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A RTI he Michigan Daily -- Thursday, November 9, 2000 -A
Tear the roof off: Original members of P-Funk return to Detroit
By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Editor
I want the bomb, I want the P-Funk - I
wants to get funked up. That's not too
much to ask, is it?
doesn't think so. The
Originat P 50-something Haskins
has been bringing the
funk for more than 30
The Majestic years as a founding
Tonight at 8 p.m. member of the ground-
and he's currently
crisscrossing the coun-
try with Original P, a
band that reunites
many of the original
members of P-Funk.
:"Man, I can't explain it, and I shouldn't
cen try to explain it," Haskins said of the
tong-lasting Parliament dynasty. "A lot of it
just comes from our love for one another,
so when we got together as Original P, it
was like we never stopped."
'That's quite the claim, considering that
'Batle of !,
By Lisa Rat
Drivy Arts 'WXriter
Original P dates back to the early '60s
when George Clinton, Haskins, Grady
Thomas, Calvin Simon and Ray Davis
formed a doo wop-style vocal group called
The Parliaments. When Clinton began to
emphasize the brand of hard, rhythmic funk
that James Brown had earlier originated,
the group took on the tear-the-roof-off-the-
sucka identity of Parliament.
Huge smash albums, sold-out stadium
tours and various offshoots (the Brides of
Funkenstein, the Horny Horns, Bootsy's
Rubber Band) ensued in the '70s as Parlia-
ment set the standard for bigtime funk
bands. When Funkadelic, Clinton's psyche-
delic black-rock side project, rose to
prominence, the two groups essentially
merged, forming Par] iament/Funkadelic.
The group disbanded in the late '70s,
with Clinton touring with the P-Funk All-
stars while the four other founders pursued
solo projects. In the mid-'90s, the group
began touring as Original P, sans Clinton
- and they like it that way.
"I hear that George's shows are just a lot
of chaos, like 100 people on-stage and a lot
of screaming and cursing," Haskins said.
"We go out and do it right: The four origi-
nal Parliaments singing the harmonies,
doing the songs that got us inducted into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
And there's no shortage of those classic
P-Funk songs to throw in the setlist. Hask-
ins said the average Original P set ranges
well past two hours, simply because the
band has so many hits to get through.
Tunes like "Flashlight," "Up for the Down-
stroke" and "Atomic Dog" routinely pack
the dance floor, as do "Cosmic Slop," "The
Mothership Connection" and "One Nation
Under a Groove."
As well as "Chocolate City," "Do that
Stuff" and "Maggot Brain." And "Dr.
Funkenstein." And "Give up the Funk."
And - well, you get the idea: There ain't
no party like a P-Funk party 'cause a P-
F:unk party don't stop.
"The last time we played, I got dehydra-
tion because that show went on forever,"
Haskins said. "We've got seven musicians,
three girls and the four of us on-stage the
whole night, and we use it all."
Interestingly, the longer that Original P
forges on, the younger its audiences become.
Haskins points to the tremendous popularity
of hip-hop among young adults as a key to
courtesy of David Pebert
The mothership lands tonight in Detroit: Original P will bust out the bop gun and get the ladies grooving.
Original P's lasting popularity - after all, P-
Funk grooves have been sampled by everyone
from Digital Underground to Dr. Dre.
"The kids want to know about the funk, so
they come and check us out, and they hear,
something that they think is from sone rap-
per, but it was a Parliament tune first," Ha'Isk-
ins said. "People say we're from the old
school, but I say that we're old school for
REGGAE GROOVES, MEAN STREETS
Begin with prosthetic genitalia.
Add equal parts great acting and a
ing set, and
'Lysistrata then throw in a
whole lot of
Mendelsohn Greek comedy.
Theater What do you
Runs at8p.m.. tonight get? A hell of a
through Saturday: 2p.m. good time. Wel-
on Sunday come to "Lysis-
trata," the latest
of Theater and
The plot of
play is fairly well-known. Set in
war-torn ancient Greece, a bunch of
women decide to use their most
powerful weapon to help stop the
war in which their husbands are
fighting: Sex. That's right, until the
fighting stops, these women will
not be making love to their hus-
ds. Led by the character Lysis-
rata, played by Jessie Cantrell in
his production, women from all
over Greece win their own little
'war, with weapons of a most innov-
In the production, the setting will
be a turn-of-the-century music hall,
instead of ancient Greece. This will
"Lysistrata" examines what happens when the ladies tell the fellas, "Nuh-uhh."
By Andy Taylor-Fabe
Before Bob Marley and the Wailers brought reg-
gae to the U.S. mainstream, a brilliant low budget
film about the struggle of a man in a Jamaican slum
was made on the streets of Kingston. Although it
has remained somewhat of a
cult film, Criterion has just
released "The Harder They
Come" on DVD.
The Hander "The Harder They Come" is
They Come about a young man named Ivan
Grade. A- (immy Cliff) who comes from
theacountry to the bustling but
Criterion DVD treacherous city of Kingston in
the early '70s to seek his for-
tune as a musician.
After struggling with poverty
and the violence of the streets,
he manages to record a single,
but instead of striking it rich, he
find that the music business is
as corrupt as every other part of the system.
Frustrated and destitute, he gets involved in the
Kingston's gan.'a trade and eventually achieves his
sought after fame, but as a brutal and infamous out-
law instead of a celebrated singer.
Many people could be turned off by the film's
cover, which resembles so-called exploitation
movies of the '70s. However, this film gives an inci-
sive but subtle account of Ivan's struggle, and
Jimmy Cliff does a masterful job of giving Ivan
This film has one of the greatest soundtracks in
history. Including songs by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond
Dekker, Toots and the Maytals, The Melodians,
Scotty, and The Slickers ("Johnny Too Bad" is still
one of the greatest reggae songs ever), it is one in a
The DVD version of the film is impressive, for
although it was originally shot in 16 mm, the digital
transfer gives it much more vibrant colors and clear
images without making it seem too polished.
It features biographies of all the bands that appear
on the soundtrack and audio commentary by direc-
tor Perry Henzell and star Jimmy Cliff. There is also
a recent interview with Chris Blackwell, who found-
ed Island Records.
"The Harder They Come" is a unique portrait of
the slums of Kingston and the culture and language
of the people. But speaking of language, here's a
piece of advice for the viewei: Activate the English
subtitles when you watch it, because the Jamaican
dialect is sometimes so thick that it is impossible to
serve to "complement the interior of
the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater,"
said director Malcolm Tulip, who
adapted the production for the
music hall setting. The plot will
Originally written as part of a fer-
tility festival, this play will use
some standard accoutrements of
Greek theater. including both erect
and limp prosthetic genitalia, which
will help the men look ridiculous.
There will also be body padding
and masks for those in the chorus.
The humor will not be watered
down for today's politically correct
audience, either. It promises, Tulip
said, to be "joyful, bawdy, and
Don't worry about the show being
distasteful, however. Students of all
types will enjoy the humor of this
play and the energy and enthusiasm
of all involved will shine through.
"It is fast paced, funny, and damn
good-looking," Tulip said. The set
and costumes, done by Nephelie
Andonyadis, were intended to
please the eye and add pizzazz to
the audience's experience. In addi-
tion, the cast of over 20 students
will each be decked out in costumes
that, despite the turn-of-the-century
settig, are definitely not the usual
stuffy and prim style of the Victori-
an era in which the play is set.
Aristophanes, the author of the
play, as born in Athens around 448
BC and was known primarily as a
satirist. No political party or social
group escaped from Aristophanes'
weapon of choice, the pen. He wrote
over 40 plays in his lifetime, and
Lysistrata is widely recognized as
being his most famous work.
The political origins of this com-
edy stem from the Peloponnesian
War. Written in 411 BC, Aristo-
phanes sought to influence politics
by writing the political and social
satire "Lysistrata," in the hopes that
the war would end as a result.
As always, the play will feature
excellent acting by students within the
department of Theater and Drama, a
division of the School of Music.
As if there
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