It wasn't until he was knocked unconscious on a skateboarding trip to San Francisco that James Curd relinquished his hopes of becoming a pro 'boarder, but maybe that was for the best. After that, the Chicagoan turned his focus to DJing. By the time he was 20, Curd was spinning alongside such Windy City heavies as Derrick Carter and Gene Farris. A studio partnership with Nick Maurer -- Curd's old skating partner -- and multi-instrumentalist Mark Share has recently catapulted the three twentysomethings into the international dance music spotlight. As the Greenskeepers, Curd, Maurer, and Share have staked out their own signature sound by harvesting swing-jazz samples and laying them down alongside classic Chicago house.
The Keepers' sense of humor shines through on their first full-length album, The Ziggy Franklen Radio Show! The LP kicks off with vamped-up P-funk power on "Upgrades," then takes a turn for the melancholy on the bluegrass slow-burn "Fluid." Heads may start wondering whether Curd and Maurer have abandoned house altogether by the end of the first side, but the Radio Show really starts bumping with the album's sixth track, "Dixie Gan," a hep number that swings on a walking bass line and an exuberant whirl of Django-like guitar strumming. We're not sure whether to expect a hillbilly maestro or a zoot-suited hepcat when Curd takes over on the turntables at Spy this Saturday, but either way, it should be a finger-pickin' good time.