Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Funky16Corners Election ’08 – Yes We Can

November 2, 2008


Vote Obama

Listen – Lee Dorsey – Yes We Can – MP3″

Listen – The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope the dawning of a new week – and maybe soon a new era – finds you well.
Though I would be lying if I said that politics had never been mentioned here, the last few months has seen that subject displayed more prominently, and with good reason.
This coming Tuesday is the most important presidential election since the war in Vietnam. Our country is – thanks to decades of deregulation – in the midst of a serious financial crisis (one that is making my already precarious job all the more so). We are fighting unnecessary wars on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We are at a cultural crossroads.
Thanks to the alliance between the greed and Bible thumping wings of the Republican Party (to whom the selection of a certain know-nothing populist was a sop), the future of our constitution, already battered and torn from 28 years of abuse, and the make-up of the Supreme Court will be decided on Election Day.
The choice we face this Tuesday, as American citizens, is between maintenance of a diseased status quo, and a chance at redemption.
I don’t expect Barack Obama to make everything better. No one human is going to be able to do that. However, he is a man of intelligence, honesty and vision, who – I believe – has the best interest of our country at heart.
Not the interests of the very wealthy, or those who have foolishly entrusted their future to the Plutocrats, waiting for sustenance to “trickle down”, but rather those who have been forsaken by our government for so long, victims of a virulent strain of social Darwinism that would have us view our fellow man as little more than a liability.
Our society is at a point where McLuhan’s Global Village has been coopted by those that Orwell warned us about. Those for whom truth is a flexible concept, rumor and innuendo are weapons and nothing matters except staying on top of the heap.
Where the Republican Party were once happy only to ally themselves with religious ideologues, they have now added the racist and xenophobic fringe elements of society to their ranks, all wrapped together in a flag that so employed loses much of its meaning.
When you go into the voting booth on Tuesday, and pull the lever for Barack Obama, you will be sending a signal to those whose minds are planted deep in the last century that the cancer that eats away at the well being of our country can not and will not be allowed to flourish.
Last night my wife and I were watching ‘Chicago 10’, and I thought to myself that what the Republican Party is doing in 2008 is attempting to replay the Vietnam era game of who gets to define who is patriotic, and why. Anyone that questions/threatens the sociopolitical status quo is somehow ‘unamerican’. McCain, Palin and their proxies pollute the discourse with loaded code words like ‘socialist’ and ‘Marxist’ and then retreat to the comfort of right wing media outlets to cry about how criticism of their actions in this regard is somehow unconstitutional.
This country has suffered through decades of the flag waving, breast beating, philosophically bankrupt variety of “patriotism” in which we are repeatedly subjected to screams of ‘USA!’ by people who act like they have no idea what that acronym stands for.
The time for action is now.
This Tuesday, you can step into the ballot box, and be secure in the notion that by voting for Barack Obama you will be making a move for real, necessary change.
One of the early, important slogans of the Obama campaign was a simple one:

Yes We Can.

It just so happens that that slogan is also the title of a song – written by the mighty Allen Toussaint – with another (similar) important message.

Now’s the time for all good men
to get together with one another.
We got to iron out our problems
and iron out our quarrels
and try to live as brothers.
And try to find a piece of land
without stepping on one another.
And do respect the women of the world.
Remember you all have mothers.
We got to make this land a better land
than the world in which we live.
And we got to help each man be a better man
with the kindness that we give.
I know we can make it.
I know darn well we can work it out.
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can’t we?
If we wanna get together we can work it out.

And we gotta take care of all the children,
the little children of the world.
’cause they’re our strongest hope for the future,
the little bitty boys and girls.

We got to make this land a better land
than the world in which we live.
And we got to help each man be a better man
with the kindness that we give.
I know we can make it.
I know darn well we can work it out.
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
yes we can can, why can’t we?
If we wanna, yes we can can.

I mean, honest to god, how can you disagree with anything in those lyrics?
Today I bring you two very funky versions of that song.
The first – and original – is by the master, Lee Dorsey, one of the greatest New Orleans R&B/soul singers and most important interpreters of Toussaint’s words and music.
The second, recorded a few years after Dorsey’s is by the Pointer Sisters.
Both versions are outstanding, and both carry the same message.
Yes we can.

PS Tuesday marks the 4th anniversary of the Funky16Corners Blog. Tuesday night I’ll be posting a special anniversary edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast.
See you then…

PSS Head over to Iron Leg for something from Doug Sahm.

The Return of Funky16Corners Halloween!

October 28, 2008

Greetings all.
This is going to be a busy couple of weeks.
We have Halloween this Friday (thus the repost of last years Funky16Corners Radio Halloween Spooktacular), Election Day next Tuesday – for which I’ll be posting something cool – and then in the middle of next week the four year anniversary of the Funky16Corners Blog, for which I’m working on a special mix.
I have some personal committments toward the end of the week, so this maybe the last post until the election post on Sunday night.
If all goes as planned, the anniversary mix (Number 60!) will be up next Wednesday, after which the Funky16Corners fam will be hitting the road for a well deserved vacation.
I hope you dig the spooky stuff, and I’ll work on keeping the sounds coming.
Happy Halloween!

Originally posted 10/29/07


We Now Return to Blacula Meets Black Dracula!

Funky16Corners Radio Halloween Spooktacular!?!


1. Lou Rawls – Season of the Witch (Capitol)
2. Souls Unlimited – The Raving Vampire Pt1 (Wig Wam)
3. Bill Doggett – The Worm (Columbia)
4. Clea Bradford – My Love’s a Monster (Cadet)
5. Fred Wesley & the JB’s – Doin’ It To Death (People)
6. King Coleman – The BooBoo Song Pt1 (King)
7. Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pt1 (Seven B)
8. Fame Gang – Spooky (Atlantic)

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

Heh, heh, heh…
I mean…Greetings all.
Halloween is upon us, so I thought it only fitting that we here at Funky16Corners should brew something up for the holiday. In the spirit of Dr. Frankenstein, my monster is also made from recycled parts, as every track in this mix (except for the drops) has appeared here in the past, a couple of them are even single tracks from Halloweens past.
Though there is an underlying spirit of Halloween consolidation, presenting these great songs for people who may have gotten on the Funky16Corners bus a few stops down the line from the rest of you, I have to admit to a certain preoccupation with what some would call “real world moves“. In all honesty, family obligations have taken a step up in the past week and there are some important things that need to be addressed which prevented me from stealing a few hours to exhume, and digi-ma-tize some “new” old stuff for your delectation.
Rest assured that it will not always be thus, and give the mix (not the individual tracks, which I provide as a courtesy, as always) a listen as I’ve tracked down some interesting, seasonal drops that take some of these tunes – barely related to Halloween – and recasts them in a spooky light (you may have to use your imagination a little, but then again that’s what Halloween’s all about). There are appearances by Halloween luminaries such s Count Floyd, Criswell, Gomez & Morticia Addams, The Simpsons, the Kids In the Hall, Monty Python, and of course Casper the Friendly Ghost.
You get Lou Rawls souling up Donovan, funky bloodsuckers from the Carolinas, a rare meeting between Frank Herbert and Bill Doggett, the mighty Clea Bradford with a romantic Frankenstein’s monster of a kind, funky murder from Fred and the JB’s, a shocking turn by King Coleman, the Axe Murderers national anthem, and in closing, a slightly funky reworking of the Classics IV.
So, I hope you dig it and that you have an excellent Halloween.
I’m going to go trick or treating with my wife and sons, and we’re all going to watch ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown’ three or four times.


PS I got a rock…

PSS Don’t forget to check out this week’s mix at Iron Leg!

Gladys Knight & the Pips – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

September 2, 2008


Miss Gladys Knight


Listen – Gladys Knight & the Pips – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – MP3″

Greetings all.

The middle of the week is here – at last – and I’m in the mood for something meat and taters funky.
But first, a message…
If you check the comments to the post on Funky16Corners Radio v.56, the one with the big Barack Obama poster at the end – you might notice some one trollish took the time to stop by and drop a taste of the Republican talking points into the mix.
Here’s the deal.
Over the years that I’ve been doing this blog, I haven’t made a secret of my political leanings, nor have I made it a major topic of conversation. I’ve mused on politics from time to time, and often those comments have been met (with varying degrees of civility, this is after all the interwebs) by folks that like their soul and funk blogging politics-free.
This year I’ve mentioned the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama twice, and I have to tell you now that I’ll definitely do it again (and again) until he gets elected.
Here’s why.
These are serious times. The country I happen to live in has been in the grips of a SERIOUSLY fucked up bunch of hacks, who have devastated our domestic economy (a situation I am intimately acquainted with) gotten us involved in Vietnam MK2 on two fronts in the Middle East and Asia (with the many thousands of dead and injured on both sides), and pretty much destroyed any international goodwill we might have stored up over the years.
As a result, the election coming up in a few short months is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. We here in the US have a choice between a tool of the establishment who is clearly – despite spinning like a top – intent on maintaining a disastrous status quo, and a clear headed, thoughtful, and intelligent alternative who is likely to put the brakes on our national downslide, wrest control of our country from the oligarchs and plutocrats and at least attempt to restore a kind of socio-political equilibrium.
This is not – as the Rove-ian propaganda has suggested – a cult of personality. What it is, is a large portion of our population, many of whom have been victimized (and I count myself in that number) by the Bush regime and the corporate robber barons it has aided and abetted for eight years, who are focused on a real alternative. Barack Obama is a candidate who offers for the first time in many years, a real chance that our voices may finally be heard above the storm of greed, religious lunacy and ignorance that has held sway for so long.
I have no illusions that Obama is anything more than a man with an idea. The difference this time is the value of the idea in question, and the likelihood that it will improve our lives.
Those that would sit by and mock the fact that Obama has inspired so many to get involved, or caused us to hope that our long national nightmare may be close to an end, are a reminder about how much is really at stake here. The world that they – with the help of Bush, Cheney and their ilk – have created will not stand. The choice we have this November is whether we will allow the disintegration of our way of life to continue, or if we will take a step to put things back on track.
Funky16Corners has always been about soul, in direct reference to the musical genre that carries that name, and in the larger sense as well. Soul music (and R&B, funk, jazz and the blues) is at its core – both literally and figuratively – the sound of freedom.
Freedom from misery, freedom from oppression (of all kinds), freedom to express our deepest emotions and to transcend the boundaries that life and circumstance place around us, internally and externally.
This election, and the candidacy of Barack Obama is also about freedom. Freedom from those that have hijacked our country, defiled the oath they took to defend our constitution and have allowed those that consider working men and women – and their families – to be just another expendable resource, to thrive.
Tonight I’ll be adding an Obama icon to the sidebar, with a link to his campaign and fundraising, and it will remain there until (hopefully) he gets elected in November.
If you’re not registered to vote – or you someone who isn’t – get out there and get registered (it’s not too late). If you can afford to send a few bucks to the Obama campaign, do so (I have, and probably will again).
Ultimately, I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, though I know that it might, but in the end some things are more important, and this election is one of them.
That said, the tune I bring you today carries a message, in the lyrics and in the abstract sense of the funk. It was something I grabbed during a flea market dig with the man DJ Prestige, and it was a pleasant surprise indeed.
I’ve always been a fan of Gladys Knight and the Pips. I’d go as far as to say that Knight may be the greatest female singer to record for the Motown organization (up there with Martha Reeves) and along with the Pips she recorded some very funky music. I have been largely ignorant of their 1970s recordings, a period that I long assumed to have seen a softening of their sound with a preponderance of ballads and mellower soul.
I was – of course – incorrect.
It was out their in the dusty expanse of the spot that I pulled a copy of GK & the Ps 1973 ‘All I Need Is Time’ LP out of a busted cardboard box. It was the kind of crate that looked like it was minutes from surrendering its contents to the elements. Had I come along an hour later, it’s entirely possible that the demons of grit and heat warp might have preceded me, and I wouldn’t be delivering this tasty bit of funk to you.
There on the end of side two was a cover of Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’.
‘Whoa!’ says I.
Then I get the record home, drop the needle on the wax and it was ‘Whoa!’ all over agin (sic) as Miss Knight and her men prove that even in 1973 they weren’t above getting down and funky.
The song, which had been a Top 40 hit for Sly three years earlier, retains its punch, with the added benefit of Gladys’ powerful instrument and the Pips’ tight, tight harmonies.
Very cool.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back with some more funk later in the week.

Peace (I really mean it…)

PSS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a new mix of Beatle soundalikes!

PSSS Check out Paperback Rider (uodated last night) as well.

James Brown – Funky President

May 16, 2008


The Man

Listen – James Brown – Funky President – MP3″

We got to get over before we go under.

Tell ’em Godfather.
The history of this blog (almost four years now) has seen little in the way of politics. It is after all a music blog. Not to mention that the few times I’ve let rip in that direction I’ve gotten some unpleasant comments.
However, sometimes you have to speak up, and this one of those times.
So, alert the media because Funky16Corners endorses Barack Obama for (funky) President.
Not like anyone gives a crap, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to put the idea out there again, to paraphrase the great George Carlin, I’m putting on my beret and going down to the rally

Another Raisin for Peace”.

Casting my good will into the Tao, making another small ripple in the great pond – AND – you get to listen to James Brown dropping science (though he was heralding the post-Nixonian arrival of Gerald Ford, hardly funky, even as Presidents go).
So, dig the tune, if you reside in one of the states where there’s still a primary coming get out there and vote Obama.
See you on Monday.


PSS Head over to Iron Leg for some UK Psyche.