Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on November 2, 2016
It was Halloween night and Parliament Funkadelic was about to tear the roof off the Houston Summit, ready to bless the crowd with their cosmic brew of interplanetary funk. George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and the rest of the P-Funk collective were riding the success of their first Top 5 R&B hit, “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker),” a track that had earned them the kind of radio play that would bring the masses out to see them live in a stadium-sized arena. The group was only five dates into the tour when they arrived in Houston, but they were definitely ready to take it to the stage for an out-of-this-world show like no other.
Taped on October 31, 1976, these seldom-seen performances at the Houston Summit represent Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in their ʼ70s prime, in the era of their Mothership Connection and The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein LPs —a rare opportunity for everyone to get their proper dose of The P-Funk.
Do That Stuff
Gamin’ On Ya!
Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On
Children Of Productions
Mothership Connection (Star Child)
Swing Down Sweet Chariot
Comin’ Round The Mountain
P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)
Night Of The Thumpasorus Peoples
Funkin’ For Fun
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 24, 2014
A German film crew for station NDR [Norddeutscher Rundfunk] picked the perfect time to visit New York City for their street gang documentary, LEFTY – ERINNERUNG AN EINEN TOTEN IN BROOKLYN, as the area sweltered through a brutal summer heatwave and the infamous 1977 blackout. For five weeks, director Max H. Rehbein and his crew actually lived in the basement of a Brooklyn house owned by the parents of ‘Brother Lou’ [Louie Morales], the leader of ‘The Sex Boys’ (named after the street they hung out on, Essex — after dropping the first two letters), filming many of that gang’s most private moments and digging even deeper than the aforementioned ABC special. Unfortunately, the print’s narration is in unsubtitled German, but their footage alone makes this an astonishing, 88-minute artifact…
‘Lefty’ [Charles ‘Carlos’ Valentine] is the latest ‘Sex Boys’ casualty, first glimpsed in the Kings County morgue after being stabbed to death near Greenpoint’s McCarren Pool. Tempers within the gang are running hot, with Lou trying to keep his soldiers under control. The filmmakers follow them as they strut past razed buildings in their gang colors, leap subway turnstiles, convene a rooftop gang meeting, share brews and joints, perform some general vandalism, and celebrate Lefty’s truncated life with street fireworks.
That’s intercut with Sgt. Frank Santangelo, from the 75th Precinct’s youth gang task force, as he patrols the neighborhood, attempts to ‘rap’ with gang members and ventures into one of their boarded-up-building clubhouses, in hopes of quelling tensions with ‘The Crazy Homicides’ from Coney Island. Sometimes helping their community (aiding neighbors during a late-night apartment fire), other times prepping for war (a meeting with ‘The Ghetto Brothers’ to purchase pistols) and often just having everyday interactions (Louie’s gravedigger day job, arguing with girlfriends, getting seriously-ugly tattoos), it’s an intimate, unfiltered peek into ‘The Sex Boys.’
Without question, the most striking moments occur an hour in, because even a crime-ridden blackout doesn’t stop these crazy Germans from venturing into the war-zone-style streets with their cameras — filming Molotov-tossing kids, ransacked stores, looters fighting each other over an armful of clothes, and the overwhelmed police precinct…Rehbein adopts a fly-on-the-wall approach, with German narration and some bizarre synth soundtrack music added in post, and they must’ve been pounding back shots of Schnaps in the editing room when their tripped-out Halloween-party/haunted-house finale was conceived. From the shocking desolation of the South Bronx, to the bustling Coney Island boardwalk after dark, to Rikers Island — it’s all captured with an outsider’s inquisitive eyeand an almost TAXI DRIVER-esque amount of nighttime urban imagery. LEFTY is sprawling and unfocused, but also absolutely fascinating. – Shock Cinema
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 13, 2014
This bizarre collection of Moog compositions is credited to a band/artist named Lucifer (or is it “Black Mass?”), but the man behind the machine is better known by his more ordinary given name of Mort Garson. Along with scoring films, producing easy listening records, and co-writing the hit tune “Our Day Will Come,” Garson released several electronic music LPs with themes like the Zodiac, the Wizard of Oz, and plant growth stimulation. Black Mass/Lucifer (the cover art is ambiguous as to title) is Garson‘s exploration of the dark arts, an all-instrumental soundtrack for a horror film that never existed. Garson conjures up a sinister, minor-key atmosphere on tracks with titles like “Incubus,” “Witch Trial,” and “The Evil Eye” often achieving a tone similar to the scores that Italian horror-rock band Goblin would record for Dario Argento films later in the decade. The technology available to Garson in 1971 was still being developed, and the record occasionally sounds dated, particularly when some very corny synthetic drums ruin the mood. There’s some evocative music on Black Mass/Lucifer, to be sure, but ultimately it’s just not as wild of a recording as legend has painted, perfectly rendered for a psychedelic Halloween party but hardly strong enough to raise evil spirits on its own. Garson‘s Wozard of Iz album is a freakier Moog ride, a kaleidoscopic retelling of the L. Frank Baum tale. – All Music
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 8, 2014