On finding one’s funk

Driving into work this morning, KEXP was playing some Beastie Boys (“Shake Your Rump”) followed by some Digable Planets (“Where I’m From”). I was enjoying the hell out of it. Then I realized I was thirty, in a silver Passat, driving to work, and grooving to funk.

I now know what was wrong with me for the last few months. I lost my funk. In retrospect, it has been missing for longer than that. After seeing the P-Funk All Stars at the 9:30 Club with Craig (he may remember what year, maybe 1998 or 1999), I gradually stopped listening to funk. It may be hard to believe, but there was a time that Parliament and James Brown, together with a smattering of hip-hop, were in steady rotation on my CD player.

It’s high time for me to go back and dig out those tracks. After all, as George Clinton says in Funkentelechy (the song from which my new tagline–“[Macro error: Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “tagline” hasn’t been defined.]
”–is taken), “You may as well pay attention ’cause you can’t afford free speech.” I ask you, has there ever been a finer collection of one-liners tied together by funk:

  • When you’re taking every kind of pill/nothing seems to ever cure your ill
  • Oh, but we’ll be pecking lightly, like a woodpecker with a headache. ’Cause it’s cheaper to funk than it is to pay attention. You dig?
  • Would you trade your funk for what’s behind the third door?
  • Step up and dance until I tell you to come down!

I won’t be trading my funk again.