Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Make My Funk the P-Funk

Yeah! We saw Dar Williams, RJD2 and George Clinton + Parliament/Funkadelic at the annual Summer Breeze concert Saturday night. Dar had some funny jokes about finally sharing a stage with George Clinton, but that's exactly why Summer Breeze is so awesome: a few years ago they had Guided By Voices, Jurassic 5 and Medeski, Martin & Wood on the same stage. Talk about eclectic. Anyway, the concert was awesome.

Dar: This was the 4th time I've seen her in concert, and it was nice to hear her do the solo guitar thing without her backing band (which sometimes makes her sound a little too adult-contempo-lite-rock-y). As usual, she was her funny, goofy self, and she played a nice mix of old and new stuff. Apart from a small group of acolytes around the stage, a lot of the crowd wasn't really paying that much attention, which was too bad. A lot of them didn't even sing along to 'Iowa' even though she promised them it would get them into bed with cute girls. Their loss, I guess.

RJD2: Pretty cool DJ music. The thing about seeing DJ's spin live is that I don't really know enough about what's going on to be properly impressed. He certainly ran around, shuffled vinyl and did stuff with the 4 or 5 turntables he had, and the music that came forth was really interesting and engaging, but I'm never really sure (without getting a closeup view) exactly which "parts" he's creating through cut-n-paste and which are pre-recorded. I'm happy to take it on faith that he's a real badass, however.

P-Funk: Pretty much a religious experience. I did have a moment of doubt early on... (I mean, GC's been doing this for, what? 30-40 years? And he's clearly an old man now. Even the guy in the diaper is an old man, and he's been wearing that diaper for-ev-er. So, is this just a nostalgia act? Are they merely a party band now, here to get the frat boys pumped up? You can just imagine how crazy and dangerous and anarchic they must have seemed back in the 70's when they ruled this planet and several others from the deck of their mothership. And now the anarchy has been going on so long, it's become... pre-planned - is that weird? or sad? or something?) ... but then I decided to stop thinking about it and dance. And, really, they still don't compare to anything else out there - the passing years have only made them better at what they do. There were like 147 of them up there on stage -- 14 guitarists, 8 keyboard players, 64 backup singers, the male-belly dancer/acrobat with a six-inch prosthetic nose dressed up like a pimp and climbing all over the stage, the guy eating cereal, the skinny sound-tech guy breaking up fights, the female rapper, the keyboardist who looks like Che, the guitarist with the half-hour solos that would make the Grateful Dead have to take a break and sit down, and on and on... in the end you can't fight the funk. You have to join it.


Jason said...

I hate myself for the fact that I've missed out on George Clinton 3 times. Honestly, there is no excuse for that. I just hope there is a next time for me to rectify this sin.

t said...

Seriously, I wish you well on your quest - but hurry, he's not getting any younger...