French musician MEZERG kicks out some groovy sounds using one of the silliest musical instruments – a watermelon. He connected slices of the melon – along with cantaloupe and a kiwi – to a Playtron MIDI Controller to create an edible keyboard. His cover of The Doors’ Light My Fire is pretty awesome too, even if it has no fruit.
THE BEST Funk
Icelandic musician Daði Freyr and his band Gagnamagnið made a silly music video filled with pixel art sweaters, strange-looking keytars, awkward dance moves, confetti, and most importantly, a funky and soulful electro-pop track which we’re adding to our heavy rotation list right now.
The members of the jazz collective Snarky Puppy turned in a downright funky mix of keyboards, horns, bass, guitar, violin, and percussion during their appearance at the NPR Music offices. They performed their instrumental tracks Tarova and Xavi, the latter’s complex rhythms with the assistance of the audience.
We can feel it all over. One of the funkiest songs ever written has got to be Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke. Recently, the members of the the artist collective known as Apartment Sessions turned in a rousing, appropriately brass-heavy performance of the track on NYC’s J Train, lead off by the soulful lead vocals of Aneesa Folds.
Musical mashup master Bill McLintock’s track will drive you mad. It’s another impossible combination that somehow just works, as Kool & The Gang’s Celebration meets Quiet Riot’s Metal Health. Crank it up to 11 as funk and metal make beautiful music together.
Scary Pockets turns in another wonderfully funky cover of a classic tune, this time taking on Derek and The Dominos’ 1970 track Layla. Though this time, they left the comfort of their studio and recorded the performance live at DC’s Union Stage. That’s Jacob Luttrell kicking out the soulful lead vocals and keys.
Musician Louis Cole loves to do live recording sessions, and this one takes the cake. Listen, enjoy, and be wowed by this captivating performance shot at “some guy’s house.” It’s got synths, loops, and more funk than you can handle. This is one clip where patience definitely pays off.
Funkmasters Scary Pockets take The Police track Every Breath You Take and give it a fresh coat of paint with this wonderful rendition of the 1983 hit, led off by the soulful vocals of Sarah Dugas, and paying tribute to the syncopated reggae beats of the original.
An amazingly good cover version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 classic September from an unlikely source. Hailing from Russia, Leonid and Friends completely nailed the instrumentation of the original, powered along by rock solid vocals. Check out Leonid’s YouTube channel for more.
Scary Pockets teamed up with vocalist Mario Jose to perform a funky interpretation of of Guns N’ Roses’ hit Sweet Child O’ Mine, unlike any we’ve ever heard before. Between the Rhodes keyboard, horns, and Mario’s soulful voice, it’s a truly special listening experience.
Metaphump performs jazzy funk covers of rock and metal tunes. Here, they turn in an excellent rendition of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name, with a groovy bassline and vibrant horn section. Their Metallica and Megadeth covers are worth a listen too.
Funk’s living legend George Clinton and his band the P-Funk All Stars spread good vibes and infectious energy at NPR Tiny Desk Concert. They performed a trio of classics: Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, One Nation Under A Groove and Give Up the Funk.
(PG-13: Language) Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike managed to score a one-on-one interview with legendary funk musician and producer George Clinton, and hung out in one of his barbershops to chew the fat about hip-hop, doo-wop, haircuts, counterfeit cash, and more.
Lamont Landers and his bandmates Bowen Robertson, Jaraven Moe Hill, and Kevin Canada turn in an awesome medley of Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly and the Family Stone, and a dash of funky love makin’ tossed in for good measure. Want some mo? Try on some Bill Withers.
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