Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Go Go...

This is so far away from the usual sounds I post here, but it's a slice of my youth and it'll get your ass moving on a Friday. I grew up in Washington DC which is, if you didn't know, the home of Go Go music. If you think you've never heard go go, you have. You just didn't know it. In a lot of ways go go was a predecessor to both hip hop and rap. Go Go is sweaty, funky, ass shakin' music that simply never got it's due. Perhaps it was because its city of origin was DC and not New York. Maybe the beat was too complex. Maybe the sound was too provincial. I don't know but I've been listening to some old Go Go the last few days and it sounds as fresh as anything on KMEL or any other urban format station.

Back in the day I feel in love with a Go Go compilation called Go Go Crankin'. It had all the songs I loved by all the Go Go biggies, i.e. Trouble Funk, E.U., Chuck Brown. It was fantastic. I had a radio show in college and there were certain songs on the comp that I played every week. What love for hip hop/pop/funk that I have in me (and there's a good deal more than my indie rock leanings would indicate) radiate directly from the go go beat. A few years ago I started trying to find the Go Go Crankin' comp. Of course it's out of print and despite much searching I could find no copies. Then about 6 months ago I found a vinyl copy right here in the SF Bay Area. I purchased it and then went about getting the vinyl digitized. It took a little while but finally my good friend, musician extraordinaire, and design god John hooked me up. And now I hook you up. Some of these songs may be familiar to you (Chuck Brown's "We Need Money" or Trouble Funk's "Drop The Bomb") but I swear that all other recordings pale in comparison to the way they sound on this comp. They just did something right.

I don't know why but hearing this again brings back alot of great memories. Everything from high school dances to sneaking into clubs while underage. It's great stuff that's never really gotten its due. When you're getting ready to go out tonight crank these tracks up and tell me they don't make you shake your ass.

from Go Go Crankin':

Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - We Need Money

Trouble Funk - Drop The Bomb


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