Look away, non-music fans.
I went to church Friday night. Instead of a pristine chapel with plush carpet and an elaborate pulpit, I went to a dingy room with floors and pews made of wood, with the smell of stale tobacco and hops permeating the air.
The preacher wasn't dressed in a 3 piece suit. He was wearing black pinstriped pants with a white tux shirt buttoned down about half way. The choir was made of fat old guys, well past their prime, but still by far the best at what they do.
The congregation was receptive to the message. Most sang along with every song the choir sang. At one point, despite the booming sound system, you could hear 3 part harmony in the congregation.
Some in the congregation sat quietly with an unerasable smile on their face. Some bounced around as the spirit manifested within them. A few lit hash and filled the room with the same funky odor that is so pungent right outside the chapel on the streets of the Vieux Carre. At one point, two faithful attendees came to blows jockeying for position as they tried to nudge their way closer to the stage.
Two hours into the service, the pastor and choir did their dead level best to end it, but the parishioners weren't having it. They came back out and continued the revival into the night, with an encore almost as long as the service.
Since I picked up my first horn- a student model Conn alto sax in 4th grade- I have wanted to see 3 groups- Earth Wind and Fire (that's one group, not three ...), Chicago, and Tower of Power. Friday, after 17 years, I finally put a check in one of those boxes when I saw Tower of Power at House of Blues.
If ears could orgasm, I wouldn't have made it past the second tune. See, they use these crazy things foreign to most music these days:
Not to mention the funk. If you can sit still during any of those three groups, you need to check your pulse. At the concert, I saw William Hung and Darva Conger grinding up by the bar. If they can do it ...
The concert was everything I hoped it would be and more. If you get a chance to see these guys live, you owe it to yourself to do so.
Earth Wind and Fire are currently touring with Chicago, so this summer I will hit their show and then stop listening to music altogether. Too many Britneys, Jessicas, and Ushers (yes, Ushers) to count. The funny thing is, most the "artists" these days were directly influenced by groups like the ones I mentioned, who were all influenced in some way or another by James Brown. While I'm not a big "godfather of soul" fan, I see and hear his influence in just about all R&B, pop, and especially rap music today.
The sad thing is, most the artists themselves don't.
I feel like quitting today. I'm hopelessly behind in school and it's finals week. I've been a crappy husband and father lately, my work is slipping and I've become extremely complacent in all things "Marine." Basically, I am becoming the very person I used to despise. The easy answer is to resign myself to the fact that I don't care any more and wallow in my newfound substandardness. See? Now I'm even making up words.
That would be the easy thing to do. I know I will eventually stop thinking/acting/feeling this way, but for now I have no desire to improve myself.