Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk

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Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk!

Playlist

Parliaments – Good Ole Music (Revilot)
Marlena Shaw – California Soul (Cadet)
Soulful Strings – Zambezi (Cadet)
Mystic Moods – Cosmic Sea (WB)
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul (King)
Willie Smith – I Got a New Thing (Genuine)
Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna (Cotique)
Willie Tell & The Overtures – Kick-Back (Chess)
Hoctor – Gold Coast (Hoctor)
La May – Free the Soul Man (SPQR)
Incredible Bongo Band – Apache (Mr Bongo reissue)
Melting Pot – Kool and the Gang (Ampex)
Danny Delaney – Stop and Think (Palmetto)
Cymande – Fug (Janus)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Louis Chachere – The Hen Pt1 (Paula)
David Batiste & the Gladiators – Funky Soul Pt1 (Instant)
Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade (Pasha)
Laura Lee – Crumbs Off the Table (Hot Wax)
James Brown – Hot Pants Pt1 (People)
Lyn Collins – Think (About It) (People)
Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pt1 (Seven B)


To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

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The view from behind the decks at Forbidden City

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Getting ready to pull the trigger on Hoctor’s ‘Gold Coast’.

Greetings all.

The end of another year is at hand, and I thought I’d try something different this year. The fam and I are hitting the road for some relative-related visitation, so this will be it until the New Year.
Last Wednesday I had the honor of sharing the decks with my Asbury Park 45 Sessions cohort DJ Bluewater at his new Master Groove night at Forbidden City in Manhattan (the evening’s other guest selector was none other than the mighty M-Fasis). Forbidden City is a chill venue with some very cool people, and despite the holiday traffic and huge heaps of snow in the street I had a great time.
A couple of folks (specifically members of the Funky16Corners group on Facebook) requested a set list for the night, and while I was recovering from the Christmas festivities I thought it might be a cool idea to record the evening’s selections in a new edition of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast. The only real difference between this and any other edition of  F16C Radio, is that the tracks herein were selected on the fly, as I DJ’d. Certainly there was a level of selection inherent in what went into my DJ box (which holds about 75 singles) but the set itself was assembled on the spot at Forbidden City.
What you’ll be listening to is just over an hour of hot funk 45s (many breaks within) including a couple of new arrivals that will most certainly be blogged about separately in the coming months.
The evening was marked by an interesting (thought certainly not unprecedented) incident toward the end of my set. While the bar wasn’t packed, there was a crowd, including a particularly lively group of young ladies who came in right before I started spinning and proceeded to whoop it up with several rounds of drinks. Nothing out of control, but they were clearly deep in the holiday spirit(s).
About 45 minutes into the proceedings, one young lass approached me and informed me that she had come from an entire table of flamenco dancers (I was worried for a minute that she was going to request actual flamenco music, a genre that I rarely carry with me). She then asked me – right in the middle of a set of tight, slamming funk (see above list for confirmation of same) if I might “play something dancey”?
Now, in situations like this, I always try to maintain my icy veneer of cool. I’m certainly not averse to taking requests, as long as they are – how do you say – of an ‘appropriate’ nature. I’ve seen some weird ones, i.e. a kid requesting anything by KISS during a set of Northern Soul, and I’ve also dealt (as almost any DJ has) with surly, drunken booth-monkeys who seem to feel that it’s OK to crawl on/into the DJ booth, bumping/placing their drink on the turntables, causing the tone arm to jump as they demand something specific (which I immediately counter with a demand that they remove themselves from my immediate vicinity with the greatest possible haste).
This particular girl was polite, but I couldn’t help but recoil slightly at the idea that a self-proclaimed dancer could not find it in themselves to move to any or all of the records listed above.
I mean, honest to god, funk is, by definition, funky, a state of being that gets its name by its ability to cause people to move in a rhythmic fashion, often described by observers as “dancing”. Not everyone who feels compelled to move by these records is a good dancer, but they are all dancing. Even those wallflowers who are prevented – by timidity, inebriation or physical infirmity (or a combination of any or all of the above) – from dancing usually react to the power of the music by some seated version of the dance, with the foot-tap, the head-bob, the seated-shimmy or something else along those lines. Anyone confronted by a 45 like Bobby Byrd’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ who doesn’t move at all, should be checked for a pulse.
That said, I was in a festive mood, so I dipped into my DJ box and pulled out my number one slice of guaranteed Becky-bait, Nanette Workman’s French language version of LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’, which gives them all the easily recognizable Top 40 vibe they can handle while simultaneously allowing me to save face by offering quality funk to those in the know. I followed this with some James Brown (‘Hot Pants’), Lyn Collins (‘Think About It’) and since my time was just about up, I whipped a little Roger & the Gypsies on the assembled masses, figuring if that wasn’t “dancey” enough, there was nothing anyone of my powers could do, and HO HO HO, and what the fuck, and “Good evening ladies and gents!” and what not.
Happily, after I sort of/kind of answered her request, these people actually got up and danced, to four 45s that were in essence EXACTLY the same as the sixteen others that preceded them, proving once again that human nature is a funny thing, and sometime giving the people what they want is exactly the same as giving them what they need, and everyone walks away from a night at the pub with a wobble in their step and more importantly, a smile on their face.
It is in that spirit that I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the best of all things in Twenty-Oh-Ten (man, who saw that coming???).

Peace

Larry

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NOTE: The Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive has been updated (see link in sidebar) , and all seventy seven previous mixes are now represented.

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11 Responses to “Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk”

  1. prime-mundo Says:

    hear hear!

  2. Tony Crampton Says:

    Nice set Larry.I’m D’J’ing for the Hockey boys annual tomorrow night and have been looking for a bit of inspiration!! Will certainly replicate some of these.
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours,
    Tony.

  3. jb Says:

    I was spinning at a wedding reception once, and followed the bride and groom’s request list (not to mention federal wedding DJ law) by playing “YMCA” to the delight of a packed dance floor. I followed it with “That’s The Way I Like It” by KC and the Sunshine Band, which kept every last soul on the floor . . . with the exception of the bride, who came blazing over to the booth to say I was “ruining the reception by playing disco.”

    Sometimes you can’t win.

  4. Boom Star Pee Says:

    What a great story about the flamenco girl and her troupe… Sometimes people really need a helping hand to find their inner funk, I guess. Thanks for another year of gigantic grooves and all the best for you and your loved ones for the upcoming year. Keep on keeping on! Peace, Ingmar

  5. Rich E Says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Mr Larry for all of the fantastic music. I obsessively share your blog with friends, to the point of being pushy about it…anyway, I am a fan on fb & hope to make it to one of your gigs in 2010 ’cause gawd knows we need it! Success & good health & happiness & FUNK to you in the new year!!

  6. Duncan Says:

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks for another wonderful year of funky goodness! Hope you have a great new year and a well deserved rest. All the best for 2010 from sunny Scotland (brrrrr….)
    Peace,
    Duncan

  7. Bruce Geetz Says:

    Man I know exactly what you’re talking about with that “can play something dancey” request in the middle of a killer funk set.

    I’ve had people, claiming to be dancers as well, say “how do you dance to this stuff” while James and the JB’s are burning the house down. Haha.

  8. Colby Says:

    I laughed when I heard the clip from “The IT Crowd” there, lol…..

  9. Links (29. Dezember 2009 - 3. Januar 2010) | Testspiel.de Says:

    [...] als RSS-Feed oder per E-Mail abonnierenFunky16Corners Radio v.77 – Get Ready! « Funky16CornersFunky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk « Funky16CornersEmbedded Tour Stop with Raphael Saadiq // CurrentBig Boi feat. Gucci Mane – Shine Blockas (Video) [...]

  10. simon Says:

    Larry

    totally sympathise with you regarding the ‘play something funky’ story. it can amaze you how uneducated people can be about music history but i am sure something stuck in their minds… maybe

    ditto the IT crowd – great show… keep it up!

  11. funky16corners Says:

    Simon
    It’s not so much the history. I don’t realistically expect a random listener in a bar to know Cymande or Hoctor (or any number of artists in the playlist above) but I would expect any listener with even a passing acquaintance with popular music to be able to focus in on the rhythm of a funky 45.
    I’ve never been a fan of DJs that thrive on pure obscurity, i.e. playing to the trainspotters in a crowd. There are nights where it might be appropriate to make a move like that, bot more often than not my primary aim is to make people dance. I pick a record like Cymande’s ‘Fug’ because it’s so infectious. If someone gets into the group because I played the record, all the better, but if their only connection is that they are momentarily moved by the beat, that’s groovy too.
    L

    PS IT Crowd is amazing. I only wish they’d do a 4th series.

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