Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"James Brown is Dead"

I"m sure every aging raver in the land did a double take when they heard that phrase for real on Christmas Day. I know I did, and I'm only good for the "aging" part of that particular job description.

Confession: I am actually writing this entry on New Year's Day, a full week after the sad news, and backdating it so it appears that I was a little more on the ball. But no matter when I finally got around to eulogizing the great man, I never could have composed anything as eloquent as the following blog posts:

*At the B Side, this very personal history of Brown's career, and
*this first-person account of the scene around the Apollo Theater this past weekend (both of which include, for the time being, MP3s of JB B-sides).
*The Fresh Air tribute to Brown, including interviews with the Godfather himself, the co-author of his autobiography, Maceo Parker, and Bootsy Collins.

I could swear there were more online tributes I've come across that I wanted to link to, but I'm having trouble remembering what and where they were now. That's what I get for not posting sooner.

Meanwhile, my personal tribute has taken the form of listening not so much to the classic funk stuff (or even to his wild Christmas album, which I kept meaning to pull out this past week, as I usually do every year), but to the 2-disc Roots of a Revolution compilation of earlier stuff. The party line on this material is that he hasn't quite found his unique voice yet, but I have no complaints whatsoever listening to him try and find it through r&b, countryish stuff, novelty songs, you name it. The track that stood out for me on this go-round was a silly/slang-y one called "That Dood It" that is pure fun. Not funk, just fun--and that's enough for me.

No comments: