Archive for March, 2010

Funk Slurpin’

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Most music (and all muzak) doesn’t make sense to me. Frustrating are the days where at every corner an SUV blasts synthetic bass and every stores’ speakers leak tunes that make each daily errand that much more irritating.

In the words of Judd Nelson, “B.O.O. – H.O.O.” Woe is me.

However, I do look on the bright side of things and realize that funk music is never far from reach. Man, Funk is something else. At it’s most commercial, Funk produces tracks like “Jungle Boogie.” And it’s accessibility and attraction reflects that of it’s Godfather.

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Mr. James Brown kills.

Rarely do I feel wholehearted support in a particular music style. But Funk has it. When Funk was rising, other music was losing its appeal: Rock got too gaudy, folk artists got castrated, disco was disco, and punk can sometimes be reduced to music for kids in perpetual “time-out.”

But Funk? Funk was aware, active, and kicking-ass. It brought together everlasting bass lines and brass geysers. Relevant rage and sincere camaraderie. Is this an overtly romantic view? Of course it is, but realize that this music came into its own on the heels of Jim Crow… and Funk had something to say.

In my short life, there hasn’t been a music trend, fad, or “craze” that hasn’t completely smelled of phoniness. But Funk always seems honest, authentic and the absolute best way to both party and promote social and political responsibility (though not always at the same time).

“Mind Power” is a perfect example of this.

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There’s also no one else I’d rather hear scream out their troubles. From “Lost Someone” to “Goodbye My Love, Pts. 1 &2.”

Unfortunately, those files are too large to load, but here’s an example of impeccably performed heartache and a testament as to why he earned the nicknamed “The Hardest Working Man in Show-Business.” A very, very tight performance of “It’s a Man’s World.”

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There were many, many others who Funked. Here are a few tracks I prefer – Isaac Hayes:

The Temptations:

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James Knight & the Butlers:

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the Chi-Lites:

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the funkiest Hendrix track I’ve ever heard:

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Anyhow, those were just some tracks to getcha on the good foot.

Raise the butt of your bottle upwards, it’s the weekend.

This should have happened years ago.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

train-map

BULLET TRAINS! (browse right quick)-

Even though road trips are amazing, they are time consuming, expensive (gas, parking, road trip “snacks” otherwise known as creating meals from convenience store junk food, etc) and at times nerve-racking (traffic, detours, road fatigue).  But here’s a dreamworld where travelers arrive to one of five regions in the nation and are able to easily explore the entire region.  And if they transported, shipped, or obtained a bicycle upon arrival, it would only make exploring that much more enjoyable and open to experience.

With friends who live in St. Louis and make the commute to Chicago regularly as well as friends in central Texas who have to commute to Dallas regularly (both trips taking anywhere from 4 to 6 hours by car), I know from experience that these trips are frustrating.  And in some cases, the drive itself is the only reason to NOT travel.  With the option of cost and time efficient “bullet trains,” as well as the comfort to read, use a laptop, etc during travel, these trips would really alleviate the strain of our country’s wide open spaces.

With some trains’ projected speeds of 220mph, they could, provided they don’t have as strenuous security or similar delays and pains that come with air-travel, rival plane-trips in the speed and efficiency department.

Selfishly, these trains would make it easier for a guy like me, who prefers traveling in urban settings on a bike rather than car, to realize their dreams of biking through most of America’s major cities within reach.

There are many reasons these projects have yet to come into fruition.  But believe me, if just one of these projects is completed, I’ll not only visit the region and enjoy every minute of it, I’d even consider moving there.  Okay, not Florida, but the other regions?  Of course.

Newspaper Brains and Television Souls…

Monday, March 1st, 2010

charleskitchen1 charles-bukowski

I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, cities of the dead: men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideals… How can I be over concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher.

—-Charles Bukowski when asked for his opinion on assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Further on in the interview,

I’m just discouraged that men and women have to live their lives the way they do. It’s painful to them, and it’s painful to me, but I don’t know the way out.  So all I can do is write about the pain of it.

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