Brick House for the Year 2006: I need suggestions for party music, please.
November 18, 2006 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Funk Music for the year 2006: I need suggestions for party music.

I'm making some CDs for a big birthday party. The general direction for the music is 70s-style funk and R&B. Okay, so I've got all the basics from that era: The Commodores, Parliament, Earth Wind & Fire, Ohio Players, Isaac Hayes, etc. That part's pretty standard. You know, a bunch of over-educated white thirty-somethings gettin' wild on the weekend.

What I'd like to do though is mix in some contemporary stuff that fits in with this genre. I'm trying to avoid having the music be just a time warp to 1976 but I want to stay in the groovy, funky, get-down vibe. So what current music/groups/artists should I be checking out that convey a similar sense?

My collection of Belle & Sebastian, Radiohead, Neko Case, and Broken Social Scene is not offering a lot of help.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I may be biased, but I think that Pocket Change is fantastic (they are almost all current or former music students at my school). Definitely check out some of their stuff - it fits your description perfectly..
posted by rossination at 7:55 PM on November 18, 2006

brick house; play that funky music (white boy); Strokin (clarence carter); All right now; black betty; sweet home alabama; call me the breeze, simple man (lots more skynyrd); eric clapton--cocaine, tears in heaven, MUSTANG SALLY!;

Your momma don't dance and your daddy don't rock n roll; Keep your hands to yourself; Life's been good (Joe walsh--speaking of him--The Eagles have some great party songs--Hotel California); MAGGIE MAY (Rod Stewart); Old time Rock and Roll, Night Moves (Bob Seger); soul Man

Joy to the World; Yakety Yak, sugar shack; What I like about you; Hold on loosely; Listen to the Music; Hot Rod Lincoln, Doctor Doctor (Robert Palmer); Ballroom Blitz;

This only subset but some of the better party songs (I've done a lot of sound at parties--so hope it goes well)
posted by uncballzer at 7:59 PM on November 18, 2006

Perhaps some Prince? "Gett Off", "P Control", "Sexy M.F." and "Alphabet St." are all tunes that tend to be hits at parties.
posted by JT at 8:14 PM on November 18, 2006

You know, Lionel Richie and Rob Zombie did a cover of Brick House. It was nothing short of iconoclastic.
posted by duffell at 8:19 PM on November 18, 2006

You may want to put in a few Prince tracks: Let's Go Crazy, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Kiss, and many others.

Maybe not funky enough, but you might want to check out Lauryn Hill and the band, The Fugees. They both have a lot of great songs.

The song Jungle Love by The Time is pretty funky too.

The song Me, Myself, and I, by De La Soul is a little rappy, but funky too, and makes you want to dance.

The B-52's can be kind of funky, but not really R&B.

I could give you lots of dance inducing music, but that's what I can think of off hand that is funky. Have fun at your party--sounds great.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:23 PM on November 18, 2006

Best answer: Oh! Also check out bumpus, the ugly but awesomely funky white boy Har Mar Superstar, Justin Timberlake's first album is a great, danceable guilty pleasure of many, and perhaps toss on Beck's Midnight Vultures album.
posted by JT at 8:30 PM on November 18, 2006

What about Jamiroquai? They're certainly pretty strongly influenced by direction you mention. And Canned Heat could incite a Napoleon Dynamite dance face-off....
posted by forallmankind at 8:32 PM on November 18, 2006

Oooh, this is my kind of party music! How about:

'Debra' by Beck
'If You Can Want' and 'Your Love Belongs Under A Rock' by Dirtbombs
'Too Hot' by Fun Lovin Criminals
pretty much any song from David Holmes' "David Holmes presents the Free Association" album, especially '(I wish I had a) Wooden Heart'

Do you want to stick to the same exact vibe as the 70's tracks you've chosen or do you want songs that offer a little contrast but play well with the others?
posted by QueSeraSera at 8:46 PM on November 18, 2006

Best answer: You're in luck. I've been research this sorts of stuff like crazy lately:

You must play Chris Joss the funkiest frenchman to ever live. Seriously. This cat will groove you silly. Your description matches this gent exactly. Favorites of mine are:

* Wrong Turn Street (Part 3 is amazing)
* Drink Me Hot
* Discoteque Dancing
* The Gnomes

Then check out Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings for some NYC funksters who apparently didn't get the memo that everyone else had moved on to souless derivative imitations of the 70's. These guys are the real deal.

I'll second Jamiroquai.

Ursula 1000.
posted by phrontist at 8:49 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

How about one of The Herbaliser's Mix cd's?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:50 PM on November 18, 2006

More to the electro side check out Basement Jaxx (the single Red Alert comes to mind). Some Daft Punk may fit the bill ("Da Funk").

Groups that play well with this, but aren't funk:
Boozoo Bajou, Fela Kuti, and Koop.
posted by phrontist at 8:57 PM on November 18, 2006

Herbie Hancock.
posted by phrontist at 8:58 PM on November 18, 2006

Hot Chip!
posted by 31d1 at 9:13 PM on November 18, 2006

Response by poster: phrontist:
That Chris Joss really is it! Very much what I'm after. Thanks for the suggestion. Sharon Jones is awesome but I think channeling the 70s too directly for what I'm after.

queserasera: Do you want to stick to the same exact vibe as the 70's tracks you've chosen or do you want songs that offer a little contrast but play well with the others?

I'm looking for stuff that updates the sound from the 70s to a more modern/perhaps electro sensibiliity. So, either is fine, actually. It's gotta be danceable.

Oh yeah, Basement Jaxx. That's a good idea.

JT: Harmar Superstar sounds really good too.

Prince? Nah. I really want stuff from within the last 5 years. Really trying to avoid being all "oldies."
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:14 PM on November 18, 2006

The new Justin Timberlake LP is so incredible and funky that words literally can't describe it.
posted by maxreax at 9:18 PM on November 18, 2006

Pepe Deluxe. Check out their song "Salami Fever." Seriously.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2006

Best answer: I think you might like Skeewiff. And Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are fantastic.
posted by sculpin at 9:41 PM on November 18, 2006

Incubus - Battlestar Scratchlactica
posted by phrontist at 9:44 PM on November 18, 2006

If Chris Joss is on the money, grab a copy of Loungemeister by Ugress.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:49 PM on November 18, 2006

The new Prince album is pretty sweet - "Fury" in particular..

(cuz you said you wanted new stuff, jsut wanted to point out that there is new prince that's pretty good)
posted by davey_darling at 10:53 PM on November 18, 2006

These are more mid-90's, but not well known (AFAIK).

Brand New Heavies

Raw Stylus
posted by nonmyopicdave at 11:06 PM on November 18, 2006

Cornershop's Handcream for a New Generation album.
posted by nicwolff at 11:19 PM on November 18, 2006

Kool and the Gang - Get Down On It
Kool and the Gang - Ladies Night
Kool and the Gang - uh whatever else you can find
posted by bobobox at 12:13 AM on November 19, 2006

if chris joss is the right sound, try a night at the playboy mansion by dimitri from paris - give track 7 a listen. (note: not after the playboy mansion, which is kinda crappy by comparison). also one of the earlier records by dj dan, funk the system is awesome.

both of these are a little faster, but i think they've got the same kind of vibe. (dj dan more so, it's more funk-inspired house than anything. they are also from about 5-6 years ago, so if you really want it to be "2006" you might choose something else, but they are 2 of my favorite records and never fail to get my ass movin'.)

you might also go for music to make love to your old lady by which has a little more of a porn-y sound that works really well.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:01 AM on November 19, 2006

oh, also martin solveig.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:11 AM on November 19, 2006

Response by poster: Hmmm. Martin Solveig is too typical club music. Not bad but doesn' t have the groove. Lovage - doesn't have the booty shakin' effect I'm after.
That Dimitri from Paris track is a good one and I think Ugress might work.

Yes on the Skeewiff, too. That's an awfully funky version of Man of Constant Sorrow.

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions. I guess what I've learned is if it has the organ (Hammond?) than it's usually in.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:37 AM on November 19, 2006

You might want to have a look at Nightmares on Wax, particularly Smoker's Delight. And I'm seconding Skeewiff just for that version of Man of Constant Sorrow; actually on second look, the remix currently on their website isn't their original and isn't as good.

If you want to branch out a little, might I suggest a spot of Salmonella Dub, particularly Inside the Dubplates. Dorfmeister's Different Drummer Selection is pretty good, as is Kruder & Dorfmeister's K&D Sessions. Maybe Fat Freddy's Drop, the Gilles Peterson Journeys by DJ or even Massive Attack? Some of Quantic and Thievery Corporation can be good.

Much of Amon Tobin is a bit of a stretch - overly percussive - but tracks 2 (Bridge) and 7 (Switch) of Permutation sound like they're right up your alley. See also the Hotel Costes series; that makes for great party music, likewise the So Frenchy So Chic compilation.
posted by polyglot at 3:02 AM on November 19, 2006

Beastie Boys' "The in sound from way out" is a classic of groovy chilled-out funk instrumentals.
posted by jchgf at 3:40 AM on November 19, 2006

Little Barrie.
posted by armoured-ant at 4:25 AM on November 19, 2006

DJ Greyboy, most heartily.

Freestylin' is my all-time favorite ubiquitous "Hey, what's this cool music called?" party album.
[samples : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2006

Check out the Breakestra, the previously-mentioned Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Poets of Rhythm, all of whom play a fairly traditional kind of funk revival music.

If you'd like to go further afield, there's a lot of funk crossover these days with both jazz (e.g., Galactic, Garage a Trois) and Afrobeat (e.g., Antibalas, Nomo).

There's also a whole huge world of '70s funk that you're missing (Headhunters! RAMP! Magnum!), but it doesn't sound like that's what you're asking about.
posted by box at 7:14 AM on November 19, 2006

I would say Ozomatli's first album would fit the bill, something like say "Cut Chemist Suite."

Definitely Beck's faux-funk is among the best.

I agree with Box about the funk-revival and faux-afrobeat stuff, though you might as well just use the real thing. Fela Kuti can rock pretty much any party. Sharon Jones, etc, may actually be a bit tooooo retro for you, but listen and decide for yourself.

How do you feel about hip-hop? DJ Quik ("Pitch in on a Party" is a fave of mine), Digital Underground (practically anything), other funky West Coast hip-hop stalwarts like Suga Free, Kokane, etc. would fit pretty perfectly. Of course Chronic-era G-Funk would work perfectly as well, but that might be too old for your criteria.

If you've got access to illegal download stuff or a good record store... check out Sa-Ra Creative Partners, they're pretty much exactly what you're describing (contemporary, a bit more electro version of heavy funk). They haven't released any LPs, but their singles and demos aren't too hard to find. Maybe "Double Dutch"/"Death of a Star".

The new Sleepy Brown album has a lot of stuff you might like. I also thought the newest Prince record had some great stuff that fits the bill -- "Fury," "Lolita," "Black Sweat."

Speaking of Dungeon Family, Cee-Lo's first two solo albums are full of stuff like this. They just put out a cash-in greatest hits that's worth copping for this purpose.

Also, the Purple Ribbon compilations (that's Big Boi from Outkast's label) have some stuff on them that would work wonderfully. Scar's "U Got Me," Janelle Monae's "Lettin' Go," Sleepy's "Me, My Baby & My Cadillac."

Los Amigos Invisibles are a good choice if you're willing to go in a slightly housier, Latin direction. And I do mean slightly, they're mostly disco-funk. Their album Arepa 3000 is one you can pretty much just play front to back.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:45 AM on November 19, 2006

James Lidell probably would work well. And I'm surprised no one has mentioned Gnarls Barkley, which is ubiquitous, but appropriate.
posted by Falconetti at 9:57 AM on November 19, 2006

Response by poster: DJ Greyboy is a little too jazzy cool for the party but I do like him.
DJ Quik: Too chill.
Beck will mix in well, I think. He's defintiely mining the vein that I'm thinking of.
Looks like I'm going to spend a bit more time downloading and reviewing but these are all great. Not all of them are right for the party but most everything is something I'll want to listen at some point!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:03 AM on November 19, 2006

There's also Out Hud's first album, which was funky instrumentals. Or iff you can grab a copy of anything by The Elevations, a soul revival group out of Detroit that broke up about a year ago.
Nomo rocks a party, as can !!! (who share members with Out Hud, or did). There's also pretty much everything on the Ubiquity label.
posted by klangklangston at 10:06 AM on November 19, 2006

Best answer: Double Dutch Bus by Frankie Smith. If you hadn't included it yet. Also, the full version of Sanford and Son by Quincy Jones is quite the funky number.

The occasional well done mashup is usually fun at a party, might I suggest Papa Was a Rolling Stone vs. Jumping Jack Flash?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:41 AM on November 19, 2006

Response by poster: Slarty Bartfast: LOVE that mash-up!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2006

More mainstream, but John Legend has some funky tracks. Also Anthony Hamilton (I love "Cornbread, Fish, and Collard Greens" from "Coming From Where I'm From").

And OutKast, of course.
posted by CiaoMela at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2006

the full version of Sanford and Son by Quincy Jones is quite the funky number.

Best. Bass. Harmonica. Ever.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 12:37 PM on November 19, 2006

Sounds like Maktub might be right up your alley.
posted by Vervain at 2:50 PM on November 19, 2006

A band I used to play in had some pretty fonky stuff - a few sample tracks here, B3 in both. Not the danciest tracks we did, but I would have to dig up the CDs to find better ones:
posted by SNACKeR at 4:37 PM on November 19, 2006

the full version of Sanford and Son by Quincy Jones is quite the funky number.

Streetbeater. It's called the Streetbeater.

Second the Brand New Heavies.

Drop the Parliament, stick with the Funkadelic, or alternately, get the pre-Funk album First Thangs (aka The Early Years)
posted by Pollomacho at 11:51 PM on November 19, 2006

I just want to say how much I've been enjoying my new Chris Joss collection. Thanks much to those who suggested it in this thread.
posted by Exchequer at 4:17 PM on May 28, 2007

« Older How do I speak like a normal person?   |   How to use Quicken if you're an unmarried couple Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.