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Monday, July 5, 2010

Music Notes. Jody Watley Surprise Appearance with Dam-Funk At The Troubadour








































































The legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles got a heavy dose of groove on the night of July 2. An enthusiastic sold-out crowd was there to experience Dam-Funk the long haired maestro of the modern electro 'groovement' and critically acclaimed LA based 'Ambassador of Boogie Funk' as he is called around the world. When I arrived Stones Throw Records founder and DJ 'Peanut Butter' Wolf was marinating the crowd like a fine chef, prepping for the main course spinning an incredible set, synchronized with accompanying classic video which played as a backdrop. The crowd danced and cheered with nearly every clip which included an eclectic mix of classics ranging from a tribute to the King of Pop Michael Jackson, A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Quik and J Dilla in addition to bands like Slave and Brick. To the crowd of twenty somethings this vintage music which obviously preceded them in years or at the least may have been from their early childhood, was not about an old school trip down memory lane. More than likely, this music represents a quality of sound from an era where organic and soulful rhythms ruled, and these young adults are embracing it today as their own. The presentation in this setting with new generals at the helm, is no doubt a refreshing option to some of today's commercial and sterile pop formulas.

Renowned Stones Throw artist Aloe Blacc came out and tore it up with his poignant song "I Need a Dollar" as the larger than life projection of the accompanying video played behind him. Also taking the stage were MC Eiht and wonderfully irreverent female artist Jimi James. When the magnetic Dam-Funk took the stage with his band Master Blazter and launched into the spirited jam "Burn Straight Thru U", the crowd went into a frenzy and you couldn't help but be moved. I was watching from above the stage and shimmied and boogied with one of my dearest friends, who'd come with me on this night out. This is the kind of party music that people always say they miss. It is here in a new form and I highly recommend your legal download and purchase of Dam-Funk's release "Toeachizown". There are many choice cuts including his collaboration with Mark de-Clive-Lowe 'Candy Dancin'. If you're a vinyl fiend, you can also find the limited edition LP edition via Stones Throw Records.

The atmosphere at The Troubadour reminded me of the first time I saw Prince at The Roxy at his Los Angeles debut concert. It was raw, sexy and funky. Just as it was with Prince, it was easy to recognize that you were witnessing something transformational. Dam-funk blends classic sounds of the 70's and 80's with his own gangsta swagger and signature modern electro sound, turning it into a new and intoxicating brew.

I came out for a surprise appearance and did a mash-up to the appropriately titled "(My Funk Goes) On & On" with verses from a couple of my own classics "Looking For a New Love" and "Friends" surprising many with my interpretation of one of Rakim's memorable verses. The bass was so heavy it felt like the whole building was shaking. The great thing about performing in front of a younger audience is that the love and respect are there without the baggage and expectations of the past. Admittedly, there is an immense joy and freedom I get from that. Before leaving the stage I had the crowd chanting "Dam-Funk's In The House" and he returned the favor, as the crowd went bananas. With so many memorable moments in my career, no doubt tonight is placed among the list of highlights. I loved every minute of it just as much as the crowd seemed to.









Pics:
(via): Dam-Funk

(via): http://www.hayabusa.bz/news/2010/07/dam-funk-master-blazter.php

(via): Twitter/Tweetphoto, Bombai

8 comments:

pls2mecha said...

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to witness the incredibly-performed and executed collaboration between Ms. Watley and Dam-Funk during the Troubadour show, and I was not only blown away by the music, but also by the phenomenal support and respect shown for these two masterful agents , one representing the much-missed sounds of the past and the other representing what's all good about tomorrow's leading-edge of music. To paraphrase what the incomparable Prince said last week on the BET Awards show: "The future of music is indeed in good hands".... Friday's Troubadour experience with Dam-Funk headlining and Ms. Watley guest-appearing is yet another positive indication that what Prince spoke was nothing less than the absolute and uncontested truth!!!

Jody Watley said...

@pls2mecha My goodness, I hope I don't just reflect the past because I'm successfully making music today in the electronic and club genres, lol.
For some reason, I'm not sure Prince was speaking about some of the artists onstage that night, and I hope he's been getting into the real good stuff, such as Dam, which may not get much "commercial" shine or recognition by outlets like BET, but rather some of the great organic sounds I speak of with growing fan bases around the world.
You may have missed some of my recent collaborations with a mix of people like Masters At Work, Ron Trent, DJ Spinna, Max Sanna/Soulcast, King Britt, Mark de-Clive-Lowe and the UK's 4Hero to name a few from the past decade.
I understand your point, but I've not been fitted for my wheelchair yet. It was a great night with Dam-Funk, and I thank you for reading my blog and posting your comments.

Jody Watley said...

P.S. I do think Dam-Funk is indeed marching music into the future (didn't want that to get lost). He's amazing, and I hope my love and mutual admiration came through in my post.

Kanisha said...

Love It!

marcos said...

Jody, you looked and sounded amazing on Friday night. Can't wait to see you rock the stage again soon!

un_taco said...

Hot. The entire event sounds like it was hot! Jody, you absolutley set the scene for those of us unable to attend and were as eloquent as usual. Rock on! <3

Jody Watley said...

Thank you un_taco, I really wanted to make everyone feel as if they were there as well while reading the post.

pls2mecha said...

Hi Jody. Regarding my last post here, please allow me to humbly utter a thousand apologies for not recognizing and affirming in my post your current and recent multiple collaborations with the artists you mentioned. As evidenced by those collaborations and the products of such, no one of sound mind could ever remotely insinuate that you are ready for anything but continuing to produce great music, and with great artists! And, as evidenced by what I witnessed at the Troubadour, you continue to be one of those rare and exceptional performers who can excite any audience, no matter the demographics. Once again, my intent was only to recognize the amazing talent that was on display that night (you and Dam Funk) and how well the two of you were received by all those fortunate to have witnessed it, including myself. Warmest Regards, and Peace....