Love, Funk and Fela!
Take time out to listen to Fela Kuti. He was many things during his time on this earth: a voice for Africa, a star on par with the likes of Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, a trend-setter, a political malcontent, and unrepentant sexist, Between himself and the great Tony Allen, they invented a genre, Afrobeat. A previously unknown gumbo that combined African American music such as Jazz, Funk and Soul with sounds only heard in the heart of the mother continent. That continent and its music are eternally etched into the DNA of the human race. When Fela Kuti combined those mythical beats and sounds, the radio waves carried worldwide. The effect was seismic in nature. The ground would shake as the people came together. The majority of Africans oppressed through corrupt government now united against their common enemy. Fela declared that his home was independent from the Nigerian state, calling it the Kalakuta Republic. At one time, the Kalakuta Republic was laid under siege by over 1,000 Nigerian troops, stemming from Fela’s outspoken political stance. Fela was severely beaten and lost his mother in that attack. His response was the single "Coffin For The Head Of State". To mark the occasion a year later, Fela married 27 women in a single ceremony. The 80s and 90s found him behind bars on regular basis due to his outspokenness in regards to Nigerian politics. An arrest for smuggling currency and one for murder jump off of the page among others. The world lost Fela in 1997 due to complications from the AIDS virus. His legacy lives on through his music and countless sons and daughters. He was the light and the dark. This still shines through the Funk that he left.
Love, Funk and Fela!
Howdy funk fans. Finding myself sitting here with some space to fill and some time to kill. Supposed to be writing about something relevant and inspiring, a daunting task it seems. Going to give it a shot so here goes...
We are all into music (this is a music blog after all) so let's discuss your local music scene. If your scene is anything like mine (college town) it is full of incredibly talented folks doing anything from Gregorian chant to Marvin Gaye. ABBA to Zappa. On any given night, you can go to a bar/club bistro, hear live music and meet some really interesting people. The only way to do that is to actually make the scene. You have to be physically present in order for these things to happen.
Videos on YouTube cannot compare to actual experience of being there, and let's face it; instant messaging is not a real conversation. At the very least, it gets you out of the house. In this digital age, we could all use some time away from our electronic masters.
Being a musician, I have a vested interest in a thriving music scene, but I feel it is imperative that we have some form of decompression from the daily grind.
So go see a show, take your friends and help support your local music scene and the musicians/venues who are making it happen. Dance like no one is watching and let it all out.
You will feel better and your scene will get stronger. It's a win/win.
See you soon,