Sunday, June 29, 2008

WEST AFRICA OVERLOAD
posted by Captain Planet



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Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly-Rythmo : It's a Vanity
taken from the compilation
African Scream Contest on Analog Africa (2008)

Action 13 : More Bread to the People
taken from the compilation
Nigeria Rock Special on Soundway (2008)

Asiko Rock Group : Lagos City
taken from the compilation
Nigeria Disco Funk Special on Soundway (2008)

Sir Shina Peters and His International Stars : Yabis
taken from the compilation
Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump on Strut (2008)

With the recent onslaught of African music compilations coming out, I found myself wondering if the genre of afrobeat, after 40 years of relative obscurity, had finally become mainstream? There was the anomaly of Manu Dibango's 1972 hit "Soul Makossa" which actually made it big abroad (to the extreme of being re-worked years later in Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Starting Something"), but for the most part, even the biggest names in African music were completely unknown to most audiences off the continent. Fela Kuti was certainly low on the radar in his time, but today, I feel like his name (and certainly the genre of "Afrobeat" as a whole) actually bears some weight in popular consciousness. I suppose recognition 30 years too late is better than none at all. I know that I, for one, am not complaining about the vast, continent-wide vinyl archeology dig that seems to be taking place.

Analog Africa have found a particularly overlooked niche within the world of Afrobeat - Togo & Benin. Holy hotness is this shit ever raw! Out of all the comps, this one's probably my favorite. Aside from Poly-Rythmo and The Black Santiagos, I was unfamiliar with all the names on this collection. Nothing on here sounds like it was recorded after 1972- and ALL of it draws heavily from the power James Brown's early 70's material (which is about as good as it gets for me).

With the recent
Soundway comps coming out back to back, it's honestly a little difficult to discern clear distinctions in sound from one to the next, but again, when the material is this solid, I'm not putting up an argument. Both Action 13 and Asiko Rock Group are new discoveries for me- and mindmelters to boot. The drums on "Lagos City" are just about the hardest thing I've heard since maybe this.

Meanwhile,
Strut records continues their resurgence on the scene with this second West African installment - the first Nigeria 70 initiated my ears to these beats back in 2001 or so. This one focusses more on the traditional highlife and juju side of things, but there's some heavy funk cuts on here as well. One little thing that irks me about the Nigeria 70 records though: both this one and the original comp feature artists on the cover that aren't even represented on the tracklisting! I mean, they're cool photos and all, but I'm sure that there's some good pics out there of the artists that are actually a part of the collection (the first one had Prince Nico Mbarga on the cover and this one is Oliver De Coque- I know cause I have the LPs- neither of whom make a musical appearance anywhere here). Still worth it for for the music though.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

DEEP COVERS 2: MAS PROFUNDO! (THE SOFT LAUNCH)
posted by O.W.


It's finally here!

I'm proud to announce the (soft) launch of Deep Covers 2: Mas Profundo, now available as a digital download from the good folks at East Bay Digital. It's 320 LAME encoded (good enough for all but you hardcore audiophiles). Physical CDs are in motion - I'm hoping to have them manufactured rather than duplicated but we'll have to see. I'll have a formal launch for those at an upcoming Boogaloo[L.A.] gig and then make them available for order by mail.

Meanwhile, you can download full-res, front and back artwork.

Description: Deep Covers 2: Mas Profundo follows up on two previous covers-related projects: Deep Covers and Soul Sides Vol. 2: The Covers. This time though, I take it international, with 20 songs, all recorded overseas. I tried to balance things by region (otherwise, hell, I could have done an entire CD of reggae covers) but still kept the vibe oriented around soul and funk covers. It's really astounding what one can find out there - this merely scratches the surface! Overall, I was pleased with how this mix turned out, both in terms of song selection as well as sequencing. There will definitely be a DC3 somewhere down the road but for now, enjoy this in all its global glory.



Tracklisting: (by song title, original artist and country of cover)As a special bonus..., here's two songs that did not make the cut:

The Marvels: Rocksteady
From 7" (Pama, 196?)


Hint: A different song by the same artist appears on DC2. Originally, I was going to put this on the mix but much as I think the Marvels do an excellent job with Aretha Franklin's funky single, I found myself increasingly gravitating to the B-side instead (which is what made the mix). That said, it was a close race between the two sides and their cover of "Rocksteady" is definitely one of my favorite Aretha covers out there.

Manito: Gang's Back Again
From O Incrivel (RCA, 1970)


This is one of those Brazilian albums that gets some heads all ga-ga and for good reason: cut for cut, for U.S. funk fans, it's a surprisingly rich album with not one, not two but at least three solid funk covers, including one of "Tuck's Theme" (that was a surprise) plus this slick version of Kool and the Gang's "Gang's Back Again." To be honest, I'm still not completely sure how nothing from the Manito album made the DC2 cut...it may be one of those cases where I've had this album so long, the tracks didn't quite seem as fresh but hell, there's always DC3.




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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR
posted by O.W.


Ed Wong at Sandbox Automatic is a huge reason why Soul Sides exists: back in the day, I need a place to park my websites and he graciously offered me his server and extra bandwidth and from that, Soul Sides was able to become a reality. So I am very, very grateful to Ed for that largesse and I recently sat down with him for a chat about the state of hip-hop retail, the death of vinyl (or perhaps not) and the fact that he's about to auction off a ton of deadstock rap records. All in all, they'll be 1000 put up on eBay (you can see the lists here). There could be some nice gems in the mix - Ed's blessed me over the years, including tracking down stuff like this and this. At the very least, those still needing to finish off their Rawkus collection will no doubt find the records you need.

Hint: if I were you, I'd be looking at this, this and this, for starters. They don't mention this but I'm pretty sure that last one (the Jurassic 5 EP) is the version with the full version of "Concrete Schoolyard" that includes Akil's verse (it had to be chopped from the Interscope version of the EP b/c of sample clearance). Rare, bro.



Here's my informal podcast with Ed where we talk about the threat to vinyl, the challenges in hip-hop retail and how the rap industry only has itself to blame for poor sales (he doesn't blame Souljah Boy though).


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TO QUOTE THE ABSTRACT: GET INVOLVED
posted by Eric Luecking


Gil Scott-Heron: Billy Green Is Dead
From Free Will (RCA, 1972)


So for all intents and purposes, the general election is set. As I was driving in the car last week listening to some GSH on the Cupertino Classic, this song really spoke to me. Thirty-six years after its release, it sounds as if it was recited on the street corner just last week and resonates just as much.

Sounding like a conversation in your local coffee shop, Gil mimics two friends jabbering about the morning paper’s headlines and last night’s television shows. With central themes that revolve around apathy and frustration, the tone turns to urgency as the subject hits close to home. Thirty-six years ago, The Righteous One spoke for the common man. Do you know a Billy Green? Or could he be you?

As O-Dub and I were chatting the other night, we talked about voters coming out in record numbers so far this election year. The next few months are sure to be full of grandstanding, name calling, Gallup polls, public opinion, overanalytic media, Blue states, Red states, and so on. With America being one of the most overweight nations today, political sugar is one additive we don’t need to digest as well.

Billy Green Is Dead (1972)

The economy’s in an uproar
The whole damn country’s in the red
Taxi fares are going up
You say, “Billy Green is dead?”

The government can’t decide on bussin’
Or at least that’s what they said
Yeah, I heard you when you told me
You said, “Billy Green was dead”

But let me tell you bout these hotpants
That this big legged sister wore
When I partied with the alphas
What, Billy took an overdose?

Well now junkies will be junkies
But did you see Gunsmoke last night?
Man, they had themselves a shootout
And folks was dyin’ left and right.

At the end when Matt was cornered
I had damn near give up hope
What you - why you keep on interrupting me?
You say, my son is taking dope?

Call the law and call the doctor!
What you mean I shouldn’t scream?
My only son is taking dope
Should I sit here like I’m pleased?

Is that familiar anybody?
Check out what’s inside your head
Because it never seems to matter
When it’s Billy Green who’s dead



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GREG TATE'S SUMMER SONG
posted by O.W.



The great Greg Tate takes it back to '89 for his summer song post.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

CAN'T KEEP UP WITH THE MUSIC!
posted by Captain Planet


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Grupo Fantasma : Se Te Mira
taken from the album
Sonidos Gold on Aire Sol (2008)

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 : Fire Dance
taken from
their self-titled album on Disorient (2008)

Potato & Totico : Dilo Como Ye (Antibalas Remix)
taken from the album
Verve Remixed on Verve (2008)

MRR-ADM : B1 Untitled
taken from their
Untitled 10" EP released without a label (2008)

Karl Hector & The Malcouns : Toure Samar
taken from the album
Sahara Swing on Stones Throw (2008)

Jackson Conti : Sao Paulo Nights
taken from the album
Sujinho on Mochilla (2008)

Chicha Libre : Sonido Amazonico
taken from the album
Sonido Amazonico! on Barbes (2008)

Damn I was missing this place! After moving I was without internet for a full two and a half weeks (which felt like a solid month to a web-junky like myself) and I've been itching to put together a post. I have tons of new records and a beautiful new studio/music library to listen in, but no time! This is so far from the summers of yesteryear when the solstice meant "school's out" followed by three months of blissful skateboard meanderings and rope swings that launched into cool lakes. But I can't complain too much since my busy-ness is pretty much all music related. Even now, I know I can't write enough to do this music justice, but I wanted to at least begin to get back on track. So hear this little offering of recent releases that have been filling my ears the past few weeks. I promise to post more very soon and get back to a regular schedule now that I'm reconnected.

One sentence about each song/record:
This
Grupo Fantasma record keeps the funky salsa & cumbia kicking with guests like Maceo Parker and Larry Harlow (who plays keys on "Se Te Mira")- raw, organic, live sounding production makes you feel like the band actually squeezed inside your speakers somehow. Fela's youngest son, Seun Kuti, brings his dad's band (minus Tony Allen) back into the spotlight with a record of high energy, uptempo afrobeat that sounds like three Fela albums from the early 70's rolled into one- catch the live show if you can. Staying on the afrobeat tip, NY's own Antibalas deliver this solid remix of a rootsy latin classic- check out Chico Mann's electro re-work of the same song which will hopefully be released soon! MRR-ADM is pretty mysterious to me, but I know it features Malcolm Catto on drums and that it was featured already on another blog that I like. Karl Hector & The Malcouns is the latest work from my favorite crew of funk revivalists Poets Of Rhythm (at least some of the members are involved)- new ethio-afro-funk-soul for fans of Budos Band and the like which has also already been given shine from another blog I like. Jackson Conti is the collab between the prolific blunted-beat maestro Madlib and legendary Brazilian drummer Mamao (of Azymuth glory)- smooth head nod niceness. And finally, Chicha Libre pay homage to the psychedelic cumbia scene of late 60's Peru with a record that simmers like a bug on a cactus under mid-day desert sun.

Be back soon!


Friday, June 20, 2008

RETRO SOUL SUMMER?
posted by O.W.




Solange Knowles: I Decided
From Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams (Geffen, upcoming 2008)

Estelle feat. Kardinal Offishall: Magnificent
From Shine (Atlantic, 2008)

Little Jackie: One Love + 28 Butts
From The Stoop (S-Curve, upcoming 2008)

Bonus: Tammi Terrell: What a Good Man He Is
From Irresistible (Motown, 1969)


Question: exactly how many "next Amy Winehouses" can there really be? So far, in the last year we've heard about: Leona Lewis (more like the new Mariah), Duffy (voice so thin, you could shave with it), Adele (Tracy Chapman meets Madeline Peryoux), Gabrielle Cilmi (didn't both Nicole Willis and Amy both do this same video already?), even Lykke Li (doesn't belong in the same conversation), et. al.

It has been a curious phenom that in the wake of last year's epic Sharon Jones + Winehouse one-two punch, everyone is rushing to jock the bandwagon, and especially with Amy, there's a desire to find another personality who could loom as large (good luck! You'll need more than a bee-hive to fill Amy's coif). From my point of view though, the upside to all this is that 2008 is shaping up to be a summer chockfull of retro-soul-esque production. I mean, sure, a lot of it is derivatives of derivatives - is there such a thing as neo-retro-soul? Hmmm...) but frankly, I'd rather listen to a bad clone of a clone of Motown/Stax than some of the new music that's the alternative.

Case in point, three more recent artists on the retro tip, all of whom I've found perfectly enjoyable even if two of them seem to be riding the bandwagon. I've installed a "Wine-O-Meter" to measure similarity (not quality).

Solange, aka that other Knowles sister, decided to go to the source and hire Mark Ronson to produce her new single, "I Decided." I admit - I was initially really skeptical about the song but it's grown for me. Here's my main beef: that little, jaunty, handclap track is very Motown-ish but it's an intro: after a bar or two, the real beat drops in and in this case, that's all there is. It's like the song is all build-up but never delivers a gorgeous melodic hammer that you'd expect. That said, once you accept that, it's a catchy tune. Snap along!

Wine-O-Meter: 7

Estelle's Shine is one of my more favorite albums of 2008 and a strong, second showing for this British artist. I actually don't think she's very much like Winehouse; her vibe is more like a throwback to the late '90s if anything else. There's that R&B-meets-classic-hip-hop flair on songs like "Wait a Minute" (shades of "Kick In the Door") and "So Much Out the Way" (Beatminerz steez) plus the ragga flavor on "Magnificent." I just really like how that whole song flows, especially with the heavy ska/dub influence and Estelle's silken vocals. Sweet stuff but hey, she should have gotten Special Ed on here instead of Kardinal. That would have been offishall.

Wine-O-Meter: 3

As for Little Jackie...ok, now THIS is definitely on some post-Winehouse tip, not just musically (Adam Pallin does a pretty good flip on Ronson's style) but also in terms of the attitude and spark in the songwriting. Here's the confusing thing: Little Jackie is not the singer; it's the group name. The vocalist is Imani Coppola, who some of you might remember from "Legend of a Cowgirl" from about ten years back. Vocally, she's also more contemporary than throwback but as noted, the kind of wit and cutting-ness in the songwriting will likely remind folks of Winehouse...even though, if you think about, her career goes back at least half a decade earlier. True as that may be, it's really hard to listen to something like "28 Butts" (which I'm pretty sure uses this song) on part of the rhythm section) or "One Love" and not make the comparison. The latter is straight up '60s girl pop (and I'm feeling it!). Their album drops later this summer: I highly recommend it.

Wine-O-Meter: 9

This all said though, you still gotta ask: why go retro when you can still listen to the originals? The bonus track is by the late Tammi Terrell, from (tragically) her only solo album, Irresistible. This song is so soulful, so funky, so ridiculously good for something that's nearly 40 years old. It's artists like Terrell who set the bar - now let's see who can pass it.

P.S. Peep when Terrell drops: "let this girl tear the world up" - loving it!



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TWO NEW SUMMER SONGS POSTS
posted by O.W.




Two new posts just went up, one by James Carvicchia, one by Christine Balance.

And oh yeah: summer officially starts today.

Stay cool out here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WATTS 103RD WINNER
posted by O.W.


Ok, the Watts 103rd St. Giveway is officially over. We had six people (impressive!) with all correct answers (see below) and I randomly selected one of them: Andrew King. Congrats!
For those playing at home, here were the correct answers:
1) The Watts Band/Wright Sounds provided live musical backing for Bill Cosby in 1967, but at that point Cosby's musical career had already been in progress for two years. What band backed him on his very first musical release in 1965? (Helpful hint: the release in question is NOT Cosby's Silver Throat LP.)


Eddie Cano Quartet

2) Warner Bros-era versions of both sides of Charles Wright's rare pre-Watts Band solo 45 on Philips are included on these reissues. Can you name the songs?

"Borrowed Time" + "Keep Saying"


3) At what intersection did the Haunted House once stand?


Hollywood and Vine

4) What Los Angeles radio personality was responsible (in part) for the first Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band single? (Name the single too).


Magnificent Montague/"Spreadin' Honey"

5) What studio did Bill Cosby and Fred Smith discover the original Watts Band at?


Nashville West

6) The Wright Sounds collected one member from the O'Jays and one of Joe Tex's band - name those two members.


Melvin Dunlap and Gabriel Fleming (respectively)

7) What '70s pop star (of a famous duo) played with the Wright Sounds in its early years?


Daryl Dragon aka "Captain" of Captain and Tenille

8) UPDATED: What 1960s Buffalo band did several of the Wright Sounds' members play rhythm section for?


Dyke and the Blazers

9) What does the last Watts Band album share in common with albums by Blue Mitchell, Gene Harris, and Freddy Robinson?


Arranger Monk Higgins

10) Name three other artists who have covered "Express Yourself." (NWA does not count).


There were multiple ways this could have been answered. The most popular included: S.O.U.L., Idris Muhammed, and Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.

Note: no one could come up with a pic of the LP version of A Lil' Encouragement. Perhaps it really doesn't exist.


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

THE IMPRESSIONS: FOOL FOR THEM
posted by O.W.



The Impressions: Fool For You + I'm Loving Nothing
From This Is My Country (Curtom, 1968)


I know I just wrote about this album in my summer songs post but seriously, this LP is easily the best thing I've heard in months. I just cannot get enough of it and am marveling at its overall consistency and sheer sublimeness at times. I feel sheepish that it took me this long to get around to listening the Impressions' solo albums but if they're anywhere near this good, I'll be copping the catalog soon.

I've been trying to figure out, in my own head, just what makes the sound of this album so incredible to me and so far, the best I can come up with is: everything. The vocals, the melodies, the rhythm section, the sense of drama, the sense of delicate lightness, the lilt in Mayfield's voice, the hooks that haunt you; take your pick. I haven't been this enamored by a soul album since...I don't know...discovering Eddie Kendrick's People...Hold On (and that's one of my all-time favorites).

Bottomline: if you can't feel these, especially "I'm Loving Nothing," well, there's just no hope for you. ;)



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CHICAGO BOOGALOO
posted by O.W.


Lewise Bethune: Chitown Boogaloo
A.C. Reed: Boogaloo Tramp
From Chitown Boogaloo (Goldmine Soul Supply, 2006)


For all the time I've spent researching Latin boogaloo, I realized I wasn't focusing enough on the original boogaloo craze - the one born out of Tom and Jerrio's "Boo-Ga-Loo" in 1965, spreading quickly throughout the R&B world and lasting for the next few years. From what I can tell, the R&B boogaloo trend didn't have the same kind of focused intensity as Latin boogaloo but it does seem to have shared some parallels, especially in being focused around the Chicago/Detroit corridor. My research is all preliminary but I am glad to have come across the Chitown Boogaloo comp which offers a tantalizing glimpse into a collection of tracks from that Midwest boogaloo craze. Suffice to say, more research is needed but you gotta start somewhere.

The Lewise Bethune was very interesting, not the least of which was because it's basically Don Gardner's "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo" with new vocals thrown on top (but clearly nodding to Gardner's original). It doesn't outdo Gardner's but this is a pretty fun cut regardless and I think it's interesting how Bethune's version actually lifts the "ooh" "aah" from Tom and Jerrio's original "Boo-Ga-Loo" single that sparked this whole movement. The A.C. Reed is another 7" I've owned for years but only recently came back to in the midst of my boogaloo curiosities: this one actually mashes up two different fads - the boogaloo and "Tramp," the bluesy/funky classic by Lowell Fulsom. I like how terse and focused the rhythm section is here - the song sheds a lot of heat but keeps things close in and tight.

If anyone out there has more knowledge of the R&B boogaloo movement, holler. I need to get to reading this, no doubt.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

THE CHARLES WRIGHT & WATTS 103RD STREET RHYTHM BAND GIVEAWAY
posted by O.W.


In case you missed the previous Watts Week posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

As promised, I have a complete set of Wright/Watts CDs to give away. That includes all six Warner UK reissues of the original Watts albums (plus Wright's solo project on WB) PLUS the two Rhino Handmade compilations that I wrote liner notes for: Haunted House and Puckey Puckey. Ten discs total. As I said before, this is for true fans and the questions are created accordingly. Thanks to Andy Zax who came up with three of these.

To win the entire set, you have two options:
    The (Not So) Easy Way: send in a jpeg of yourself with a vinyl copy of Charles Wright's solo album, A Lil' Encouragement on ABC.

    If you can do this, you win automatically.

    The Other Way: Answer all of the following correctly. The winner will be selected at random out of those with correct answers. Don't step up if you can't tackle all of these.

    1) The Watts Band/Wright Sounds provided live musical backing for Bill Cosby in 1967, but at that point Cosby's musical career had already been in progress for two years. What band backed him on his very first musical release in 1965? (Helpful hint: the release in question is NOT Cosby's Silver Throat LP.)

    2) Warner Bros-era versions of both sides of Charles Wright's rare pre-Watts Band solo 45 on Philips are included on these reissues. Can you name the songs?

    3) At what intersection did the Haunted House once stand?

    4) What Los Angeles radio personality was responsible (in part) for the first Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band single? (Name the single too).

    5) What studio did Bill Cosby and Fred Smith discover the original Watts Band at?

    6) The Wright Sounds collected one member from the O'Jays and one of Joe Tex's band - name those two members.

    7) What '70s pop star (of a famous duo) played with the Wright Sounds in its early years?

    8) UPDATED: What 1960s Buffalo band did several of the Wright Sounds' members play rhythm section for?

    9) What does the last Watts Band album share in common with albums by Blue Mitchell, Gene Harris, and Freddy Robinson?

    10) Name three other artists who have covered "Express Yourself." (NWA does not count).


    Whichever way you choose, email your responses to: soulsides AT gmail.com (and put "Watts contest" in the subject line).

    *A note on shipping: U.S./Canadian winners get free shipping; anyone overseas has to cover shipping. Sorry but this on my dime and I can't cover int'l postage.
Good luck! I'll give folks a week to get answers in and select a winner after that.


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SUMMER SONGS 08: MURPHY'S LAW
posted by O.W.



The next installment in the summer songs series is by DJ Murphy's Law.

Read it!

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Friday, June 06, 2008

SUMMER SONGS 2008: LAUNCH!
posted by O.W.



Soul Sides' Summer Songs Series has moved to its own exclusive site. I've ported over all of the past posts but for all the new, upcoming posts, I'll make a quick post here and point folks over.




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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

GRIP THE GRAIN
posted by O.W.



I'm totally derelict for forgetting to post about this but my man Dave aka Moodswing9 started up a rather amazing design-centric blog called Grain Edit. It is to found design ephemera what Soul Sides is to records. Except that his site looks better. And has more consistent content. And has much more eye candy.

And damnit, he's even got music! For real, that Mike 2600 mix has some nice joints thrown in.

But in the meantime, here's some of that eye candy:





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Monday, June 02, 2008

HOUSEKEEPING
posted by O.W.


1) Summer Songs will launch within a week. Either myself or Greg Tate will kick off the proceedings.

2) Le Blogtheque just released a very cool concept mixtape called "Cadavre Exquis: Across the Continents". The "exquisite corpse" is an artistic process where a sequence of people take turns adding onto an existing work - in this case, songs. It's a simple but creatively powerful idea and one that I'd love to put in effect at some point.
CONTINUE READING...


3) Sasha Frere-Jones writes about everyone's favorite audio aid to hate: Auto-Tuning. I especially like what Sasha says here:
    "there is nothing natural about recorded music. Whether the engineer merely tweaks a few bum notes or makes a singer tootle like Robby the Robot, recorded music is still a composite of sounds that may or may not have happened in real time. An effect is always achieved, and not necessarily the one intended. Aren’t some of the most entertaining and fruitful sounds in pop—distortion, whammy bars, scratching—the result of glorious abuse of the tools? At this late date, it’s hard to see how the invisible use of tools could imply an inauthentic product, as if a layer of manipulation were standing between the audience and an unsullied object. In reality, the unsullied object is the Sasquatch of music. Even a purely live recording is a distortion and paraphrasing of an acoustic event."
Also, Sasha undergoes the Auto-Tune process himself in a humorous and enlightening podcast segment on the magazine's website.

4) Todd Inoue put me up on this article in GQ about Arnel Pineda, the Filipino-born singer who used to sing in a Journey cover-band and now LEADS Journey. Incredible story. (Here's another interview, done on the CBS Morning Show. And here's Journey, with Pineda, rockin' "Lights").

5) There have been several important passings of late. As I've often noted, we're entering into an era where many of musical giants will be dying, seemingly daily. R.I.P to:


Jimmy McGriff


Bo Diddley


You all shall be missed.

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DISHING ON DARONDO
posted by O.W.


The Darondo show last night in Costa Mesa was...ok. At first, I was really impressed so many people would turn out for a Darondo show but then I realized this was part of the Abstract Workshop's 10th anniversary party and that's probably why the crowd was so deep (and young).
CONTINUE READING...

There has been a divided camp around whether the Nino Moschella band, who backs Darondo at these shows, works with the singer's sound or not and I'm afraid I have to fall on the side that says, "no." That's no diss on Moschella's group (who opened for Darondo last night) - I enjoy their variation on a post-Sly/Stevie, squiggly fonk/soul aesthetic and he seems like a genuinely nice and talented guy but I just didn't think their sound fit with Darondo's music. It's one thing if they're trying to update his sound with new songs but it's more jarring to hear that aesthetic applied to "Didn't I" or "Let My People Go." I'm not saying you gotta keep the man locked in a time capsule but had he sat with a guitar - and nothing else - and played "Didn't I", that would have been considerably better than hearing a more cluttered sound that lacks the simple beauty of the original.

You know, like this (recorded live by Justin Torres, 2005).

Darondo himself was great - as a performer, especially one who had been out the game so long - he seemed to have a command of the stage and his performance and still kept it raw, especially with a bit about how to "treat your woman right" involving cherry sauce and some whipped cream.


Some pix:

This first image is from a t-shirt worn by Nino's keyboardist. I was on the fence about whether it was clever or crass. To go back to the "Frisco" debate...in this case, I was thought the use of Frisco was "meh."



Nino Moschella


Darondo


Darondo


Also don't forget this earlier post: my good friend from the Yay, Justin Torres, is interviewed here by Studio 360, talking about the career and music of Darondo. Great interview, peep:


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