Gotta Have That Funk (Because My Boss Says So)

After I Made a Joke About Not Liking Funk, Grant Brissey and Christopher Frizzelle Made Me Listen to All the Funk Music in Seattle


C'mon didn't even scratch the surface!
I tend to like funk elements better in non-funk contexts--the Eternals with their surreal postpunk dub-funk; Gang of Four with their agit-prop punk-funk; and so on. Funk fans share with fans of jam-rock bands a preference for musicianship over concept or content. Which is fine, just like it's fine to prefer Bergman to Fellini; it's just not for me.
Are you sure that what you're hearing is slap bass? It's not on any Kissing Potion recording that I'm aware of. I also can't figure out why you're describing something as having "less slap and more groove". Slap is a technique, groove is feel. All good slap bass playing is going to be full of groove. If you're going to proclaim to the greater Seattle area what you like or don't like about music, you should probably know your way around the terminology a little better.
It's too bad "the Good, The Bad and The Funky' didn't make the cut. You haven't lived until you've heard their soul-patched version of the Good Times theme song.

Jammin' Salmon also really bang out a great afternoon coffee shop set.

Enough with this crime against music. When are we going to move on to middle aged blues hobbyist jam sessions...that's where the soul-crushing magic is at these days.
"The song begins with slap bass, and the shivers go up my spine."

That's right!! here's the tune that inspired those shivers:…

And a video!
"The song begins with slap bass, and the shivers go up my spine."

Damn straight! Here's the song Megan hates. Nothing but dirty Funk here:…

And another in Funky video:

-the Braxmatics
Sorry, one more funk band, but without a bass guitar to slap:…

jeez. you wanted her to give funk a shot, so she did. she doesn't normally listen to funk so of course she may not describe the music the way you would. but she did what you wanted and gave it a shot, so you can't really judge what she had to say. you brought any negative reviews on yourself.
Thank you for the ink Megan. You could have went for blood and you didn't. If you think we're a Funk band, then you're in good company with Dennis Cook (dirty impound/ so I can't criticize you for that. I don't think the answer is calling The Staxx Brothers a Funk band, but if you're right about that, I'll buy you a turkey dinner.

We'll talk some more and I'm glad you gave some hard working bands like Down North the chance they deserve. Those kids are working their ass off. And yes Eldridge Gravy is a very good Seattle Funk band (hats off).

I do think you should reconsider your disdain for the often abused concept of slapping the bass. Look up the story about how Larry Graham invented the style (back in the 60s I believe). Larry developed his slapping technique to keep time with Grandmother as she tore it up on Hammond organ. Megan, if that doesn't melt your musical heart, then you're an ICE QUEEN (I'm totally joking, I just wanted to call you an ICE QUEEN).

But I can't be a hypocrite, I told our newest bass player Jake Amster not to try and recreate the slap bass parts that our previous player put down, because even in the most delicate and able hands, slapping can sounds stupid as fuck. It's like a spice only a certain chef should use at select times. And I'm saying that to the best player I've ever worked with.

But historically, I want to say slapping goes back to at least the Delta Blues. I've heard some Charlie Patton recordings, where it was pretty obvious that Foghat was copying the old master, not necessarily copping James Brown records. You had to slap pretty hard on those low strings to rock an unamplified dance party. There was corn liquor to sell and babies to make. And Charlie had to get that money.

Keep on listening to great funk and soul, and check out the whole New Orleans thing. NOLA has this natural country funk vibe that's just infectious. It's like a beautiful creole girl, you can't stop staring at. It's hypnotizing, and it's pretty fucking HIP HOP.

Davin Michael Stedman
Soul United Productions
The Staxx Brothers

Very disappointed that the online version of this article did not include links to all the bands/tunes. Isn't that what the Internet is for?
Worry not, nwMarco! I just put together the playlist featuring music from all the bands mentioned in the article. You can hear them here:…
Yep, thanks Megan for the shout out. If ya dont like funk, you'll hate the Braxmatics, cause we are extremely funky. Thank God for that.

Thanks also to The Stranger for putting us in the paper, sincerely appreciate it.

-Seattle FunkBrother
Appreciate the shout out, Megan. Totally makes sense that someone who doesn't like funk will not like The Braxmatics, cause we are super funky.

Sincere thanks to The Stranger for putting us in the paper. Really.

We'll keep on funkin' till the police come...

-Seattle Funk Brother
AFROCOP! more on the groove tip but worth noting…
Great survey! I quite enjoyed the Braxmatics, wouldn't have heard of them otherwise. Golly, that catchy sax riff sounds really a lot like a Maceo Parker bit from 10 years ago.
"Maybe it's not funk that I dislike, it's just the sound of slap bass." Word.

"Maybe Motown will be my gateway to funk?" Maybe Motown is your destination to funk. Two words: James Jamerson. Or three words: google "James Jamerson isolated" or check out "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."
What the hell is funk? Where does it cross that line from jazz...or soul...or rock? One man's funk is another man's jazz, or rock...

I like jazz, but i like jazz that is "funky"...but that doesn't make it funk...unless you are trying to pigeonhole the music into a genre.

There's a reason why The Stranger doesn't list music by genre...because so many of taoday's artists reside in multiple genres and trying to sum a band up by genre is generally a stupid prospect...just look how that's worked out for The Seattle Weekly...
I love all these Seattle "Funk" bands. I have seen them all live. I've been impressed by their performance abilities and energy. Plus, if you love to dance then "Funk" music is the place to be.
So glad to see Grant, Megan, & The Stranger bring this all the way. It was nice for one of my bands to get a kind review, but bittersweet to see another one I play in get dismissed easily for an incorrect assumption. Regardless, it was good to see the topic of funk/soul/groove discussed in the The Stranger, and the creation of dialog.

Of course, your readership would benefit from more in depth reviews of local funk/soul/groove bands.

I penned a personal email to Megan and Grant asking what it would take to get even just a monthly column discussing NW funk/soul/groove. I have yet to get a response. If they throw down the gauntlet (a petition to sign, perhaps?) I would be glad to gather the signatures and show that there is enough critical mass in the Pac NW funk/soul/groove scene to warrant the real estate in The Stranger. No, I don't want to write it (conflict of interest), but someone should.

Grant....Megan....what would it take? Let's make a deal!

If you were not out this weekend to see the kiddies pack the bars to see funk you missed a great scene. The Tractor was sold out for Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme, The Brown Edition and Philly's Phunkestra, evidence that you may not like funk, but everybody else does. The next night I saw DoctorFunk in Woodinville, again a packed house.
Seattle has very little actual funk bands. Very little. Just because a band has a couple of songs, with a little funkiness in it, don't make them a funk band. Staxx Brothers isn't a funk band. (still love them)

Funky 2 Death that play at the Seamonster every Friday night... that's a funk band, with some soul splashed over the top.
Cracks me up when "young bucks" that wanna' be hip, that actually play funk, and then call themselves an "indie" band... 99% of all bands are indie bands! I mean, how many local bands are signed to a national label?

Not sure who coined that ridiculous term. (but it sounds oh so cool)

(Hey young bucks... look up Dennis Coffey)