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THE HISTORY OF FUNK BY RICKEY VINCENT

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2009 12:51pm | Post a Comment
rickey vincent
Rickey Vincent
literally wrote the book on funk. The college professor, writer, and radio DJ, who resides in Berkeley CA with his wife and two sons, is the author of the acclaimed music history book Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press) which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. If you don't already have this book, with a forward by George Clinton, I highly recommended it since it is the most comprehensive study on funk.

In addition to being an author & journalist, Vincent has taught at City College of San Francisco and SF State University where he taught a course entitled Protest Music Since 1965: Funk, Rap and the Black Revolution. Rickey is also a longtime Bay Area radio DJ at stations KALX and KPFA, where he still hosts his popular weekly funk show The History of Funk, Fridays at 10PM on 94.1FM.

The widely respected funkateer's musical knowledge (and music collection) is unmatched. I recently caught up with Vincent to talk about the funk/hip-hop connection and the impact of funk and black music in general on both American and global cultures, among other things. The conversation inevitably turned to godfather of soul / funk pioneer James Brown a few times during the interview. 

Vincent is currently finishing up last minute details on his next book Party Music -- a fascinating historical account of the Black Panther Party's own funk band, Oakland's The Lumpen, who took popular funk songs and rhythms but substituted more revolutionary lyrics. (Look for a future interview with him about this upon its publication.) For more information on the author, you can visit Rickey Vincent's website or his MySpace. You can also read his book or check out his show on KPFA.

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Joe Cuba 1931-2009

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 17, 2009 12:02pm | Post a Comment
Another legend has left us. Joe Cuba, who was known as “The Father of Boogaloo," passed away on Sunday, February 15. He had many hits during the 60's and 70's with his "Boogaloo" style, a mixture of Latin music and R&B sung in both Spanish and English. It was the perfect marriage between Motown and Fania, which were the sounds of New York at that time. It was the kind of music that got Afro-Americans listening to Latin music and got Latinos into soul. He had a number of hits, such as “Bang Bang,” “Push Push,” “El Pito,” “Ariñañara,” and “Sock It To Me Baby,”

He also helped launch the careers of many great singers, including Ruben Blades and Cheo Feliciano.

I got into Joe Cuba from the infamous bodega scene with RuPaul in the movie Crooklyn. In the background was the song "El Pito" and it knocked me out. I slowed down the VHS tape so that I could read the credits at the end of the movie. If you don't think you know Joe Cuba's music, maybe this scene from Crooklyn would refresh your memory:


I knew about Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, but discovering Joe Cuba opened a door into the world of boogaloo and from there, into all the great Fania artists. Joe Cuba was instrumental in helping me to develop a deep love of Salsa and Afro-Caribbean music in general.

Thank You, Mr. Cuba, for helping all of us who were into your music expand our horizons.

Love Story - The Band Love and Arthur Lee's Skewed Genius

Posted by Miss Ess, February 17, 2009 10:45am | Post a Comment
love with arthur lee

One of my favorite bands from the 60s has to be Love. Their music is so unexpected and so unconventional, both lyrically and sonically. I give Arthur Lee the lion's share of credit for this (slove storyorry Bryan MacLean). Lee was truly one of a kind.

I've just watched the recent documentary about Love, Love Story.

Lee formed the band under various names in Los Angeles in the early 60s. It was one of the very first integrated rock bands to hit the scene and gain popularity -- something that is discussed in the film quite a bit, as band members feel they were arthur lee of loverepresented to the press/public early on by colorful psychedelic drawings as a way for the record company to avoid presenting the potentially "risky" fact that the band was made up of both black and white musicians. 

Love was one of the first rock bands to sign to Jac Holzman's Elektra Records and it was not to be a simple relationship between the band and their label. The band members spend a great deal of time in Love Story accusing Holzman of not promoting their work enough. Holzman counters this by pointing out Lee's aversion to touring outside of California. Regardless, the band made three brilliant albums within a span of a year and a half (!) -- Love, Da Capo and Forever Changes -- and increasingly, Lee's moments of brilliance were aggravated by longer and longer durations of virtual insanity because of his drug use.

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Killer of Sheep

Posted by Amoebite, February 17, 2009 10:43am | Post a Comment
Killer of Sheep is a beautifully simple urban tale of an African-American community set in Los Angeles' Watts district during the 1970s. Yes, the 1960s included a cultural revolution toward racial freedom, but history often assures us that problems are far more complex than just a cry for racial freedom. Every community has its individual fight, and here we follow Stan, frustrated with the monotony of working at a slaughter house, and we see how it affects his life at home.

killer of sheep

It is notable how personal the film feels. It makes sense – Charles Burnett wrote, produced, shot, and killer of sheepdirected it with a budget of less than $10,000 with the help of many close friends and family. The result is a natural, humanistic style. It takes a lot of courage for a director to let a story work inside out, and that's where the simplicity lies. Emotion is often wallpaper when complicated plots involve twists and turns. Instead, here, we are embraced in moments within relationships, moments of hardship, moments of tenderness, and moments of family togetherness.

Our generation is fortunate to witness this DVD release of the film – the film never saw its release until 30 years (2007) after its completion due to music rights not being secured. It also includes another feature length, My Brother's Wedding, Burnett's timeless second feature about characters from Los Angeles' South Central.

-Tiffany Huang

February 16, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, February 17, 2009 10:23am | Post a Comment
Coraline 3D ticket stub

Coraline at the AMC Disneyland

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