A question for the Group Mind

I was just talking to jonpants about, among other things, a childrens book called Mr. Bump. And I thought that this might be a band name! But, it would be the name of a bad white funk band that plays Tuesday nights in bars.

And then I realized that every job I’ve had, just about, there has been one employee in one of those horrible white funk bands. And that employee always posts flyers for this band everywhere, and sooner or later you end up going, and they play songs like “Love Rollercoaster” and “Play that Funky Music” and do so very badly and you’re there to support Dave from Medical Records, and it’s hell.

Does anyone have any good analysis of this situation? I mean, that is so fucked-up.

3 thoughts on “A question for the Group Mind

  1. DISCLAIMER: I have no idea what I am talking about really, but I believe what follows makes sense. Nevertheless, I am speculating.
    My parents and their siblings (in the 50s and 60s) danced Jitterbug and other Swing forms (couples dancing). These forms are American modifications of the Cha-cha. The kids in Cuba saw what the Americans had done with Cha-cha and re-Latinized it into Mambo.
    This probably all happened before my parents were born. Point is that for a long time couples dancing was dominant, and there’s a history of American kids adapting Latin forms and Cuban kids modifying American forms. This is how Disco happenened.
    It had to do with a Latin chic interacting with a “new” style of dancing that recognized couples but didn’t require them, so we went from American couple-styles like Jitterbug, Jive, Swing, Rock-n-Roll, to Latin couple-styles of dance like the mambo, lambada, chacha, etc to the Latin-influenced couple-style called hustle (danced to Disco and some Madonna).
    If you notice how little swing music resembles Cha-cha or Mambo music, Disco dancing becomes more believable as a Latin-influenced form. Additional evidence surfaces in the 80s and 90s when Madonna begins her reign — if a Madonna song isn’t a Hustle, it’s probably a Cha-cha.
    From these Latin-influenced couple styles emerged line dance forms such as THE Hustle, the hully-gully, the bump, etc. I think probably “dance” movies with large production numbers (think FAME and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) celebrated this. I would like to believe that the earlier movies helped CAUSE it.
    I’m not sure the right kind of Latin influence exists anymore. Nowadays it’s much cooler to be other things.
    Although much of Madonna is Latin-influenced, the particular Latin influence that enabled songs like CAR WASH and PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC etc disappeared a long time ago. You can see the disappearance happen by watching John Travolta movies. His early career basically ENDED with STAYING ALIVE (the sequel to SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) because Disco’s moment had gone. He did some stuff between that and PULP FICTION, but he was a minor player for about 15 years. Nostalgia gave him back to us in the 90s, and he used that opportunity to redefine himself as an action hero rather than a skinny dance-punk.
    But Mr Bump would be a GREAT name for a disco cover band some day. I’m not certain the day will ever arrive when it could be done without irony.

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