What The Funk

Of music and magic

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I’ve known Wild Buffalo owner Craig Jewell long enough to understand that those who underestimate him, do so at their peril. He seems a lot like a really easygoing guy who likes to have the best time possible under any and all circumstances—and he definitely is that—but he’s also capable of engineering miraculous acts, and they seem to happen on a fairly regular basis.

Even so, talking George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic into playing a Sun., March 25 show at the Wild Buffalo was some kind of crazy magic, even for Jewell.

Usually when I ask him how he pulls off such feats, Jewell just shrugs and says he “emailed them a bunch of times.” 

Those must be some messages. Forget Hillary Clinton. I want to know what’s in Craig Jewell’s emails.

Whatever he promised and whomever he promised it to, George Clinton, funk pioneer, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and one of the most influential musicians alive, will appear onstage at the Wild Buffalo and my brain is still vacillating between not quite being able to believe it and really wanting to know what’s in the band’s rider.

As expected, even with a higher-than-usual ticket price, the show sold out in the blink of an eye. So, if you’re just finding out about it now, my sincere apologies, but it would seem that you are funked. (Yes, I hate myself for that terrible joke.)

He may be the biggest thing to happen to the Buffalo since, well, ever, but he’s not the only thing happening there during the coming days. In fact, there’s a lot of music to be had before we become one nation under a groove.

They’re three singing sisters named after the town in eastern Oregon where their grandfather lived. They’re Joseph, and needless to say, they’re not your standard-issue singer/songwriters. At first, only one of the trio had designs on a career in music, but when someone suggested that her heart wasn’t fully in it, she realized she wanted to make her music a family affair. After some initial reluctance, the siblings ironed out their sound, and now all three share not only harmonies, but also songwriting duties. They’ll play an early show, at 7pm Wed., March 21 at the Buffalo.

If you’re looking to get a case of musical whiplash, attend the Joseph show Wednesday and then come back the next night, on Thurs., March 22, for Metalachi. They are the self-proclaimed “world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band” and even if I didn’t have a dual affinity for metal and mariachi, I would be won over by the deep and ridiculous lore surrounding the “five bastard children” that were the result of their mother spending an “innocent night of snorting horse tranquilizers in a hotel room with seven members of the village jai alai team.” The story goes on to detail a 14-year trip from Veracruz, Mexico to the U.S. border made by a burro with the five babies in saddlebags (I don’t know how they all fit in the saddlebags for 14 years, but the Metalachi origin story requires ample suspension of disbelief). They’re weirdly entertaining, they shred and tickets are still available.

Not long ago, surf rocker Donavon Frankenreiter played the Wild Buffalo. Now it’s frequent collaborator and newish bandmate G. Love’s turn to pay the venue a visit, on Fri., March 23, and he’s bringing Special Sauce with him. I realize that “Cold Beverage” is the Philadelphia hip-hop artist’s most well-known musical calling card (because who doesn’t like cold beverages?)—it’s the song that earned him gold record status—but let’s not forget about the tender ditty “Baby Got Sauce.” I’m still unsure just what “Miss I’m your mister, my sister’s your sister” means, but as long as G. Love knows, that’s good enough for me. As with the other shows that are not George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, tickets can still be had, and if you’re willing to shell out a little extra, you can gain entry to a special preshow performance and Q&A with G. Love, plus other perks. I encourage you to go and ask him about that whole mister/sister thing.

Unless I hallucinated it, or it’s all an elaborate hoax, just a short 48 hours after G. Love departs, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will arrive in Bellingham. From here on out, if anyone ever asks you where the magic happens, just point them toward the Wild Buffalo.

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