Planet Booty

Funky. Fun. Feel-good. That’s Planet Booty.

And plenty fans and backers agree. The electro-funk-R&B band out of Oakland surpassed its recent $22,000 Kickstarter goal — reaching $25,403 — no sweat. But for Planet Booty it is all about the sweat.

The funds will back a project the trio calls “the next evolution of sweat,” which includes making a music video for the band’s latest single, “Naked,” and recording a vinyl EP of the same name.

“When I perform I am dancing like a crazy person, sweating like a crazy person, going up to guys and girls alike, old and young,” said frontman Dylan Charles Germick. “It is about enjoying the moment for what it is, a moment of fun and a release.”

With the Kickstarter news, Planet Booty’s show at The Independent in San Francisco on October 7 will be a celebration.

Their high-energy live shows always are.  Planet Booty combines electronic music and live instrumentation to land a playful blend of funk and soul, beats and horns, rhythm and synth. The band’s mission is “spreading joy, making bodies move and cultivating the positive self images of followers” through its music which makes for a dance party every time.

These charismatic bandmates lead by example. Onstage antics, body rolls, and booty claps spill offstage to the crowd. They want to dance with you.

“I want to recognize everybody. When I grab a girl and twirl her and start strutting her around the room, that’s the good stuff,” Germick said. “We do it because we love it and we think you can do it too...Let’s all do it. Let’s all get sexy, get ridiculous.”

Planet Booty challenges every person in the audience to be themselves, laugh, be silly, and dance without worrying about what it looks like. Bring your most stiff friends and watch inhibitions melt as they succumb to this infectious band’s beckoning to bounce that ass.

Underneath the butt-cupping silver lamé outfits, gyrating, and grinding get-downs, disco ball butts, and ass hats are talented musicians giving a polished performance. Germick is a personable showman who sings, plays trumpet, makes beats, and flushes out melodies. Josh Cantero is an accomplished jazz vocalist who studied at The School for Music Vocations in Iowa. He plays the trombone and keyboards. He writes harmonies and lyrics. Rob Gwin is the heartbeat as he plays percussion and bass and lays backing tracks.

The band wasted no time when its Kickstarter went live August 29. The group made promotional videos, took to social media, and announced the effort at shows. Family, friends, and fans gave encouragement, along with unexpected supporters including high school classmates, yoga buddies, and Germick’s childhood piano teacher.

“It was such a wealth of people. Seeing my grandma to teenagers, it made me feel good about who we are and what we are doing,” Germick said. “Everyone wants to smile, dance, have a good time. That is our idea and seeing it accepted was affirming.”

By the time the campaign ended on September 28, 328 backers had shown their confidence in the band and love of its music and message by taking the time to log on, create accounts, and give a total of $25,403.

Planet Booty is grateful and ready to get to work.

“It’s humbling, but there is a touch of good pressure and it is daunting in a way because...now there is like 320 people anxiously awaiting,” Germick said. “I feel a responsibility to do my absolute best so when we finally turn it in, it is our blood, sweat, tears.”

The EP will be Plant Booty’s fourth record and seventh music video. To date, the trio has done everything on its own. It is self-managed, self-promoted, and predominantly self-produced with bandmates wearing many hats.

Germick is the public relations agent, band promoter and networking guru. Cantero is creative director. Gwin is business manger, audio technician, video editor, booking agent, tour manager.

Planet Booty’s early videos are creative and entertaining but were done on a barely-there budget.

With their Kickstarter booty, the band has professional plans for their “Naked” music video. Now there is money to pay for director of photography, a camera crew, lighting, dancers, a stylist, a choreographer, location rentals. It also means full body paint for Germick.

“This video is going to be full of dancers and girls and people stripping down and doing these seductive looks at the camera but in the end the person baring it all is me,” Germick said. “Not super-naked. There will be skin.”

Only somewhat blurred by the butt-centric lyrics and sexual content is a more virtuous mission to foster self-confidence, acceptance, and freedom of self across genders, ages, and roles. Here is how Germick explains it:

“I dance around in little short shorts onstage sometimes, but I just like showing the idea that I am a skinny white dude from the Midwest and look at me, if I can do this and be confident and feel sexy, you should absolutely do it too,” he said. “Push past your uncomfortable feeling and lets evolve what it means to be human beings enjoying and celebrating with other human beings.”

The money raised above the group’s Kickstarter goal means Planet Booty can go on an extended West Coast tour likely to include Las Vegas, Denver, and Southern California.

“This is the moment for us, the biggest swing at taking it to the next level...and finally saying, ‘Here we are world. This is what we sound like. Do you like it?'” Germick said. “Hopefully this is the avenue to break into that next outer shell of visibility.”

Let’s hope so, because life is good on Planet Booty.

Planet Booty, Diego’s Umbrella, DJ Julicio
The Independent
October 7, 2016
9pm, $14-$16 (21+)

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