Friday, December 29, 2006

Celebrity Deathwatch - Holiday 2006 Edition

It is often said that deaths come in threes, so I was waiting for the tres before commenting on either of the two previous. However, it's getting unfashionably late for me to discuss the late Mr. Brown.

Dial M has a really great tribute that ropes in the idea of hip-hop (and funk and so on) being a music of vertical complexity rather than horizontal. Probably just best to follow the link rather than have me try to explain it, it makes sense. I also suggest another reason that the Hardest Working Man in Show Business was so damn fonky. Much like Reich and the minimalists would the next decade, James Brown didn't just master the beat. He was the beat. YouTube fails me in illustrating this, but either the PBS Rock and Roll series or the oft-syndicated History of Rock and Roll has priceless footage of James Brown in action. One of his saxophones cracks the note, and James Brown whips his head around looking straight at the offender and hits on the beat "You know I got you!" That guy was fucked.

Also something I hear about preventing Boston, and often by extension the rest of the nation, from descending into race riots singlehandedly.

I can't say much about Ford, being his prominence was outside my lifetime and the scope of this blog. You were a President, thumbs up for that even if you weren't elected.

(Current news is predicting that this trifecta will be concluded rather shortly, even if there's another recently deceased pair that probably have more in common.)

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