There are a select few musicians who would do well to donate their bodies to science when they pass on. Obviously, an analysis of Keith Richards' liver would yield countless advances in unbreakable polymers. But George Clinton's brain might be beyond the reach of current technologies. The original freakazoid, Clinton has arguably maintained a consistent level of brilliant absurdity for more years and miles than all his competition combined.
His stage presence over the last few years might indicate that the gears are grinding ever so slightly, and he often has the doddering, disoriented gait of a moonsick moth. But few musicians have so wholly sacrificed their bodies, brains, and grasps on reality upon the altar of pop music. His contributions to the musical vocabulary are inummerable, and stretch like lime green spandex over a multitude of generations.
If at all possible, Clinton's visage has become ever more Muppetesque as the years roll by. But it's part and parcel of Clinton's lawless neverworld, a dreamscape in which no idea is too outrageous to be entertained. His output and his devotion to imaginative liberty seem to be inexhaustible, and he swings through First Avenue tonight in support of September's solo release George Clinton and his Gangsters of Love.
Oh, and his music? Not too bad.
18+. 8:00 P.M. $25.00. First Avenue Mainroom, 701 1st Avenue North; 612.338.8388.