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Cover image for Music Monday β€” What are you listening to? (Funk Edition)

Music Monday β€” What are you listening to? (Funk Edition)

cover image source: Gorillaz

We've talked soul already but what about funk? It's a genre that just makes you wanna move and groove... it's hard not to have a good time when the funk gets hold of ya. So, what kinda funk music are you into? Ya dig a big brash horns section, like the slap bass to slap ya across the face, or is it those sparkling clean guitars dancing right in the pocket that do it for ya? No worries if it doesn't fit cleanly into the genre, just find something that you find funky and drop it here for us!

Spaceship from Parliament's album "Mothership Connection" flys across the screen. The Funkadelic flag reading "One Nation Under a Groove" is waving the top right hand corner.


How we do

In this weekly series, folks can chime in and drop links to whatever it is they've been listening to recently + browse others suggestions.

If you like talking about music, consider following the org #music discussions for more conversations about music!


Let's bring the funk! Note: you can embed a link to your song using the following syntax {% embed https://... %}. This should work for most common platforms!

I look forward to listening to y'all's suggestions! 🎢

Top comments (17)

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dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian

I'm sure there are a lot famous funk artists from decades ago. But what about today?
Of course it's Vulfpeck !!

Their easy to catch songs in my opinion for new listener are "Dean Town"
& "Back Pocket", then you can find more yourself.

After you knew a few of the songs, watching their madison square garden live is really a treat for your day!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him) • Edited on

YES!!! I'm so glad you dropped Vulf in here.

I agree with ya that there are LOADS of fantastic old school funk musicians, but Vulfpeck is helping to carry the torch forward. I love how their music is so tight and their virtuosity as musicians is unmatched, yet they really don't take themselves that seriously, haha! Also, it's so cool how you can watch videos of them playing all their music... it's not like they're recording to the grid and just looping everything or cleaning everything up in the studio. I also love how they bring in so many other amazing musicians with them... it's a very collaborative, team environment. That comes out in the music too β€” it's not like you have one person soloing and taking all the attention, everyone is sharing the spotlight and what's most impressive is how good they all sound together, no one is necessarily outshining anyone else (tbc, what they individually are doing is impressive too, haha!)

Definitely one of my favorite groups out there right now! I still really wanna see them live.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

On the note of Vulf, ya probs are already familiar, but some of the members created a side project called The Fearless Flyers with a slightly different but equally funky flavor.

Here's a live performance for ya:

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chriswald profile image
Chris Wald

+2 on Vulfpeck and this live performance. I already liked Vulf a lot but when this video dropped I was floored.

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kurtissfrost profile image
Kurtiss Frost • Edited on

Vulfpeck are amazing! I love Aunt Leslie, Dean Town, and pretty much anything they do. Their Madison Square Garden concert is KILLER

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Sooooo many good funk albums out there...

First one I'd like to throw out is The Meters Rejuvenation. The Meters are from New Orleans and backed a number of artists including the late great Dr. John, a personal fave. They also include another of my faves, Art Neville on keys β€” he is part of The Neville Brothers, who were on regular rotation at my house growing up. Anyway, The Meters def capture the N'awlins sound and I think are an underappreciated band with some seriously funky tunes under their belt. They don't get enough credit for their involvement in creating funk β€” everyone knows James Brown's influence, but The Meters were right there along side him.

Anywho, I recommend y'all check out the tune Just Kissed My Baby, it's bound to put a smile on your face.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him) • Edited on

Y'all ever heard of Scary Goldings?

They're made up of members from Scary Pockets (which includes, Jack Conte, the CEO of Patreon, & Ryan Lerman) + MonoNeon + Lemar Carter + Larry Goldings + John Scofield and all add up to a funky feel-good time!

Enjoy!

Also, if you haven't yet heard Scary Pockets, they are awesome and do loads of funky covers of pop songs!

Here's a version of Man in the Mirror for y'all!

Lastly, if you're like me and you enjoy listening to nerds talk about music, check out this video on Dead Wax (formerly known as Professional Musicians React) to see some familiar faces (Jack Conte & Ryan Lerman) break down James Brown's Letterman performance in `82 and explain how funk works:

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dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian

Yes! Scary Pockets also my other source of funk doses!

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dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian • Edited on

This one deserve a mention too. Another funk artist from these days is Cookin on 3 Burners. You may already heard a famous DJ song "This Girl" by Kungs. Why don't you heard the original too?

Another song that remixed by other DJ is "Mind Made up". Both original and remixed one are great.

I should have mention this in the last week discussion because they sound more Soul than Funk, but I can't tell the difference somehow πŸ˜… the same goes for distinguishing Jazz and Blues.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Ooooo I'm lovin' seeing that performance of "This Girl" by Cookin on 3 Burners... never heard these folks before, but they're super soulful. The interplay between the guitar and organ on that song kinda makes me think of Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up, another great funky tune.

Anyway, tuning into "Mind Made Up" now and it's good stuff as well!

As for comparing soul to funk – it's tough for me as well! I definitely think there is overlap.

I think I can tell the difference between blues and jazz for the most part... particularly if it's the really early stuff. Like I can def hear the difference between Muddy Waters versus Miles Davis for instance. But really most of my favorites dip their toes into both and fuse the two together into something with a flavor of its own.

Ya got me wondering though... I found this video which is a nice take:

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afrozansenjuti profile image
Afroza Nowshin

A collaboration art piece that has a smooth transition among artists :D

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Wooooaaaa! This is awesome. πŸ™Œ

I love how pyschedelic it all is β€” both the video and the music. It's weird in the best ways possible.

This is definitely going into my regular rotations.

Really appreciate ya sharing, Afroza!!

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afrozansenjuti profile image
Afroza Nowshin

I'm glad that you liked it :D

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kurtissfrost profile image
Kurtiss Frost

I've been jamming out to Mothership Connection a lot recently.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Such a classic! πŸ›Έ

PFunk are just such an awesome band.

Here's a video ya might dig... it talks about how Bootsy Collins met George Clinton, the contrast between James Brown and George Clinton as band leaders, and basically how PFunk became PFunk. Plus, it's a cartoon, haha!

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rafo profile image
Rafael Osipov
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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Oooo this is cool! I really like the aesthetic of the video too, kinda reminds me of early videos by Vulfpeck, the funk band somebody mentioned above. And the music is super cool too! I don't typically hear much accordion or vibraphone so it's nice to get both here β€” they sound awesome in this song!

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