Monday, November 21, 2005

Dap Dippin'

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ Southpaw 11/19/05
When we got there, we already missed the 1st band of this triple bill that was the Daptone Records Funk and Soul Revue, but we managed to catch most of the set by The Budos Band, an instrumental soul/funk band whose overall sound reminded me of the thick grooves of such luminaries of the genre as (early '70s) Kool and the Gang. After an extended intermission that still felt like a dance party since great old 45s by Rufus Thomas ("Tramp") and the like blared loudly out of the speakers, The Dap Kings (sans Sharon Jones) came on and played an 8 song set of their own material. Frankly, I thought they were fun and all, but I was getting impatient waiting for Sharon Jones (the person I paid to see) come on. I should say that I probably would've enjoyed their set more if it wasn't so hot in the elevated part of Southpaw. It was so incredibly hot up there that I could barely stand it, so a few songs after Sharon Jones came on, we went to the downstairs level and got spots by the bar. It was near the door, so it was a lot cooler and this made a lot of difference in terms of me being able to enjoy the show. I don't know if they turned up the heat to make it seem more like a juke joint down South than a club in Park Slope, but it was almost too much to bear.

Anyway, onto Sharon Jones herself. She was amazing. She opened with a few songs I didn't know and some interesting interpretive dancing that she attributed to her African-American and Native-American ancestors (and dancing would be a recurring theme throughout the evening), but then the set really got going when she started playing material from her excellent album Naturally, which has been getting a lot of airplay around here. Aside from stellar originals like "How Do I Let a Good Man Down" and "My Man is a Mean Man" (during which she introduced the Dap-Kings as "mean men", but in a different and presumably better sense) as well as the politically-charged "What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes", classic covers such as Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land", the Otis Redding/Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and the encore, a furious take on James Brown's "There was a Time" (fitting since Sharon is also a native of Augusta, GA, which is of course the Godfather of Soul's hometown) were also played during the hour and a half long set.

All in all, what I got out of this show, aside from Sharon Jones' huge voice and commanding stage presence, was the sheer intensity and passionate energy of not only her voice but the fiery '70s soul/funk music played behind her, and the fact that despite the fact that it was hard to take your eyes off of her while she was performing, is that the music of the Daptone Records stable is really dance music and as such, it was good to see a few people (even me) cutting loose throughout the course of the evening. While this may be unusual for Brooklyn hipsters, it was healthy in the best possible way. It's good to just go out, cut a rug and have a good time sometimes! I just wish that I had some pictures. Sigh.


Blogger anne said...

Sorry! We were too far from the stage! There were tall people all around me! I hate using the flash!

11:08 AM

Anonymous guile said...

nice, comfy place you got here :)..

4:11 AM


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