Big Mean Sound Machine, Bella's Bartok

Funk 'n Waffles - Downtown Presents:

Big Mean Sound Machine

Bella's Bartok

Sat · November 18, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm (event ends at 1:30 am)


We promise, this is will be one show people will be talking about for MONTHS!! You do NOT wanna miss out on this night of EPIC music. BELLA'S BARTOK will opening up the night followed by the one and only BIG MEAN SOUND MACHINE!

Get your tickets quick because this show WILL SELL OUT!!!

Big Mean Sound Machine
Big Mean Sound Machine
"BMSM might be one of my favorite bands on the planet. With a horn section to kill for, a drummer that can put me in a beat coma instantly, and a knack for hitting grooves in a pantsless stride, they aren't easy to ignore,” writes Joel Frieders of and he’s not kidding. For a band without a lead singer, Big Mean Sound Machine has character in spades. When assembled from a selection of the finest, well-lubricated, musically brilliant human components, the final result is the aural equivalent of positive feeling, “...the embodiment of feeling… delicious,” writes Frieders. People dance when a rhythm moves them, and there’s no defying instinct when Big Mean Sound Machine is on stage.
Anyone who has experienced the band in action knows that their performances are the heaviest and sweatiest. “Incorporating Caribbean, African, and Latin sounds and everything in between, these musicians… sound as though they’ve been playing together since the sandbox days. They transition effortlessly from a collective of trombone, sax, and trumpet to riveting soloists. Then, there is heavy bass before… percussion, guitar, or keys take the limelight, and when [they’re] not playing simultaneously, those who are stepping aside are jamming out as if they were in the crowd with the rest of us,” writes Mary Mistretta of UpstateLIVE. A polyrhythmic monster with a crisp, constant, unrelenting groove, the band brings together many musical traditions in a unique blend that reinterprets and reanimates live dance music unlike any other band playing today.
At the band’s birth in Central New York State, the founders wanted to set themselves apart artistically while honoring the true, primal reason that people listen to music in the first place: because good music feels good; and though their sound has evolved since their inception in June 2009, they have stayed true to their mission for the better part of a decade. Few bands can trace their roots all the way back to a specific set of values shared in casual conversation among good friends; in the case of Big Mean Sound Machine, honoring the ideas the group was founded on seems to be more of an instinct than a choice.
Big Mean is contemporary proof that it’s possible to create art that stimulates the body while also challenging the mind to explore beyond the status quo. “For the listener who stops shaking to pay attention at a Big Mean show, they can find a musical education,” writes Josh Brokaw of The Ithaca Times. Borrowing elements from traditional afrobeat, roots reggae, ethiojazz, and funk among others, “Big Mean’s [style] is not easily captured by the precise, genre-parsing descriptors of a contemporary music press that’s uncomfortable admitting to being surprised with a new sound,” writes Brokaw. Their instrumental soundscapes have no overt messages yet they’re anything but barren. “You get the feeling of walking the streets in a city late at night as those who are up to no good are coming out of their homes searching for their next score,” writes Bryan Lasky of “Seamed together by an amazing rhythm section… the core of the group commands attention while providing a passionate and constant groove,” boasts Vinyl Fluid Records, noting the fact that this purely instrumental band stimulates audiences both physically and cerebrally, though devoid of vocal indoctrination. The theme the band delivers again and again through evolving rhythms and melodies is to enjoy music for its creativity and musicality, and the way it makes you feel in every sense of being able to feel.
Bella's Bartok
Bella's Bartok
To understand Bella's Bartok, imagine what you would get if Salvador Dali and Toulouse Lautrec were fronting the Moulin Rouge's house band, and you have the exuberant spectacle that is Bella's Bartok. Described as "about as much fun as you can have with your pants on" (Dan Wolovick, Two Way Monologues), this 6-piece powerhouse melds Bohemian Klezmer Punk with pop sensibilities into an eminently danceable party. The diversity of musicians that make up Bella's Bartok, combined with their boundless energy on stage, not only compels you to dance, but has been known to break a dancefloor, or two (or three, but who's counting?).

Often referred to as a modern-pop klezmer, Bella's Bartok's sound moves way beyond that label, pushing the envelope towards the more eclectic side of the Eastern European style and forging a new pop sound as heard through the filter of 20th century fantasy and sci fi. Every show is filled with the exuberant joy of wildly energetic dancing. It's contagious. You simply cannot avoid it. When the circusy-inspired sound of Bella's Bartok hits your ears, you are no longer in control. Their music makes everyone dance, regardless. From living rooms to concert halls, alleyways to weddings, the band's energy makes getting up and moving irresistible. Without fail, someone from the audience comes up after every single show and says the same thing: "I couldn't help it."

Bella's Bartok line-up includes: Asher Putnam (Vocals and all-around entertainer), Jesse Putnam (Accordion, Mandolin, Guitar, Trumpet and Vocals), Chris "Fancy" Kerrigan (Guitar, Clarinet, Vocals), Dan Niederhauser (Bass and Vocals), Amory Drennan (Trombone/Banjo and Vocals), and Crisco (Drums/Percussion). The band has shared the stage with musicians and acts such as Rubblebucket, The Indigo Girls, Larry & His Flask, The Suitcase Junket, And the Kids, Kanye, Rough Francis, Beau Sasser's Escape Plan, West End Blend, Adam Ezra Group, Meat Puppets, World Inferno/Friendship Society, Rupa & the April Fishes, Arc Iris, and many more.

With multiple awards under their belts, including The Valley Advocate's Best Band in the Valley 2014 and The Deli Magazine's Best of New England (twice!), this eclectic group of guys have carefully crafted a sound that is part strange and creepy, part pop gold. With an aura of theatricality, Bella's Bartok shows not only entertain, but they invite you to partake in the wild party they are having on stage, to involve yourself in the spectacle. Quite simply put- this is the band you should never miss, ever.
Venue Information:
Funk 'n Waffles - Downtown
307 S. Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY, 13202