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The Mothership Connection
May 2, 2013 8:51 PM   Subscribe


 
Malcolm might be the best thing to ever come out of Edmonton--and I am so glad that this mentions Sun Ra, whose connections to Clinton were more direct then the discourse might have suggested.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:06 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Deeper still, the Mothership Connection.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:24 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


This essay is so good. So, so good.
posted by mwhybark at 9:36 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is the best piece of writing io9 (or any Gawker Media site, for that matter) has ever run. The through line of Afrofuturism from Harriet Tubman(!) to Janelle Monae is an overlooked aspect of American SF that is rarely discussed in contemporary SF circles.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:44 PM on May 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


The meaning is quite simple: “Everything is on the one.”

And yes, Sun Ra. I always felt that Parliament/Funkadelic morphed the key parts of James Brown, Sly Stone, and Sun Ra, added a bit of doo-wop, and took it all one step beyond. (Whether on or off the mothership.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:46 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]




On the Sun Ra tip: Laurdine "Pat" Patrick was our governor's father, so what's important to take away from this all is that MA is blessed with some extra funk.
posted by rollbiz at 9:52 PM on May 2, 2013


Thanks homunculus, Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow is one killer groove.
posted by dougzilla at 9:58 PM on May 2, 2013


and I am so glad that this mentions Sun Ra

I've always thought of George Clinton and Sun Ra as forming two cardinal points in the Ecstatic Wheel of Eccentric Black Visionary Sonic Vibration. The third would be Lee "Scratch" Perry, and the fourth would be Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:10 PM on May 2, 2013 [11 favorites]




flap you've just created my next mixtape
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:15 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's really hard to find these days, but Kodwo Eshun's More Brilliant Than the Sun is like the book on Parliament/Funkadelic and Sun Ra in the broader context of Afrofuturism. It's written in a style that's, well, it's idiosyncratic and completely chock full of neologisms, but it's nevertheless readable/really insightful.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:22 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


New Janelle Monae video which pretty much is the article from the FPP in musical form.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:55 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I worship at the P-Funk altar as much as anyone...but seriously WTF? Homage, parody, straight, what is it?
posted by davidmsc at 10:59 PM on May 2, 2013


davidmsc it is basically impossible mock p-funk. The universe just doesn't bend that way.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:05 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even when the intent is parody it becomes homage by default
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:05 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


If any video deserves to be posted here, it would be the magnificent, soulful vocal of Glen Goins calling down the Mothership.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:30 PM on May 2, 2013


A fun recent Lee Scratch Perry moment.

Why did I not know until now that The Orb had released an album last year? I have a sad which must be soothed by purchasing it with haste. And a reworking of Fluffy Little Clouds, no less!
posted by winna at 1:08 AM on May 3, 2013


I worship at the P-Funk altar as much as anyone...but seriously WTF? Homage, parody, straight, what is it?
African Americans, in a very real sense, are the descendants of alien abductees; they inhabit a sci-fi nightmare in which unseen but no less impassable force fields of intolerance frustrate their movements; official histories undo what has been done; and technology is too often brought to bear on black bodies (branding, forced sterilization, the Tuskegee experiment, and tasers come readily to mind).
The P-funk mythology is at heart a response to this, as well as homage, parody and something to dance to. Because you will dance, sucker.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


We will do you no harm, other than pee in your afro.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:07 AM on May 3, 2013


George Clinton's private recording studio is less than 100 yards from my back door. We're close enough to see the studio's wifi network. It's name? You guessed it: Mothership Connection.
posted by grubi at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


Btw, I've been in the studio -- there was one room with tons of random musical instruments. Like seven yard sales all had a giant musical baby.
posted by grubi at 7:24 AM on May 3, 2013


"Are you hip to Easter Island? The Bermuda Triangle?"
posted by grabbingsand at 7:25 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Please tell me you are stealing wifi from them at this very moment, grubi!!!

Password: Maggotbrain
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:08 AM on May 3, 2013


Cosmic Slob, surely?
posted by MartinWisse at 8:23 AM on May 3, 2013


Please tell me you are stealing wifi from them at this very moment, grubi!!!

I should be stealing it from them, because my connection seems to be slow as molasses, but naw.

I can say that his niece, who helps run the studio, is a very pleasant young lady. And: there's a sign on the door, only readable from right in front, that says "Doctor Funkenstein".

As it should.
posted by grubi at 8:33 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


[I just realized I threw an errant apostrophe in my comment up there! GET IT TOGETHER, GRUBI.]
posted by grubi at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2013


Free your mind and your errant apostrophe will follow.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


The article is interesting, but I do wish it had been given some better editing. When you mention "P-Funk scholar Ted Friedman" I want to see an academic credential after that name to confirm it isn't some with an internet connection & a large stash of weed. (And he has one! He's faculty at GSU.)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2013


On a related note.
Parliament Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove, the 2005 PBS Independent Lens documentary (wikipedia) is online and well worth watching.
posted by dougzilla at 1:44 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Parliament’s late 1970s concept albums include the war between the Starchild and his nemesis, Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk. “Starchild’s goal,” writes Friedman, “is never to kill Sir Nose, but to make him dance – to catch The Funk, the way unwilling victims catch Jes Grew in Mumbo Jumbo… Starchild ‘funkatises’ Sir Nose by shooting him with his weapon, the ‘Bop Gun.’”

I was noticing that the other day when my son wanted to watch the video to "If Anybody Gets Funked Up" On the surface it's this great homage to Metropolis and rebelling against authority, it's just that the rebellion pretty much consists of getting everyone to dance and have a good time.

"If you got faults, defects or shortcomings you know Like arthritis, rheumatism or migraines Whatever part of your body it is, I want you to lay it on your radio Let the vibes flow through, funk not only moves, it can remove, dig?"
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:16 PM on May 3, 2013


Metafilter: rebellion pretty much consists of getting everyone to dance and have a good time
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:13 AM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Afrofuturism at Tate Modern.
posted by Artw at 9:08 PM on May 25, 2013


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