Tuesday, January 2, 2007

THE STATE OF ART 1/3/07: James Brown Passes Away; The week that was in music


By Art Shimko

-- Welcome to THE STATE OF ART, a weekly round-up on the latest news and current events, today's edition is the past week in music.

“What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music. This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it.” - Rev. Al Sharpton

-- During the last days of 2006 the music world and those touched by his music, determination and spirit lost The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown on Christmas Day. The holiday morning was bittersweet for people like me who woke up on a special morning only to learn of the tragic loss. Brown was as beloved as he was influential to both music lovers and musicians surpassing the barriers of color, race and gender. Brown also became involved with the civil rights movement of the sixties, including penning the anthem "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud" as well as speaking out for the poor and also encouraging children to get an education.

“People already know his history, but I would like for them to know he was a man who preached love from the stage. His thing was 'I never saw a person that I didn’t love.’ He was a true humanitarian who loved his country.” -- Charles Bobbit, a friend who was with Brown when he died

Three days after Christmas fans paid tribute to Brown at a funeral wake at the famed Appollo Theater in Harlem where Brown made a name for himself and also recorded his landmark 1962 live ablum. "His music was very inspirational," according to Stanley Wood, a Philadelphia resident who traveled to New York to pay his last respects, "No one else at that time sang about being an African-American and being proud. And then his music just made you feel good." Waiting in line for four hours, Ebony Croskey, who grew up listening to her parents' James Brown records saw his profound mark in today's music scene, "His music influenced the music of the artists that I listen to today, R&B, hip-hop. I came to pay my respects from that perspective." Brown was laid to rest on Saturday in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia where Rev. Al Sharpton officiated the funeral, a public service was held at the recently-christened James Brown Arena earlier that day.

“He was dramatic to the end — dying on Christmas Day. ... He’ll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way.” - Rev. Jesse Jackson

James Brown hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard Top R&B Singles in each of four decades:
1956: ''Please, Please, Please''
1959: ''Try Me''
1960: ''Think''
1961: ''Baby, You're Right''
1961: ''Bewildered''
1961: ''I Don't Mind''
1962: ''Lost Someone''
1962: ''Night Train''
1963: ''Prisoner of Love''
1965: ''Papa's Got a Brand New Bag''
1965: ''I Got You (I Feel Good)''
1966: ''Ain't That a Groove''
1966: ''Don't Be A Drop-Out''
1966: ''It's a Man's Man's Man's World''
1966: ''Sweet Little Baby Boy''
1967: ''Cold Sweat''
1967: ''Let Yourself Go''
1968: ''I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)''
1968: ''I Got The Feelin'''
1968: ''Licking Stick - Licking Stick''
1968: ''Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud''
1968: ''There Was A Time''
1969: ''Ain't It Funky Now''
1969: ''Give It Up Or Turn It A Loose''
1969: ''I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)''
1969: ''Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn''
1969: ''Mother Popcorn (You Got To Have A Mother For Me)''
1970: ''Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like A) Sex Machine''
1970: ''Santa Claus Is Definitely Here To Stay''
1970: ''Super Bad''
1971: ''Escape-ism''
1971: ''Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved''
1971: ''Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants)''
1971: ''I'm A Greedy Man''
1971: ''Make It Funky''
1971: ''Soul Power''
1972: ''Get On The Good Foot''
1972: ''King Heroin'
1972: ''Talking Loud And Saying Nothing''
1973: ''I Got A Bag Of My Own''
1973: ''Sexy, Sexy, Sexy''
1974: ''Funky President (People It's Bad)''
1974: ''My Thang''
1974: ''Papa Don't Take No Mess''
1974: ''Stone To The Bone''
1974: ''The Payback''
1976: ''Get Up Offa That Thing''
1985: ''Living in America''

-- Well it looks like SNL's "Dick In A Box" music video is ruffling the feathers of Focus on the Family, a conservative family group who along with another group, Parents Television Council are pissed that an uncensored version of the video has been posted on NBC's website as well as YouTube for pretty much anyone to see:

"It's an end run around parents and they are putting it in a Web environment occupied and used by children and teens," as stated by PTC director of programs Melissa Caldwell. NBC and other TV networks plan on uploading footage online that would be otherwise barred from network programming which I think is a good idea because it provides unedited verisons of a skit or segment people want to see on the unregulated internet... plus parents are able to utilize parental locks and such to protect their kids from unacceptable content on the world wide web, so PTC, Focus on the Family and other family groups, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT CHANGE THE CHANNEL OR SHUT IF OFF... OR BETTER YET SUCK MY DICK.

-- Cristin Keleher, who served four months in jail for trespassing on George Harrison's property in Maui in December 1999 and accused of stalking him, was found dead in blood-soaked SUV on December 19 by a hiker near a highway in the town of Truckee, CA. Also found at the scene was the body of Stanley Merchant and two 12-gauge shotguns in the SUV, police believe this was a murder-suicide. Wow, that's pretty fucked up.

-- Here's video of David Lee Roth talking about a Van Halen reunion: "A Van Halen reunion is a lot like NASCAR -- are you there to see the winner or the crash?" mused Dave. "In this aspect, we're a lot closer to "Jerry Springer" meets "Knots Landing, which, to me, sells T-shirts." I'm sure a VH reunion in 2007 would still do big money, as long as there isn't a new album involved. Dave so much wanted a reunion 10 years ago when Eddie and Alex didn't want anything to do with him... these days even Dave's had a bit of a reality check and knows that the potential gathering with the brothers Van Halen could be a soap-opera on the road. I've read sometime ago that Eddie was talking about a reunion with DLR on Howard Stern, it's funny how times change.

-- Best wishes go out to Paul Westerberg who severely injured his left hand a few weeks ago after an accident when he accidently put a screwdriver through his hand while scraping wax from a candle. Doctors say that Westerberg, who's wearing a cast, won't be able to play guitar for a year.

-- From www.bravewords.com: BOSTON leader Tom Scholz has been working on material for a new album for years - but since he has a habit of working on albums for up to eight years, nobody is expecting a release anytime soon.

However, fans will hopefully be able to see the band perform next year, as Scholz told us: "We would like to go out on the road next year and do a huge tour. We'll probably be doing a lot of the older Boston songs, you know, if we get out next year, along with the songs from this new release that I'm planning."

-- Rolling Stones Lead 2006 Tours

-- Lou Rawls Jr. Sues Marvin Gaye III

-- Tom Petty insists he's not retiring

-- Grand Ole Opry Star Del Reeves Dead at 73

-- Michael Due In Court On Driving Charge

-- Spears falls asleep in Vegas nightclub

-- Japanese woman gets 20 months in prison for blasting rock music at neighbor

-- Warner Music Group Corp. Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend

-- SIRIUS Exceeds 6 Million Subscribers and Achieves First Cash Flow Positive Quarter

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