Monday, September 28, 2009

Still Bill

I may have a late pass on this one. Bill Withers the movie? That's awesome right? Yes it is. Check the link to find out more about this man's legacy. Without further ado, Still Bill The Movie.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Instant Funk Mix Vol 3

Hi kids.
As you may already know, it's September. As you may not already know, we're doing our Instant Funk night again on the 23rd. And boy are we excited! This month we will be featuring our good friend DJ Charlie Rock. If you know Charlie Rock then I've already said enough. If you don't, then by all means consider this your formal invitation to come get acquainted.

Thumbs and I have decided to do a little something different for this month's mix. We decided to square off and rep a group of our choosing. I present to you Instant Funk Mix Vol 3: The Bar-Kays vs. Funkadelic

INSTANT FUNK MIX VOL. 3: The Bar-Kays vs. Funkadelic

For those of you who dig a little "behind the music" type info, in addition to doing our mixes we've each done our homework.

The Bar-Kays

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, The Bar-Kays signed to Volt (a Stax subsidiary) in 1967. By spring of that year they had released "Soul Finger," a searingly funky album with a hit single of the same title, and established themselves as Stax' 2nd house band. That summer, Otis Redding selected The Bar-Kays to back him. That December, tragically, a plane carrying Otis and The Bar-Kays crashed, killing all passengers except trumpeter Ben Cauley. James Alexander, the bassist for the group, was not on the plane. The next year, the group was rebuilt around the surviving two members, again taking their place at Stax' house band, backing Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and The Staples Singers. The group also backed Isaac Hayes on his legendary album, "Hot Buttered Soul."

In 1970, the group made an important change, adding, for the first time, a lead singer to their ranks. With the addition of Larry Dodson, the group was ready to come up from the shadows and take center stage. Their first few albums were largely conceptual, fusing rock and funk in a style similar that of Sly & The Family Stone and Funkadelic. Receiving minimal support from Stax, the albums enjoyed little success commercially. This turned around in 1976, when the group signed with Mercury, opening for Parliament on their "P-Funk Earth Tour" and releasing their first gold album in 1978, entitled "Flying High On Your Love." This album contained that devil-may-care dance floor classic, "Let's Have Some Fun."

Asshole alert: The success of their album caught the green eye of Fantasy Records, the label that had purchased all of Stax' mastertapes in the wake of their bankruptcy. The label promptly dug out old unreleased Bar-Kays' jams and released them as the "Money Talks" LP. The Bar-Kays didn't see a single penny of the money generated by this album. To Fantasy I would like to issue a formal, "Shame on you for your insufferable greed, " along with an informal, "Suck it you bastards." However, I suppose there is a silver lining here, in that the song "Holy Ghost" was on this album, so even though it was done in a despicable way, Fantasy Records is responsible for breaking this brilliant song out of the vaults.

The Bar-Kays went on to release two more gold albums, and ultimately released a total of 18 albums over the course of their career. Between 1976 and 1987 they hit the R&B singles chart a whopping 23 times. The Bar-Kays underwent almost continual changes, from group members to musical styles, but it was most likely this flexibility and vitality that was responsible for the group's long successful career.

And now, I will pass the mic to my better half in this funky family, Thumbprint:


Funkadelic is a band formed by George Clinton in 1964. It is hard
to separate them from Parliament because they go hand in hand. The
world is familiar with Parliament-Funkadelic. Let's set it straight by
saying Funkadelic is the band and The Parliaments took care of the
vocals. If you're studying funk, get familiar with the Funkadelic
sound. They are the ones that evolved the synthy, slower guitar riffs
in their music. They also included parts of disco and electro music.
The term P-Funk came from this group which came from
Parliament-Funkadelic. The P-Funk term became a sub genre that helped
paved the way for alot of funk artists. Gotta thank George Clinton
for that one.

For more info about funkadelic's history and discography, check out
their wikipedia. It has a vast knowledge info of artists that
were involved with the band. You might see some familiar names there
like Bootsy Collins or Eddie Hazel.