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Primus brings freak-funk to North Tonawanda

Proving that it is indeed still possible to carve a singular path far from the popular music mainstream and still make a decent living, Primus has spent the past 27 years doing exactly as it pleases.

Taking a page from Frank Zappa’s genre-defying exploits, adding plenty of ’70s funk influence, indulging in the adventurousness of progressive rock, and always maintaining a strangeness that aligns it with alternative music, Primus is by now America’s most beautifully freaky band. The virtuosic slap-tickle approach of Les Claypool’s bass playing, the post-rock leanings of guitarist Larry LaLonde, and the psychedelic funk fortifications of drummer Jay Lane add up to an oft-imitated, never duplicated ensemble sound.

The band wraps its tour behind the brilliant 2011 release “Green Naugahyde” while simultaneously kicking off the Niagara River Rocks summer concert series at 5 p.m. Sunday in Gratwick Riverside Park, off River Road in North Tonawanda. The Mike Dillon Band and the Beggars Best will open. Admission is free. See niagara-

– Jeff Miers