September 2018 Featured Artists
Get ready to move your feet this Farm-to-Fork month. This year’s Farm-to-Fork Festival is now two-days long, September 28 and 29, giving Sacramentans another chance to experience farm-fresh fun.
At the Friday Farm-to-Fork Festival Kickoff, attendees can sip Clarksburg wines, grub from SaveMart, Raley’s, and local food trucks, and hear music from The Wood Brothers, Logan Brill and local hitmakers Ideateam.
Sacramento365 connected with the local funk outfit for this month’s Featured Artist profile. Read on and get to know the crew that promises to bring good times on Friday, September 28.
[Editor’s note: Responses were slightly modified for clarity.]
Who is Ideateam?
Bass Guitar: Roibeard Kyle Pulskamp-Lockhart
Drums: Joe Carusi
Guitar: Justin Butler
Guitar: Timothy Snoke
Percussion: Mike Ruiz
Alto Saxophone: Mark Miller
Tenor/Baritone Saxophone: Chris Ryan
Trombone: Joshua Cambridge
Trumpet: Aaron Smith
Vocals: Julian Cunningham
Baritone Saxophone: Alec Olson
Percussion: Chris Ernst
Tenor/Baritone Saxophone: Jacob Gleason
Trombone: Seamus Smith
Vocals: Garrett Wildgust
Smaller than its current iteration, Ideateam began when four kids from Amador High School — Timothy Snoke (guitar), Roibeard Kyle Pulskamp-Lockhart (Bass Guitar), Joe Carusi (Drums), and Justin Butler (Guitar) — finally had the time to jam in late 2011. “We were all coming off the tail end of previous bands and when our schedules aligned we became our [own] full-time band,” says Carusi.
Playing under the name Total Perspective Vortex, a nod to Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy novel series, the group hashed out its instrumental tunes on the streets of Downtown Sacramento, performing at Luigi’s Pizza Parlor and The Naked Lounge.
Other bandmates fell into their orbit in 2013 as the band looked for a new direction: “One horn player came to rehearsal, and then he brought his friends, adding percussion and new perspectives to the group,” remembers Carusi.
Soon after, vocals and a new name (“an easy-to-remember name!”) were added the mix, forming the 10-piece ensemble it is today.
How did you guys come to love and play soul/funk music?
We all have a passion for lively energy. Each of us came to the table with an idea of what moved us.
Hearing funk bands Galactic, Orgone, Dumpstaphunk, Medeski Martin & Wood, and Greyboy Allstars gave us the flavors and musicality that we wanted to incorporate into our sound. [Editor’s Note: Galactic’s album Ruckus in particularly inspired drummer Joe Carusi.]
What makes a great funk song?
Each band member could write a short essay on this question, but it’s syn-co-pa-tion!
Truth be told, funk is that playful magic that speaks to everyone. Some might say repetitive riffs that lull the listener into a trance with a smackin’ backbeat might make a good foundation. For others, exciting horn melodies and hits and jabs might be the secret ingredient. Music is wonderfully subjective.
No doubt there tends to be a bounce, and often a formulaic progression in a scale helps ‘funk’ feel ‘funky.’
We are all students of funk…and with open minds we can receive its blessing. Once you are shaking your booty, the funk has come upon you!
You’ve mentioned that your latest album Kinetic shows off a more mature side. What led to this newfound sound?
Certain changes came with our new singer Julian Cunningham. He’s been with us for about three years and recently earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. He added songs and a different songwriting structure to our repertoire.
Our songs feature elements of jazz, soul, and funk. They also follow a more conventional [song] form than what we had previously. In other albums, our songs were linked together with different movements and interlacing sections. Songs on Kinetic follow a more standard form – a verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, etc.
Also, we’ve performed many songs off Kinetic for at least two years before recording them; this really gave us time to craft our sound. Recording it at Paradise Studios here in Sacramento also added another level of polish to Kinetic.
What’s your take on the Sacramento’s music scene? Has it evolved since forming in 2011?
Sacramento has so much local music! We have a ton of friends who are on their own musical adventure. If you’ve ever stepped foot in The Red Museum and checked out their shows, you’ll find a truly unique experience, dripping thick in creativity. When you dip into Shady Lady, it’s a whole different vibe. We also have gems like Concerts in the Park and it’s been cool to hear acts that are a part of Soulful Saturdays, too.
The “scene” is created by enthusiastic/compelling performers offering an exciting show, as well as an audience that is energized and inspired to go out and bask in the magic of live music. Perhaps that’s what makes music and music scenes special. It takes a cosmic alignment. When something really special happens, it’s because energy came and brought folks together.
There’s definitely an ebb and flow to the scene. Unfortunately, one of our favorite funk bands admitted to us that Sacramento was a dead zone for them. They’re an amazing band that play to small crowds here. Sacramento seems really hinged on hip-hop and rock music. Funk is around, but it doesn’t seem healthy or ingrained in our musical culture here like other genres.
Supporting the local scene doesn’t just mean attending a show. Buy and download the artist or band’s music! It directly allows musicians like us to keep playing and do what we love.
Which Sacramento area venues or events are your favorites to perform at and why?
What Ideateam needs is a stage that can fit us! We have a pretty large footprint, so our base has been Harlow’s. It’s one of the best spots for live music and was home to our favorite sound guy John Carlson, may he rest in peace.
In terms of events, we have to give a shout out to Cosmic Family Gathering for always being present. They show up in the scene and regularly throw events for the spirit of music.
Our first time playing at Cosmic Family Gathering was in 2012, back when we were known as Total Perspective Vortex. The following year, we returned with horns and our current name. Members of our band have been part of the Gathering since 2007, and even earlier! It’s a real local show — friends hanging out, getting freaky! Ideateam has been a part of it for many years.
The Deschutes Street Pub was also a fantastic event to be a part of. We love playing outside, especially in the streets of Sacramento. R Street Block Party was also really fun.
What hobbies or activities do guys turn to find inspiration?
All of us are music fans outside of being musicians. We go to live shows and study the greats by listening to recordings. There are aspects of film and visual art that some of the members have interests in and that indirectly informs our sound. Getting out into nature and spending time with family and friends also brings a lot of positive energy to our work.
Since it’s Farm-to-Fork Month, where are some of your favorite places to find farm-fresh food?
Our bassist Roibeard Kyle Pulskamp-Lockhart is actually the head Chef at Rosebud’s Cafe in Jackson. His family owns the restaurant and they have their own farm, Majestic Oaks, in Ione, where they source their ingredients.
More locally, Lalo’s Restaurant makes killer unique Mexican food and Bangkok City Thai Cuisine off Garden Highway is also pretty awesome!
Keep Up with Ideateam:
General Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for more opportunities to hear Ideateam?
Here’s a list of upcoming gigs in and out of California.
September 21 at Crystal Bay Club, Crystal Bay, Nevada (Lettuce Afterparty)
October 26 at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, Taos, New Mexico
October 27 at Harvest House, Denton, Texas
October 31 at Mohawk, Austin, Texas
November 1 at Three Links Deep Elum, Deep Ellum, Texas
November 2 at Fred’s Texas Café, Fort Worth, Texas
December 15 at The Chapel, San Francisco