The Black Box
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The Black Box

Band Rock Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Black Box"

By Emily Binion
Hold on to your asses, Baton Rouge. I can't complain too much this time.
The Black Box is a funk, instrumental group who begged me with tears and love letters to review them after they read my brutalization of Free Sõl. So first of all, they're brave.
Second of all, they had the balls to submit something to me without lyrics. This automatically makes my job as a satirist more difficult, since there are no attempts at being poetic artists for me to point and laugh at. This was also a big risk because I'm not really a huge fan of instrumental stuff, except for the theme to Last of the Mohicans. I play it on my violin all the time, but it sounds more like "Hot Cross Buns" when I do.
To amplify an already bad day, I popped in their CD and prepared myself for the worst. As I drove my car, (which I am desperately trying to sell – email for more info!) I got lost in a train of thought, and the music kind of drifted to the background. At first I felt like I was in a dentist's waiting room, but then I started to feel like I was in the waiting room of a dentist who likes to drink Gentleman's Jack between patients while he sits in a leather chair, smoking a fine Cuban.
The keys kick off their number-one summer jam, "Combustible Mustard." This may seem like a stupid title, but if you mix mustard with gasoline and put a match to it, it's definitely combustible. Anyway, the organ sounds are extremely refreshing. At first I felt like I was listening to the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, but then I felt more like I was listening to The Doors or The Who jamming out by themselves.
Of course, neither of these bands featured a trombone, which The Black Box does. But these kids don't abuse it. It just works with them.
I lost the track list somewhere, so I don't know the names of the rest of these songs, but they're all pretty good. I really want to rip these dudes to shreds, but then I would be lying, and lying makes the Baby Jesus cry.
The next song is fun, too. Piano sounds replace the organ. The trombone guy is still there, kicking brass. The g-tar and bass continue to keep things real, and awesome. The drummer is fantastic. His style is extremely laid back, not at all overpowering, and it actually kind of reminds me of Carter Beauford. Of course, no one in the world is as good as CB, but for a local band, this dude ain't too bad.
The rest of the album progresses similarly. Each song is unique, but nothing is intense or out of place. My only problem is the lack of lyrics. If they could find a Stevie Ray Vaughn-type individual to lay down some bluesy lyrics for a couple of numbers, I would be a fan for life. Without a singer, I think about the lyric-less studio music they used to have to play on TV shows back in the early nineties to avoid copyright issues. For instance, at a Bayside High dance, Zack and the rest of his generic gang would get down to generic, crappy, pop music. The Black Box is what I imagine Seinfeld and the rest of his original gang would get down to if they were at a dance and their producers couldn't secure the rights to use songs with words.
Additionally, due to the missing-lyrics issue, this music could easily serve as someone's life soundtrack. I especially picture a cool mafia figure, or maybe some mix between James Bond and The Dude (Jeff Lebowski), walking down the street in slow motion, with sunglasses on, wearing a suit, walking into the Liquor Mart to get a sixer. I tried to walk around campus in this slow-motion manner, with my sunglasses on while listening to The Black Box, but I think people just thought I had a gimp leg.
I'm sorry to disappoint everyone. I know you were expecting me to ravage someone in this article, and the band was probably looking forward to a good beating, as well, but I have to admit, I really like this stuff. I might even get them to come play at my Sweet Sixteen party. - Red Schtick, Feb.04, 2005


Life is hectic, chaotic, sometimes troublesome and ever-changing. In the moments when life seems overwhelming and desperate, most people look for some vehicle of escape. Be it travel in the physical sense or escape through art, music, or the like, people need some avenue away from the typical. My most recent escape from the exploits of the mundane brought me to a variety of locales. In the course of a little over a two-hour span, I was transported to the dingy and dank bar rooms of Nouvelle Orleans, to the trendy jazz bars of the East Coast, to the prohibition-day joints where the music was loud and the women were louder, to a place of calmness and tranquility, to a place outside of myself. I owe this short vacation, this avenue for temporary self-exile, to The Black Box whose performance was nothing short of remarkable. Their music providing an exquisite and mesmerizing soundtrack, the deep heartbeat of the bass, strong and pulsing; the lead guitar sharp and metallic, like lighting, like a memory; the trombone as it wailed like a banshee and then murmured like a lover, pleased and full; the tinkling of the piano sometimes like rain and then again like a hail storm; the percussion of the drums as thundering footsteps on the path to something better, something more beautiful, some place worth traveling again and again. Truly a trip which shall require no souvenirs, but a trip that I can revisit each time I listen to a melody echoing from my speakers. A trip that I would not mind taking over and over again. - Kari Schoeffler


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The Black Box
A super-fly, four-piece instrumental groove music ensemble from Baton Rouge, Louisiana The Black Box is not limited to one specific musical style. Instead they combine their instrumentation and skills to create a unique sound, boldly combining many genres into their eclectic mix. Capable of performing in small intimate jazz clubs like Chelsea's Cafe, or rocking huge shows at venues such as The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge or the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans.

Some say The Black Box sound remind them of “the intro to late 70’s TV detective shows” or described them as “scooping up the vibe like Mississippi mud ice cream” or “this music could easily serve as someone’s life soundtrack.”

The Black Box and its members have been known to share the stage with such acts like Kansas, Moonshine Still, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and Austin favorites The Scabs.