Saturday, July 26, 2008

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at the 9:30 Club, July 19, 2008

Garry Shider (in diaper) comparing physiques with Sir Nose (right) and George Clinton.

George Clinton rocking his Chocolate City shirt in Chocolate City

Michael Hampton, worthy heir to the late great Eddie Hazel, is still making grown men cry with his heart-breakingly plaintive guitar wailing on "Maggot Brain." George Harrison once famously made his guitar 'gently weep.' Well Eddie Hazel and Michael Hampton have made their guitars both scream with passion and writhe in anguish.

All photos (c) 2008 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Like I said, my favorite jam bands are Mandrill, Parliament Funkadelic, and War.

Well this has been a great Summer because I've been able to see the first two and they both kicked ass!

Seeing George Clinton again was like seeing an old friend or your crazy old uncle again after a long hiatus.

I've been watching George and Parliament since 1968 when they had solid radio hits like "I Just Wanna Testify," "Let Hurt Put You Behind the Wheel," and "Get Up On the Down Stroke," great party songs but up to this point they were pretty much just another R&B group in matching tuxedos ala the Temptations.

The next year they re-invented themselves, busting out in costumes (the diaper, the union suit, the hair and make-up) as the Funk/Rock hybrid Parliament Funkadelic we all know and love. Forty years later they are still getting it done, George is still the impish gnome in chief, the screaming guitars (led by Michael Hampton) are still putting a lie to the perception that Black people don't dig rock, and Garry Shider is still rockin' that diaper, well into his 60's.

The show was at the 9:30 Club near Howard University and started 2 hours late so we only stayed for 3 of the usual 4 hours they are still renowned for jamming, even at their age.

Unfortunately, they don't let you bring real cameras to concerts like back in the day, but the 9:30 Club only prohibits "professional cameras and video" so I had the frustrating experience of capturing the show on my point-and-shoot digital from the balcony (my leg was injured and I wasn't about to fight the teeming hoards on the dance floor to get up close to the stage). Still it was better than nothing (barely) but you be the judge.

Check out the Washington Post article about George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, a feature piece in the Weekend section the day before the show.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shark week returns

Discovery Communications bldg. 2006, Shark week
(c)2006 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

It's Shark Week again starting Sunday on the Discovery Channel, July 27 to Aug. 2, 2008.

Too bad they no longer inflate the giant shark on the Discovery bldg.

Really got me pumped for all that week-long shark-gore.

Cluck-U Chicken

(c)2008 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Another restaurant bites the dust. This venue is just north of Howard University in DC. Love the name, juvenilishly catchy. As a veggie, I can't vouch for the chicken, though I heard good things.

Lake Elkhorn, Columbia, MD

Lake Elkhorn, Columbia, MD, from north bridge
(c)2008 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Wall murals, Silver Spring, MD

New Hampshire Avenue at Piney Branch
(c)2008 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Discovery Communications bldg., Georgia Avenue
(c)2008 Incorrigible Curmudgeon

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Birds on my balcony

Photo (c)2008 by Incorrigible Curmudgeon

When I first moved into this apartment years ago, I tried to grow tomatoes and flowers on my balcony. The tomatoes failed big time and while the flowers worked fine, one flower box soon attracted a mourning dove in search of a safe nesting spot. I gladly ceded the spot to her so we could watch her nest.

Over the years she, or another mourning dove (perhaps even her grown child), has nested 2 or 3 times each season. This was her first brood of 2008.