Funk, Inexplicably-Get Up!





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My first time reporting on a concert and I'm already lost on the way to the club. "Where is the funk?" I ask myself. George Clinton and his P-Funk All Stars await.

Arriving at the club around ten, the photographer and I encounter quite an eclectic crowd. Trendy clubgoers and genuine fans are here to dance to what is supposed to be the epitome of funkiness. I'm here to see if Clinton will live up to these expectations.

Optimistically, I walked towards the press table to find my ticket. I get free tickets, I'm a real reporter now. I naively gave an all-too-happy club henchman my ID and was told that I'd have to step out of line because I'm underage. Funk is meant to be viewed by an adult audience.

So, to make a long story short, and probably more entertaining, I have nothing to say about the actual music of George Clinton but I found the funk waiting in the crowd outside. The photographer, being of age, went in to take some pictures. From what he recalls, the crowd was jumping but Clinton performed in a geriatric stupor. From my viewpoint, I saw the keeper of funk actually use his pimp cane to walk up the steps to the backstage entrance.

I began interviewing the clean-cut people in the crowd because stoners in Dr. Seuss hats scare me. Either the suburbanites are all confused or funk is just really hard to define 'cause most could not actually tell me what they liked about Clinton's music. I was showered with ambiguous statements about sweet grooves and fat... sorry, phat beats and, you know, "it's George Clinton man, come on, he's the king of funk."

So I sucked it up, and stepped into a cloud of smoke to interview the more "enlightened" part of the crowd. Of course the girl I tried to talk to, looking like a lost vampire child who hadn't bathed or fed in a few days, was so happy she treated everything as a yes or no question even if it wasn't.

I scanned the crowd for somebody who actually knew how they had got here. I found a lady by the name of Lovely, yes Lovely, who I am convinced is the muse of funk herself. Wearing a long fur coat and a crown of blonde raggedy-anne curls, she tried to tell me what it all meant. First I listened to some long statement about how George' s brand of psychedelic funk is no "dixie-land jazz bullshit." "It makes you move," she said. So far we've already established this. But this girl, drunk and dressed to kill, defined why for me; even if she didn't mean to.

She told me one thing worth recalling. The words of the muse are the key to why funk persists. "All I know for sure," she said "is that if you loosen your ass, your soul will follow." Brilliant! I realized, not only was she drunker than I thought, but maybe funk means nothing more than just losing yourself for the night. Loosen your ass and your soul will follow. That's what I always say.

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