Saturday, January 01, 2011

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Sat Jan 1

Mr Scruff - Get a move on
Sly n Robbie - Softcore surge Ashley Beedle remix
Specials - Message to you Bombs edit
Colm K and the freestyle mellowship - Dancing skulls main mix
Lord Echo - Thinking of you
Footsie - Cuss cuss footsie dub
Amadou and Mariam - La realitie
Ely Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Ace of spades
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings - The reason
Whitefield bros - Safari strut
Junior Murvin - Bad weed
Viceroys - Walkie talkie
Big Youth - Jim screechy (Smith and Mighty mix)
Smith and Mighty - Bi line fi blow
Schoolly D and Joe Delia - The player - Ganja kru remix
LCD sound system - I can change
Liquid liquid - Cavern
Redds and the boys - Put your left hand in the air....
Harlequin fours - Set it off - Walter Gibbons mix
Casino music - The beat goes on
Patato and Totico - Dilo como yo - Antibalas remix
Ariyo astrobeat arkestra - Crosstown traffic
Belleruche - 56% proof
Luciano - Life - Da Lata remix
Fat Freddys Drop - Midnight marauders - Pylonz & Kinetix remix

Monday, December 27, 2010

R.I.P Teena Marie

From LA Times obit, Teena Marie was 54.

Teena Marie, the singer-songwriter known for such funk-infused 1980s hits as "I Need Your Lovin'" and "Lovergirl," and one of the few white musicians to achieve renown on the R&B charts, has died.

Born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5, 1956, in Santa Monica, Marie was raised in a predominantly black area of Venice and began singing professionally at age 8. Soon after graduating from Venice High School she signed with Motown Records, where she met funk music pioneer Rick James, who would become her mentor, musical collaborator and lover, a relationship she described as "fiery."

He produced her 1979 debut album, "Wild and Peaceful," which went gold and featured her first hit single, a duet with James called "I'm a Sucker for Your Love."

Fat Freddy's global profile grows

"Fat Freddy's global profile grows" is the headline from the NZ Herald's David Fisher, who wrote about the band , noting that their latest album, Dr Boondigga and the Big BW sold more copies overseas than here.

"Sales figures show Dr Boondigga & The Big BW has sold more than 60,000 albums overseas - and 39,000 in New Zealand. First album Based on a True Story has sold more than 130,000 albums here. It has not been released overseas." Unfortunately that last part is wrong  - Based on a true story gained release in Australia, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland and Japan.

Fat Freddys have just been invited to play the Coachella music festival in the US, which is big news. They're currently on tour round NZ beaches, and plan to record a new album in the New Year.


Local label Round Trip Mars celebrates 10 years in existence with this wicked compilation. Go grab the whole album now. It's bloody marvellous. Tunes from Phelps and Monro, James Duncan. SJD, Unitone Hifi feat Coco Solid, Scratch 22, Stinky Jim and more.

El Chicano

I first discovered the tune Viva Tirado on an album of the same name by a Mexcian-American band from LA called El Chicano.

There were several reasons I picked up this album; the liner notes listed the nationalities of the band and recording team, including it being engineered by "...a cat who is half English and half Mexican, a New Zealander  and a Scotchman" [I wonder who that Kiwi was?]; they also noted the album was "recorded afterhours of the lounge of the Kabuki Sukiyaki Restaurant, 3840 Crenshaw Blvd  [pictured on the cover above], because that is what El Chicano wanted and because Moss is too good to be true" [what?], and it's got a charming version of Light my fire by the Doors that compresses all that is good about that song into 25 seconds.

Viva Tirado was originally written and performed by Gerald Wilson in the early 60s, and proved to be a big hit for El Chicano in 1970. Oliver Wang at Soulsides has written a recent piece on how he discovered the tune via Kid Frost sampling it in 1990. Read on...

Oliver Wang: "I discovered' “Viva Tirado” back around 1990, when Kid Frost sampled/interpolated parts of it for “La Raza” but I didn’t realize the greater genealogy of the song until later in the decade when one of my academic mentors, Josh Kun, put me up on how Frost was flipping an El Chicano song that, in turn, was based on a Gerald Wilson original.

The connection planted a tenacious seed in my head and for the dozen years after that, I slowly began to flesh out the story behind what I call the song’s “multiple iterations” and specifically, how “Viva Tirado” is at the center of a rather remarkable, multi-generational conversation between L.A.’s Black and Brown communities. After all, here’s a song, originally written by a Black composer in honor of a Mexican bullfighter, covered by a Chicano band steeped in Black R&B and jazz, then sampled by the first major Chicano rap artist. It seems no matter where the song goes, it’s always a bridge between cultures; this becomes even more true once “Viva Tirado” goes international and falls into the hands of everyone from Augustus Pablo to Nico Gomez to Los Mozambiques.

I finally had the chance a few years ago to collect these ideas into an academic essay that just came out in the Journal of Popular Music Studies. They actually use my essay as the “free” offering from this month’s issue and for the occasion, I prepared a mini-mega-mix of “Viva Tirado” versions to the site.

You can find it all here. It really is an astounding story for those who don’t know it and I feel like I wrote my essay with scholarly rigor but hopefully still accessible enough for the “lay person” to read. The mix of songs includes some of my personal favorite versions of “Viva Tirado” though there were many versions I could have included but didn’t."

Check out Oliver's Viva Tirado mix, he's also got a great reggae version in there by Augustus Pablo that I'm rather fond of.