October 17, 2007

Exit Mothership

Maggot BrainMother. That's Maggot Brain's first word and it's no mothership. It's Mother Earth, earth, mother, earth mother, old earth. The Mother is the earth and she's dirty, grimy, funky, pregnant and bursting. There's no water on this album, no air (aside from some human flatulence), and no fire.

The cosmic powers here are all terrestial. When George Clinton speaks of drowning it's in sh!t, not water. The refrains speak of roaches and rats while cows moo and monkeys howl at Armageddon. We hear a cuckoo clock; no flying animals could ever really exist. Armageddon, in fact doesn't come from the sky or from the ocean, it comes from Mother Earth's womb. After the requisite bomb sound we hear: "it's a (bad? fat? fad?) funky person." Whatever that means.

Maggot Brain is impossibly dirty and disgusting. It revels in its stink. Its spoken words all aim to disturb and revolt. The album never cares and it doesn't even believe in its own Armageddon. Which is, as the album's most memorable moment broadcasts, the "power of the pussy," the power of the mother, the power of the Earth. George's swift dismissal of his own album is "more pussy for the power."

Of course that's his reaction. Of course he told Eddie Hazel to play his guitar solo like his mother just died. Of course it's about control. Control of his mother earth. Of course Maggot Brain attempts to disgust and disturb in the most puerile of ways. And of course it succeeds.


Ancient Scientist said...

damn well you nailed this one... so maybe they're not just hippies

venerableseed said...

I always felt that with hippies there was always a subtext of keeping women in their place, in almost a Mormon or Islamic harem sense. Maybe that's a complete misrepresentation.

Even SDS and black panthers seemed to say women's rights are cool as long as men get to broker what they are and will be. And also the multiple women thing. I don't necessarily blame them though. It's not like they could exist in the vacuum they wanted to create.

But Maggot Brain. Jeez its just sooooo yonic. And I don't mean Jeff Green. The album really makes me uncomfortable.