Sunday, September 16, 2007

Buckeye Funk

     Dayton, Ohio is the hometown of my dad, the Ohio Players, Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices), Kim Deal of Pixies/Breeders fame...and Steve Arrington.  Does this make it some kind of music mecca?  Not really, especially since my dad can't even carry a tune.  I do remember him sitting down at the piano when I was little and playing random chords while shout-singing "Come to Breakfast!" and other hits.  It was my introduction to improvisation (of a sort) though neither one of us knew it at the time.
     But back to Steve Arrington and his Hall of Fame.  I noticed this cd a while ago at the library where I work, and I finally checked it out the other day.  I really was just fascinated by the album cover--it looks like a drawing you'd see in some high school yearbook, done by the guy or gal who's considered the best artist in the senior class.  And it's so creepy the way there are no eyeballs--I know it's supposed to be a bust, but it's as though it's part marble and part flesh.  The other thing I think is so funny is the song title "You Meet My Approval".  Talk about damning with faint praise!  It's a passably funky tune, and it actually reminds me not of other funk bands but rather Gang of Four.  You can imagine them listening to this or stuff like it and then going off and recording "I Love a Man in Uniform".   (It's kind of hard to imagine them singing "The girl is hot!", however).                               Arrington was the singer/drummer for the band Slave before opening his Hall of Fame. Michael Jackson was a big influence: "He's not elaborate in terms of riffs, but he is in terms of nuance."  Hmmm... Anyway, at some point in the mid-'80s Arrington saw a sign (both literally & figuratively) on the streets of NYC, became born again, and started his own church--the Amazing Love Full Gospel Church in Kettering, Ohio.  It's a classic progression.
You Meet My Approval--Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame

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