On Halloween 1976, a spaceship descended on the stage of a Houston sports arena in front of 15,000 people. When the smoke and sparks cleared, a figure calling himself Dr Funkenstein – dressed all in fur with a pair of shades – stepped out to the sound of P-Funk: a psychedelic mix of rock and soul played by incredible musicians in ridiculous costumes.
Dr Funkenstein and the Mothership (a stage prop constructed from a blockbuster budget) sprang from the otherworldly imagination of bandleader, songwriter and producer George Clinton.
P-Funk was conceived as “pirate radio from outer space” but its blend of all-out partying and social empowerment evolved into a way of life. Through elaborate artwork, sci-fi mythology and slang that sounded like a cosmic Dr Seuss, … Read the rest
The journalist and author has been there since the first wave, covering the rise of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal et al at the turn of the millennium as its certified documenter-in-chief.
Over the past few years, as mainstream circles have fought to embrace Skepta and the likes, she’s remained one of its most trusted sources. Her 2016 book, This Is Grime, is the definitive text when it comes to chronicling the culture’s rise and rise.
This week I learned that merely sitting in my favourite London writing spot and reading a book was a contentious move for a woman.
Books, like earphones, are usually a great indicator that someone doesn’t want to be disturbed. That has always been my understanding at least. But not everyone gets that message, which can lead to uncomfortable situations.
Women are conditioned by society from a young age to be polite and accommodating, especially to men. And so, more often than not, when faced with a man demanding our unsolicited attention, we will look for the least aggressive way to let them down as not to make a scene. This is exactly what I did on Saturday, when a man insisted on buying me a drink.… Read the rest
Trae Crowder uses comedy to disarm people on both sides of the Facebook News Feed. Growing up in a small town on the edge of Tennessee, he felt like a blue dot in a sea of red.
Today he plays a character called the Liberal Redneck who rallies against bigotry and hypocrisy in the South, while also challenging liberal stereotypes of the region.
Crowder had been doing standup comedy for six years before he decided to point a camera at himself, branching into porch rants about Southerners – racking up hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of views in the process.
The 30-year-old has exposed double standards in everything from the way ‘rednecks’ view Black Lives Matter – “This has been framed largely as Black Lives … Read the rest
Three festival insiders share their personal highlights from Secret Garden Party’s humble beginnings, to its acclaim as the granddaddy of luxury festivals.
Laura Thorne, “Where The Wild Things Are” stage, 14-year Secret Garden Party veteran: [My first SGP] I was going as a driver, just someone to give people lifts. It was so secret, really hard to get to, and we travelled miles. When we got there it was just incredible — such an explosion of senses.
Ben DeVere, founder of SGP’s talks and radio station, 12-year veteran: I started off purely as a “fun-buster,” turning up with loads of friends in fancy dress, running a bar and DJ-ing. Then slowly, I got more and more involved and somehow my career became intertwined with the festival.… Read the rest