Archive for the Funk Category

Ice Cream Daydream

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


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.


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.



Workin’ Up a Sweat

Posted in Funk, P-Funk on May 4, 2009 by trapperKeeper

340xHappy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday!  I have been wanting to write a Bernie post, but haven’t felt like listening to his solo stuff lately.  Looking for some energy and inspiration on a so-so day, the hard funk of Bootsy’s Rubber Band This Boot Is Made For Fonk-N (1979) acts as a shot in the arm.

Unlike his first three solo releases, which had some outstanding slower numbers, This Boot Is Made For Fonk-N is pure, in your face funk.  His fourth album in four years, This Boot…is an album of dance grooves.  The concepts and songwriting of the first three aren’t present because there wasn’t the time to create them.  The demand for Bootsy material was huge, so they threw together this record quickly to take advantage of the craving.  This is thought to be the reason for the lack of ballads.  So while This Boot… doesn’t have the sustained spectacular majesty of the first three funk bombs, it is still damn funky.  Completely uptempo albums get wearing due to the lack of pace diversity and the constant in your face intensity.  This is the flaw with This Boot Is Made For Fonk-N.  Nonetheless, it is a flaw you can overlook due to the quality of grooves.  Just don’t expect to find yourself washing in its’ waters the way Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Ahh…The Name is Bootsy, Baby! and Bootsy? Player of the Year.

Jumping out of the gate with energy “Under The Influence of A Groove,” Bootsy establishes the sweaty spirit of the record.  Dance heavy, Bootsy is going more for moving bodies than blowing minds.  Continuing the  “Bootsy Get Live” is a classic post-JB’s P-Funk and my favorite song on the album.  The horny horns blow, as Bootsy plays his space bass.  Catfish’s guitar work on this one is superb.  Bernie and Bootsy even have a moment together.  Near the end the horns hit the “Pop Goes the Weasel” riff.  There may be a Bill Cosby impersonation at the beginning.

Slowing it down, “Oh Boy Gorl” sounds incomplete, especially for a song of 7+ minutes.  It has the nice basis of a powerful ballad, but doesn’t build on the intro and piddles around.  “Jam Fan (Hot)” is a ferocious combination of sound effects, space bass, rhythm guitar and supporting horns.  “Burnin’ burnin’ burnin’ burnin’ burning down the house” was later used by the Talking Heads.

Another enjoyable number, guitar and bass dominate the pun filled “Chug-A-Lug (The Bun Patrol).”  Uptempo, but mellow “Shejam (Almost Bootsy Show)” is also the shortest song on the record besides the closing reprise.  The vocals and horns contribute significantly to the airy groove.

Everyone needs some space bass in their life. This Boot Is Made For Fonk-N might not be the funk opus Bootsy’s Rubber Band previous efforts were, but it blows most everything else out of the water.  


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Swine Flu Madness (God Is Angry @ Baconnaise)

Posted in Funk, humor, Music, politics with tags , , , on April 30, 2009 by trapperKeeper


Welcome to Swine Flu Pandemic 2009 sale event, which coincides with the going out of business everything must go sale.  And just in time for our last Mothers’ Day sale.  What does all that mean?  A smorgasbord of entertainment (clowns painting faces, celebrity dunk tank with Porky the Pig, carnival games that test your survival skills) and food (cotton candy, hot dogs, icees, dry rations) will be provided after you prove you’re not infected with the swine flu.  Once inside, you’ll find beds, fridges, microwaves, gas masks, duct tape, plastic sheeting and more.


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Watch Out For That Bladder Splatter (Kersey & Ali Say Get Down!)

Posted in Funk, Music on April 28, 2009 by trapperKeeper


Seeing as it is Tuesday, which I try to keep blogging free, today’s post will be pretty short, but deadly.  Kinda like Death Wish 3.  I finished up applying to a few jobs and want to escape into making some beats before tutoring.


James Brown & the JB’s headed to Zaire in 1974 as part of the festivities around the “Rumble in the Jungle.”  When I saw James Brown, he was a much older man, who took his sweet time getting on stage; however, he still delivered quite a performance, even if he couldn’t do the splits.  Delivering the Funk like few others, the Godfather of Soul and his warriors put on a vicious, tight funky performance.  Sit back and let the JB’s take you on a funky good time.  Oh, if I could only become the rhythm guitar, I would experience the strumming of a lifetime.

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Keepin’ Sweat Out Your Eyes! (The Uncle Cliffy Mix)

Posted in Basketball, Funk, Music, P-Funk on April 27, 2009 by trapperKeeper


In honor of my favorite headband player of all time, I present the Sweat Band’s Sweat Band on this sunny Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday.  Yesterday, I took in all four NBA playoff games, including the last two with a fellow hoop fiend.  It is always a joy discussing basketball with a fellow junkie.  It allows you to reminiscence over the more obscure players of the past and really talk the game.  Cliff Robinson was one of the masters of the head band from his first days in the league when headbands weren’t very popular.  A pioneer through and through, Cliff’s visionary ways weren’t just limited to style.  Granted I am a young, so my NBA historical scope is limited but I don’t remember hearing of many 6’10 players of past generations shooting 3s and avoiding rebounds.  Until Dirk surpassed him, Cliff had been the tallest player to hit over 1,000 three pointers.  So Cliff is responsible not only for the headband, but also the 6’10+ player standing on the perimeter bombing 3s.

According to this person (, the Trailblazers were the trailblazers (lame humor, I know) of the NBA when it came to headband style.  The historical legacy of the Trail Blazers to the headband goes even deeper than that.  Bill Walton during his days as a Blazer rocked a sweatband style garment.  Check out the above link, the dude give a nice rundown of current headband styles and their practitioners.  This NYT’s piece ( Cliff’s experience as an innovator and the headband trend.  And one more last NBA headband link (, which has some other styles.

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Step Into the Sunshine

Posted in Funk, Music on April 24, 2009 by trapperKeeper


Waking up pretty early today, in order to catch some breakfast with a friend who works overnights, has put me in no mood to do any substantial writing.  I actually feel like taking a nap, something I rarely ever contemplate doing, and have some errands to run.  In other words, today’s post will be short and funky like Bernie Worrell.

Manu Dibango, a native of Cameron, has a long, storied musical career.  He is most famous for his jazz saxophone work.  On Africadelic (1973), he keeps it plenty funky mixing African and Latin American sounds.  Allegedly, it was composed and recorded in one week after Soul Makossa (1972) proved to be such a hit.  What an inspired week that must have been.  Africadelic is chock full of horns, percussion jams, and funky guitars.  There are some nice breaks to be pulled off of this one.

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Knockin’ Like Donkey Kong

Posted in Funk, Music on April 23, 2009 by trapperKeeper


Today is a good day.  I finally received the RAM I ordered and hot damn my computer feels good.  I have yet to try out Ableton or Photoshop, but I am sure they will be much more fun to operate.  So today’s post will be short, sweet, and bongolicious.  Bongo Rock (1973) is most famous for “Apache,” which has been sampled myriad times.  This version is 2006 re-release with a lot of extra tracks.

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