You certainly could call it electro-funk. Or perhaps you might want to claim that it’s long past its expiration date. “Disco is dead, funk is gone!” you would shout from the rooftops. You wouldn’t be wrong, but you’d also not be my friend (but I can forgive). The classic funk trio that seemed to peak much later than you’dve hoped, somehow blossomed into a memorable band that stole the hearts of elementary kiddos of the 80’s. Party music at its finest.
The Gap Band, consisting of three brothers Charlie, Robert and Ronnie Wilson, were laid back charmers from, of all places, Tulsa, Oklahoma. But they were much more than that. On the surface they indeed reared back and casually spent hours recording magical dance anthems, but deep down they were in touch with cultural change that went unnoticed by most. Like soul, funk, and reggae acts of the same generation, The Gap Band knew how to have fun while teaching you a few things about heartache, struggle, change, and opinion.
“You Dropped A Bomb On Me”, single number fourteen of the entire 38 in the catalog, positions itself as one of the truly memorable songs of the early 80’s. The whistling bomb, it’s crash landing, the rubber-bandy Wilson vocal gymnastic – it’s magical music. They mixed funk, soul, dance, and funk again into one giant ball of movement. And anything that gets you out from behind your desk at 2:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon, and dancing, is worth the investment. Thanks guys.
Bombs are no laughing matter. But as a word analogy, they fit nicely into a sentence. In this case, the bombs being dropped are emotional ones. The lofty peaks of good timin’ relationships can quickly end in swift destruction. They don’t have to be this way, but the world dictates that harmonious living is tough work.
I don’t want any bombs dropped on me this week. Or next week. Or the week after that. I’m not sure my ticker can take the ticking. The Oklahoma City Barons, just barely out of a playoff spot but with games in hand on virtually everyone, continue their pilgrimage through March and April with a Tuesday evening game against the Rochester Americans. The nearly-Canadian city of Rochester has backed its team to 68 points, and in need of a firm hold in the North in order to make the cut as well. And these Tuesday games are usually odd ball ones where Linus Omark dominates the Marlies, and games get snowed out/in. And so an unfamiliar opponent is nerve wracking. For the sake of consistency – hide under your desk, lock the doors, make sure you have enough food and water, listen for the sirens – hope that this is only an exercise and that no bombs will be dropped.
Rochester comes knocking in Oklahoma City tonight as our beloved Barons haven’t seen a gameday sheet of ice in nearly a week. The month of March (so far) hasn’t been as horrendous as one might have expected. I, for one, thought the team would grind out a smattering of wins against teams in the South division. Instead they went 4-1-0-0 in the South and 0-1-0-1 in the Midwest. And that brings us back to a Tuesday night game against a rarely seen opponent. But that doesn’t mean they are entirely unfamiliar.
Mike Mancari, previously of the Chicago Wolves, played well against OKC in the early rounds of the playoffs last season. Now a key cog in the Rochester machine, Mancari has 55 points in 60 games, and just might turn out one of the best seasons he’s had in recent memory. And for Rochester, that’s a good thing. They need him. Mainly because they are missing some key pieces.
February was not kind to either the Buffalo Sabres or their AHL club, the Rochester Amerks. Adam Pardy, Brian Flynn, Kevin Porter, Jacob Legace, and the list goes on. Much like OKC, their struggles to stay consistent has them reeling. Despite a 5-4-01 mark in the last ten games, they are coming off a really bad beat down by Toronto to begin a road trip through the southern states that might knock them out of contention (Playing OKC, Texas, Houston, San Antonio. Godspeed).
Much like the Rockford team that ripped to shred the Barons defense, the Amerks are a highly energized team. They have a fierce power play unit that few teams have been able to stop. Flip the gold coin to the “tails” side, and Rochester is equally as good on the penalty kill. Beating them short handed – hard. Beating them at a man advantage – hard. So you beat them when you can, obviously at even strength, but more importantly on the road (they are just barely over .500). And Rochester will keep you on your toes.
With an offense that likes to strike you from the get-go, watch out for guys like Luke Adam (who like Mancari, also a Portland Pirates alum) to blow your doors off. But the truth is, there are a lot of deficiencies with this team. And they’ll be speedy, chancy, and sulky on D, but sometimes “will” is enough to get it done. In net, one guy rules them all, and that’s David Leggio who’s played a whopping 51 games. I’m exhausted just typing that. Nonetheless, this should be a good one.
*Likely Barons Lineup:
Philippe Cornet – Mark Arcobello – Jonathan Cheechoo
Toni Rajala – Anton Lander – Josh Green
Antti Tyrvainen – Chris VandeVelde – Dane Byers
Ben Eager – Tanner House – Curtis Hamilton
Scratched Healthy: Darcy Hordichuk, **CJ Stretch, Ryan Martindale
Scratched Unhealthy: ***Tyler Pitlick, Kristians Pelss,
Martin Marincin – Taylor Fedun
Brandon Davidson – Colten Teubert
Kendall McFaull – Alex Plante
Scratched Healthy – Brandon Davidson
Scratched Unhealthy: Dan Ringwald, Randy Jones
*This week’s lineup projection is really a crap shoot, especially on D. But is there a scenario where Hordichuk and Eager play at the same time? I doubt it. The name of the game on Tuesday will be out gun your opponent and neither of those fellas scream “SCORE ME GOALS!”
**C.J. Stretch will be the guaranteed scratch tonight. Per Todd Nelson during last nights weekly radio show.
***Tyler Pitlick and Kristians Pelss back skating with the team. Not 100%, but great progress.
Note: Eric Hunter was returned to the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL on Monday afternoon. This frees up some room just a bit for guys like Ben Eager and Anton Lander.