Mike Dillon & Punkadelick Release New Single “Pandas”


Photography by Joshua Marc Levy

Mike Dillon & Punkadelick have released “Pandas,” the second single from their forthcoming album, Inflorescence, due January 27 on Royal Potato Family.

“‘Pandas’ was composed in my apartment above Checkpoint Charlie’s off Frenchman Street in New Orleans,” explains Mike Dillon. “I had been mediating on the destruction of natural habitats for human convenience all the while painfully aware of the homeless situation in our own cities. So you might say the song is a meditation on the helpless nature of the panda bear’s imminent demise, but alsol a metaphor for our own social fabric hanging by a thread.”

Built upon a hypnotic vibraphone figure laid down by Mike Dillon, a high lonesome melodica melody played by Brian Haas floats across the landscape before Nikki Glaspie’s lilting rhythm enters, giving the performance a pastoral, dream-like drift. There’s an elegance to “Pandas,” that stands in contrast to the band’s name. The punk and funk are present, however, if more in their ethos and underlying approach to music than in a literal sense.

“We’re students of the titans of music. We grew up listening to punk and rock ‘n’ roll but we also love instrumental music—particularly the forefathers of Black American Music. In our minds, Led Zeppelin and Milt Jackson, Parliament-Funkadelic and The Minutemen, The Bad Brains and Frank Zappa are interconnected,” says Mike Dillon. “All that comes together in how we approach instrumental creative music. Punk rock, funk and jazz are not prefab things, they’re about freedom. We have no genre restriction in this band, and people who get it really respect that.”

“Pandas” release today coincides with the announcement of 24 additional Punkadelick shows in Winter and Spring 2023. Having just completed a West Coast run this past weekend, Mike Dillon—a notorious road warrior who is also a member of Les Claypool’s Bastard Jazz and Rickie Lee Jones’ band and prior to the pandemic would typically perform over 250 shows a year—will lead Punkadelick, featuring keyboardist Brian Haas and drummer Nikki Glaspie, on a tour that covers territory in the Midwest, Colorado, the Southeast and Northeast, including both headline dates and support slots with Marco Benevento. Punkadelick also make their debut performance on Jam Cruise 19 setting sail in early February.

Tour Dates

1/4 – Kansas City, MO – The Brick
1/5 – Bartlesville, OK – Grey Dog Listening Room
1/6 – Little Rock, AR – Four Quarter Bar
1/7 – St. Louis, MO – Pop’s Blue Moon
1/8 – Fairfield, IA – Cafe Paradiso
2/1 – Raleigh, NC – The Pour House
2/2 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Pour House
2/3 – Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall
2/4 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall
2/6 – 2/12 – Miami, FL – Jam Cruise 19
2/22 – Durango, CO – Animas Theatre *
2/23 – Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater **
2/24 – Crested Butte, CO – Public House
2/25 – Denver, CO – Cervantes Other Side
3/10 – Jersey City, NJ – White Eagle Hall
3/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts ^
3/12 – Baltimore, MD – The 8×10 ^
3/13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird Cafe ^
3/14 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom ^
3/15 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall ^
3/16 – Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room @ Colectivo ^
3/17 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club ^
3/18 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon ^
3/25 – Dunedin, FL – Dunedin Brewery

* w/ Lespecial
** w/ Spafford
^ w/ Marco Benevento