At the Wetlands, New York City (1/22/98)
I was able to witness the second coming of FUNK-O-RAMA at the Wetlands. Truthfully, the more I go to New York City, the more I want to move there! That's because NYC is the capital of P-Funk related shows (AZA, Praxis, Third Rail, P. Funk Allstars, Enemy Squad, Funk-kin, Bernie Worrell & The Woo Warriors, etc.)!! And this FUNK-O-RAMA show was even better than the original one!! By the way, the Wetlands staff was servinghot meals at the event THIS TIME......hmmmm.....interesting idea!
I ran into Stozo The Clown and bought a FUNK-O-RAMA T-shirt from him....this T-shirt has a different design that the other one I bought about 7 weeks ago....the "O" in FUNK-O-RAMA is a picture of a skull with a joint in its mouth! Plus, Stozo had the magnificent 3-D poster-size artwork on display....with every step you take, the pictures "come alive"!!! This artwork is very exquisite!! Stozo said that there may be more affordable versions of the artwork in the future....maybe (the 3-D artwork display costs $500......something that's really for the serious collectors!)
At 9:15pm, the group Funk-Kin started their set. Funk-Kin is a group that consists of sons of the original Parliafunkadelic Thang members! I can only remember the following names: Nathan Shider (vocalist, guitarist), Garrett Shider (vocalist, guitarist), Nowell Haskins (drums), Donald Banks (the guy in the SCREAM mask, keyboards), and the guy in the white T-shirt named "Craig". (If the information I gave is wrong or incomplete (OF COURSE!), please e-mail me with corrections!!) These guys are BADDDD!!!! WHEW!!! THEY ARE INDEED SONS OF THE "P"! THE APPLES DON'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREES!!! Garrett is the son of Garry Shider, while Nathan is the younger brother of Garry. Nowell is the son of Fuzzy Haskins (DUH!). They really know how to encourage audience participation, especially by sticking a mic in someone's face! One vocalist said (and I paraphrase), "Alright....alright.....I know this brother has some soul. Let me try him!" Then, suddenly a microphone is hovering before my face, and I sang one of their chants!! HEHE! Funk-Kin did a lot of Funkadelic and Parliament songs, including the amazing, heavy guitar funk of "Cosmic Slop" (done in a different key), "Theme From a Black Hole", and "Tales of Kidd Funkadelic" (Bernie Worrell-type freakish keyboarding by Donald "Scream" Banks.....everyone in the group kneeled or laid on the stage floor while "Scream" was jamming!! Of course, I wish that they performed more original stuff. Their set ended at 10:15pm.
At 10:50pm, the local group Rhythm Republik began their set. Kregg Ajamu has a DAMN good group and is a very talented vocalist! The drummer (David "Wildstar" Council), bass player (Paul Fraley), and keyboardist (Eric Wilson) are funky, while the female vocalist (Roslyn Jackson) sounds just heavenly! The guitarist ("Nip") is just SCARY.....he can totally "freak out" on the guitar!! I was able to get the following song listing from the list on the stage:
The best song is "Mystical Lover" because the chant "Just when you got a lick, you gotta lick it some more!" HAHA!! Also, Kregg came up with a new chant for the fellas, "I like - my girl - on her knees - smoking trees!" HEHE!! What was missing from this show was the guy with the box of KFC chicken.....NOW, THAT WAS FUNNY! "Rise Up" is another great track....it's more of an anthem for self-empowerment: "Don't let anyone or anything stop you from reaching your goals!!" The keyboardist did some lead vocals on the lovely ballad "All Saints Fall". Rhythm Republik's set ended at 11:40pm. I bought the Rhythm Republik sampler tape before leaving the club. The tape has 5 songs, "Disposable Culture", "Rise Up", "Daddy I Wonder", "Thigh" and "Flowers in a Cage"....the stuff is marvelous!! "Flowers in a Cage" is a wonderful ballad, as great as "All Saints Fall"! KREGG.......YOU DA MAN!!!
At 12:20am, Enemy Squad began their set, with the lights off (near the stage)! Enemy Squad is a Detroit-based band led by Gabe Gonzalez (former P-Funk drummer).....these are some BAD MOTHERFUCKERS!!
The song listing is:
The Enemy Squad's best stuff centered around the last 25 minutes, starting with "If It Fits", an all-out funkified track that was released as a 12" single (but I've never seen it in stores!)!! "Loose Booty" was a very welcomed track (hey! everyone loves the "P"!), but "Pussy" was da shit! "Pussy" (or Funkadelic's slower, more vulgar version of "I Call My Baby Pussycat", originally by Parliament) sounded just like the AMERICA EATS ITS YOUNG lp version, down to the guitar-driven introduction!! And the bald-headed lead vocalist was very shocked when he heard a few guys (including me) singing aloud "Call my baby pussy.....P-U-S-S-Y". What happened? As the band continued performing, he took the microphone and placed it in front of 2 guys and me....just to hear the chorus line again!! (HA! If I wanted to be a backup singer, I'd audition for one of these groups and I'd be on the stage!!.... :-) ) "I Want You" was a great cover of the Beatles's song (and great when Eddie Hazel performed it on his first, rare LP)....EXCELLENT!! "Sticky Liquid Funk" was hot, with a very-fast tempo ending! ("I wanna go home...take me home!") The encore came 3 minutes after the song "Sticky Liquid Funk", and it was the Eddie Hazel tribute song, "Love War"!! THAT IS THE BEST SONG IN THE SET.....SERIOUS HEAVILY-PSYCHEDELIC-GUITAR FUNK ROCK!! STUFF THAT WILL MAKE YOUR EARS LITERALLY BURN!!! Enemy Squad's set ended at 1:30pm.
Between the acts on the main stage, a group called Yo Mommaperformed in the basement lounge. Their stuff was okay, but not reallythat interesting. Also, there was so many people down there (crowdedinto a tight space), that I just couldn't stay there!
By the way, a friend of mine said that Grady Thomas was in the house, but I didn't see him.....DAMN! An original Parliament member and Ididn't get a chance to snap a photo of him!!
Submit suggestions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org