Free Concert Tonight with Mofro

Nov 20, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Alligator recording artists JJ Grey and Mofro perform a FREE show tonight in the grand ballroom of the Southgate House. Go here to read the unexpurgated version (including videos and interview outtakes) of our feature story on Mr. Grey and Co. and go here for more show details. —-

Score tickets to the free show at (Editor's Note: Truth be told, you can probably just walk in. As our music editor discovered last year, "Camel shows" usually don't require tickets.)

Tune in to 89.7 WNKU today at 4:30 p.m. for an in-studio with JJ Grey.

More Mofro goodness is below.

The Justice Files Presents: The Orange Blossom Connection
The Rise & Fall of of Talmidge “Sweet Thang” Davis
Directed by Spookie Daly

Which lyrics belong to which Orange Blossoms track?
1. Everything Good is Bad A. "magnetism chemistry feel the electricity"
2. WYLF (What You’re Lookin’ For) B. "she had an ass as thick as an army mule’s"
3. On Fire C. "the memory of one moment is the beginning and the end of who I am"
4. Higher You Climb D. "if there’s a choice between silk and satin they both feel good to me"
5. I Believe (in Everything) E. "now you say they got you pimping for the DEA"

Answers below

JJ Grey Interview: Transcript Outtake:
There’s nothing wrong with the term originality. I just think that somehow or another, the concept of originality started stealing, or robbing, the spirit and the soul of music – not just Soul music. I mean the soul of all music, that thing that’s in all of it. Music from the heart, music that is connected to something. All that is soul music. Sometimes I think people get hung up on the concept of originality [where] originality becomes the word for soul.

I guess I’m just intrigued by the whole concept of originality on planet Earth. If there is such a thing. And what is it? What is original? …or is it just different from what you’ve heard before? I’ve had people come up to me before and say “man, you blended Soul and Blues and Rock and R&B and it makes it so original”. I’m like shit, Tony Joe White did that. Jerry Reed done that. Donny Hathaway done that. There’s people all around the world doing it right now. I don’t want to belittle someone’s view of something but originality…if somebody comes out dressed up like a samurai warrior playing bass guitar and someone ain’t never seen samurai dress before then call it totally original.

The element I think people hear and feel that they call original is people being honest and being themselves. That’s original. The most beautiful thing in the world is to let go and to truly be yourself and to be free. It’s the easiest thing in the world when it happens but its hard getting to that point sometimes. I try not to think about it, I try to put it out of my mind. I try to live life. I try not to think too much about music unless I’m going to sit down and practice some.

Practice is a great thing, it’s just like language. The whole thing is tied to the concept of originality. The idea is to practice and you get enough licks and you can creatively put these different elements together without thinking about it. That’s where originality comes from. Not from notes, not from technical ability and not from playing. Originality comes from when you let go, that’s it, nothing else. The beauty of it is when somebody can truly play an instrument and can sing really well and can let go. That combination is just deadly. Those are the moments that are just mind-blowing.

The world is seeking out this goofy thing called originality that doesn’t exist. In my world, it’s when people let go and be themselves. We are all human when we let go. I can’t let go and be an alien from the planet Zebulon.

I don’t know why we’re here. I’m pretty sure I’m not here to be what other people think I am. The same as your or anybody else. That’s all part of the human struggle. Especially in our society…to try remain you while other people try to make you into what they think you should be. Everybody is quick to build a box for everybody to live in but nobody likes to have a box built for themselves to live in. We’re all guilty of it. I’m as guilty as anybody.
I’ll see a band and they put out a couple of records. Then they bob when I was expecting them to weave and I get mad about it. It’s like wait a minute, who am I to tell them what to do. It’s a struggle.

The box that early fans have built, if a band steps out of that box, the fans want to whip them back into the box. “They’re not who I think they should be on the next record”. What I’ve learned is that there are the same amount built for me that I’ve built for others (Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Time to eat a little crow and get realistic with yourself.

It’s not just about music; it’s at every level of life. What friends expect from each other. What family expects from each other. The whole concept of expectation is what it’s all about. You can be in heaven and expectation can make you feel like you’re in hell. You were in heaven and you kicked yourself outta heaven by going and trying to find it. Expectation is a part of that process.

Boxes are being built at all levels of life all the time. I’ve got just as many hammers and nails and wood in my hands to built a box for everybody else that anybody has for me. Oh, I was gonna say this too - athletes have it worse than anybody. They come on television with legions of football analysis dudes. I feel bad for them. How do they even go out there and perform? I guess they turn their televisions off. Because people will come up and say ‘this guy is terrible, he’s not playing well, he can’t get it done, he doesn’t belong in that position’. Whatever [game], how can he or she go out there the next game and perform with the whole legion of fans ready to boo them. Like Vince Young playing for Tennessee. All the fans booing him, all these people saying he can’t get the job done. How do they deal? You just gotta tune it out and go get it done, I guess.

Luckily no one in the music world, except for Milli Vanilli, will have to deal with shit like that. Man, when they get busted, shew. I feel bad for them. They’re not doing anything nobody else wouldn’t do if put in the same position. Vanilla Ice said ‘if someone offers you millions of dollars to rap and dance, you gonna say you ain’t gonna do it because you got integrity? Besides that, I love rapping and I love dancing so that’s what I went and did.’ I kinda liked his interview, I respected him a whole lot more by the end of it.

Answer key: 1 D, 2 A, 3 B, 4 D, 5 E