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Huh? What is it? (House Music)

by on Jan.14, 2011, under The Music, The Musings

Huh? What is it? (House Music)

Dennis Ferrer mixing house music

I was talking to a good friend of mine today…

(He’s like a musicologist. Always ready with some info I would’ve never even had a clue about. He’s the “who played with who when before we even heard of them back when they were like 15” kinda deep.)

about music in general and house in particular.

The conversation started of with a hint of how we “lacked an appreciation” for those chipmunk sounding chics coming with noise and having nothing to say yadda-yadda-yadda….

We eventually talked about music from back in the day.

The early days of hip hop music, vocalists like Chaka, Aretha, Luther, Melle Mel and his fellow furious ones, Patryce Banks, the funk and nothing but the funk, bands and on and on. We talked about famous radio people that broke the hottest music like Crocker, O’jay, Byrd, Higginson, Renee and others. We talked about their influence they and what other influences had on House Music. We talked tossed names like Levan and others. We talked about “traditional” R&B music acts that had tried to cross over via disco and our impressions of the results. Some successful and some spectacular flame outs. We even talked about the disappearance of “The Bands”…

English: Photo of the front of 1520 Sedgwick A...

1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Western Bronx. Kool Herc, generally credited as the originator of hip-hop music, lived and threw his first parties in this building. Photo from July 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I told about how I saw Earth, Wind and Fire disappear off the stage in front of everyone at the concert in such a way that made people put out their joints. We talked about our impressions of the Isleys in concert and of course how many times we experienced P-Funk Live….

Then we got quiet… (Thinking…being introspective…hmmmm)

After a few minutes …

we looked at each other and at the same time asked…

“What happened to all the clubs?!??”

We practically heard crickets in response.

My thoughts drifted to the famous NY clubs from back in “my” day. Nels, The Down Under, The Shelter, Garage and others. Spot sin Brooklyn I’ve passed through and totally enjoyed yet now sadly can’t even remember the names to. We started talking about the artists who would come through and do club dates (too many lip synch‘d but I understand totally).

After few puffs on the minted cigar and Mojito I’d come to enjoy, the question came out…

“So..uhh what is House Music anyway?”

We both cracked up as we fumbled for an explanation. There were so many terms and definitions used to describe, define or confine it. Most have been recited and retold. Just in case, we mumbled through half of them. (Even the infamous..”Music in the house” one.)

After a good laugh and a few sips we just looked at each other I said “#House Music is….”

“…The Shit.” He finished the sentence.

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