Anyone who’s spent more than 10 minutes reading past posts from this blog know that I’m a fan of fusion – both literary and musical. Some of the best examples of both come when someone known for one genre or style tries something new, or just decides to incorporate elements of the “other” into their own work.
Musically, Prince is one of my favorite examples, since his funk credentials are extensive, but the Little Purple One also has an incredible talent for penning an infectious pop song when he feels the urge.
(At this moment I’d usually link to a great example of both, but as Prince has purged the internet of any non-approved uses of his videos, I’m sort of at a loss.)
Flip that script, and you get pop and rock bands that occasionally find their inner funk and make good use of it. A great example is the Grateful Dead‘s “Shakedown Street,” which was basically the Dead, for one brief moment, going disco. It remains the only Dead song that you can truly dance to in some way other than that annoying, rhythmless hippie sway-and-spastic-twitch.
Then there’s OK Go, who I’ve featured here before in their usual power pop incarnation. The awesome (and I do mean awesome) video aside, this is a great example of a typical pop-rock-alternative group finding their groove and proudly letting their funk flag fly.
And it’s a perfect moment to remind you writers out there that just because you’re writing in a particular genre doesn’t mean you can’t add some spice and other ingredients from a variety of other styles of writing. Remember that some of the best modern science fiction (both in print and film) has been future-noir hybrids like William Gibson‘s Neuromancer and Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by another hybrid sci-fi guy, Phillip K. Dick).
In other words, the best works of art give us not only what we expect from the genre, but a little something extra that makes us say, “Yeah, I like how you did that!”