Agony Shorthand

Monday, February 10, 2003
DAP DIPPIN'....After reading frothing bits about SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS for months in the pages of Mojo and elsewhere, I decided to give them a shot. They were getting the good hype as “NYC Soul Sensations” and “true to a sho’nuff deep funk vibe” etc etc. Well, damn if it ain’t true, “doggfatha”! I downloaded a handful of tracks this past weekend, and have to report that this is some excellent 1972-style raw, hard, get-on-the-good-foot funk, played with whomping bass, screaming horns, and of course a full-on soul diva with a deep, brassy voice. Seriously, you throw the tracks I heard on a compilation like Downtown Soulville or Pow City! and no one thinks twice. What’s great about the Dap Kings is that this sort of music can be pretty much enjoyed by everyone – record dorks, weekend clubnighters, people who boogie in front of mirrors, big-city newspaper music critics, over-opinionated web loggers, your mom, etc. Seems like well done soul/funk, even this harder-edged, wailing stuff, attracts a wide crowd simply by virtue of that beat – or the “one” as Bootsy Collins and James Brown used to call their unique, off-time beat signature – the rhythm pattern that essentially invented what we now call funk. I mean, who doesn’t dig James Brown?? Who? Nobody, that’s who. Even the suburban beer hogs at Giants’ baseball games just love shaking their cans to Mr. Brown whenever he comes on the PA system between batters. You just can’t help it.

Anyway, this Sharon Jones stuff is going to draw some crowds. She’s bringing the crew to my town this weekend for what I’m sure will be a sweaty, booze-drenched good time. We have the brother-in-law & his girlfriend in town from Boston, so this might be something of a tough sell, but I’m thinking I’ll have them busting a few Dap Kings moves by 1am Sunday morning. In the meantime, get yourself a little Dap Kings on Kazaa or better yet, on the new debut CD, Dap Dippin’.