The JB party was a smashing success, I think. A little background, in two parts:
Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed April 4, 1968. It looked like Boston was going to have the worst rioting ever the next night, so mayor Kevin White called in James Brown, who agreed to do a concert at Boston Garden, to be broadcast live (and then repeated) on WGBH, so that people would stay home and watch instead of taking to the streets. JB and his band obliged with a phenomenal performance (including a bit of crowd control near the end, where a few would-be dancers come up on stage, the security guards shove them back into the crowd, James shoos away the guards, a few dancers come back, and then all of a sudden EVERYBODY's coming up on stage... and James talks them all down and finishes the show). And it worked: the streets were quiet.
Flash forward to the mid-'90s. I'm wandering around a record store between Harvard and Central Square in Cambridge, talking to the clerk. "Wait a second," she says, "I recognize your voice--are you the person who did that James Brown special on WHRB back in 1989? I taped that, and I listen to it all the time! We've got something in back that might interest you..." and she returns with a tape of the 4/5/68 show. (Which also includes a fantastic performance by Marva Whitney, complete with slightly anachronistic mid-'60s beehive 'do, and a pretty good one by Bobby Byrd, though it's got a couple of gaps in it and runs about 1:40; I've been told a more complete version may exist--anyone know?) I was overwhelmed.
So, for the party, we went over to Monica's place, invited some friends, and watched that tape (prefaced with a short "educational" film that Brian Turner made me a while ago, called "James Brown--The Man," which seems to be mostly about his launch of Black & Brown Stamps, his answer to Green Stamps, which had his smiling face on each stamp; if anyone has any idea if they ever got off the ground, I would LOVE to know about it). We brought popcorn, since that seemed to be formally appropriate.
Monica also let us play with her pedal steel (which she tuned, since she has perfect pitch--some people have all the luck), and showed us a videotape of Lotte Reiniger's 1926 movie The Adventures of Prince Ahmed--the first animated feature film (actually it's pretty much all silhouettes), and GORGEOUS. As Lisa noted, why has this not become a midnight-movie classic?