Imagine the Seven Samurai, except instead of being assembled to protect an impoverished village from a band of crazed, bloodthirsty raiders, they're put together to provide the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul with old-school turn-of-the-'70s funk a'la the Meters and the J.B.'s. That's Cheetah Nunchuck, a mercenary squadron of local musicians put together from a who's who of jam bands, jazz ensembles, rap-funk groups and Lord knows what else. Put their resumes together and you've got yourself a long read: you've got session-hand keyboard wiz Jared Rush on the Hammond B3, Eyedea's Face Candy bandmates JT Bates (drums) and Casey O'Brien (bass), the Big Wu's Chris Castino on guitar and vocals, Greazy Meal and New Power Generation alumnus Brian Gallagher on sax, Matt Darling of Volare Lounge Orchestra and RNC party favorites Hookers & Blow on trombone, and wild card Doug Christensen on additional percussion. Yeah, they're not swordsmen, but that doesn't mean they ain't sharp.
Thursdays, 10 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 p.m. Starts: Dec. 4. Continues through Dec. 18, 2008