Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

History of The Funk Pt.1

03/17/2009

James Brown

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening and viewing pleasure, nearly 50 years of funk history! Featuring rare clips, old favorites, forgotten oddities and plenty of funky breaks, fat bass lines and freekay moves.

In the land of funk, all roads lead to James Brown. This is one of the first ever funk singles being played on a Rowe/AMI jukebox of the same vintage as the song – 1965. You can still hear funk’s R&B roots loud and clear, but with a catchy new groove coming through…

Of course you needed fresh moves to go with the new grooves…

The journey of funk has taken some amazing twists and turns as it has become woven into our lives. By the end of the century it had mutated into this…

But its roots in the 60s cracked the streets of urban American to tap a deep well of bitterness…

Funk became the voice of a young black America demanding their country live up to its promises. Here the Godfather of Soul mimes his militant black power anthem to a room full of radical chic mannequins. The song put Brown on an FBI watch list with its call for black people to die on their feet rather than live on their knees…

When crack started to bite during the Reagan years this militancy resurfaced with a vengeance, given added urgency by a brand new form of funk…

Once Brown lit the fuse there was no turning back – out of his band alone came Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd and Maceo Parker. All of them would start their own bands. Here you can hear Bootsy’s bass playing while he was still part of the JBs…

And here is after a few years with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Yowser…

He was only one of many artists to fall under the spell of funk…

Once the hedonism of the 70s really started to pick up from the soured idealism of the 60s, many of these artists would take the funk into strange new territory. -but that’ll have to wait till Part 2 🙂

Michael Jackson’s Stuff

02/16/2009

 

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I came across a catalog of  Michael Jackson‘s stuff, soon to go on under the hammer to meet his debts. I have to admit, I like his style. So refreshingly uncool. Sort of Versace without the restraint.

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Like most superstars he is fascinated by his own image, and I can understand why. Maintaining the confidence to stand alone in front of a stadium filled with people must be a full-time job. If I had to do it I guess I’d surround myself with objects that bolstered my self-esteem as well.

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Although I don’t think there is too much irony in his choices, I do feel there is a sense of humor at work.

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Voyeuristically peering through Michael’s personal effects, it occurred to me that these are not really treasured possessions. Not for sale are personal photographs, paintings and drawings by his children, letters from family – the first things he’d save were Neverland burning to the ground.

The newspaper headline that accompanied these pictures invited us to take a glimpse inside his mind, but I think all they really do is give us a glimpse inside the workings of an incredible brand.

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“The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.” – Michael Jackson