Its time to get funky-funky
April 11, 2011 —
I have 800 words and I am going to devote them to exploring funk.
I want to write about the funk because I have recently been listening to a lot of Brett Dennen in preparation for the new CD coming out in about a week. Brett Dennen is a good avenue to funk and here is whyÖ
Last year around this time I went to a Brett Dennen concert at Hope College. The venue was a chapel. It was nice in there, complete with stained glass windows and Bibles that lined the backs of each wooden pew. The pews even had the paper thin padding that is used to trick the sitter into believing that the timber seat is comfortable. Nice try church, but I wasnít fooled. My curly haired ginger friend and I read the Bible to pass the time and keep our minds off our numbed bums.
Once the chapel was about a third filled, a Hope student introduced Brett. Brett walked out wearing a blue checkered shirt, jeans rolled at the ankles, thickrimmed glasses, and ginger locks flowed around his freckled mug. Without a word, Brett picked up his guitar and began to play. As he plucked the strings, his hips began to sway gently, then his shoulders. That was the funk. He passed it onto his band mates, none of which were as graceful or funky as him.
I turned to my friend, her eyes like a big pizza pie (thatís amore). Neither of us was expecting that much soul to come pouring out of the lanky musician on stage. The crowd kept a straight face though, sitting properly in the benches. Then finally one boy got up and started to dance. Unfortunately, this boy looked funky as in the stinky sense and possibly in the crazy sense. We watched this boy uncomfortably try to find the rhythm; he was trying hard. I would compare it to watching a baby opening presents. They make a valiant effort. Everyone is cheering them on and the parents even help pull the wrapping paper to give them a start. They just canít seem to get it and it takes over an hour to open that present, then everyone remembers why they hate babies. I think he enjoyed himself though.
It wasnít until near the end of the concert that everyone finally got up and started to dance in the isles. It was so glorious being surrounded by people just getting down with their bad-selves. I wasnít sure how God felt about us having a concert in his house, but while dancing I knew that he dug it because only a heavenly being could have created such a beautifully funky atmosphere.
By the end of the concert I felt emotionally and physically drained, so much so that I had to rest my eyes a few times while driving back to Saginaw (thank you person who invented rumble strips). My friend and I made it back to school though, both with a much better understanding of what funk really is.
It is hard to describe funk using words because it is a feeling. Last summer I went to Blissfest, a music festival in northern Michigan. That place is equally as funky as Brett Dennen concerts, maybe even more so. A friend of mine, who knows a lot more words than I do, said that to fully describe Blissfest, one would had to perform an interruptive dance. This is true, and I think that is what funk is all about: dancing.
I think we should all get a little funkier, especially with the end of the semester acting like that annoying kid that isnít really a friend but keeps stepping on our heels and yelling, ďFlat tire!Ē
I have been listening to my iPod on my way to class lately. It is a bad habit because it really decreases the number of conversations I have in a day. I feel that I donít have many things to say as of late though, so I will probably continue listening to my iPod on my way to class for the rest of the semester. I like to listen to my iPod in public places, because more times than not, while listening I imagine everyone around me breaking into dance. Nothing choreographed, just people starting to shake their business because they have so much funk built up inside. I once heard on Natgeo that if everybody on earth suddenly disappeared, there would be outlines of each person made entirely of built up funk. Maybe the outline would be made of nematodes, I donít remember for certain. Regardless we are all full of funk and when released into the atmosphere, a life is saved. The only way to let it out is through dance. So get jiggy with it.