Archive for May, 2009

Who In The Funk Do You Think You Are?

Posted in Funk, Music, P-Funk on May 19, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday!  Life is a bit stressful right now with all the change that is coming in less than two weeks.  As a result, my brain is a bit scattered, making writing even harder.  So today, will be short but sweet.  Plus, you can listen to George shed some light on the music found on the album and the P-Funk army.  Enjoy.

George Clinton Family Series 1: Go Fer Yer Funk was released in 1992.  The material that appears on this archive release, and the other Family Series releases, is mostly post 1978, really post 1980.  A lot of that has to do with George not owning the rights to older work.  Still, there is killer among the filler on the Family Series as long as you are willing to overlook the mediocre, hollow sounding 80s material.  As a hardcore funker, it is nice to hear more P-Funk even if the works aren’t among their greatest.

Go Fer Yer Funk opens with “Go Fer Yer Funk,” a strong, hook-filled dance number and one of the best songs on the release. Sterling Silver Starship was a side project that didn’t get far.  “Funk It Up” is one of the songs that had been recorded.  Gary Fabulous, the world’s first white rapper, gets loose on “Funkin’ For My Mama’s Rent.”

Catching Sly warming up, George secretly recorded “Who In The Funk Do You Think You Are.” Trey Lewis, also known as Tracey Lewis, is a son of GC.  “Michelle” is one of Trey’s earliest songs.  Later released on Way of the Drum (2007), “Sunshine of Your Love,” is a wicked Cream cover by Blackbyrd, who plays all the instruments.  Recorded in the 80s for the Way of the Drum, MCA rejected the album and then lost the tapes.  Almost twenty years later, the tapes were found and the full album finally saw the light of day.

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Track Listing

Go Fer Yer Funk {G Clinton, W Collins}  9:52
Funk It Up {Donnie Sterling}  8:46
Funkin’ For My Mama’s Rent {Gary Sinkow, Lige Curry}   5:58
Send A Gram {G Clinton}  5:32
Who In The Funk Do You Think You Are (demo) {Sylvester Stewart}  1:33
Better Days {Marvin Williams}  4:10
The Chong Show {W Collins, David Spradley}  5:07
Michelle {G Clinton, Tracey Lewis}  12:24
Sunshine Of Your Love {Jack Bruce}  5:33
The Archeological Dig-Storytime with George (interview)  12:14

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The Sound of the Universe

Posted in Music on May 17, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Here is the latest version of “Om.”  The guitar is gone for now.  My friend is supposed to lay down some guitar for it at some point in the near future.

http://soundcloud.com/trapperkeeper/om

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Do You Find Earth Boring?

Posted in Funk, Jazz, Music on May 15, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Friday being the day off far out music, I am putting up another Sun Ra album.  I like Fridays for many reasons including the fact I have them off.  Today’s is especially nice because it is finally warm again in Seattle.  Sunshine helps counter the effects of underemployment.  Being free to enjoy cold, dreary days while not banking any scrilla isn’t very satisfying.  When the sun is out and the weather is fine, it can actually be nice to be underemployed.

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Dichotomy

Posted in Art, Photos on May 13, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Yesterday, there was an impressive sky.  Foreboding, yet sunny, cloudy, but blue, I was surprised the rain held off.  Well, at least it did in my neighborhood until much later into the night.  Anyhow, the appearance of the sky made for a quick, fun photo opportunity.

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Detroit Soul (Take Me Home)

Posted in Detroit, Funk, Music on May 13, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Moodymann is a dope techno/house producer from Detroit.  I have a live set of his from the 2007 DEMF that elevates the mind and soothes the soul on a chilly humpday.  Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets, who lets loose some deep thoughts on Axiom Funk’s Funkcronomicon, brings his blunt yet soulful perspective on the mic.

The set start off with a political vibe due to the use of Gil Scott Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit.”  Mixing some classic funk hits, including William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful,” used by Ludacris among others, among some of his own tracks, he brings in one of the finest Brides of Funkenstein songs “Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy.”  Prince protege, Andre Cymone’s “The Dance Electric” follows before the set finished with the Strikers, a group I recently discovered a few weeks ago, soul disco classic “Body Music” complete with its’ thumping bassline.

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Dead Crabs

Posted in Art, Photos on May 12, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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The other day, Carley and I got out to Lincoln Park in West Seattle.  Besides being a nice park with a relaxing shoreline, it also has a salt water pool that operates during the summer.  I didn’t take many photos, but here are a couple of things that caught my eye.  When we were kicking on the beach, a crow stole Carley’s sandwich flew off, but dropped it about thirty seconds later.

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A crab graveyard where crows and gulls drop victims to their death before gorging on their delicious insides.

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Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes (Attack of the Fractals)

Posted in Art, Photos on May 12, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Here are some fractals I made out of pictures from the Japanese tea garden and from my front steps.

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Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Funk After Death)

Posted in Funk, Music, P-Funk on May 11, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday! I have a fine P-Funk performance today, a live show from the famous P-Funk Earth Tour.  Recorded in 1976 on Halloween, the show was filmed for  video release.  Thus, the recording quality of the audio is superb.

Opening with “Cosmic Slop,” the P uses the Space People intro.  A tale about a mother, forced into being a prostitute to support her kids, pleading with god to forgive her actions, “Cosmic Slop” is about acknowledging the guilt caused by our ability to do unscrupulous things in order to survive.

GC comes out for the rhythm guitar propelled intro of “Do that Stuff” before the main groove is reached.  The Horny Horns make their presence known, as does Bernie on what could be a clavinet, but the rhythm guitar riff is still the star.  Segueing into “Gamin’ On Ya,” Dr. Funkenstein is first mentioned.  The chorus from the old Parliament song “Come In Out of the Rain” is thrown into the mix.

Unstoppable ferocity is unleashed on “Standing On the Verge.”  P-Funk could rock harder than most.  They did come up playing with MC5 and other rock groups in Detroit.  Fuzzy Haskins gets busy whipping the crowd into a frenzy with with pelvic gyrations and a wild vocal performance.  The thumping bottom and rhythm guitar riff are excellent.  Quickly, the groove changes into a slow, simmering groove.  The tambourines add a lot to the sound, but one must bow down to the bass work.  GC runs through the “Undisco Kidd/Call My Baby Pussy” routine before stepping aside for Bernie.

With the crowd hollerin’ for more, the moment of arrival is tantalizingly close as the “Mothership Connection” suite begins.  Before the chariot rides in, the purification of the mind must take place.  On “Children of Production,” the Clones of Dr. Funkenstein arrive to act as a q-tip and blow the cobwebs out your mind.  The beginning of “Mothership Connection” gives a friendly warning that if you hear any noise, it’s just George and the boys coming.  Soon, Glen  calls the Mothership down as trumpets herald the landing.  Communion is served.

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When Gabriel’s horn blows, you’d better be ready to go

The ecstatic hum of the crowd lingers before GC gets the show going again.  “Dr. Funkenstein” philosophizes as the gorgeous guitars take the center.  Backed by a closed hi-hat, the guitars are locked in together, yet free to roam around.

With the main theatrical piece finished, the band is free to play.  “Coming Round the Mountain” is classic Funkadelic.  Dirty guitars over thumping, heavy drums, it is raw, pure unkut funk.  Who says a funk band can’t play rock?  The heavy guitar emphasis of the past two songs give way to the Horny Horns, one of the finest horn sections ever assembled, on “P-Funk.”  Demanding his funk unkut, GC goes zen:

Once upon a time called Now!
Somebody say, “Is there funk after death?”
I say, “Is Seven Up?”
Yeah, P.Funk!

Introducing “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker,” Ray Davis brings the bass.  GC, Glen, and Starchild dominate the vocals as all the funkateers, including Sly Stone, come onto the stage to say goodbye.  Bootsy plays some cowbell.  Saying goodbye to the crowd, the band busts into “Funkin’ for Fun.”  If you see my mother, tell her I’m alright, just funkin’ for fun!

Mothership Connection: Live from Houston is pure, unkut funk.  I can’t recommend watching the dvd of the performance for the visual presentation enough.  Witnessing it confirmed my decision that if I could travel back in time to only one event, it would be a vintage P-Funk performance.  Time to go to church with George and his merry band of funkateers.

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http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?ioqtcmtqoji

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If you got faults, defects or shortcomings,
You know, like arthritis, rheumatism or migraines,
Whatever part of your body it is,
I want you to lay it on your radio, let the vibes flow through.
Funk not only moves, it can re-move, dig?
The desired effect is what you get
When you improve your Interplanetary Funksmanship.

Track Listing:

01- Cosmic Slop
02- Do That Stuff (Intro)
03- Do That Stuff
04- Gammin’ On Ya
05- Standing On The Verge
06- Children Of Production
07- Mothership Connection
08- Dr. Funkenstein
09- Comin’ Round the Mountain
10- P. Funk
11 Tear The Roof Off The Sucker
12- Funkin’ For Fun

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Ice Cream Daydream

Posted in Funk, Music on May 8, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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One day a revelatory sound hit me.  Struck dumb by the Funk like Saul on his way to Damascus, I almost burst into tongue on hearing Shuggie’s grooves.  Instantly, I was addicted to Shuggie Otis’ Inspiration Information (1974).  Hypnotized by the laid back, hazy West Coast groove, I listened to the record on repeat.  When I go back to it now, I still find myself hitting rewind like Ahmed.

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Anyhow, I had already been bit hard by the funk bug by the time I discovered Shuggie’s work.  Considering how dynamite his work was, I was a bit shocked that I had never heard of the man before.  I was familiar the song “Strawberry Number 23,” which was made famous by the Brothers Johnson.  A master alchemist, Shuggie embraces the whole of the African-American music tradition to express his unique funk.  Allegedly, Shuggie wrote and played all the instruments on the album.  It took three years for Inspiration Information to come out as the follow up to Freedom Flight (1971).  Only twenty-one at the time of its’ release, Shuggie dropped off the face of the music world for a variety of reasons.

Shuggie’s album has a strange quality to it.  Unique, but not original, Shuggie’s sound mixed a lot of current music, including Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, and Sly Stone.  Shuggie wasn’t ahead of his time, but his work still has a timeless quality to it.  Shuggie will take you away to another place if you’re willing to listen.

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http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?w3ydttntyve

Clouds & Power Lines

Posted in Art, Photos on May 7, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Some nice clouds presented themselves the other day when we had a break from rain.  Yes, the clouds were green and trees purple.  And yes, I need to get a better camera still.  Fuzzy resolution annoys me greatly.