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Stars Pick Their Top 5! This Week: Turkuaz

These purveyors of "Powerfunk" behave more like a performance ensemble than a band, but don't let that distract you from their music. The nine members of Turkuaz each sport their own color on stage, as well as their own instruments: bass, synthesizer, saxophone, drums, trumpet, guitar, and male and female vocals all mix together to make something relentlessly catchy, danceable and of course, funky. A typical Turkuaz song (if you could call their music typical) features jangly disco guitars, thumping bass, modern production and vocal hooks straight out of the golden age of funk. If vivid paint splatters had a sound, they would be the music of Turkuaz.

Catch Turkuaz with Paris Monster at 191 Toole. 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. 191 E. Toole Ave. $20.

click to enlarge COURTESY
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The Beatles

The White Album

It's not always considered the best Beatles album, but the White Album is a rich and eclectic representation of in-studio creativity from the greatest recording artists of all time. It's 30 songs that stretch the entire musical spectrum from experimental noise to heavy grooves—Screaming rock and roll to the sweetest of classical string arrangements. Amidst extreme turmoil within the band, they managed to keep the creativity flowing as powerfully as ever before. It's dark and heavy. It's light as a feather. The White Album has everything. End of story!

Sly and the Family Stone

Fresh

Although the later years of Sly and the Family Stone saw Sly falling deeper and deeper into a drug-induced delusional state of paranoia, it also yielded his most creative work. Fresh is the result of Sly being holed up by himself, writing and recording his ideas in real time... and re-recording, and re-writing, and re-recording. He went deep, and it really shows. It's got a vibe so thick you can't even cut all the way through it in one listen. It blew the minds of everyone from Brian Eno to Miles Davis, not to mention acting as a blueprint for hip-hop and an entire new wave of production techniques in recorded music. Fresh is still fresh to this day.

Talking Heads

Stop Making Sense

Not only a great album, but an incredible film. For these three shows at the Pantages Theater, Talking Heads featured an additional line up of some of the funkiest musicians there ever were (members of P-Funk, The Brothers Johnson, and Sly and the Family Stone, to name a few). This made for a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and cinematic moment. (See what I did there?) This is a true mash-up explosion of art rock and funk. It single-handedly made us want to start a band, and it's still our blueprint in many ways. The album is great, and the film is even better.

Parliament

Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome

A masterpiece of psychedelic funk insanity, this album is yet another blueprint which we as a band have studied and enjoyed immensely over the years. Between the strange sounds, gang vocals, heavy grooves and outlandish concepts, this record keeps you guessing the entire time. It's a concept album, but it's not afraid to drop catchy hooks in the midst of its strange and epic journey. This is Parliament at its best.

Green Day

Dookie

This is the wild card of the bunch for sure. You may not expect a funk band to cite an early Green Day album as an influence. But we do call ourselves "powerfunk" and music like this is where we draw some of that power from. Though it also has catchy hits, this album has a ton of raw and visceral energy exploding through every track. This was the first album that several of us in the band bought as kids, just starting to immerse ourselves in music. It's the kind of album you just run and jump all around your bedroom singing every word to. It's my [Dave Brandwein] earliest memory of feeling ecstatic listening to music. Every track is great. Dookie is a classic that will live on forever!

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