Event: Ten Sixty Five festival
Date: October 2-4
Venue: Downtown Mobile, www.tensixtyfive.com
Ten Sixty Five does not want to be known as a simple music festival. The organizers of this new event would rather it be described as a party.
Ten Sixty Five materialized after BayFest was canceled last month. In veritable record time, organizers created an event they hope will keep the streets of downtown Mobile filled with music lovers. This party will be accented by two stages of music, situated at the corners of Dauphin Street and Springhill Avenue and at Dauphin, Conti and North Claiborne streets (Cathedral Square).
Last weekend, organizers announced local favorites Grayson Capps, Jamell Richardson, Infannt Richard and the Delta Stones, Los Colognes, Eric Erdman and Kristy Lee would perform.
To amplify the party vibe, Ten Sixty Five is hosting George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic for its inaugural year. Clinton and his talented troupe will be bringing a set that includes cuts from his latest 33-song effort, “First You Gotta Shake the Gate.” The Godfather of Funk graced Lagniappe with an audience in order to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at the new album and the future of P-Funk.
Stephen Centanni: How does it feel to still be spreading the funk worldwide?
George Clinton: It feels good, man! It’s all I know how to do. I’m just getting started.
Centanni: That’s good news! What’s the best part about getting on stage these days?
Clinton: It’s the new songs. We’ve got a new album out there, and it’s hot. We’ve been around the world over the past three or four months, and it’s going good. There’s new excitement over “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You.” That’s the new song that’s out there. We just released a new version of it with Louie Vega and Kendrick Lamar.
Centanni: How did Kendrick Lamar get involved in that song?
Clinton: Well, he asked me to do his new record “To Pimp a Butterfly” with him. So he returned the favor.
Centanni: What is it about those West Coast rappers who love your music?
Clinton: They’ve made their whole career off of it, you know, Dre and (Ice) Cube. Cube just did the video for the new record, and he’s on there too.
Centanni: That new album is a monster. There’s like 33 tracks on it, right?
Clinton: Yep, 33 tracks.
Centanni: What was it like putting that amount of material together? How did you come up with all that?
Clinton: I’ve done a lot of songs over the years, but most of these I’ve done in the last year before that. I would do one and keep it for the day I put a new Funkadelic out. I always kept one or two songs, even when I was putting other records out. I knew that I would put a Funkadelic record out one day and wanted to save some of them, so I did.
Centanni: What did the band think about it when you came to them with a 33-song album?
Clinton: Nobody paid no attention to me. They thought I was acting crazy again. I just took my time and did it. Once it was done, everybody was really surprised. They were like, “Damn! You did 33 tracks!” We had everybody on there. We had Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and Sly Stone. Yea, and nobody paid no attention to it (chuckles).
Centanni: I hear you’re bringing “First You Gotta Shake the Gate” out on vinyl.
Clinton: Yeah, it came out on vinyl yesterday.
Centanni: What made you want to give it the vinyl treatment?
Clinton: To me, that’s always the hottest sh*t. It’s got more bite to it when it’s on vinyl. It’s real clean when it’s on digital, but that warmth you get from the vinyl is just not there. Even when hip-hoppers sample it, it sounds better when they sample it off a record as opposed to a CD. Now that it’s out there, it’s on now.
Centanni: What’s you say is your favorite part of the new album?
Clinton: There’s 33 songs on it that I was able to take my time with and work on. For all the different eras that we’ve been through over the years — I got songs from each one of those eras and styles, from Motown to Funkadelic to “Knee Deep” and “One Nation” era style to today’s style. I got my grandkids writing with me, and they’re all pretty good.
Centanni: How does it feel to see the family carrying on the tradition?
Clinton: Well, I mean, that was a surprise to me. Tra’zae (Clinton) was always doing it, but all of a sudden, all of the grandkids started out of nowhere. They’re fans of all the people we’ve played with. Most of them who grew up around me, they were never excited about anything we did. They knew everybody in the band, so that was like their uncles and things. All of a sudden out of nowhere, they got totally interested in what we were doing and went out on the road with me.
Centanni: The public is starting to see younger funk bands emerge onto the scene, especially in the South. You’ve got these young white kids putting together these awesome funk outfits and taking it to the next level. They all cite you as an influence.
Clinton: That’s what I was hoping would happen. In the ‘60s when the white kids picked up on the blues and rock ‘n’ roll from the ‘50s, I knew that sooner or later they would pick up on Motown and funk and that would be their main thing. Then, you know, the (Red Hot) Chili Peppers had that funk-rock style of heavy metal with the rock music they did. Now you’ve got these young, white kids that are loving all the old stuff we did like “Free Your Mind” and “Standing on the Verge.” I’m glad of that. That’s what I was hoping for.
Centanni: The first time I saw you was in the mid-’90s at Lollapalooza, and I’ve seen you five or six times since then. It blows my mind that some people have never witnessed a live P-Funk show. For those few people, how would you describe it to someone who have never seen you before?
Clinton: It’s a three-ring circus of entertainment and music from the last 50 years. It’s all styles of music. Parliament Funkadelic is all of those eras at one time. You see a little bit of everything. With or without a Mothership, it’s that same experience. You feel like you’re in church.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3-4 starting at 3 p.m.
Venue: Tag Bar and Lounge, 105 N. Jackson St., 251-341-7792
What began as a small evening event on BayFest weekend quickly expanded into a two-day festival. Tag Bar and Lounge and local hip-hop artist Spank Lee were already collaborating on a “hip-hop lounge” to showcase local musical acts not featured in the BayFest line-up. When BayFest was canceled, Tag Bar and Lounge saw an opportunity and DayFest quickly was born.
According to DayFest publicist Erica Perkins (EPintheCity), the mission of DayFest is to give local jazz, R&B, gospel and hip-hop artists a chance to expand their listening audience.
“There were some rumblings in the community that maybe BayFest didn’t have a line-up that would attract a diverse population, age-wise,” Perkins said. “Once BayFest was canceled, we saw an opportunity to create a platform that would allow local artists to perform and the community to enjoy the type of music that they love.”
The area around Tag Bar and Lounge will serve as the festival grounds. Perkins describes the event as a “two-day music festival/day party.” There will be “a nice stage with great sound and lighting,” Perkins said. She encourages those attending to bring lawn chairs, and said Tag will be open for drink purchases and bathroom use. Don’s Catering will be on hand, offering food for purchase. Perkins says the festival is geared toward creating a pleasant experience for all in attendance.
Saturday will start with a mix of artists respectively focused on gospel, jazz and blues. The night will heat up with DayFest’s collection of local R&B artists. Sunday will feature local rap and hip-hop artists, with two labels presenting their lineups. BMB is bringing Spank Lee, Bankroll Boogie, It’s BJ and Narley Marley to the DayFest stage. King’s Tomb will be represented by Illa the Great, J-Roots and Hobo the Great. The line-up also includes performances from Elijah McCreary, JSimon, Bianca Clarke and many more. A plethora of DJs will be mixing and mashing, including Nick at Nite, Rodski, Stretcher, Tech, Loot, KO, Smooth, Octoba, Money Mic, Mick and Rico Roc. With this line-up of local talent, Perkins and Tag believe DayFest is the ultimate way to support local music.
“This is an opportunity for Mobilians to celebrate local artists,” Perkins said. “We hope the community embraces the world-class talent Tag has [booked] and DayFest as the optimum location to celebrate music and culture on the Gulf Coast next weekend.