Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Phat Tuesday: Heavy Metrical

It occurred to me I have never to my knowledge attempted a Mardi Gras post, so today we're fixing that startling omission with a quick hit from some OG funkateers of the highest magnitude.
Today's trunk o'funk was captured off the airwaves from a legendary New Orleans radio station in the mid-1970s, and features our heroes playing what sounds like a tiny room on a casino boat parked on the Mississippi River.
To try and recount the legend of this utterly formative, bedrock foundational band would be fruitless.
If I had to encapsulate their significance, I'd say four simple words: They. Started. This. Shit.
Obviously there's other figures who you can't get around as per that title of Shit Starters. JB, duh. Idris Muhammad, who brought the Second Line rhythms into jazz and pop music. George Clinton and his merry band of P-peddlers.
Those folks matter a whole lot, but no one matters more to the genesis and trajectory of Funk -- the music that rules every corner of the Earth -- than The Meters.
Beginning in the late 1960s in The Crescent City and continuing in their various permutations to this day, there is nothing else to say except these guys started it all.
If you just had a dime for every time I practiced the drums to their music, you could buy the internet and everything on it.
It boils down to the fact that no one has any clue what syncopated pandemonium is all about until they have wrapped their minds around The Meters.
So here we are, all on a Mardi Gras day... what to share? As I said at the top, I think I have jussssssst the thing.
The Meters
The Sands
New Orleans, Louisiana

01 Fire On the Bayou
02 Just Kissed My Baby
03 Jungle Man 
04 The World Is a Little Bit Under the Weather
05 Hang 'em High
06 Hey Pocky Way
07 They All Asked for You

Total time: 42:55

Art Neville - keyboards & vocals
Leo Nocentelli - guitar
George Porter, Jr. - bass
Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste - drums
Cyril Neville - vocals & percussion

sounds like a master cassette of the original WNOE-FM broadcast
This is 43 minutes of blistering, unalloyed N'awlins Funk that literally could not be more appropriate for today's occasion, so I'd advise you pulling it down and twisting the day and night away to it.
What can I say.... if the shirt fits, wear it. I shall return in a few days with more Black History Month booty, but for now, laissez les bons temps rouler, I say!--J.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! You can't speak of any music coming from the Bayou State without mentioning Fats or The Neville Bros in some form. The Nevilles have had a hand in all kinds of styles, even more than the Isley's, but seldom get the attention they rightfully deserve. :(