Get Your Go-Go On Tonight at Prophet Bar.
For years now, I've been extolling the virtues of the Prophet Bar's regular Wednesday night bashes, in which various members of the Dallas hip-hop, jazz, funk and gospel communities, many of them Grammy winners affiliated with area luminaries Erykah Badu and Kirk Franklin, gather for a live on-stage jam session that, somehow, manages to blow minds week after week, despite the formula never really changing.
There really is no doubt about it, and, if you've been, then you'll agree: Apologies to the many other great weeklies in the region, but the Wednesday Night Jam is the best weekly in town. And, to be honest, it's not even that close of a competition.
How could it be?
In just the past few months alone, Badu has shown up unannounced on a number of occasions. Other times in recent memory, members of Parliament Funkadelic have hopped on and joined in on the fun. And, in years past, the likes of Bun B, Raheem DeVaughn, Talib Kweli and countless others have contributed their copious talents to the blend.
Here's the crazy thing about those magical moments when recognized, out-of-town talents join the fold: They don't overshadow the other performers. Often times, actually, they struggle to keep up.
It's an intimidating prospect, really. Ask the members of California rock outfit Young The Giant if you need verification. Last November, when the band was in town to perform a string of free, promotional shows for a new Windows phone, the band members found their way to one of the Wednesday night jams, where their mouths sat agape for at least their first hour in the room. Later, the members talked a big game about getting up on stage and joining in on the action themselves — only to, eventually, relent, realizing that they couldn't really hang, at least not in an improvisational sense, with the musicians in the room.
Point is, it's a spectacle you really do need to see for yourself. And tonight's event, although something of a special and, thus, different affair than what you'll normally see at this weekly event, should make for a fine first foray.
Rather than take place within its normal confines of the Prophet Bar's small room, tonight's event will be bumped over to the complex's big room — and for good reason.
Snoop Lion and Erykah Badu musical director R.C. Williams and his Gritz band, who normally helm the night's affairs, will be joined tonight by fellow Grammy winner and regular jam session contributor Shaun Martin, who will be celebrating his birthday.
Martin will be bringing his Go-Go band to the stage with him. And that, my friends, is something you want to see.
Last time I caught one of Martin's Go-Go performances, which happen maybe three or four times a year, he and his band played for two hours straight, without breaks, and at a breakneck pace, constantly keeping the energy of the room around them at its maximum capacity as they offered up a saucy, Texas-battered take the Washington, D.C.-bred musical style that incorporates elements of gospel, funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B and copious call-and-response into a salacious street blend and all-out dance party. The whole room was going crazy.
It was an incredible experience — just as tonight's affair should also be.
Oh, and DJ Jay*Clipp, one of the finest DJs in the city, will also be in the building, spinning classic hip-hop jams between sets, as he does each and every Wednesday.
Doors open at 9. We'll be there by 9:15. Hopefully we'll see you, too.