teaching mark s a *LESSON* response three: FUNKADELIC

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Funkadelic/Miss Lucifer's Love (America Eats its Young)

Proposed by Nate Patrin

"I'm trying to think of a musician that ?got religion? and didn't make an ass of themselves (and said religion) and I'm having a hard time," says Shakey Mo Collier on the Papa Dont Preach Kaballah thread.

OK, so here?s the musician I thought of when he said that (except I was already thinking of him), and if this seems a less serious answer to Shakey than it ought to be (or indeed more serious than it possibly actually can be), then just tolerate that as a flaw which goes with the territory. The flaw we visit the territory to use? (I don?t know: I forgot if I was talking about me or my answer?)

ANYWAY, the musician is George Clinton and the religion is the (once-notorious) Process Church of the Final Judgement. Clinton?s flirtation with this mob ? like William Blake?s embedment in the zanier end of English dissenting mysticism ? elevates them way above any value they remotely achieved on their own. He is their redemption and retro-justification. His passage along and exit from their ahem "intellectual" orbit gave him useful lines and habits to adapt into funnier, better ideas of his own, later.

Now Clinton is pretty well read, especially when it comes to nutball arcana, and since half the point of the P-Funk thang is that portals to booty-utopia are accessible to all (not least because they can be found all across everyday trash Americana) it?s surely a bit risky pinning down his "influences" to any single prior org. Nevetheless, it?s the Process Church gets quoted, at length, on the sleeve of two of his earliest releases, the horrid (except are they?) portraits of America unmasked really on ?Maggot Brain? and ?America Eats its Young? ? well, this honour is more than can be said for the belief systems of any other sect ? and besides, Process ideas and words are all over the strongest songs on these records. For example, "Miss Lucifer?s Love"...

In a way, the earliest great P-Funk mantra "Free Your Mind and Yr Ass Will Follow" and the latterday chant "All that is good, is nasty," are both recognisably Processian ideas. Kinda sorta. Anyway, let?s quickly sketch how they are, before we get to how they aren?t. The Process Church was a mid-60s British offshoot of Scientology, which is to say, it made a fake-science initiation ritual out of the precedures it insisted would free your mind from repression (in Scientology, this is a pop scifi version of psychoanalysis called auditing). The founders of the church ? Robert DeGrimston, born English and well-off in the soon-to-be-former colonies and Mary Ann McLean, born dirt-poor in Glasgow, former wife of Sugar Ray Robinson, who after the divorce had for a while run a sophisticated network of London callgirls ? combined the controlling milieu of the audit with the chi-chi trappings of nouveau riche bohemian Satanism, in black turtle-necks and capes, with silver crosses and goatshead-badges. Convention and repression, sexual and social, were demons to be exorcised (the Process was called ?Compulsion Analysis?): these were West End swingers parties with revolutionary pretensions...

By the late 60s, the sect had fled and returned to the commercial Babylon of Swinging London, after time spent in a commune in Xtul on the Mexican Coast, where they encountered a major hurricane and embraced the demonic destructive powers immanent in Nature Unchained. Their cosmology divided mankind into sheep (the lukewarm consumerist grey-men of so so much kneejerk countercultural ideology) and leaders ? those prepared to dare to confront who they truly are, who have the will to be who they are, free of mind and body yada yada. There were four "types" of leader: Jehovah-types (authoritarian and ascetic), Satan-types (violent and chaotic), Lucifer-types (self-indulgent sensualists) and Christ-types (ALL THE ABOVE) (no really!!). For a while the Process sigil was an interlinked mandala of four Ps: which by no accident looked a lot like a swastika. Processeans are very attracted to Hitler chic, and enjoyed predicting apocalyptic social breakdown any minute now. After the Manson murders seem to evidence a bit embarrasingly much Processean thinking among the convicted Mansonistas, the Church won a major lawsuit against Ed Sanders, whose book on Manson in early editions entirely blamed the Process Church of the Final Judgement for the thinking behind the murder spree. Later editions removed any mention of the Church apart from an official disclaimer. All that is nasty, is good. Free your mind and body, everything is permitted. Erm ahem except....

So OK, yes, true: like ProgRock, so vulnerable bcz to hindsight eyes so unguardedly naked in motive and drive, the Process prototype of these P-Funk ideas very easily comes across as silly-ass whitebread parody: scary because scared, sexual-as-in-hysterical, uptight, sectarian-hipster divisive, contemptuous and self-destructively paranoid and brittle. Many radical sects and micro-parties after 1968 became terrified of diluting their purity with the sluggish sheeplike conformisms of the uncool reactionary masses responsible for everything bad ever. As the 60s become the 70s, radical sects/cults/parties, aware that pop culture at this time entirely endorsed the idea of liberation in every possible form, went to bitter knotty tiny war against one another, battling to the death over the means of the production of liberation. Policing themselves from the taint of everything "bad", they became intolerable to live in, when not actively a danger to their own, or bystanders. The Church eventually collapsed in on itself when DeGrimston proposed that a pert and devout young Process disciple join him and Mary Ann in hallowed threesomes, and she said fuck off.

By the close of the four long sides of ?America Eats its Young?, it?s obvious Clinton?s gamesplaying is as much about the embrace of daftness as the embrace of darkness, and pretty much exactly NOT about siding plainly with tiny, beleaguered, self-cannibalistic, puritan-despite-all sects.

"Proof" #1 as follows: The sleeve, famously, is a redrawn dollar bill. Beside the spooky eye-in-a-pyramid iconoraphy, launch-point of a hundred lamoid conspiracy theories, Liberty is redrawn as a cherub-eating vampire, and the Imperial Eagle grasps a hypodermic syringe and a starving naked child with distended belly. So far so easy: Amerikkka the Ugly blah blah, about as insightful as a Harold Pinter poem (yes, of course better drawn). Then there?s the Process Church sleevenote: it says America is awful, America is us, we did this, it?s up to us to change it...: ""What can we give our enemies? Love? Love our enemies? Love Satan? Love Satan?????"

The Latin on the dollar bill is generally also a dense of source loser quasi-politics ("Nova ordo saeclorum = new world order DO YOU SEE!!")*: but the Latin on Funkadelic?s dollar has been changed (because it can be!!). Well, I googled all over for translations and discussion of this: wherever these might be found, it isn?t currently findable on the net (by me). So here goes (warning: these are v.rough):
"Fac ita esse, quod est" is translated on the sleeve: "AS IT IS, SO BE IT" ? a central Process motto (the first cut on side two is an instrumental called ?The Joyful Process?). "Te exsuscita commutato" means "Wake up, transformed"; "In praesentia futurorum vive" means "All of you, live in the presence of your futures" (combined and simplified, these are the opening couplet of the final song "Wake Up"); "Unusquisque nunc demum eventurus est" means something like "Each one now at last shall come to be" (maybe this is the same as "Everybody is going to make it this time", the final cut on side one)

[*conspiracy theory is the fever-dream of sleep-life under capitalism: the nightmares we?re torn between, that the whole show is run by a hidden cabal, matrix-style, or that (cf terminator 2) actually NO ONE?S IN CHARGE any more, and the entire cultural-political-monetary machine programmes and finetunes itself, evermore split from sense or reason or off-switch... "Loser politics" bcz if yr projecting superpowers and perfect knowledge-transmission on yr enemies, then yr bascially providing excuses for yrself to give up now?]

Anyway, the effect of the dollarbill and the latin and the collage etc is this: just a you think Clinton?s saying "there?s horrible official america and there?s this cool underground better wisdom", you think, "no, he?s saying, official america is secretly RUN by this stupid vampirish underground secret anti-wisdom", except then you think, is he saying "the horribleness of it all is us all along after all"? (ie "the secret lizard cabal is YOU AND ME foax, see it and shape up?") ("If nasty is good then vampires are great") ? and so on, round and round till you actually use the stuff you like to think your way out of the riddle (well, maybe). (I mean, maybe not ? I actually tht there?d be stuff all over the net about what the latin meant etc, like Clinton?s equiv of obsessive zappology, but it?s more like, I?m the first person who ever thought to look?) (I don?t remotely believe that) (but still?)

Proof #2 you can trace as well as anywhere in the song Nate actually picked (haha remember that?). ?Miss Lucifer?s Love?. The opening fuzzguitar line which relaxes from piercing-pinchy to wide-open: the lyric is hungry-yearning-gossipy-engorged-admiring, and if it can?t help reminding you of more than one Stones-song (the invocation of the devil, the word "satisfy", the jaggeroid phrasing of the non-chorus singing), the monolithic sludge-stoner boogie, a long but NON-building cycle, ends up being as matter of fact as a long-married guy simply and firmly stating how much he still adores and fancies his wife, and always will. It?s not about ugly hyper-idols you should be modellling yrself on, it?s about the louche wild beauty of the (not so) mundane. Writing about soul and funk and gospel, and far too much collective black music, often betrays it by sentimentalising just at the point where the music itself mainly resists this. Instead of an ideology of idealisation, the musicians involved make a pragmatic, unspoken ideology of getting on with making itself as strong as possible, in itself. They?re saying: look, if we try and think or talk in all the big-word languages of public belief and intention we fuck up bad, we sound like fools ? our politics works when we stick at what we know. And, yes, if you strip Clinton?s project away from the group body of itself, and *just* stick with the words and the sleeves images, then it?s easy to go gooey and lame, to start translating "on the one" or "funk" in sticky, religiose, touchy-feely terms. And yes, Clinton does (a teeny bit) encourage this: he makes a funk which is explicit about what funk represents, which sets some of its politics away from the body of the music, which insists on more dimensions than just the groove. BUT HE?S GOOD AT TALKING THE BIG TALK TOO: the religion he "got" he used, he didn?t let it use him. I like that it?s the same super-tiresome badboy undergrounder posture-sect that (say) some ninny like Boyd Rice also flaunts an "interest" in. I mean, at the minimum: "Nice save, George!" But actually a lot more.

On this thread I (extremely incoherently) begin to try to state something I value music for: which is that, in its concentrated focus on the protocols of its own best musicality it operates as a critique of the pretensions of Higher Politics to be the final important word about the baseline of everything. Not that "the protocols of its own best musicality" aren?t also political: not that ? as anyone knows who?s ever been in a band or an orchestra ? the dynamics of the collective (inc.wheter or not this includes the audience) aren?t a politics also, albeit one articulated far more by show than tell.

[Notes towards a counterstrike argument, probably chafing here at several readers? minds: when GC says "Free yr mind" he means PUT DOWN THE PENCIL AND START DANCING YOU DICK. STOP READING AND START BREATHING etc etc etc.]

"On the one" is often translated by (non-dancing?) yay-sayers as Clinton saying (something like) "Funk is the (mainfestation of the) godhead", at which point he?s praised for picking out a better ? because demotic, inclusive, accessible, human-animal, human-practical ? aspect of possibility to lock into. But the translation is (too often) another sentimentalisation, another betrayal (watch how he gets discussed when it comes to his openly MOR tracks: how these are made safe as "satires of the corny", not a flirtation-dalliance with the actual real corny itself...). "Afro-Futurist" interpretations of the P-Funk cosmology have a habit of switching off a bit safely: opting for compensatory, consolatory, consolidatory ad-copy. In the face of the ludicrous, the deliberately contradictory, the anything-goes playful, the endless cheeky bait-switch reversal, they suddenly take a stand on sententious drivel like "Life force" (ugh) ? the higher spiritual thinking on non-reductive non-linear non-Western philosophies, as if Clinton was aspiring to quasi-academic new age blahdom, and not saying YAY FOR THE MAGGOT BRAIN fuckers! If only we were all nice buddhist-egyptian hippies in touch with our touchy-feelie feelings, the earth, the earth?s mother, yo mama. If nature-stench is what-u-like, you can?t get all arsey with spiders and grubs suddenly.

Besides, funk is not a monad (heh). Listen to this song, "Miss Lucifer?s Love": certainly a sound like this could be mimicked AFTER THE FACT by one man with many machines, one of them a multi-channel tape recorder... but it couldn?t ever have been INVENTED AS IS by one man... it?s the product of the face-to-face chemistry of dozens (if not hundreds) of minds in immediate or remembered contact. And those contacts are STILL ALL THERE: the more often you listen, the more the bodily fact of them returns to inhabit the whole song. (This double LP is a mess, everyone always says: well part of the reason for that is that Clinton hasn?t yet found his OWN post-Processean cosmomology to organise the vastness of the collective input...) (And part of the reason I like it is just that: the working still shows ? he?s developed no super-charming shtick yet to bridge us over the unfinished or halfbaked ideas...) (Of course I love super-charming shtick also, especially when it?s cartoony)

Funk is not a monad: what functions as Clinton?s Godhead is the ENTIRETY OF THE BASE-LEVEL OF SOCIAL ORGANISATION, as improvised collectively by everyone (= you and me ie, not some clean-dreamed other-prole angels "over there") to deal with whatever life happens to be throwing at us where we happen to be. The everything of everything it took to get this band started, this record made. Instead of cutting back, it opens out. Nevertheless, right at the surface of the music itelf, what you most hear is the sheer pleasure AND acknowledgement of the darkness and difficulty in EVERYTHING that went into it, the active involvement of all the minds and bodies concerned as they engaged with prior musics black AND white, or comics or movies or TV or tracts on the illuminati or _______. It?s so generous to its forebears in this: you can hear them there with you. But it?s calmly acute too, about their failings (if they hadn?t had failings, he wouldn?t need to have made a Parliafunkadelicment Thang at all).

Glom onto the surface of Funkadelic with any kind of sustained pressure and (boring fact alert) you discover rock AND soul, black AND white, addressing one another sometimes confusedly, sometimes cleverly, punching each others? buttons maliciously or admiringly. Like acquaintances who have to work together and get on OK, even if they get mad irritated sometimes also. Ordinary bandlife maybe be the funk godhead, but that includes ordinary squabbling, ordinary intra-band jealousy, ordinary selfish stupidity (doing the wrong drugs an hour before rehearsal), ordinary incompetence, and ordinary earlier geeky poseur-fandom etc. The Parliaments were maybe once upon a time named for a Detroit cigarette brand BUT the Clintonian Anglophilia sedimented into the word "Parliament" isn?t diminished or explained away by this fact (jump sideways, to the type of noun acceptable for a band name ? this species of unarticled one-word singular collective, not ___ and the ___s or The ___s or The ___, but just ___ ? as in Cream or Love or Tomorrow or Parliament, arose along with and right at the heart of the Great Underground Revolt). Parliament-Funkadelic seized on white rock?s recent new kink in the idea of the unitary poolitics-of-intention-of-groupdom: the group wasn?t just a reformed street-gang, or an unreformed street-gang, or a theatrical-circus troupe or a stock company or (even) the Justice League of America*... it was kind of the on-bridge crew of a starship, multivalent, technologically adept, on a moral-political mission of salvation-redemption, entertaining and attractive in quasi-hidden-camera interaction with one another. (This is a confusing way of saying the happening heart of rock had become prog**, which happened at the EXACT MOMENT the first rock group whose name was a singular unarticled noun arrived PROVE ME WRONG IF YOU CAN/DARE/FEEL LIKE IT!!)

[*Actually I think this specific Marvel Comic derived trope of the Being of Gangness really only manifests on a useable, effective scale within music, out of rap, after abt 1986... ]

[**Prog: double concept LP, every inch of it used to access ? or anyway point towards ? accessible-if-cryptic utopian philosophical depths beyond the mere pop commonality here and now this second being excitingly progressed beyond, by means of ultra-self-conscious formal eclecticism and uncertain open-ended experiment, progressive political-social-religious possibility, aesthetic impatience and ambition and naivety, not-yet-disenchanted intuition about huge new format possibility]

Subversion isn?t a zero sum game. Even turned against them, the opponents? tools carry in them the opponents? values: we subvert their machinery, they subvert ours, and in the 50-odd years of subversion and counter-subversion represented by "rock culture" (or call it "pop culture" and extend it back 150 years), every handed-down item has become a 1000-layered onion of conflicting values, massively and serially condensed and compressed around and into one another, and every possible effect released ? as magic always is ? by close repeated contact. You get the goods by rubbing, basically. Or by multiple replay: same diff. Soul is the name of the grime under yr needle.

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 15 June 2003 13:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

These are getting longer and more shapeless, aren’t they? Let’s pretend that’s deliberate, not pathological. I never wrote about Funkadelic before, not more than a sentence at a time. Perhaps this is why.

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 15 June 2003 14:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Holy shit.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, 15 June 2003 14:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(That was just my understated/reductive way of expressing how stunned/fascinated I am by yr take on the whole thing; I usually just focus for the most part on the aesthetic surface with forays when necessary into the area of sociological relevance and you dug deep as hell into the areas I haven't quite learned to unearth yet)

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, 15 June 2003 14:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't know about his involvement with the Process Church. Now I have a Funkadelic-Psychic TV connection. Too bad I'm not too interested in either one these days. Still, it's a nice tidbit. Now I will read what you wrote.

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 15 June 2003 15:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Hmmm. P-Funk. P-Orridge. P is for "process." It all makes sense.)

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 15 June 2003 15:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I thought this was supposed to teach mark a lesson.

dleone (dleone), Sunday, 15 June 2003 15:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Mark, I am not familiar with this album. Can you say more about how "on the one" appears? This is funny to me, because there is a sectarian conflict between extremist salseros who dance on the one and extremists who dance on the 2. (It tends to get blown way out of proportion in New York Times articles though, since most of us are liberals who don't think our way is better.) I would have thought "on the one" was less funky, in a way. The "on the 2" extremists tend to think that dancing on the 2 is more "African," more difficult for those raised in an Anglo/White culture. (It's also treated as more authentic, since earlier Latin dances tended to be danced on the 2: mambo, cha cha cha. "This is how they danced it at the Palladium, back in the day." The funniest rebuttal to all of this I've seen is this article: Dancing on the "2": The Western Fluke of History

Best quote: "Mr. Luis Flores, aka Luis Maquina or La Maquina was interviewed by Marla Friedler. He is one of the celebrated great dancers frim the Palladium days. She asked him: 'Did you dance on the 2? His answer: 'don't talk that shit to me, the 2, the 1. I danced on the clave.'"

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 15 June 2003 15:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

good point: erm, i'm not sure if the "on the one" stuff got into gear on america yet (as a catchphrase anyway): it gets made more of a meal of later possibly => the LP is not heavy on salsoid or clave stylings (that stuff all went more into disco, no?)

maybe it's how clinton translates "unusquisque nunc demum eventurus est"!!

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 15 June 2003 15:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I wasn't thinking specifically of a reference to salsa (musically or verbally), but more generally about the possible symbolic significance of dancing "on the one."

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 15 June 2003 16:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

in a little voice: "but isn't it really all just about how Parliament and Funkadelic emphasized the first beat of a measure as the big rhythmic statement as opposed to the others?"

in a bigger voice: "And isn't overhyped analysis of any and all Musical Cosmic Significance exactly what George Clinton sets out to destroy through parody (Sir Nose is, after all, too cool to dance or swim, so he must be thrown in) and downhome funky-ass grooves, so when he says he hits it 'on the One' you better just believe it?"

in a really loud voice: "Holy shit could I, one of the most pretentious P.Funk fans on the planet, have been missing a whole strain of P.-retentiousity all this time and not even KNOWN IT??"

Neudonym, Sunday, 15 June 2003 16:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Incidentally, that article I linked to is actually very interesting--I think--on the history of mambo and salsa. I hadn't realized that mambo made it big in Mexico before coming to the U.S. from that country, rather than more directly from Cuba. Sorry to inject one of my own pet subjects here, though not sorry enough, obviously.)

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 15 June 2003 16:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Not so much 'big rhythmic statement' so much as the 1 being constant no matter what weird shit happens immediately after the 4

dave q, Sunday, 15 June 2003 17:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Excellent essay. I had never heard that stuff about the Process Church before. The way you use that to tease out Clinton's relationship with 60s utopianism is really cool. I think it all hangs together pretty well (of course, I like footnotes and asides that aren't really relevant to the main argument but you just couldn't leave them out...), except maybe the last para could use some more explication, tho on the other hand I think I see how it relates after some thought.

I would like to hear more about what the actual song sounds like. Of course I have heard lots of Funkadelic but never this album or song (ahem please bear that in mind...) and I get more of an idea of the themes/aesthetic that plays into it than the actual material sound (what exactly does "the product of the face-to-face chemistry of dozens (if not hundreds) of minds in immediate or remembered contact" sound like in the song, where do you hear that, what noises represent it?)

Sort of leading on from that, what is "THE ENTIRETY OF THE BASE LEVEL OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION," really? (I first transcribed this as "BASS LEVEL," heheh.) It's a very amorphous concept. Isn't this really just another type of Lifeforce? Yes, a dirtier, more material Lifeforce, a Lifeforce for Marxists, but a less idealized one? I'm not so sure. However messy the album may be, it is still an album, and "Miss Lucifer" is still a track on the album, and the track still has a beginning and an end and a discrete running time... in other words, it has a form. And some things are included within that form and some things are excluded, presumably. You seem to be saying that the base level of social organization is somehow reproduced on a mimetic level here, and I don't see how that's possible really. You talk about being able to hear all the process of social interaction that went into the making of the track, but still, this is hardly equivalent to the entire base level of social organization; perhaps you mean this micro-version of social organization (or "process"--I assume this is what you meant by "subversion," Clinton's subversion of the Process Church) represents the macro-version (which includes, what, the economic system etc., at least reading into the Marxist undertones of "base"), in which case, again, there is a gap between micro and macro, representation and... some people are in the band, on the bridge of the starship, and some people are not (I mean, if you want to talk process art, there were lots of contemporaries in the quote-unquote "fine art"/"performance" world who took it much further than Clinton.)

Sort of leading on from that, I'm not so sure that Clinton did actually avoid hipster/masses politics, and I think he encouraged touchy-feely/metaphysical understandings of the funk more than a teeny bit. After all, he did invent a cosmology at whose heart was a character called Sir Nose D'Void of Funk, basically a white guy who can't dance, who was set in opposition to the liberating force of the funk (this all played into funk vs. disco, too, if I recall correctly... the liberating rhythm of the funk vs. the mechanized robot-control-dance of disco...) Maybe he hadn't quite gotten to that point at the time of this album, but it didn't come out of nowhere. And aren't you giving that sleeve a bit too much credit? I don't know that you really make the case that he's escaping what you call "loser politics" here--this "round and round" short-circuit effect that you see created between the sleeve art and the text is pretty subtle, because the illustration is far more powerful and I don't know that too many people would get the latin or try and think their way out of the riddle... if it's really there.

Ben Williams, Monday, 16 June 2003 15:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

re 'what it 'sounds'like = [([Scientology/DeGrimston]/[USA/UK])/("MLL") = (aural analogue) = ( Brit [=BeatleStoneCream....(continuum)...oh i dunno Lou Reed or somebody] vs US [=BerryBrownHendrix...continuum...oh I dunno Bad Company or somebody])] vs the guitar bit sounds a bit like Phil Manzanera on "Amazon" + singer sounds like someone camping up an extreme 'street junkie' timbre like if Eddy Murphy had done Sly Stone in 1971 but then it would've fitted (theme of song tangentially but explainably)/(need for ulterior motive to maintain consistency of 'hustler' motif if manifest connotations of 'hustler' judged collectively to to satisfy musically, satisfy also on levels entirely dependent on certain variables, true, but satisfy, it just wants to satisfy, it just wants to satisfy, no how many ppl or things can you say THAT about?

dave q, Monday, 16 June 2003 16:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(what I mean is I just noticed [Sorry it's actually another song on the album which is kind of crap of me] the voice on "Loose Booty", which is an anti-drug song but the lyrics rhyme and scan really 'badly' [using same word twice, especially when the lines...OK they're "lookin' to score some dope" and "....(pause)...man, was he a dope" now do you believe me] and repeat themselves, whereas the earlier "SuperStupid" [diff. ALB now! Sorry] had them hectoring and haranguing and maybe they thought calling into mind the character on the cover of Donald Goines' 'Dopefiend' [ie the ultimate wretched, far-gone junkie, lying face down on a pavement with that look of [(complete self-consciousness)X(complete self-awareness)]and delivering associated collection of phonemes>>>>>'voice' would consolidate/undermine/etc chronologically previous statement on ostensibly [for these 'purposes'] same 'theme' (which of course makes up variable prcentage of whatever factors are present in the PROCESS of DELIVERING the vocal). However, in what context could they sing that a) lead b) (choral?)('doo-wop'?(Everly>>>Beatle/Presley>>>>Plant?) way considering the words, or in another way, what sort of character/feeling/intention etc could you imagine needing to identify/empathise/etc with what words are present? (Or is it ALL in the PROCESS) (OT - dennis wilson vs valentine michael smith)

dave q, Monday, 16 June 2003 16:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(more american exceptionalism i know, but its OK here becuz THEY brought it up - record title is 'America Eats its Young' and the cover is dollar bill etc ect [did this hit the racks contemporaneously with 'Billion Dollar Babies' and 'E Pluribus Funk'? {by "Grand Flop Railroad" obv ha ha}] so if the topic is the 'US' then it would infer a probability that a global perspective is at least being considered, now if only the fuckin' Americans could do that with other stuff besides pop music [occasionally] )

dave q, Monday, 16 June 2003 16:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(meant 'Grand FRAUD Railroad' obv. arrrrgggghhh)

dave q, Monday, 16 June 2003 16:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(re 'prog' - B Worrell vs, um, Christine McVie or Eminem or somebody?)

dave q, Monday, 16 June 2003 17:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(oh yeah when I said "Amazona" I meant obv. the LEAD break in the middle of the Roxy tune, 'MLL' lead lick more 'creamy' and Manzanera's more chrome-ey tho)

dave q, Tuesday, 17 June 2003 07:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
revive! best thread EVER!!!

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Monday, 6 October 2003 16:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

if only we knew how to read it!!

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Monday, 6 October 2003 17:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

You have to read it like it's an album. You know, the same way you listen to "Berlin" like it's a book.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Monday, 6 October 2003 21:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

A short book. (thankfully)

Sean (Sean), Monday, 6 October 2003 22:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Some people have too much spare time.

, Monday, 6 October 2003 22:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

no one has enough spare time.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Monday, 6 October 2003 22:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
if he could write in english that would surely help

Concussed Beavis, Saturday, 1 January 2005 17:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

help arrived too late i think

mark s (mark s), Saturday, 1 January 2005 18:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


cozen (Cozen), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

wow this thread is a headache. in a good way of course.

ppp, Friday, 11 March 2005 16:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I am reading all of the lesson responses now, thanks amst.

cozen (Cozen), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

since mark s is now BACK, perhaps the long-promised lesson 4 might soon appear, hm?

zebedee (zebedee), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Lesson 4: The Longpigs

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four wz louis prima zebedee!!

five will be next ("next")

mark s (mark s), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

who's "next"?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I don't know."

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i promised lady di it wd be marc bolan but my laptop dun fkd up and the start of mb is on that

this mean "lesson: supplementary" may yet be salsa!!

(five is not my favourite number)

(i am off up-country to look after my agein ailin parents right now tho, and not back til tue)

mark s (mark s), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

that Prima thread is swell. thanks.

zebedee (zebedee), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

I think this is due for a revive.

VOTE in the 1980's ROCK POLL PLEASE! (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 4 September 2012 20:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Weird. I randomly put on AEIY only last night. First time I'd played it since, well, probably 2005.

Jeff W, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 10:05 (five years ago) Permalink

did it sound any better?

VOTE in the 1980's ROCK POLL PLEASE! (Algerian Goalkeeper), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 12:36 (five years ago) Permalink

Some bits did sound better! But some bits sounded worse. I have grown into some of it and out of other bits maybe.

Jeff W, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:29 (five years ago) Permalink

totally forgot I was quoted at the top of this thread lol

I don't think I would subscribe to the sentiment expressed anymore - while it's largely true I'm to big a fan of Dylan's christian period to really think that anymore even if, in general, converts don't have as interesting musical careers as people that were just always straight-up religious.

chicago rap twitter luminary (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

too big argh

chicago rap twitter luminary (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:33 (five years ago) Permalink

also think it's weird to cast Clinton as a "convert" to the Process Church, which I don't think was really ever the case.

chicago rap twitter luminary (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:34 (five years ago) Permalink

would you say the beatles "converted" to TM?

the late great, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:56 (five years ago) Permalink

or would you say they just "flirted" with it

the late great, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 17:56 (five years ago) Permalink

the only Beatle who "converted" to anything was Harrison

chicago rap twitter luminary (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 18:08 (five years ago) Permalink

I caught an art program on GC last week on Sky Arts. Apparently he's colourblind but still makes pretty cool art. Inspired by his cover artist to go into creating art for sale.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 18:10 (five years ago) Permalink

Holy shit.

― Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, June 15, 2003 7:11 AM (9 years ago)

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 18:54 (five years ago) Permalink

first response hof

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Wednesday, 5 September 2012 18:54 (five years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

Sooooo is it totally heretical to acknowledge Maggot Brain as an undisputed great and classic album and think that America Eats Its Young is an even greater and more classic album? Because get ready to excommunicate yrs truly, if so.

Also, gahdamn, mark s, when does your 33 1/3 book about the album drop?

Jock Totty's Monocle (Old Lunch), Thursday, 22 February 2018 19:53 (three months ago) Permalink

America Eats Its Young is their worst album.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 19:56 (three months ago) Permalink

Like let's make a baggy sprawling incoherent rock album that Zappa fans might like. Where is Shakey when he's needed?

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 19:59 (three months ago) Permalink

where is Shakey?

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:01 (three months ago) Permalink

kidnapped by chaki iirc

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:02 (three months ago) Permalink

Don't worry, he's just taking a break.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:03 (three months ago) Permalink

America Eats Its Young is their worst album.

― Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, February 22, 2018 1:56 PM (seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Okay, I thought *I* was bringing the challops itt, but (bows to the master).

Jock Totty's Monocle (Old Lunch), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:04 (three months ago) Permalink

What's worse? Remember this on the proviso that the worst Funkadelic is n times better than the best Zappa album, or whatever.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:08 (three months ago) Permalink

The album has felt especially resonant to me over the past year. I can't even count how many times I've listened to it.

The repeated refrain of 'y'all see my point' in 'Biological Speculation' might be my favorite slow-burn, super-subtle delivery of a casual threat ever.

Jock Totty's Monocle (Old Lunch), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:09 (three months ago) Permalink

If Zappa had recorded albums like this album I would probably like Zappa, but as it stands IDGI.

But yeah, I'll grant you that even the worst Funkadelic album (whichever it is) is better than most things.

Jock Totty's Monocle (Old Lunch), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:10 (three months ago) Permalink

Great tracks on it - it's Clinton/Funkadelic - but it's still my least favourite.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:11 (three months ago) Permalink

"If You Don't Like the Effects, Don't Produce the Cause" is one of the greatest, aptest adages that George Clinton stumbled on. I quote it often.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:11 (three months ago) Permalink

That's another winner!

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:12 (three months ago) Permalink

wowee zowee this thread is a nostalgia rush...

scott seward, Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:13 (three months ago) Permalink

The worst period of Funkadelic is the period between Let's Take It To The Stage and One Nation Under a Groove, but that's only cuz Clinton was focusing more on Parliament's releases during that time. America Eats Its Young isn't in my Top 10 p-funk albums (then again, neither is Maggot Brain) but I like it just fine.

Full of bile and Blue Nile denial (Turrican), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:48 (three months ago) Permalink

Been listening to/liking a lot that Reworked By Detroiters thing that came out last year. Embarrassed to admit I'm not familiar with at least half of the originals!

henry s, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:06 (three months ago) Permalink

Bravo Mark, that was like crawling over the cover of the album as you described it, only it was already like that before you got to the cover (also reminded me of the cover of Uncle Meat etc). Lots of good points and info (I knew some of that, being old, but also have another unwelcome memory of a promo of Process hymns re Jesus alternating with hymns re Satan, released and I think recorded this century by hipsters).
A lot of amazingly good music has been made by people with beliefs I don't particulary give a shit about, especially jazz.
A number of ilxors would include Dylan's Trouble No More, but for me the musical (incl his vocal) powers of the sampler are too supportive of his paranoid rants, much more about what another poster called cocaine dreams or thoughts and the excitement of (after midlife crisis of Street Legal, Dylany imagery now sounding homeless on "Changing of the Guard), he's righteous Boy Dylan back bitch and better, having finally found The Point and Winning/Saved and having the biz means to rant big---
Speaking of "rock and soul speaking to each other, reminds me of the precariously hopeful cosmic poetic ballads and guitar punks defiantly celebrating "My Black Uncertainty" and non-rhetorically asking of their album mates/selves and others, "Are You Insaaane?"---on Burnt Sugar's 2017 All You Zombies Dig The Luminosity.
It's all here: https://burntsugarthearkestrachamber.bandcamp.com/album/all-you-zombies-dig-the-luminosity

dow, Friday, 23 February 2018 04:09 (three months ago) Permalink

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