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REVIEW: Sa-Ra, Little Temple (Los Angeles)

on September 16, 2010with 1 comments

words/photos: ani yapundzhyan
@Aninomous

I was not tryin’ to go out last night.
Home was where the bong was.

But curiosity got the best of me.

I had run into Ommas and Shafiq many times on the street, but had never seen them perform as Sa-Ra.
I had never even heard any of their songs.

But after a few random encounters I began to suspect that anything these two balls of energy work on together must be a trip.

I made myself get off the couch and headed out to Little Temple with no idea of the funk explosion that was about to manifest in my ears and my soul.

The crowd at Liltle Temple was a pre-cursor to Sa-Ra itself: fashionable, bohemian, cool but nerdy, smart, down-to-earth yet carrying an “I’m the shit, not everyone can fuck wit’ me” attitude.

And when Sa-Ra’s eight musicians took to the stage, there was no build-up, no slow intros…
it got funky right away.

Like, right away.

From the time they started performing to the ten seconds it must have taken me to get to the front row, I was lost in a Parliament-Funkadelic daze.

Their music was conscious, humorous, and captivating.

Even when it went down the R&B slope, it still carried heavy elements of funk in it-the scatting, shouting, the breaks in the music.

Sa-Ra’s bassist, Thundercat, looked like a child of P-Funk and Bambaataa with his soul sonic force-inspired jacket and feathers over his ears. And when he starts to play, you can feel the funk in every chord. Even the way Thundercat got down, his body movements, his jerks, reminded me of Garry Shider, the legendary P-Funk bassist.

Just as I was making that comparison in my head, Ommas says, “Free your mind and your ass will follow” as he holds up a flashcard reading “Act #1.”

(Act #2 had something to do with smoking weed.)

Ommas likes to throw out witty blurbs in between songs:

“It seems like all of our songs are about love, the universe, and fuckin’.”

The ladies-who are plentiful at this show, they’re taking up the entire front section of the floor-start shouting at that one.

“When in doubt, believe in your drummer.”

He throws his middle finger up to the ‘squares’ as he gets into a “quirky” people vs. “square” people rant.
“Stand on your square.”

I don’t think most people comprehend just how funny this shit is.

Yet it’s deep, and it gets you thinking-but you’re dancing wildly the entire time.

Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow…

I texted my girl in New York to tell her how dope the show was and she said, “‘Hollywood’ is my jam, son.”

It was in the middle of “Stay Woke”, as they were singing “A Beautiful World, I’m Trying To Find,” that I realized the Lil’ Temples of the world won’t be able to contain Sa-Ra for long.

The energy of that show was too intense for that comfortable little venue.

This is the kind of music that brings mass amounts of people together.

And you know what? I didn’t even drink last night.

I wasn’t caught up in a happy, drunken stupor.

I was sober and feeling those vibes. These guys are the real deal.

When Sa-Ra finished, I wasn’t finished yet.

Normally, I’m out the door at the half-way mark. Especially when I’m sober.

I could’ve stood there for two more hours.

I left that show inspired,bouncing off the windows of my car.

Sa-Ra was a fresh breath of old-skool air.

I’m already at their next show.

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