Episode 151: Funk Off!

Episode 151: Funk Off!
Pat is kicked to the Producer's chair as Mike Siegel and Actor/Comedian Ted Lyde take over the hosting duties to school Pat in the ways of Da FUNK!
From May 29, 2014

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

Mike Siegel

00:00:00 Mike welcomes us to the show. Pat is in the producer's chair this week. He's already complaining about this new situation. He has some newfound respect for Kyle. Not much of it, but respect nonetheless. So why is Pat running the boards this week? Well, as you might know, Pat is the Whitest man on the planet. He makes Henry Winkler look like Rick Ross. This week, we're doing a show all about funk. You do the math. Mike's special guest co-host for this week is actor/comedian/Black man Ted Lyde!
Pat, Mike, and Ted are very good friends, going way back to the Chicago comedy days of yore. Ted and Pat have families and are jealous of Mike's singlehood. "Stupid Mike and his ability to climb mountains and bang mysterious women," they grumble.
As stated, today's topic: Funk! Mike and Ted are both very knowledgeable about the world of funk music. Ted doesn't have any time codes, nor does he have his list of songs. Oh boy. This is gonna be quite the evening for Pat.
00:05:00 Mike has a giveaway for the listeners. It's a four-CD box set called "What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves." It contains such song titles as "Ridin' Thumb" and "Soul Finger." Pat's dirty mind conjures up some steamy ideas about what those songs are about. Ted's got to think of a soul question that the listeners must answer to win, so we'll come back to him on that.
Before we play some funk, Mike wants to know where we stand on what counts as funk. Mike has his own definition of funk. It's a window between 1960s R&B, Soul, MoTown, and Disco. Around '70-'76 are the prime years of funk. Ted agrees, and adds that funk uses a lot of bass and a lot of horns. Hey, as the only Black man in the room, he's the default expert on funk. Also, funk requires live instruments. Synthesizers are a grey area. Ted and Mike agree that hip hop has done good and bad things for the funk genre. No live instruments is a bad thing. Pat saw Prince in concert and Prince made a note to say throughout the show that it was all live instruments, no backing tracks. Ted saw Prince at a much smaller venue at 2:00 AM. The energy was insane.
00:10:00 Mike kicks off this funky road trip with Sly and the Family Stone. Off their Greatest Hits, it's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". Larry Graham, bassist for the Family Stone, invented the slap bass, which everyone in funk would go on to use. How did Pat feel when he heard that song? Was he shakin' his hips? Was he tappin' his toes? Nope. We got limited movement from Pat. The Whiteness is strong with this one. Pat, by the way, brought three funk songs of his own.
Ted's first pick accentuates his point that the baseline really sets the mood for the song. It's "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, off the mega-album Thriller.
00:15:00 Pat tells a story how MTV wasn't gonna play the music video for "Billie Jean." CBS decided to rescind all their artists' music videos from MTV as a response. Three days later, "Billie Jean" was on MTV. Nobody messes with the moonwalk. Nobody.
Mike's next pick is Prince. Prince kept funk alive during the 80s and 90s. Mike plays "Sexy M.F." from the album Love Symbol. Ted responds with a Prince song of his own. He plays "Black Sweat" from the album 3121. Ted loved Prince when he was a teenager.
Pat retells his sneaking album story. He had to sneak albums he bought past his parents when he got home because they would chastise him for having so many albums. Did Ted's parents ever give him shit for his albums? No, because they weren't a couple of fuddy duddies.
00:20:00 Mike's next pick is the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Off the album Get on the Good Foot, it's the song "Get on the Good Foot". Ted and his mother saw James Brown in concert. It was an amazing show, obviously.
Pat's still not having fun as a producer. All those fangled buttons and knobs. "Why can't I just sit down at the fireplace with a cup of Joe and watch the moving pictures on the television box?" he's probably thinking. Maybe Ted's next pick will cheer him up. Off their album All Directions, it's The Temptations with "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone".
00:25:00 The guys agree that you need maturity to get into different music. Pat didn't like the bands he likes so much now when he was younger. I agree. I didn't get into Slayer until I was four years old. Before then, "Oh, phooey and pishaw, get these geezers off the stage."
If James Brown is the Godfather of Soul, then George Clinton is the President of Funk. Mike plays a song from one of his bands, Parliament. Off the album Mothership Connection, it's "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)". It seems like the same funk guys get sampled in songs these days. George Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown. Because those guys definitely need the money, right?
Ted plays the twin brother of Parliament, Funkadelic. It's "One Nation Under a Groove", from the album One Nation Under a Groove. George Clinton's motto is "Free your mind and your ass will follow." This is coming from a man who colors his hair and has an album called "Motor Booty Affair", so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that that is his motto.
00:30:00 Mike looked into some modern funk and accidentally bought an album on iTunes. Whoops. The album isn't half bad, however. Mike plays "Crimson Skies" by The Budos Band, off the album The Budos Band III.
Ted's next pick is by a guy named Bernard Wright and it's off his debut album called Nard. The song is called "Just Chillin' Out".
00:35:00 It's a nighttime recording session, so the guys are drinking beers. But where's the 40 Oz.? Where's the Colt 45? Where's the Crown Royal? How can Ted, a respectable African American man, get his drank on with the homeboys if he doesn't have his gin 'n' juice? I guess Ted's gonna have to live with it, as Mike plays his next pick. It's The Isley Brothers, with "Fight the Power", off the album The Heat Is On.
Did Ted sport an afro when he was younger? You betcha. AND he had the Jheri curls too. Right now, Ted's rockin' a shaved head. When he had the Jheri curls, Ted had to wear a plastic cap on his head when he slept. On a side note, Pat has had it up to here with that damn Luka. He was making a lot of noise on the second floor last night, so Pat made someā€¦ stern warnings. Luka's a damn liar, too. Pat didn't hit him, Luka just slipped and fell eye first onto a fist-shaped object. Those are definitely not knuckle imprints. What are you, a scientist?
Remember kids: Silence is golden.
00:40:00 Ted's next pick is the affectionately-titled "Dukey Stick". It's by George Duke, off his album Don't Let Go. Pat asks Ted about what goes on at house parties. There's a lot of dancing, it gets hot, and things get sticky.
Mike swings this funky jam session towards the ladies, as his next pick is Aretha Franklin. Off her album Young, Gifted and Black, it's the song "Rock Steady". Mike absolutely loves the drums in that song.
00:45:00 Pat's gotta get a power cord for his computer, so Ted and Mike chat amongst themselves. Ted was on every other commercial, but now the acting work's slowed down, so he might have to go back on the road as a stand up. He's auditioned for Modern Family four times and The X-Files every season. Ted was one of the few Black characters on Frasier, which is quite the accomplishment considering just how White that show was. An even bigger accomplishment is that he is the only Black guy on Rock Solid. Congratulations, Ted. You're the only chocolate chip in the cookie.
Pat's got a song of his own. Listener/artwork provider Glen K. Amo gave Pat this song to play. Off The Band's self-titled album, it's "Up on Cripple Creek".
00:50:00 Break out the braille, Ted's next pick is Stevie Wonder. The song he picks is "Maybe Your Baby", from the album Talking Book. Pat has a Stevie Wonder story. When he was a kid, Pat loved Starsky and Hutch, especially Starsky. There was an episode where Starsky was getting lucky with the ladies, and he had on Stevie Wonder's album "Songs in the Key of Life." Pat bought that album solely because Starsky had it. That might be the worst reason to buy one of the greatest albums of all time. Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) is also a director. He directed "The Running Man" with Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Air Up There" with Kevin Bacon, and "Kazaam" with Shaquille O'Neal. One of those movies is good. The other two are "The Air Up There" and "Kazaam."
00:55:00 Mike's next pick is by The Jackson 5. The song is "Dancing Machine", from the album Dancing Machine. Growing up, Pat's favorite band was The Jackson 5. In fact, Pat drops a bombshell on everyone by revealing that, as a kid, he had a very Black-centric childhood. He had a Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington throw rug. He had all of The Jackson 5's albums, all of Michael Jackson's solo albums, all of Jermaine Jackson's solo albums. For Christmas he wanted and received a Black G.I. Joe action figure. AND, to top that all off, he had a Willie Tyler & Lester ventriloquist dummy. My head is spinning. Pat Francis, a man who has less soul and groove in his body than Josef Stalin, with all of those Black pop culture items. I think I need a minute.
Along with being a standard film and TV actor, Ted was in a few music videos as well. He was in the music video for Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me." He played music mogul L.A. Reid. Ted was also in a Christmas music video for 'N SYNC along with Gary Coleman. Contrary to everyone's hopes, he did not play Willis.
01:00:00 Ted goes contemporary for his next pick. It's "Tambourine" by Eve. Mike questions the funkitude of that song, but Ted sticks by it. Mike played a waiter on Eve's sitcom. Every Black show that Mike has been on, there was a prayer in the dressing room before they started. Speaking of Black TV shows, Ted was on Showtime at the Apollo. He was the last comic of the day. He went on stage, got booed, then immediately got off stage. Smart man.
01:05:00 Can you dig it, Sucka? 'Cause Mike Siegel is bringing some Blaxploitation to Rock Solid. Off the soundtrack to the film Super Fly, it's Curtis Mayfield with "Superfly". That song reminds Ted of his uncle Nate. Nate would go to church with Ted, a young boy at the time, then afterwards Nate would take Ted from bar to bar, making "collections" while Ted played the jukebox. Once the "collections" were made, it was off to another bar. Good old uncle Nate, with his totally legal business dealings.
Pat was fearing the funk earlier, but now that he's hearing the songs, he's getting into it. It helps that he's a little drunk too. "One Beer" Francis, as they call him 'round these parts. Ted keeps the funky train rolling with his next pick. It's the band Cameo, with their song "Shake Your Pants", from the album Cameosis.
01:10:00 Ted saw Cameo live in a theater. There was a lot of people on stage. A lot of funk bands have a shitload of people on stage at one time. Earth, Wind and Fire, Parliament-Funkadelic. When you make your money live, how do you divvy up the cash amongst that many people? Pat wonders if there are any big funk tours, where the big funk bands of the day are still going around the circuit. Ted answers that question with another of his picks: "Low Rider" by War, off the album Why Can't We Be Friends?. War plays a ton of state fairs. They get paid in funnel cake and fried oreos.
01:15:00 Mike's next pick is by a female group called The Emotions. Off their album Rejoice, it's the song "Best of My Love". Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire wrote that song and gave it to The Emotions. Prince did the same thing for The Bangles with "Manic Monday".
Ted's next pick deals with love of a brainy sort. From Tom Tom Club's self-titled album, it's "Genius of Love". Tom Tom Club consists of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz from Talking Heads. Talking Heads just can't get together anymore. It's strange how a band can hate each other so much that the hatred outweighs the sheer amount of money to be made. It happened with The Fugees. It's still happening with Guns N' Roses. Some bands do hate each other, but stay together. Joey and Johnny Ramone didn't talk to each other for the last ten years the band was together because Johnny stole Joey's girlfriend and married her.
01:20:00 Jermaine Jackson stole his brother Randy's woman from him and married her. Jermaine is still a very greasy, shiny man.
"What is up with Jermaine? Is it just me or is he the greasiest nigga you ever seen? Just greasy motherfucker looking like he sprayed Armoral on his face! Just glistening... like Patrick Ewing in the fourth quarter! When Jermaine is on the TV, I got to wipe the screen! 'I can't see shit! Jermaine must've been on!' Even the police can't catch his ass. He just slips out! They're like 'Somebody throw some sand on that nigga please!'." - Chris Rock
Mike's next pick is by Tower of Power, and comes from their self-titled album. They ask, "What Is Hip?".
Pat's got another song for us. From Commodores self-titled album, it's "Brick House". Commodores is another band that won't get back together. Lionel Richie just doesn't need them. Pat saw Tina Turner open for Commodores in concert. In fact, he got those tickets for his girlfriend Beth, then he broke up with her, and asked for the tickets back.
01:25:00 What happened was, Pat wanted to hang out with his friends, and Beth complained. The next day, Pat saw another girl, Bridget, washing a car. Pat talked to Bridget, went home, called Beth, and broke up with her. Also, Beth laughed at Pat's dream to be a stand up comedian, so screw her.
Ted takes us back to the start with his next pick. Off the album Fresh, it's Sly and the Family Stone with "If You Want Me to Stay". The Family Stone is touring, but not Sly. Sly is still fucking crazy. When Ted was a kid, he got a Sly and the Family Stone cassette while his sister got a Jackson 5 cassette. There's no way you can barter a Sly and the Family Stone cassette, so Ted's sister wouldn't let him listen to the Jackson 5.
01:30:00 There are seven kids in Ted's family. Pat and Mike are both middle children, so they need all the attention. Why do you think they're doing this podcast? For fun?!
For his next pick, Mike goes obscure. It's a song called "Scorpio" by a band called Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band. It's off an album called Evolution.
Not one to be outdone, Ted also goes obscure with his next pick. It's a band called Con Funk Shun. Off the album Secrets, the song is called "Ffun". That isn't a typo.
The music that Mike and Ted are playing came before the descension of booty. By that, they mean that it wasn't about "bitches and hoes," it wasn't about "fuckin' up your enemies." It's just about having a good time. Explicit lyrics don't always have a place in music.
01:35:00 Pat and Ted are trying to keep their daughters acting their own age. Ted's daughter listens to show tunes, which is statistically one of the safest forms of music. I can't recall any drive-bys where "Oklahoma!" is playing on the car stereo. Pat is confident that he can play most of these songs for his kids.
Mike shakes things up by injecting some Whiteness into the setlist. Some average Whiteness, to be precise. Off the album AWB, Mike plays "Pick Up the Pieces" by The Average White Band. So far in the show, we got bass, we got horns, we got drums. We're feeling good. Let's keep this funky express a-rollin'.
01:40:00 We're going contemporary again with Ted. His next pick is "Yeah!" by Usher feat. Lil Jon, off the album Confessions. Lil Jon has the easiest job in the world. He just says "yeah," "okay," and "what" over all these songs and makes millions. He either has a three word vocabulary or is the smartest man in America.
Pat has one more song that he picked. It's "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry, off their self-titled album.
Mike channels his internal Dave Chappelle for his second to last song. Off the album Come Get It!, it's Rick James (bitch!) with his song "You and I".
"Cocaine is a hell of a drug."
Ted's second to last pick is by The O'Jays. From the album Ship Ahoy, it's "For the Love of Money".
01:45:00 Mike gives apologies to Ohio Players, for their song "Love Rollercoaster". He also gives apologies to Earth, Wind and Fire. For his last pick, Mike plays "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus and Chaka Khan, off the album Rags to Rufus.
Pat's gotta pee, so he leaves the room for a second. Mike and Ted engage in some more small talk. What was the last concert Ted went to? Well, he's seen Wicked twice, does that count? Mike has tickets for The Book of Mormon. Pat returns. A new question pops up: What is the one band you wished you could see, but never had? For Ted, it's Sly and the Family Stone.
01:50:00 Sly Stone was nuts. He co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show for a week, which is like getting a lemur to co-pilot an airplane, while said Lemur is high on crack. Pat never saw The Ramones or Queen. Mike's never seen The Rolling Stones because tickets are way too expensive.
Ted's last pick is a previously unreleased track by Michael Jackson. From his box set The Ultimate Collection, it's a song called "Monkey Business". You can guarantee that the Jackson family is gonna squeeze as much cash out of Michael's corpse as they can. It's pretty fucked up just how fucked up Michael Jackson got, considering that he was a pop music genius. I'm sure his upbringing had a big part to do with it. Nothing says fucked in the head like a shitty childhood.
01:55:00 Pat wraps things up by plugging the usual stuff: the live show at the Limestone Comedy Festival on May 31st, the Rock Solid Guide, the donation button. He's speaking very carefully so he doesn't slur his words, the lush. Mike plugs his podcast Travel Tales. Mike has a lot to live up to with his twitter handle, @funnyMike. Pat's twitter handle is @Pat_Francis because @PatFrancis is a Black female televangelist. Ted Lyde's twitter handle is simply @tedlyde. Ted wants to get his own podcast. This show was taped two months ago. We've run out of time, so Pat's gonna post the trivia question for Mike's funk box set on twitter.
02:00:00 Pat pulls this train of funktastic fun into the station with the closing song. From the album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, it's OutKast with "Hey Ya!".
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) Greatest Hits Sly and the Family Stone Mike
00:10:00 Billie Jean Thriller Michael Jackson Ted
00:15:00 Sexy M.F. Love Symbol Prince Mike
00:15:00 Black Sweat 3121 Prince Ted
00:20:00 Get on the Good Foot Get on the Good Foot James Brown Mike
00:20:00 Papa Was a Rollin' Stone All Directions The Temptations Ted
00:25:00 Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) Mothership Connection Parliament Mike
00:25:00 One Nation Under a Groove One Nation Under a Groove Funkadelic Ted
00:30:00 Crimson Skies The Budos Band III The Budos Band Mike
00:30:00 Just Chillin' Out Nard Bernard Wright Ted
00:35:00 Fight the Power The Heat Is On The Isley Brothers Mike
00:40:00 Dukey Stick Don't Let Go George Duke Ted
00:40:00 Rock Steady Young, Gifted and Black Aretha Franklin Mike
00:45:00 Up on Cripple Creek The Band The Band Pat
00:50:00 Maybe Your Baby Talking Book Stevie Wonder Ted
00:55:00 Dancing Machine Dancing Machine The Jackson 5 Mike
01:00:00 Tambourine Single Eve Ted
01:05:00 Superfly Super Fly Curtis Mayfield Mike
01:05:00 Shake Your Pants Cameosis Cameo Ted
01:10:00 Low Rider Why Can't We Be Friends? Low Rider Ted
01:15:00 Best of My Love Rejoice The Emotions Mike
01:15:00 Genius of Love Tom Tom Club Tom Tom Club Ted
01:20:00 What Is Hip? Tower of Power Tower of Power Mike
01:20:00 Brick House Commodores Commodores Pat
01:25:00 If You Want Me to Stay Fresh Sly and the Family Stone Ted
01:30:00 Scorpio Evolution Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band Mike
01:30:00 Ffun Secrets Con Funk Shun Ted
01:35:00 Pick Up the Pieces AWB The Average White Band Mike
01:40:00 Yeah! Confessions Usher feat. Lil Jon Ted
01:40:00 Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry Wild Cherry Pat
01:40:00 You and I Come Get It! Rick James Mike
01:40:00 For the Love of Money Ship Ahoy The O'Jays Ted
01:45:00 Tell Me Something Good Rags to Rufus Rufus and Chaka Khan Mike
01:50:00 Monkey Business The Ultimate Collection Michael Jackson Ted
02:00:00 Hey Ya! Speakerboxxx/The Love Below OutKast Pat