Friday, May 1, 2009

Dylan Hanna & Parliament Funkadelic

In 1994 Regina and I, along with a few friends, went to Lollapalooza. We left before the headliner, the Smashing Pumpkins, played because, well, it was the Smashing Pumpkins. But we did see A Tribe Called Quest, the Breeders, and the Beastie Boys. We also saw people who shouldn't have been topless and a fistfight in a bathroom. Between the Beasties and the Breeders was George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. I hadn't heard much about ol' George and for the first hour of his set I thought he was a roadie on stage setting up mics for the Beasties. When I realized the jamming/singing/growling coming through the speakers wasn't mood music or a sound test, and was, in fact, an actual guy singing, I thought, "Who in the hell is this big dude with rainbow dreads and giant sunglasses? And why is he freaking me out so much?"

Dylan's second birthday was last weekend and Regina and I had a Lollapalooza flashback, or a lolla-back, as the professionals call it. Dylan was pretty pumped up about her big day and when the first guests arrived, she grabbed a pink pair of sunglasses that were attached to her gift. When the next guests arrived, she swiped the curly-q ribbons off their gift and put them in her hair. She added a princess crown, platinum necklace (genuine Chinese plastic), and a ring that looked like something Run DMC wore in 1988. "Our little Funkadelic George," Regina said to me. "Yikes," I think I replied.

The party was pretty fun for Dylan. Last year she opened one gift, cried, then quit the party entirely. This year, she opened each gift carefully (sort of), added more ribbon to her birthday dreads, and gave appropriate ooohs and aaahs at every unwrapping.

Dylan is getting pretty good with forming sentences, but there are long sentences, even multi-syllabic words, that tongue-tie her a little. "Bicycle" comes out as "Factory yo-yo." "Greg" has three syllables. And the Gettysburg Address starts out great but gets off track ... "Four score and a blee-blooo dobbie do da."

It must have been right between roping cats and polishing off her fourth cupcake when Dylan's words failed her and she resorted to toddler-scatting. The babbling reminded us even more of George Clinton, and we knew our best bet would be to put her to bed. It took a while to come off the sugar-high, but she finally fell asleep, sunglasses askew and ribbon strewn around her room. Regina and I finally sat down, relaxed, and, since our little George had finished her set, waited for the Beastie Boys to come on stage.

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