Like many punk teens growing up in Virginia in the eighties, I discovered this DC-rooted genre of black American music by accident—a go-go band opened up for a hardcore group I'd traveled from Richmond to DC to see. But it just took once to fall under the spell of that heavy, funky beat.
Chuck Brown, in short, was everything there was to love about music in D.C. He made his mark as the Godfather of Go-Go with 'Bustin Loose' before I was born and was basically rocking up until his health no longer allowed him to. When news of his hospitalization hit a few weeks ago, I remember telling a colleague that if they drove his body through the streets of D.C., it would be a spectacle similar to a presidential inauguration. Now, I wish I'd never spoke it.
It's impossible to really compare Chuck Brown to anyone because he had no equal on D.C.'s music scene. Surely, you could recall greats like Duke Ellington and Marvin Gaye, but Chuck embodied the people the way no artist ever has, or likely will ever be able to.
Wall Street Journal music critic Jim Fusilli tweeted last month that “Talking to [Chuck] in DC is like talking to Elvis in Memphis." If you don't know anything about Brown, that should tell you everything.
Brown died today at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, MD, where he had been under treatment for pneumonia since April 18. The cause of death, according to local news reports: multiorgan failure due to sepsis.
William Onyeabor, the Nigerian musician who pioneered African electro-funk in the 1970s, has died. He was 70-years-old. Onyeabor’s music experienced a resurgence in recent years thanks to the Luaka Bop label’s reissues of his deeply groovy albums. From Luaka Bop: It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we have to announce that the great Nigerian […]
From the Kubo and the Two Strings soundtrack, this hauntingly gorgeous cover of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by Regina Spektor who kindly said the following in an interview a few years back: “I love Boing Boing. It’s cool because the site is filled with curated information all about science, art and culture […]
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