Although the Tom Tom Club hasn't released new music in the past eight years, it's still getting airplay, as samples taken from its songs "Genius of Love" and "Pleasure of Love" have been used by Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, Puff Daddy, and Tupac Shakur. Carey even used the Club's riffs on not one but two successful singles. It's not as if the band's founders, multi-instrumentalist Chris Frantz and singer-bassist Tina Weymouth, were lounging around, either. They concentrated on production duties, including Angelfish (a group that featured vocalist Shirley Manson before she joined Garbage) and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and revisited their Talking Heads days by putting together a group called the Heads with keyboardist Jerry Harrison. Initially a side project, the Tom Tom Club was formed in 1981 when drummer Frantz and bassist Weymouth were still in the Talking Heads. While Heads singer David Byrne was taking part in a number of other pursuits, the husband-and-wife duo decided that it was a shame to waste their musical ambitions. Inspired by the sounds of rap emanating from New York and reggae from Jamaica, they tried to blend the two musical worlds. Their music was catchy, kitschy, funky, and, based on the numerous samples used by others, timeless. The group's new album, The Good the Bad and the Funky
, sharpens its explorations in groove-oriented territories while further developing its interests in reggae. Besides a cover of legendary dub figure Lee Perry, Frantz and Weymouth put together a mutant mix of dancehall and funk that should translate well in a live setting.