Music » Livewire

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

Thursday, September 13, at House of Blues.

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Had he retired 25 years ago, 67-year-old George Clinton would still be considered one of the most singular figures in modern music history. He is more than the man behind dance-floor anthems like "Flash Light" and "Atomic Dog," more than one of the most sampled artists ever, more than a guy whose colorful, sci-fi-inspired garb continues to define the phrase "letting your freak flag fly." He is, quite simply, one of the most important performers in terms of creating and spreading the funk -- second only to James Brown.

Clinton, of course, has yet to bow out, or even come close. The Mothership he piloted during P-Funk's salad days in the '70s continues to rocket through space. And the ship still contains, besides Clinton, some of its original crew, like guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight and vocalist-songwriter Garry "Doo-Wop" Shider, whose trademark diaper belies his prodigious talent.

The old lines between Parliament and Funkadelic are completely blurred nowadays. And remember, the division was artificial to begin with, yet another Clinton innovation: renaming what was essentially the same band and signing it to a different label. All that's left is a show that contains up to four hours of funk and is still not to be missed.

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