Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let's Paint the Whitehouse Black!

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Now that President Barack Obama is getting use to his new home (Washington, D.C.), I thought it would be a good time to introduce the Prez and others to the indigenous music of Chocolate City.

What is that indigenious D.C. music you ask? It's called Go Go and it owes its origins to African drumming and the African-influenced Latin percussion sounds.

Here's the sound in its raw form:



Here's a review of Chuck Brown's CD Live at the 9:30 Club that I wrote a few years ago. In the review, I talk a little about Go Go's origins.

All go-go music, a Washington D.C. percussion-driven creation with African and Latin flavors, makes you want to get up and dance. Part of the fun is that musicians include the audience in just about all of the songs -- go-go requires that the band talk to the crowd and that the crowd talk back. If this ingredient is missing, then it's not go-go.


Here's the Classic GoGo number, "Bustin' Loose" by the Godfather of GoGo, Chuck Brown!



Just in case you want to sample a little Go Go on your own, Go Go Crankin': Paint the White House Black would be a good place to start. Here's what's on that joint (as they used to say). You can't go wrong with this one y'all.

SIDE A:

1. Good To Go - Slim

2. Movin’ and Groovin’ - Redds and The Boys

3. Let’s Get Small - Trouble Funk

4. We Need Some Money - Chuck Brown and The Soul

5. Ooh La La La - E.U.

SIDE B:

1. Drop the Bomb - Trouble Funk

2. In the Mix - Slim

3. Somebody’s Ringing That Door Bell - E.U.

4. Say What? - Trouble Funk

5. Happy Feet - Mass Extension

Listen to the Northeast Groovers at a 1995 show in D.C.:



And here's a classic called "Pump Me Up" by Trouble Funk that I know many of you have heard, but probably didn't know was Go Go:

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So many musicians have borrowed from Gogo music, but a lot of people don't know that.
Love the post! Gogo lives!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

That's exactly right! Two that come to mind are "One Thing" by Amerie and that song by Beyonce produced by the guy from D.C. Can't think of the names right now, but when I do I'll come back with a comment.
peace!
alicia

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

OK, that Beyonce number is called "Crazy in Love" and the producer is Rich Harris.
I knew it would come back to me!

momsadvantage said...

That's funny, Alicia! That's so Eastcoast and reminds me so much of MU! All I can picture is you and Leatrice dancing and screaming!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Kendall,
I guess it is an East Coast sound, huh? Doesn't it make you want to dance?