Friday, November 02, 2007

Weekend reading
A couple of interesting articles from the Village Voice for ya... New York musician Victor Axelrod (aka Ticklah, Antibalas, Easy Allstars) rehearses for the launch of his new album... LINK

"Victor Axelrod, the thirtysomething keyboardist, arranger, and engineer who creates reggae music under the handle Ticklah, decides to open the sidewalk grates early. His aptly named Don't Trip studio is tucked beneath a Brooklyn sidewalk in a desolate section of Gowanus: Washing machines double as amp stands, keyboards are stacked like pancakes, drums are stuffed in corners, and a large mixing console holds court among egg crates and pegboards full of patch cords..."

excellent backgrounder on Wax Poetics magazine, on the launch of their new anthology... LINK...

"Reading Wax Poetics, Brooklyn's glossy, reverent, visually immaculate zine dedicated to funk, soul, hip-hop, and the other obsessions of crate-diggers worldwide, is enough to make you wish neither compact discs nor the Internet had ever been invented. That vinyl sounds better is debatable; that vinyl looks better is undeniable. Compared to the woeful postcard dimensions of CD insert art and the laughable thumbnails we now lug around on our iPods, beholding an album cover nowadays, huge and warm and bright and colorful and evocative, is like staring into the face of God..."

"...The best writing in Wax Poetics concerns the collector just as much as the collected: [take] Anthology highlight "Make Checks Payable to Charles Mingus," written by Karl Hagstrom Miller and reprinted from issue no. 1, details the ultimately failed efforts Mingus made to establish his own mail-order record label. As rarely discussed history, it's fascinating, but it's bookended by the surprisingly affecting saga of Karl himself discovering three of those releases in a junk shop in Catskill, New York. He's clear-eyed about his role as a cultural scavenger ("Desperation is the friend of the record collector. Hipness depends on finding a population aggrieved enough to produce good music, suddenly pushed to the point of parting with it") and honest about when money trumps nostalgia: The piece ends when Karl sells all three exorbitantly priced records and buys a laptop..."
Weekend happenings
"The next occurrence of the ever-popular Record Collectors Fair is set for Saturday November 3 and will take place at 1 McDonald St, Morningside.
New rebuilt turntables such as Garrard 301 and 401's, Thorens and more will be available. A brand new music system with amplifier, speakers and turntable will also be there for all to listen to. Vinyl will be the only format played.

There will be 21 stall holders onsite, each selling a wide range of music (including Murray Cammick, who will be selling a swag of great funk and soul records), . Spot prizes will be given throughout the day, so keeping hold of your entry ticket is strongly advised! A record cleaning device will also be demonstrated.

Trade Tech, the company specialising in spare parts for any electronic device, will also be on hand, with food and drink being available as always.

The fair is open to the public from 10am to 3pm."

Konono International Ukulele Festival

On Saturday 3rd November, FREE, yes FREE, the Kapono NZ Ukulele Festival will be held in the grounds of Mt Roskill Intermediate School. myspace page, link.

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will be making the journey up to play, alongside an amazing array of local and international ukuleleists including James Hill from Canada, Azo Bell from Australia and the incredible Sione 'Aleki from Tonga - he plays the uke with his feet whilst rolling on the floor. AND a whole bunch of school kids as the Kiwileles Combined Schools Orchestra.

The fest is from 9.30am - 4.30pm and it's FREE - there'll be stalls and activities and heaps for kids to do, and most of all music.

ALSO Stay tuned for an evening gig featuring the cream of the daytime acts in a more sound-friendly environment AND rumours of a special inner-city late late late show by the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra (at the Classic Comedy Bar). See you there!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hypnotic Part II
One tune that's getting caned in these parts is the great brass band version of Sexual Healing, by the Hot 8 Brass Band. Here's the tale of how a New Orleans brass band ended up on a label based in Brighton, England; spotted at Turntable Lab...

"So I got a phone call from Will [Quantic] Holland. He was in Spain, raving about an mp3 I'd given him the last time he was here in NYC. It was this brass band version of "Sexual Healing," and he'd just thrown it on a packed Barcelona dancehall the night before. "At first they didn't know what to do," he says. "Then, the handclaps came in, and they started to move. When the vocals dropped the place exploded."

After we hung up I had to call my man DJ Concerned, who'd hit me with the thing in the first place. He didn't know who Quantic was, but he clearly understood the power of the killer cut. This CD is a selection of a few of his pure fire brass band joints, a collection honed by frequent trips to New Orleans as the DJ for Brian J and the Pimps of Joytime, one of the finest N.O.-affiliated up and comer conjuntos.

Understand, these aren't some old-timey Preservation Hall Jazz Band chestnuts, these are real deal street level Crescent City bangers from new school rulers the Rebirth Brass Band, the Hot 8 Brass Band and the Soul Rebels. These dudes have insanely hype live shows where they rip through everything from Herbie Hancock to Lil' Jon covers, kinda similar to DC's go-go scene. Concerned is the first guy I've heard to pull the sheet back on this stuff, and it's done here in a crispy thirteen song mix that is seamless without any teeth-gritting blends or awkward transitions.

In addition to the previously mentioned "Sexual Healing" (worth the price for that alone) and a wicked run through "Atomic Dog" ("Rock With the Hot 8"), the mix is chock full of sure shot party music ("(Don't Touch That) Stereo", "Skeet Skeet"). I've had this thing on constant rotation, recommended." - Monk One, review of DJ Concerned: Talkin' Loud But Sayin' Something! (New Orleans) CD. Link.
[ADDED This mix is on DJ Concerned's Myspace page here, if you want to listen.]

Holland passed the tune to his label boss, Robert Luis, who signed the Hot 8. More here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a eight man brass ensemble from Chicago, of which 7 are the sons of Sun Ra Arkestra trumpeter Kelan Phil Cohran, the 8th member of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble might not be connected by blood but is definitely part of the family. The creation of Hypnotic in 1999 represented the sons return to their instruments after a time of quitting music in their teenage rebellion years." LINK (also check the MP3s for download, including live with Mos Def at the Apollo).

"... the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Check out our previous post on these guys. Their last two 10″ records killed it. They also got a blog that journals their music and travels. I just stopped by today to see what’s new. I came across a cool video of them performing some new material in New York (NYC what is wrong with you? All that great live music, and majority of New Yorkers just completely ignored it. NYC where is your soul? There were some exceptions.) Anyway, check out the video and they also mention a real cool blog called from France, that wrote a good discography on the group." LINK

Check out their tunes over here and here, and on their blog.

Mr Untouchable
"Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes once ruled the drug trade in Harlem. They came out of retirement to talk business."

"Mark Jacobson moderates a historic (of sorts, I guess) conversation between the real-life Frank Lucas, portrayed by Denzel in the upcoming American Gangster movie, and legendary uptown drug lord-turned-snitch Nicky Barnes (aka Mr. Untouchable: see movie trailer here) for New York magazine. Check it out here." (Hat tip: Different Kitchen)

snip... (via Miss.Info) "Turns out, when [hiphop MC] Cam’ron talked to 60 Minutes about snitching…guess who was watching? Nicky Barnes!!

Nicky says:

“I testified against the guys who were in the Council along with me… Guy Fisher, Frank James, Wally, Coco, Kenny… When I went into the joint, I gave Guy Fisher a woman of mine and told him to look out for her, take care of her. I didn’t expect him to start f*cking her.”

But Nicky then says:

“When I realized they left me on the battlefield to die, I said, “F*ck it!” … I said, “I’ll pull those motherf*ckers in, let them see what it’s like.”… I don’t regret it. I saw this show on CNN, with Anderson Cooper. Cats were talking about “Don’t snitch, no matter what happens.”

Well, I can’t see how a guy can be considered strong if he lets a bunch of assholes walk all over him and he doesn’t respond, just because of some code that a bunch of idiots have cooked up. Anderson Cooper asked this rapper, “Suppose a child was molested and you knew who this molester was. Would you tell the police?” He said, “No.” So that’s what I’m sayin’—the street guidelines are just moron bullsh*t."

Monday, October 29, 2007

From DFA: recordings of Shocking Pinks playing live, LCD Sound System live vid, and more. The free download is available from now until November 30th. Click on this...
DFA Records Exclusive

Full tracklisting:
1. LCD Soundsystem - "Us Vs Them" (Live In Manchester)
2. Prinzhorn Dance School - "Live Horn" (radio session)
3. Shocking Pinks - "Emily" (Live On RDU)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, October 20
Spanky Wilson - Sunshine of your love (Bombs edit)
Butch Cassidy Sound System - Brothers and sisters
Truth - Excellence is thy name
Manu Chao - La vida tombola
Tenor fly - Mind weh yu say
Jr Reid - Bubblers
Dub syndicate - Pounding systems
B52s - Planet claire
Aaron Neville - Hercules
Tyra and tornadoes - Hui hui
Mary Jane Hooper - I've got reasons
Guilty Simpson - Mans world
Gussie P - Melchezedek step
Border crossing - City of love
International observer - London dub
Marvin Gaye - Sexual healing
Binky Griptite's Ghetto Funk Power Hour excerpt (wicked radio-show-style mixtape of 100% Daptone Records tunes - its the bonus disc with the new Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings CD, well worth checking, or download it here in MP3 format from the Daptone site.)

Mint chicks - Crazy? yes! dumb? no!
Fat Freddys - Flashback (Jazzanova mashed bag remix)
Freestylers - Warning
Schoolly D and Joe Delia - The player (Ganja Kru remix)
Boca 45 - Fonky feet
Kora - Culture (congrats on the number one album in the country!)

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, October 27
Guts - And the living is easy (Dynamics remix)
Dry and Heavy - Night flight pt 2
Henry and Louis - Love and understanding
Joy Denalane - Soweto 76-06
Marva Whitney -I am what I am
Gilberto Gil - Quermos guerra
DJ Fingaz - Fundamentals
Sharon Jones and Dap Kings - Something's changed
Sharon Jones and Dap Kings - What have you done for me lately?
Jackie Mittoo - Earthquake
Scientist - No dub island
Angie Stone - My man (Upstate remix)
Bob Marley -Sun is shining (DJ Dolores remix)
45 King - Fourth joint
Oscar Brown Jr - The Joneses
Lee Perry - Upsetting dub
Doujah Raze - Irish cream (Shuko remix)
Nas - Get down
Budos Band - Chicago falcon
Joy Denalane - Change
Manu Chao - Politik kills
Ann Sexton - You're losing me
Earth wind and fire - C'mon children
Hortense Ellis - Woman of the ghetto
One Blood - Be thankful for what you've got