Dam-Funk keeps groove on 'where funk left off' 

click to enlarge Los Angeles-based Dam-Funk, aka Damon Riddick, appears in the Stones Throw Soul Tour, which comes to Oakland next week. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Los Angeles-based Dam-Funk, aka Damon Riddick, appears in the Stones Throw Soul Tour, which comes to Oakland next week.

Los Angeles' global ambassador of boogie funk, Dam-Funk (Damon Riddick), will take Bay Area fans on a journey in Oakland next week. He is part of the first Stones Throw Soul Tour (with label head Peanut Butter Wolf, Step Kids and Myron & E), which concludes its six-stop run at The New Parish on Tuesday.

The tour catches Dam-Funk in a rebuilding period. Riddick is working on a collaboration with Snoop Dogg and a new LP, his first since the 2009 release of "Toeachizown."

Riddick seemed to have all the momentum back then, but the complications of notoriety beset him.

In 2011, Riddick's friend Jovan "Jay 1" Coleman (drummer in Dam-Funk's band, Master Blazter) died in Sweden at age 32.

He also dealt with what he calls "psycho females." He adds, with a laugh, "not a couple, but one, and I survived — and that's definitely not going in the article. You got to be careful out here, man, at this point. I've learned a couple lessons in the past few years. I think I'm almost back. I'm 98 percent back."

Riddick, who doesn't disclose his age, has dedicated his artistic life to "continuing where funk left off."

He grew up in Los Angeles listening to Funkadelic, Slave and early Prince, as well as Rush, and "KISS was one of my favorite groups."

Amid the golden age of hip-hop, Riddick handed out funk mixtapes, and soon took the name Dam-Funk.

On Tuesday, Riddick will DJ vinyl records and perform on shoulder-synthesizer a set of modern funk sounds by other artists, new Dam-Funk material including his 2013 collaboration with Steve Arrington, "Higher," and some rare wax he's known for sharing at his L.A. club night Funkmosphere. Step Kids play live. Vocal duo Myron & E will support Step Kids and vice versa. Peanut Butter Wolf will spin a video set.

"It was all Wolf's idea to get all of us together and shine a light on some of the more soulful or more funk-related or disco stuff that's off the beaten path of the hip-hop stuff at Stones Throw," he says.

Dam-Funk does more than funk and soul, he big-ups disco and boogie, which has always struck a chord in the Bay. "San Francisco has always been supportive. I always enjoy coming."

IF YOU GO

Dam-Funk

On Stones Throw Soul Tour

Where: New Parish, 579 18th St., Oakland

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $22 to $25

Contact: (415) 371-1631, (510) 444-7474, www.thenewparish.com

DAILY SPIN

TODAY

Gallery Crawl NightLife: The California Academy of Sciences' impeccable NightLife series (for 21 and older) transforms the Golden Gate Park science center into a pop-up art museum this week with The Chase DJs Avalon Emerson, Jason Kendig (Honey Soundsystem), Derek Opperman and Ash Williams with visuals by Caitlin Denny. 6 p.m., $12. Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, S.F., (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org

FRIDAY

Simian Mobile Disco: The English electronic music duo return to their beloved City by the Bay for a DJ set. With Curses! and Egyptrixx. 10 p.m., $20. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F., (415) 625-8880, www.mezzaninesf.com

RE:CREATION: Prefuse 73 and Teebs are "Sons of the Morning" in this experimental dance music night at 1015 Folsom with Kastle, Brainfeeder's The Underachievers, Patrick Sexx, Astronautica and Co.fee. 10 p.m., $20. 1015 Folsom, S.F., (415) 431-1200, www.1015.com

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David Downs

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