Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Afternoon Rad Jam

Generally we've pretty much stuck to straight up rock anthems on the Friday Rad Jams segment, but this week we're taking in it in a different direction. Paying tribute to a collection of Rad dudes that could simultaneously make you shake your ass to dancefloor anthems while rocking your face off. These pioneers of all things funky were not only revolutionary in their own era, but also laid the foundation for some of the most classic hip-hop ever recorded. It's pretty safe to say Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg owe a huge debt of gratitude to these rad dudes for their own success. Unfortunately nowadays when we think of a modern "funk" band you think of just a grooving bassline with some dickhead whiteboy dropping some shitty rap rhymes over it. In other words, not Rad at all. Definitely not a giant fraternity of Rad dudes all jamming out on one stage together overdosing on awesomness. Not the band responsible for this week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam: FUNKADELIC.

Funkadelic, or Parliament Funkadelic, or P-Funk...whatever variation of the George Clinton led outfit we're discussing is completely fucking Rad. P-Funk played a genre of music that could best be described as "Psychadelic Space Funk Rock." Nowadays a band that describes their sound as a "fusion" of various genres is a group of untalented dickheads from different backgrounds that all suck balls at what they do. Like an Alt-rock country-jazz fusion indie outfit or something totally lame. Back in the day you could say that P-Funk's sound was a "fusion" of various types of music. Which is to say 20 Rad dudes got together in the studio, did a bunch of drugs and jammed out a bunch of crazy shit together until they found something that sounded awesome. Then they went out nd rocked arenas with their totally Rad live shows. In case you didn't believe P-Funks music was out of this world they did their best to change your mind every night by exiting a giant multi-colored spaceship before coming onstage (totally neccessary Rad set prop). The "Mothership" if you will. They were Rad aliens from another dimension here to preach their message of interplanetary funk to the masses.

One look at Funkadelic's crew of Rad dudes and it's not far fetched to think these guys actually were from a land far far away. I have no idea how they all decided on their Rad look, but hey I'm not complaining. The two most prominent members of the group of course are lead singer George Clinton and bassist Bootsy Collins. George Clinton is basically like if you took that crazy crackhead on your corner that screams about Jesus and his general insane views on society, threw some buckets of paint on his head, and gave him a pair of sunglasses...and then made him the frontman of a band. George Clinton is not really..good at anything..other than being Rad, but hey there's nothing wrong with that. I mean Sammy Hagar is probably a "better" singer than David Lee Roth, but I think we all know which version of Van Halen we prefer. There are no adjectives that can fully describe Bootsy Collins' look other than to say he is Rad personified. Generally he dresses head to toe in gold, silver or purple with diamonds or something shiney covering every inch of his body. Then throws on some platform shoes. Apparently at some point he decided he was a big fan of...stars. Hence the star sunglasses, star guitar, star top hat, and star rings. Whatever, when you're as Rad as Bootsy Collins you can come onstage dressed in a diaper and still be cool. (Wait...Funkadelic had another member of the band that already did that).

George Clinton and Bootsy Collins are obviously the Mick and Keith of Funkadelic, as the two most recognizable members of the group and the unquestioned engines that make this space funk train roll. Just like any other great band however, there are other unsung members of the band that are just as essential if not more important to the band's success. In the case of Funkadelic we are talking about their guitarists. Funkadelic's guitarists totally shred, which is not something you can say about many funk axe men. Eddie Hazel is their most well known guitarist, and for good reason. He was an original member and is responsible for the shred classic "Maggot Brain" which is basically the space funk version of "Eruption." Funkadelic's landmark 1978 album "One Nation Under a Groove" however, featured P-Funk replacing Hazel with a teenage prodigy named Michael Hampton who wasn't too bad on the six string himself. This week's Friday Afternoon Rad Jam is his showcase. Enjoy your weekend folks. If anybody tells you a funk band...can't rock...don't believe him.

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