Friday Night's funk/punk spectacular at the Lansburgh Building marks the continuing efforts of a number of local bands to break down the walls that often separate black and white musicians . . . and fans.
Trouble Funk, the town's leading go-go funk band, will join with Minor Threat, the leading hard-core punk band: Both are trend-setters, defining music styles that attract primarily young, extremely energetic kids, and are unique to Washington.
"When we do shows with the punk-rocker bands, we have predominantly white crowds with maybe 20 percent black," says Robert "Dike" Reed, Trouble Funk's keyboard player and leader. "And they all enjoy it. Younger kids--white and black--don't usually get into the racial thing as far as music goes. If they like it, they like it."
The two Washington bands will be joined by Big Boy, a Texas-based band that hosted Trouble Funk during the Texas leg of its recent national tour. Reed describes Big Boy as "a new wave-rock-funk-type band, mixing what we do with new wave rock."
Friday will also mark the release of Trouble Funk's new single, "Say What?"
"We know we're going to have a very good response," says Reed, "because we've been out there playing it for over a year so that when we put it out we know it's going to work."
Two weeks from now, the band will release its new album, which is actually a double album, "one a live go-go album for the kids and one a commercial album, both in the same cover. If the mother buys it, the daughter will buy it, too, and that will cover the whole family."
The summer tour was the first major out-of-town exposure for Trouble Funk, which has long been a critical success nationwide. They hit Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Virgina, New York and New Orleans, also a major go-go town, "a real strong market for us," according to Reed. "Of course, if you can please the kids here, you can please the kids anywhere."