves and lyrics all focused on the joys of feet; like with their opener Freeze, You’re Under Arrest that deals primarily with a trip to the pedicurist. The fun-loving nature doesn’t stop with just the music; everyone on stage was in costume - from the classic convict to a Marilyn Monroe wig, you can tell they are loving what they do. As with any good funk band they employ heavy bass, rocking keys, and horns that are sure to get the crowd up and dancing - even in the warm sunshine of today’s festivities. Their set never slowed and neither did the crowd as they pumped out a surprisingly varied number of songs about the love of feet. It’s a band where you can’t help but dance with a smile on your face and a chuckle under your breath. -

"Fun Fun Fun Spin Earth Review"

In between the Fun Fun Fun fest's intense barrage of noise-rock and electronic punk, there was Foot Patrol. An entertaining brand of soulful funk with whimsical foot fetish lyrics. This Austin band is made up of Hung Nguyen (bass, producer), TJ Wade (keys, vocals), Mark Rodgers (guitar), Jeff Hoskins (drums), Kerim Peirce (saxophone), Rick Redman (trumpet), and Nick Smith (trombone). -

"Foot Patrol Review Austin Chronicle"

Four out of five podiatrists agree: Foot Patrol is Austin's foremost foot fetishist funk ensemble.

Formed by keyboard virtuoso T.J. Wade and bassist Hung Nguyen in 2006, the Patrol has since morphed into a sevenpiece band that resuscitates the party-up vibe of early-1980s synth-funk via clever toe-tappers like "Golden Arches" and "Trample Me." Wade and Nguyen's prolific musical partnership dates back a decade, when Wade was a student and Nguyen was a residential instructor at Texas School for the Blind.

"The school had a four-track recorder, so I would make all the music, and Hung would be the engineer," Wade says. "We did a lot of original gangsta rap and death metal songs back then."

Later, Wade flirted with the mainstream music business.

"I worked with Alicia Keys on a song she did for a Christina Aguilera project," he says. "For some reason, they took the parts I played out of that, but it was cool."

Afterward, Wade re-sumed work with Nguyen, alternately cultivating atomic prog-rock in Terror-istic and hardcore rap in MC Terroristic. Wade also performs a one-man tribute to Japanese noise-rock duo Ruins. Despite Foot Patrol's novel veneer, Wade insists the foot thing is no joke. As the group's popularity grows, fellow travelers are stepping out of the shoebox.

"I've had a couple of women who are foot fetish models come up and express how they love it and dig what we do," Wade says. "That gives me ideas for songs, because sometimes they'll let me give them foot rubs and stuff, you know?"

So what does Wade look for in a foot?

"Just a woman who is pedicured and really smooth," he reveals. "I really like size 10s. That's my favorite kind of thing!" -

"Foot Patrol Review"

We hadn't ever been to a Foot Patrol show before, but we couldn't resist after someone said, "It's fantastic, the piano player is blind, and not only is he a fantastic performer, the entire focus is centered around his foot fetish. Oh, and the dancers wear hot cop costumes and the drummer plays with gavels."

Right off the bat you know you're in for something special. At the very least, an exciting performance including unapologetic abuse of pun and malapropism, and in a best case scenario, a stunning ensemble that makes it easy to forget the entire shtick is a tongue in cheek obsession. Realizing that makes going to see them a sort of thrill, but the exercise of going to this particular event was redeeming in ways that far exceeded our anticipation of the headliner.

The show was at the White Swan Lounge, a venue we'd never been to prior. If you haven't been to the White Swan Lounge, you might be familiar with its location at 12th & Chicon in East Austin. The corner of 12th & Chicon is a restless chasm of urban instability (that's suburban for "the hood") surrounded by white gentrification. One corner is home to Reggie's, a trailer that serves some of the best catfish in Austin, next to a corner store. Another corner is a bus stop. The northwest corner has a barbershop and the White Swan. The corners are perpetually occupied, and for better or worse, this tiny strip survives as a meeting ground for the neighborhood's residents. As the surrounding area tightens the noose on this incredibly small glimpse into an era of simultaneous decay and growth, tensions run high on a regular basis. It's not uncommon to witness people being handcuffed, or for a yelling match to take place in the middle of the street, but it's also not unusual to find a couple of people singing on the stoop of the corner store next to Reggie's, or for a father to be playing basketball with his son at the courts on the southwest corner. Perhaps it's this undeniable duality that lends itself so perfectly to a lineup like Saturday's.

We realized upon arriving (and trying to order a drink at the bar) that the event was BYOB, so we headed over to the walk-up convenience store across the street to get some beers. On the way back into the club, two police officers joked to the doorman, "You guys trying to rustle up some new clientele?" The doorman, who reappeared later to escort an over-zealous lover of God to the patio, simply smiled. "Soul music has no color," he joked nonchalantly, peeking inside briefly to make sure the woman taking the cover charge at the door wasn't getting any grief. The officer turned to us puzzled and asked, "Can I ask you something? What makes you ladies want to come down here? Don't you know these people don't want to see whites around this place?" We explained that a friend of ours was performing, and that we were here to check out the headlining act, deflecting the almost accusatory tone by adding, "Besides, the dancers dress up like cops."

Our insistence that the venue's physical location should be a non-issue when it comes to live music, the realization that it isn't segregated Mississippi in 1955, and the simple idea that it's completely wrong to assume there would be problems didn't phase the officer. For a moment, we were immersed in Charles Bronson's Death Wish 3, and as the policeman uttered something about the "cockroaches" returning as soon as the red and blues disappeared, we were reminded of Paul Kersey's battle against the unbelievably antagonistic gang from the film ("It's like killing roaches: you gotta get 'em all or what's the point?"). Suddenly, we were helpless, vulnerable old women just trying to protect our moderately valuable tea cup collection, when blam-o, cackling ruffians swoop down and shake their clubs at us, then shoot our dog just for laughs. If that was what the night had in store for us, the next scene would have been our hero officer, spinning the knob of a safe that contained a couple of M2 Brownings and a .475 Wildey Magnum. Yesterday, young concert-goers had everything to live for. Now, suddenly, they've got nothing to lose. Heaven help whoever crosses their path.

But here's the kicker: that's not what we had in store, and despite the authority's sage advice, no one really gave a shit that we were there. No one really gave a shit that a boatload of people who aren't regular attendees were there. The kid in the kilt with a Mohawk was dancing right alongside a S&M chick, the regulars were swaying together, and we were sipping Shiners by the pool table tapping our toes and grinning as the opening act, Movin' Melvin Brown crooned "Your love is lifting me higher..." The story is a non-story: inside the club, there was an unspoken agreement that everyone was there to enjoy themselves, it was only out on the street that this pact seemed unrealistic.

Movin' Melvin's set was a joy. Singing karaoke style to a playlist of hits ("What a Wonderful World," "Higher and Higher," and a purely dance interlude to Michael Jackson's "Jam"), and he lived up to his title of "The Hardest Working Man in Entertainment." Melvin Brown is one of those people who is good at whatever he tries, and his range as a vocalist was nothing short of astounding. He's a sort of untapped well of talent here in town, as he's worked with everyone from Willie Nelson to James Brown in his lifetime, and travels around the world performing (he's a singer, tap dancer, comic and more) to promote his Change This World Project. We stood in awe as he shimmied across the stage, removing his suit jacket to give room for more mobility. His set, though without a live band or someone to fan him, was electric.

Our first instinct when finding ourselves in the presence of some hidden gem always begins with a wish for a wider audience. "I can't believe this guy isn't filling Stubb's once a month," we thought initially. Moments later, we felt somewhat guilty for assuming he'd even want that. Maybe this is exactly where he's needed, or where he'd have the most fun performing. Visiting his website and learning about his causes (he wrote a book called As a Man Thinketh, espousing "His belief that our thoughts create our reality forms the basis for his writings about life, peace, happiness, and most of all love."), his vision for change and his devotion to uplifting the downtrodden almost solidified that sentiment -- then again, he'd probably have an equal amount of enthusiasm for your bat mitzvah, he's clearly a man that loves to perform.

Photo of Foot Patrol courtesy Ishiku on Flickr
He performed a brief encore (revisiting a song he sang earlier in the set!) and we shifted our attention to stage two, which happened to be the back corner of the venue behind the pool table, exactly where we were standing. The transition act was Thor and Adam, a duo (accompanied by a man playing percussion on a nearby table) specializing in experimental drum'n'tuba jamming. We quickly moved our beers and bags out of the way to make room for their performance. Because of our position, we were suddenly front row center, and we were lucky: the minimal drum kit actually allowed Thor (Harris, a solo artist as well as regular drummer for Shearwater and Bill Callahan) to flex a bit, and the set was so out we were lucky we got to watch that closely.

After a brief break in the action, Foot Patrol took over the main stage. Hung Nguyen and TJ Wade, the masterminds behind the project, have concentrated on hardcore music in the past, but to those who have had the chance to see Foot Patrol in action, it's clear that their true calling is a unique brand of "'80s Minneapolis funk" (that means it sounds like early Prince) focusing on a dizzying synthesizer horn section, fast-paced rhythms, a disarmingly talented live drummer and, well, feet.

With song titles like "Toah's Ark," "Golden Arches" and "Toetry in Motion," Foot Patrol openly embraces the shticky side of their approach: the costumes create a courtroom scene, complete with gavels and sexy cop dancers, and the entire production plays out like a theatrical performance. But just like the dichotomy between our physical location in town and the absolute joy that a performer like Melvin Brown exudes, the internal conflicts in the Foot Patrol set rise to the surface in gorgeous complexity. Every pun lands on the eager crowd (the same people who boogied to Melvin, a glorious mix of misfits and legends) with complete seriousness. There are no knowing glances, no break in the act: the entire joke is delivered with a complete disregard for the irony involved in it all, and it ends up making the show that much more enjoyable. The absurdity of it all, even the choice of feet as the centerpiece to the joke, is completely forgotten thanks to how professionally the ensemble executes. The appeal is not unlike local hip hop artist and rape fetishist Black Nasty's: when submerged in a predominately self-conscious scene, what better way to refuse it than to not acknowledge your own refusal?

We left the White Swan after Foot Patrol's set walking through the front of the club, which was still operating like it normally would, as a R&B lounge and dance club. The woman at the door waved goodnight, the manager who unlocked the bathroom door for us earlier grinned, probably remembering our request for Vodka and Sprite earlier, though the party was BYOB. We shuffled out onto 12th street, almost expecting the cop to still be there, waiting for his predictions to come to fruition. Yet there were no reds and blues in sight, no cops around, and maybe to that officer's chagrin, no immediate danger, either.

Foot Patrol doesn't have any upcoming shows listed on their MySpace, but you can count on us to let you know next time they're out -- it's not to be missed. Their performance at Scoot Inn over the summer is well documented with video, but it's hardly enough to watch those clips, you really need to just go watch them live. For that matter, someone convince Melvin's management (is it just Melvin?) to get a MySpace so we can keep track of his appearances. Either could play in a sidewalk crack and we'd do our best to show up. -

"Foot Patrol SXSW Review Austin American Statesman"

Austin’s favorite foot fetish funk group, Foot Patrol, took only a few songs to prove that they are not just a foot-worshiping novelty act. Foot Patrol’s 8 p.m. opening set brutalized the audiences’ ears with funk grooves, punk spirit and even more highly danceable shake-the-junk-in-your-trunk rhythm and blues soul music that energized the Beauty Bar on Wednesday and released the venue’s soul from its all too familiar stoic hipster, arms-folded, cool pose.

Initially audience members might have thought that frontman/keyboardist T. J. Wade was pulling on pant legs as song after song lyrically unfolded into anthems obsessed with the worship of human feet and foot fetish parties. Wade’s singular “smellabration” of feet finally leveled certain members of the audience into curious “Is this guy for real?” and “I think this guy is for real” outbursts.

Foot Patrol has grown from a two-piece featuring bassist Hang Nguyen and vocalist Wade, into a nine-piece ensemble including three super-tight horn players and “The Tone Deputy Dance Squad” (two female go-go dancers).

The band and their dancers were clad in fake mustaches. Other members wore wigs and the guitarist even wore a prison orange jumpsuit. The band repeatedly toyed with audience expectations and performance conventions, but the tenor of the vocal performance and the power of their inescapable rhythms — more James Brown than Parliament Funkadelic — was enough to make you surrender to their outrageous presentation.

Midway through the set, the audience appeared to come to terms with the fact that Wade was stone-face serious and 100 percent committed to his would-be/could-be hit songs concerning his fondness for female feet. Dropping rhyme upon rhyme with the tonal precision of Stevie Wonder and Prince, Wade simultaneously revealed moments of his classical piano virtuosity in quick, subtle flashes on his electronic keyboards. And as good as the kid is on keys, when he does a blurry-fast run, you get the impression that he’s almost reigning in his skill for the measured poppy funk of his band.

The “S.W.A.T.” theme song received a pretty reverent interpretation (although its poignancy and irony seemed to be lost on the predominately under-30 crowd). Wade and band likewise sampled bits of the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” during their memorable original “Such A Pity.”

If only an adventurous advertising mogul were in the audience: There must be a shoe/sock/sandal maker in the world that could create a “perfect storm” of pop cultural candy by combining a Foot Patrol song with just the right images. Out-of-towners should note that as weirdly original and inspired as Foot Patrol is, their freak funk claims underground Austin music scene lineage to local punk and funk juggernauts the Big Boys, the Butthole Surfers and Brown Whornet. -

"Foot Patrol Review"

Back when Texas's acid-punk (Butthole Surfers, Crust, Ed Hall, Helios Creed) scene was in full swing, a lot of the musicians from those bands worked at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired between tours, including Teresa from the Butthole Surfers, aka that girl featured on the Slacker movie poster who tries to sell Madonna's pap smear in the film. And it was some of those very strange people who first discovered TJ Wade, a pre-teen blind prodigy who could instantly play anything he heard on keyboards.

TJ would compose lofi funk soundtracks on a keyboard as MC Terroristic, and then rap about which girls he likes and which teachers he wanted to blow up, stuff like that. His lyrics regarding teachers were really, really mean, and very, very funny. He also loved the Ruins, and covered a lot of their songs too. So...some of the acid-punk pioneers/blind school employees recorded his first album for him on the sly (because you can get fired for encouraging kids to sing about how much they'd like to kill teachers), and soon he was getting offers from major labels to work with musicians like Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keyes.

But as soon as he could, TJ Wade broke away from the major labels so he could write about his passion: an intense, all-consuming foot fetish! And not just about feet in general, but a crazy passion play about how he's an officer of the law dedicated to incarcerating the sexy, stinky feet of beautiful women and subjecting them to harsh punishment of toe-sucking, foot massages, and manicures. The band's called Foot Patrol.

To bring this cop theme home, the drummer plays with gavels and wears a judge's robe, and a cross-dressing police officer does a mix of buhtoh and go-go dancing. To make it even odder, sometimes TJ goes in drag as Crissy, the undercover police officer infiltrating the world of foot fetishism.

All this is really just a long way of saying that Foot Patrol is one of best bands I've seen in a long time. (Their recordings are good too, but they don't really put across how inspiringly crazy and awesome they are on stage.) They're already a huge deal in Austin, selling out shows and being featured constantly in local press. But for the first time ever you can see them in New York City. They're playing three shows next week: an all ages show at the Highline Ballroom on Saturday, August 8, with my band Flaming Fire, and two over-21 gigs at Goodbye Blue Monday and Union Pool. I highly recommend you come to that first show though, not only because I'm playing it too but because it will be done by 10, perfect for people who think they're too old to stay out late. -

"Foot Patrol Review"

Sure, Foot Patrol is into feet. But once you listen beyond the foot fetishes, the group lays down some of funkiest grooves in town, bending Prince-like sex appeal against samples and fervent beats. The eclectic vision of Hung Nguyen and TJ Wade, Foot Patrol’s songs are both hilarious and swaggeringly smooth, rapping out toe odes that will, well, have your feet moving. The group is following up last year’s album Smellabration with a slew of planned projects for 2008, including the Bill Callahan narrated funk opera Toah’s Ark: the Covenant, and you can see the Patrol live this Saturday, June 28, at the Tiniest Bar in Texas (817 W. 5th St). -


Chrissy EP (2009), No Small Feat (2008), Smellabration (2007), Foot Worship Queens (2007), Toetry in Motion (2006). Their songs can be heard on,, and



Foot Patrol is a band that puts the "fun" back in funk. Voted as the fans' favorite band at the 2008 Texas Rollergirls' Whammy Awards, Foot Patrol has created quite a sensation around town as a "must see" live act. Their combination of humor, showmanship, and musical skill appeals to a wide variety of audiences. You are just as likely to see them performing at a skating rink as you are to see them at a downtown nightclub. The outrageous lyrical content of their songs is centered around the blind lead singer's keen interest in feet, but their unique take on the Minneapolis funk sound of the 1980's easily transcends the limitations of a novelty act. They have played in the 2009 Fun Fun Fun Fest and headlined the First Night in Austin 2009 New Years Eve celebration.

Band Members