Some Random Questions

Batman, Ben Affleck, Eastenders, Gareth Bale, George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, MTV, One Direction, Robin Thicke, Youtube

1. Since when did Eastenders become so boring? Dry characters, drier storylines. It’s like watching paint….dry.

2. Will Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience Part 2 be even better than the first installment?

3. Was¬†anyone else¬†disappointed that Robin Thicke’s second single was nowhere near as catchy as Blurred Lines?

4. It’s been a good 18 months, they’re the most popular boyband in the world – why do I only know one song by One Direction? (“Live while we’re young”, in case you were wondering)

5. Why is the new Youtube logo so plain?

6. 50 years after his ‘I have a dream’ speech, would Martin Luther King be happy with Miley Cyrus’ appropriation of ‘black’ culture?

7. Why is it that the only time they show music on MTV is during the opening credits of one of their reality shows?

8. Can Ben Affleck be any worse than George Clooney’s smirking, slapstick Batman?

9. Is anyone else bored by the whole Gareth Bale transfer saga?

10. Are meme’s the best thing ever?

I think that’s it. Answers on a postcard please…

Funk Friday: Gap Band – Early In The Morning

Charlie Wilson, Funk Friday, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, The Gap Band

A few weeks back BET pleasantly surprised us all by putting on an awards show that wasn’t entirely ignorant and featured acts that didn’t make me want to cry out in despair for our music. My favourite part of the show was the tribute to the living legend that is… Charlie Wilson.

For the younger readers, Charlie isn’t just that old guy who sings with Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake. Nope. He’s one of the great musical pioneers with a career spanning from Funk to Soul to modern R&B and even a little bit of hip-hop in between. However, he is perhaps most famous for his work with The Gap Band who had a run of hits from the late 70’s through to the mid-80’s. Songs such as ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ and ‘Outstanding’ ensured their place in R&B history.

When picking a song for Funk Friday there was almost too much choice. In fact, scratch that. There WAS TOO MUCH CHOICE. It turns out that the Gap Band are one of the most sampled bands in history so I may just have to revisit their back catalogue in the near future. However, today, I have settled on… Early In The Morning…

The video is pure 80’s funk cliche. You’ve got the concert style video, cowboy hats and dance routines. I wish more bands these days would have dance routines in their videos. Sidenote: How are these guys dancing better than peeps like One Direction, when they’re double their age and carrying instruments? It’s because they’ve got the funk.

Notable samples of this classic include:

Janet Jackson – ‘If’:

The guitars at about 0.30.

AND of course:

Snoop Dogg ft Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson – Signs

Uncle Charlie’s adlibs are all over this song and then at 2:35 he adds an interpolation of the original song into this 2005 hit. Oooohweee!