Sunday, September 10, 2006

Funk, Folk, and Polka.

We all need to get funky sometimes. And sometimes, we all need to get funky. However, settling for formulaic white boy faux-funk is no way to go. Funk without soul is barely funk at all. This is why Tower of Power is so necessary. They've been funking around since the late 60's, and are still active today. But I regret to say I only have a few samples from the 90's. I'd recommend checking out their earlier work, since it is said to be their best.

Tower of Power - Soul With a Capital "S"
Tower of Power - Souled Out
Tower of Power - Mama Lied

When the folk music comes to mind, it usually isn't paired with post-rock and metal. However, Portland based quartet Agalloch has combined all three. Besides the bizarre genre fusion, Agalloch deserves recognition for the power their music commands; it can be beautiful, it can be unsettling and harsh, and it can be heavy. By sweeping through explosive riffs, acoustic medleys, heavy drums, dark rasping vocals, and piano passages with a soft synth string acommpaniment, the band creates a sense of atmosphere that few could hope to achieve. Agalloch stands out as a unique musical experience.

Agalloch - Limbs
Agalloch's Myspace
Agalloch's Home Page

While T.O.P. is funky, and Agalloch is unique, Finntroll is a completely different beast. Another example if bizarre genre fusion, finntroll have combined the harsh vocals and grinding guitars common to black metal with a form of finnish polka. That being said, they also like to dress up like trolls in music videos and play fake acoustic looking instruments. There is a linked example below, but first a bit more foreplay. It may be difficult to justify taking something like this seriously, until you hear it. They polish it, coat it in a harsh, catchy, brilliantly technical performance, and make you want to jig-mosh. Yes. Jig-mosh. At times you will want to dance a jig, and at other times you may have this bizarre urge to smash someones face into pavement. The musical beast that is finntroll amuses, entertains, and makes one want to raise a glass.

Finntroll - Trollhammaren(music video)
Finntroll - Ursvamp
Finntroll's Myspace

P.S. Fight the system.

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