J’s Deep Cuts 003: ‘The Song is Familiar’ by Funkadelic

It’s Friday, time to kick back and get in your feelings.
This week our bud and Made By artist @artwithjosh wrote about a song he thinks ‘can totally work as the soundtrack to your own little pity party.’

This track came out in 1975 on the album ‘Let’s Take it to the Stage.’ I wish I had any clue who sang it and what their deal was, because I usually like to share that sort of info, but I can’t decipher this:
Vocals: “Cool” Cal Simon, ‘Bad Bosco’, C ‘Boogie’ Mosson, Garry “Dowop” Shider
Bass Vocals: “Sting” Ray Davis
Genie Vocals: “Shady” Grady Thomas
Werewolf Vocals: Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins
Maggot Overlord: George Clinton

“There is a song, that I sing, whenever I’m sad, feeling bad
There is a place, in my head, that I go when I’m feeling low…
There’s a quiet place… all you gotta do is space…”

People have been looking, more and more, for stuff to watch, or listen to while we all wait to see what the hell is going to happen next. Music to help keep calm, music that allows us to process everything. I’ll take an entire day off of looking at the news lately, because it’s so overwhelming and I have no idea what news outlets to even trust.

I think it’s okay to allow yourself a little time to just wallow. Like really feel sorry for everyone and yourself and the world. Who cares? Don’t do it all day, obviously, but just give yourself a little time to feel your feelings.

This song is a little over 3 minutes long and can totally work as the soundtrack to your own little pity party.

As a band, Funkadelic are so hit or miss for me, it’s insane. Songs like “Biological Speculation”, this one, and “Maggot Brain” are beautiful, emotional, heavy songs that I would put up there with any other soul classics. The other like 99% of their music is funk about shaking ass. No exaggeration, it’s mostly, literally songs about shaking ass. The song IMMEDIATELY following this song has the line “I hate that word called ‘pussy’ cause it sounds so awful squishy”, so that’s obviously not great.

The thing that actually drew me to Funkadelic (I don’t like funk, so their name alone was a turn off) was the beyond cool album art by Pedro Bell, who sadly passed away last summer.

The pacing and mood of the song is hopeful. I feel like I’m setting things up in a way that would make you think this song is going to be a real emotional bruiser but it has a steady, forward moving feel to it. “The Song is Familiar” is a song about losing someone or something- distancing yourself – and just retreating into your own head. Completely caving into yourself as a means of processing what the hell just happened. Being alone. Having a song to sing to yourself when you’re feeling awful. There isn’t much seeding around to do with this song, the lyrics are literal and the point is clear.

It’s helped me to take a couple minutes to have a “This seriously fucking sucks, I’m sad” moment, every now and again. You might benefit from just really feeling that too. I’m not trying to be preachy, at all – but once you accept that, yes, things are very shitty right now, you can sort of free yourself up to focus on “what can I actually do to make things better”. Listen to The Song is Familiar, it’s 3 minutes long, and feel your feelings.

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