Saturday, July 30, 2011

RIP Eugene McDaniels

Eugene McDaniels Discusses "Compared to What" [also gives thanks to the hiphoppers who sampled him]

DJ Cosmo Baker on McDaniels, from May 2010. Twenty minutes after Cosmo wrote this, he got contacted by McDaniel's publicist, to work together, which never eventuated, sadly.

"... My phenom of a brother had just brought home Eugene McDaniels freak-folk-funk power-piece “Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse” a tour-de-force concept album that was a complete departure from music that had been heard before or since. “The Left Rev Mc D” Eugene McDaniels, hailing from Kansas City, had already become an accomplished singer and songwriter by the mid 1960s, most notably with his song “100 Pounds Of Clay.” And he saw continued success later on in life having penned such hits like Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Making Love” – which is a song a lot of you younger folk might actually think is just a D’Angelo record but actually was a huge hit when it came out in 1975. It was a #1 hit actually, and was nominated for a Grammy for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

But something happened in the mid to late 60s. The Vietnam war was in full swing and people were mad disillusioned and just generally fed up with things. Out of this environment McDaniels wrote “Compared To What” which was the first song on Roberta Flack’s debut album. 

Later on that year Les McCann & Eddie Harris covered it for their “Swiss Movement” album, the recording of their performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The song was a runaway success, a simple protest song that took on a life of its own because it reflected the sentiments of the people and their frustrations with the direction our country was headed. And also because it was incredibly groovy. Check this video out, which after years of listening to this song, I never even knew it existed. Man is it COOKING…"

McDaniels' recorded a few solo albums for Atlantic in the early 1970s, including “Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse.” which hit a raw nerve with the White House...

"Approaching subjects like the co-opting of black culture by white artists (“Jagger The Dagger,”) the history of American colonialism (“The Parasite,”) and racial profiling and police brutality (“Supermarket Blues,”) Mc D opened up a new door for radical subject matter in pop music. This was a door that the powers that be didn’t want opened.

Atlantic was one of the biggest record companies in the world at that time. The story is that Spiro Agnew, Vice President under Dick Nixon, personally called Ahmet & Nesuhi Ertegun, founders of Atlantic and, for the sake of not “causing public unrest” demanded that support for the album be pulled. I don’t know what happened after that but promotions immediately dried up and the album sunk like a lead balloon."

ADDED Ann Ruckert confirms : "Gene McDaniels dies".

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, July 30

Today's theme  - a whole lotta soul...

Sisters love - Give me your love
Aretha Franklin - Jump
Al Green - Can't get next to you
Rare earth - Big John is my name
Rose royce - Ooh boy
Willie Mitchell - 20-75
Linda Lyndall - What a man
Willie Kendrick - Change your ways
Billy Butler - Right track
People's choice - Let me do my thing
Brenda and the Tabulations - California soul
Black velvet - an earthquake's coming
Jean Knight - Carry on
Staple singers -Washington we're watching you
The Emotions - I like it
Myron and E with the Soul Investigators - Cold game
Raphael Saadiq - Heart attack
Sharon Jones and the Dapkings -  Mamma don't like my man
Sly and the family Stone - Thankful and thoughtful
Charles Wright and Watts 103rd st band - Loveland
Ann Sexton - You're gonna miss me
Rose royce  -Sunrise
Lee Dorsey - Operation heartache
Ike and Tina Turner - A fool in love
The service men - Are you angry
Bob Brady and the con chords - Everybody's going to the love-in
Pepperpots - Real tru love
Chosen few - Tears of a clown
Jimmy London - I'm your puppet
Delroy Wilson - Get ready 12" mix
Al Brown - Aint no love in the heart of the city
Phillis Dillion - Woman of the ghetto

... and RIP Eugene McDaniels.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bill Cosby talks to kids about drugs

... a record intended for children to school them on the dangers of drugs through songs and dialogue. It won the Grammy Award in 1972 for Best Recording for Children. Fave moment - Bill Cosby yelling "HERE COMES THE DOPE PUSHER!" Listen to a sample off the album here. Not too hard to find copies of this album floating round the internets.

Tornadoes vs Mitsu

The Tornadoes - El Salvador "MITSU THE BEATS re-edit" (WN12019) by wonderfulnoise

Out on Japanese label Wonderful Noise, features members of the Opensouls.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blue Smoke is a winner

Blue Smoke, Chris Bourke's fantastic book on our musical history, won The Book Of The Year prize last night. Congratulations! See Kiwi musical history takes top award... 

"Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964 by Chris Bourke won the 2011 New Zealand Post Book of the Year last night. The Wellington writer picked up $15,000 for the work, which he largely wrote during the year he spent as Writer in Residence at Waikato University in 2008.

... New Zealand Post Book Awards judge Charmaine Pountney said Bourke had interviewed many key figures in the country's early music scene in researching his subject.

"It is a book about music and musicians, many of whom Bourke has interviewed himself, drawing out anecdotes that enrich our understanding of our nation's cultural development."

The awards' convener of judges, Paul Diamond, described the winning work as "a magnificent book" that had revealed a hidden social history of New Zealand.

"Blue Smoke tells us about ourselves, our music, and the way we take things from overseas."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Public image

Spotted at Dangerous Minds... "Fascinating unedited raw footage of a 1982 JJ Jackson interview of Public Image Ltd’s John Lydon and Keith Levene at MTV’s studio.... Levene talks briefly about his tenure in the Clash during the second part of the interview.... At the beginning, and near the end, after a few minutes of silence, you can hear what they were talking about off-camera...." like Lydon, seeing himself on a tv monitor, and exclaims "farking hell, we look as white as death!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kilodee video

New music video for the first single from my new project, Kilodee, chopped up from US Govt informational film on exciting Alaska. Can you see Russia from your house?. Available as a free download over at Bandcamp, or click link below.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

Sad news, indeed. Watch lazy journos add her into the pile of dead rockstars who also died at age 27, and focus on her drug use instead of talking about her music.

Her breakthrough album Back to Black came about when her producer Mark Ronson hired the Dapkings and their studio. Her subsequent success off that record created an audience for Sharon Jones and the Dapkings... Dapkings member Neal Sugarman talks about that time, with the BBC.

"I was in the studio for Back To Black sessions and a couple of other things with Amy, and then on her first US tour. When I first met her, she came over to do some vocals and she hadn't broken out in the States.

"I arranged some of the rehearsals. She was a great musician and really open. She was really into collaborating with the band and never came off as being bull-headed in any way.

"All she wanted to do was get everyone's impression of where the music was going and for everyone to put their creative aspects into the music.

"Every time we were with her, it was never as if we were with this star. I think that might have been one of the things that haunted her -she really liked being with people one-to-one, especially with musicians.

"I think she used to like coming to New York in her early days because we would all go out to dinner together and she wasn't being recognised the same way as she was in the UK.

"It seemed as though the best times were when we were able to be casual and just get into music.
Sugarman says the last time he saw Winehouse, it was "not a pretty sight"

"The tour was right when Back To Black came out. One of the things she used to do was play really good mixes before we'd go on stage. We'd always be listening to The Supremes or some doo-wop or girl group stuff. It wasn't as if she had her own dressing room - we were all together getting ready for the shows.

"I feel really lucky to be part of what was obviously a great record that touched a lot of people. It was a true crossover record, which is rare in these times. What great art does is touch a lot of people and that's what her record did.

"When we were doing these gigs, there were black people, white people, gay people, straight people. She really was able to touch a nerve and it was uncompromised...."

Amy Winehouse, live in session with Dapkings' Binky Griptite on guitar...

ADDED July 26: From MTV News "... England's Daily Telegraph reported that Winehouse was visited at home by her doctor on Friday night, 24 hours before her body was discovered at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Police sources told the paper that no drugs were found in the house and that the security detail had last spoken to her around 10 a.m. on Saturday, when she said she was going to take a rest in her room.

The doctor had reportedly been visiting Winehouse regularly to help her combat the ill effects of her years of drinking and drugging. In 2008, Mitch Winehouse revealed that Amy was suffering from the early stages of the incurable pulmonary ailment emphysema, including scarring in her lungs."

From ABC: Winehouse Autopsy Inconclusive; Funeral Tuesday