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Remembering James Brown, and Other Reasons to Dance

True, we lost the Good-Gawd-father of Soul only weeks ago. All the more reason to commemorate the man the way he would have wanted: get up, get into it, get involved. After the jump, check out a few of tonight's functions to keep you out of the cold and into a sweat.

Go 'head get down. You got soul. And you're Super Bad.

First of all, DJ Wes Allen called it: James Brown Is Dead, so why shouldn't Allen and crew The Boat with all hands (well, his and those of other DJs TBA) on the decks for a night of disco, electro, hip-house, freestyle and classic R&B. Brother JB maintains as the hardest-working man in ... ah, forget it. ($5)

Upstairs at the Rivoli, The Foot Prints peeps pay their tribute to JB by exploring his deep influences on rock, funk, soul and jazz; they also promise to spin a few surprises they've dug up. Tip: beat the lineups and save a few bones by coming earlier. ($5 before 11 p.m., $10 after)

Meanwhile at the Riv downstairs, DJ Dalia's posse kicks off a new series of dirty beats and body-rockin' treats with the premiere Where's D'Angelo? event. DB's stoked, natch, writing of the dirty three: "They'll make the musical links between D, contemporaries like Jill Scott, The Roots, Jaydee and Maxwell, and major influences like Stevie, Marvin, Minnie, Fela and Prince." You don't have to be rich. ($5)

(Play nice, y'all: Where's D'Angelo will continue on the third Saturday of each month -- also Foot Prints' regular night. But since the music and overall vibes offer different flavours, though I'm sure beat-lovin' circles will overlap, I'm hoping the proximity of tonight's upstairs-downstairs experiment proves a positive, peaceful coexistence. And hullo, barkeep, what's this? A dayside event discussing consumption behaviour and questioning the biological urge to buy, a dialogue the Somethings (below) encourage, courtesy of the CafĂŠ Scientifique series hosted by the Science Centre. Hat trick today/night for the Riv, where the series takes place on guess which Saturday of the month?)

Can't get enough of that funky stuff -- the kind made with real live instruments? Afrobeat cats Mr. Something Something shake, groove and shimmy at their first hometown show of the new year at the Silver Dollar. ($TBA)

Then again, Farbsie and his Make It Funky bunch this time out toss together bicoastal breaks fiend DJ Czech with comrades Big League Chu and John E. for the homegrown Legends of Funk throwdown at Fez Batik. As always, "funk costumes highly encouraged." ($13 reduced list via email: MakeItFunky at Hotmail dot com with full names. More at the door)

And to give you some ideas for movement-music unions later in the night, check out Coexisdance at the inviting ArraySpace studio in Liberty Village. The third night in a series of unchoreographed duets between dancers and members of the Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto features notable multi-discipline local veteran performers like Lisa Pijuan-Nomura and Ariel Garten doing their dancin' things to the strains of tenor and soprano sax, cello, percussion and flute. For starters. ($6-10 sliding scale)

Finally, if "dance like nobody's watching" means sticking to home turf to get your smurf on*, there's always R3 on R2. Or not, rather, as part of the changes coming to CBC Radio in March. And while R3 fans lament the loss of the terrestrial radio show, the Sirius satellite service will continue and the Web side will expand. Plus, hosts Grant Lawrence and Craig Norris (who helms his Toronto-based R3-30 chart show solo tonight) give away Sirius units with free subscriptions each week, so try pitching a tune to "Colonel" Norris for countdown and prize consideration. (And, comments Lawrence, "I'm serious. It's really easy to win one. Craig Norris makes it pathetically easy every Saturday night, and if you know your Canadian music trivia, there's a big chance of winning this Saturday between 730pm and 9pm with myself too! Whoo!")

Ain't it funky now?

Image from SNL Transcripts

*This little ball of trouble from back in ought-three (initial link leads to NSFW ones) came up when I googled (yep, lower case) "get your smurf on." While translating (connotating, insinuating) smurf is always fun, writing the phrase preceded the search, which was an afterthought. I swear.


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