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Monday, May 24, 2010

Set List - Rockin' Funk

Rock and funk go, quite naturally, hand in hand.  Rock defines beat, intense or groove.  Funk provides edge, like icing on cake.  I could easily create a laundry list of rock musicians who "funkify" their songs and even their live performances.  However, there are but two that truly stand out in my mind.

Duran Duran's "Notorious" (live) -

"Come on let's shake it.  Play something, it's gonna be funky!" - Simon Le Bon, Live from London

Oh how it was!  Sparkling disco ball and screen backdrop.  Electrified crowd off of an electrified Duran Duran.  Humming electric guitar, deep bass guitar, energized lead and back-up singers, beat of the drums, keyboard synthesizer doing its thing.  Everyone - everyone - having fun.

What makes this song stand out, especially as heard live, is not so much as the guys performing as it is the palpable energy in every individual in the stadium.  This intense energy, the music, and Simon declaring something to be funky makes "Notorious" a true funkified song.

James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" -

"So funky." - James Brown, Greatest Hits

So right he is.  The lyrics are repetitive but the funky beat is incredible and fun.  The soulful energy is addictive, with lyrics, clapping, instruments, and the constant sense that James Brown and others aren't taking the recording session seriously because they "feel good."

James Brown is the epitomy of soul and funk.  (He was honorably mentioned by Simon Le Bon before "Notorious" in the Live from London cd version.)

In this entry, James Brown and Duran Duran will have the last word.

"Come on let's shake it. . .So funky."

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