Spring Again: Five Heaping Helpings Of Hump Day Funk To Help You Get Over The Hump
A Letter from the Editor:
Well folks, I didn’t think it could happen to me, but I guess it did to some degree.
Having experienced my first full northeastern winter in a decade or two, that old, once-upon-a-time familiar feeling, did come creeping thru: winter depression.
As a result, today I come crawling back to my beloved internet baby, Something In The Wudder, nearly three weeks after its last update.
And that last installment, arrived nearly three weeks after the one before it, making it easily the least prolific stretch here since we started.
We apologize, to both our faithful readers, as well as ourselves.
Safe to say, we’ve been a been a bit derelict, in our online-child-rearing duties.
There’s a plethora of reasons for this, I guess: a mounting series of unrelated life obligations, following leads on some interesting (and unfortunately some rather uninteresting) job opportunities, taking time to get the requisite amount of exercise to maintain the body-and in turn-the soul, a small smattering of personal dramas, an occasional dollop of writer’s block, the need while free-lancing to keep eyes on the prize by following the money first so at times putting other outlets' work above this one, maintaining a sometimes too-busy social calendar, bouts of familial/personal illness, the unrelenting daily dread of our national news cycle and a few more factors we won’t bore you any further with by rehashing here.
The bottom line is, despite spring having technically begun back on March 20th, many of us residing in the North East, have still be feeling the nip of the winter, as well as the chill to the air for a few more weeks to follow.
But Wednesday, Hump Day, April 5th 2017, it finally feels safe to say “It’s Spring Again”.
We here at The Wudder hereby promise to ratchet up the productivity and creativity, bringing you #PiecesInApril, at a more frequent rate than the past month or so yielded.
Parliament-Bop Gun (Endangered Species)
We shall overcome
Where'd you get that funk from?
This one is pretty self-explanatory, while also being a bona-fide classic, from the greatest funk collective of all-time, Parliament-Funkadelic. Shouts out to the gone-way-too-soon Glenn Goins, who provides his final lead vocal on a P-Funk record here. He would pass away from Hodgkins-Lymphona less than a year later, at the tender age of 24. Goins is also the man who famously ushered the mothership on-stage towards the climactic end of P-Funk concerts back in the mid-to-late-70’s, an act featured in a live clip at the end of “Story Time With Bomb: The Day Pope John Paul Rolled Past Our Place In Roland Park”. Also shout out as well, to perhaps the Mothership's most crucial member not named George Clinton, the late-great keyboard/piano/synth maestro Bernie Worrell, another music legend we lost in 20SickDream.
Moving from likely the greatest funk collective of all-time, to one of the genre’s most supremely underrated. “Uncle” Charlie Wilson, his two brothers, and a host of talented others, formed the Gap Band, and over the course of 40+ years, had a host of incredibly funky jams. This one, “Humpin”, most definitely among them.
Erykah Badu-That Hump
This is a heavy one, dropped on your medulla oblongota, by Badoula Oblongota aka Erykah Badu aka Sarah Bellum aka Fat Belly Bella aka Maria Mexico aka Lowdown Loretta Brown aka Analogue Girl In A Digital World.
It’s a lyrical documentation of the frustration and desperation folks feel while living that “check to check” life, although really whether you’re in that rut, or in one while existing a full tax-bracket or two up, all of us likely go thru some times when we feel we could “use a little more”, of whatever it is we really want.
The passion in the delivery here is palpable, while despite the darker subject matter, by the end of it, we as listeners feel delivered the same way many of us do while listening to the blues. It’s not always happy, upbeat music that gets us thru. Sometimes it’s hearing someone else on a record, showing vulnerability, while revealing that they go thru some of the same, or sometimes worse, struggles that you do.
Digital Underground-The Humpty Dance
C’mon, you thought we were leaving this off the list?!?
We’re linking up the live Club MTV ’90 version, since you’ve probably heard the studio version as many times as any rap hit from this era, even though it still doesn’t feel as crustily old and overexposed as say, “Wild Thing” or “Bust A Move” might.
A few thoughts on this clip:
-Downtown Julie Brown truly was wubawubawuba levels of fine back in the day.
-Digital Underground Mastermind Shock G, aka Humpty-Hump, really had a lot of kids believing that he and Humpty were two different people, and believing Sex Packets were real, back when their classic debut LP dropped and this song, its second single, blew up.
-Keep an eye out for 2Pac, pre-solo fame, as a D.U. dancer in this clip.
-Note the Russian/American space program comment in the post-performance interview from Shock. Sure, it was made to help him push the fictional, experimental government-created drug used for the album’s concept. But it is still important to remember, that since our necessary self-preserving team-up in World War II, that for the next seventy years, the U.S. has far more often considered the Russians to be our competition, rather than our comrades.
Take a few notes from Humpty, Trumpty!
Bobby Brown-Humpin’ Around
Remember when Bobby Brown hadn’t been reduced to a national punch line, or now a source of some bizarre survivor’s remorse, and possibly pity? I know, it’s a bit hard for us to do so either. But it's still kinda fun to try. Because from the time he left New Edition, to begin a solo career that reached meteoric heights in the late 80’s, until around the time when his last Billboard Top 5 single “Humpin’ Around”, peaked at #3 in 92, Bobby Brown was one of the hottest artists in all of Pop/R&B. So watching this clip again, it’s cool to recall the heat that Bobby and Teddy Riley were then routinely capable of making, while B.B. also displays a degree of athleticism that it’s safe to say we haven’t seen from him in this current millennium.
So with that, until next time, which we promise shall be sooner rather than later, as #PiecesInApril picks up the pace, in the immortal words of Bobby B at the end of "My Prerogative"...."Right, Ted? We Outta Here!".
Peace & Love,