Monday, November 14th, 2005

Zigaboo Modeliste and The Meters Are Back! (w/Bonus Stuff)

Zigaboo brings that beat back!

Here’s a piece I did in today’s Chronicle on Zigaboo Modeliste and the Meters reunion:

On a good day in a little corner of West Oakland, over the crow of backyard roosters and the low whoosh of cars passing on Interstate 880, you might hear a little bit of New Orleans heaven. Drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste is laying down that famous second-line beat with a smile on his face and an extra little snap on his rolls. His band, the Meters, one of the most celebrated in the Crescent City’s storied musical history, is finally back together.

“God gave us a gift,” Modeliste says, “and we should be doing it.”

For many hip-hop, funk and rock fans, the reappearance of Modeliste with his original bandmates — keyboardist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli and bassist George Porter Jr. — at April’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was a stunning moment.

It was billed as a farewell show. But after their set, Modeliste teased the crowd, saying, “We’ll see you again.” (They play two dates this weekend at the Fillmore.) As New Orleans tries to recover from Hurricane Katrina, many see the band’s return as a sign of hope for the suffering city’s cultural revival.

But bringing the beat back wasn’t easy.

Click here for the rest of the story…

Bonus Features

DJ Z-Trip on the Meters’ Josie Records: “It had an innocence to it. I don’t think when they sat to do their music they thought about it. They’re just getting started, and there’s this sort of energy when they’re all in the room, no one necessarily knows where it’s going to go. But many years later, you can still can feel that when you hear the music.”

Cut Chemist on Zigaboo’s style: “It was about less is more. Zigaboo had a swing. He was a monster in metric modulation. The hi-hat isn’t on the normal grid. He was working the in-betweens. The ghost notes are just as important as the ones that are there. It reshaped what was there by playing what wasn’t there.”

George Porter, Jr. on his relationship with Zigaboo: “I think my part is Zig’s life is to be to get as close to his heartbeat as I can. That’s my job as a bass player–I am supposed to make him make sense to everyone else.”

Leo Nocentelli on whether the Meters reunion will last beyond these winter dates: “I would say yeah, I’m 95% sure that it’s gonna happen because people are already making offers. I would imagine there’s going to be a new record from the Meters.”

Art Neville on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “We lost a city. I haven’t even seen my home, I don’t know what it looks like. I was on the road when it hit, and I’m still out on the road as far as I’m concerned. I do know it didn’t flood. We had some burglars come and help themselves. I don’t know if it’ll ever be like it was before. My brothers Aaron and Cyril lost everything. They don’t want to come back there no more. I want to go back to New Orleans.”

Geek Stuff

+ Hank Shocklee’s favorite Meters Record
+ Cut Chemist’s favorite Meters Record
+ My favorite Meters record
+ Sundazed Records

Meters Websites

+ Zigaboo Modeliste:
+ Art Neville:
+ Leo Nocentelli:
+ George Porter, Jr.:
+ The Funky Meters:
+ The Meters:

posted by @ 7:21 am | 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Zigaboo Modeliste and The Meters Are Back! (w/Bonus Stuff)”

  1. Jay Smooth says:

    nice nice nice.. i have the audio of that show where they 1st got back together, wish I could’ve witnessed it.. their upcoming show in NY is like $100+ a pop unfortunately.

  2. Anonymous says:

    gotta respect the meters!!!! the founding fathers!

  3. Anonymous says:

    111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco
    Saturday, November 19, 2005


    Stylus highlights the live roots of Hip-Hop and the
    future of the funk with a dope band, live painting and
    MCs, featuring an all-star lineup. Joining forces with
    SFO snowboards, the Stylus crew hosts SFO’s Annual
    “Pray for Snow” Preseason Celebration.

    – BigG on drums (The 808 Band)

    – 4OneFunk DJs: Ales, B-Cause on turntables

    -Evan Francis on Sax/Flute/Percussion (Space
    Heater/Realistic Orchestra)

    – David G on guitar (Boogie Shack/Jua)

    Satva (I.T.S./Kleome)
    A-List (NYC)
    Similak Chlyd(Future Primitive)

    -With Master of Ceremonies Conceit (Strangeface)

    LIVE PAINTING BY BUDER- in honor of SFO’s prayer for
    snow, Frisco’s infamous graffiti king paints a custom
    snowboard live, to be auctioned off to support the
    starving artist fund.

    Info:,, (415)

    At 111 Minna Gallery
    111 Minna St.
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    (415) 974-1719

    $5 9-10:30, $10 after
    21 w/ ID

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