• René Cobar

The Republic of Funk: Beat Bodega Are Model Citizens.

What makes a constitution worth protecting? What makes a cause worth fighting for? If you were to build a set of fundamental principles to be governed by, you surely would have answered those questions first. For the citizens of The Funkateer Republic, those principles are funk, rock, reggae, hip-hop and above all else a good time. The free republic hinges on the belief that no citizen is above the music, and that all visitors who enter the realm are deserving of its richness and beauty. For residents of Austin, TX this groovy republic may be better known as Beat Bodega.

"We have a band constitution that has saved us a few times," is what Bob Floyd (guitar/vocals) told me was the secret behind the band's near six-year run in Austin. By resolving conflicts in an orderly fashion and remaining true to the tunes, Beat Bodega emphasizes the music and delivers the type of performance that will compel you to dance and let loose.

The anthems that Bob and his bandmates—Nicholas Balleza (synth/trumpet/vocals) and Samuel Quattlebaum (bass/vocals)—sing with fervor are extraordinarily contagious and with the efficiency of a plague spread a feverish devotion onto the audience for funky basslines, rapid-fire vocals, electronic melodies, and mad beats courtesy of "Megatron," a charismatic BOSS RC-30 Loop Station Looper.

The groove ambassador. Photo by Angel Cobar.

The band has seen Austin's venues change hands time and time again and still they relish in the growth of the city. The group has recorded an album and an EP during their trajectory so far, and they look forward to the future. The Sahara Lounge played host to their set last night and was booming with wet bass riffs that quenched the thirst of the desert dwellers. As another set came to an end, the group seemed more than happy to wind down and enjoy the evening inside the creative establishment.

Up next for the group is a soon-to-be-completed single they intend to release by the start of summer. Hopefully, more gigs are to come to help them get back into the groove of things after a minor absence due to Sam having suffered a concussion from which he seems to have fully recovered. The scene surely has missed them, and they have missed it too, the group were quick to praise it.

Minister of the synth. Photo by Angel Cobar.

"It's a good place to be a band," said Nick while emphasizing the importance of putting out good music and networking in a city that has so much to offer for all involved in the business. "You can build the web here," said Sam about the opportunities that music journalists and bloggers have to continuously meet new artists, which of course, was a heartfelt sentence for me. I am convinced that I found a group of model citizens last night who above all else hold friendship as the highest merit that music can offer. " I think we are all here together because we like one another, that is what matters," said Bob emphatically.

Commander in funk. Photo by Angel Cobar.

Friendship reigns supreme inside this republic of common men who march to the beat of their anthems, pen the rules that govern them, and treasure the work that they each put in. For those lucky enough to visit the jungle of sounds they produce, awaits a world of exploration and enjoyment. Music, freedom, friendship, dreams, and a good time— is that not worth fighting for?

Read more about Beat Bodega here.

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