Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Whilst we're on the subject though - I just wanted to share some footage of awesome female drummers with you just in case you hadn't seen...
Chaka Khan - I can't help but watch this with a sharp intake of breath as she walks up (my brain saying 'no pressure love'!). I love Chaka Khan - she can do no wrong. Here's proof.
This one I find a little hard to watch. The incredibly talented and full of life Karen Carpenter - pitch perfect voice but considered herself 'a drummer who sang'. This was filmed 7 years before she died of anorexia nervosa - age 32. Thanks to Eric for the tip off on this one.
Lastly - it had to be. The legendary Sheila E!
Monday, 29 September 2008
I promise you I am not being pretentious. I studied contemporary dance at university and we were forever listening to all types of music to use when choreographing work. My final piece was to Cantus in Memoriam by Arvo Pärt (previous music I used included Dabrye, Bjork and Vytautas Barkauskas). I think this piece of music in particular is absolutely incredible and if ever I need to feel peaceful or clear headed I play it. I also find it heart heartrendingly sad.
What I would like to know is this...a lot of hip hoppers read this blog from what I can ascertain. If you don't often listen to classical music can you identify with or enjoy this piece? The hypnotic and repetitive nature of it, the jazz influences, (that he was ahead of the massive beard game), the simple but beautiful harmonies and the fact it was only made in 1977 make me curious.
Download and let's see...
Cantus in Memoriam (Ode to Benjamin Britten)
Saturday, 27 September 2008
1. Don't get all confused by the requests of randomers for avante garde Shoreditch music you've never heard of or cheesy rubbish - play what you like.
2. Don't assume the young heads will know an old tune you think is legendary. See below.
3. Don't let drunk people touch anything - you, your laptop, or each other when they're dancing nearby.
Favourite overheard quote of the evening:
Q: Oh my god where did you get her I want one?!
A: I don't know, Facebook!
Hold tight Maliha, Fidel & Carina for being dance floor heaters. Hold tight Tanya for throwing the best parties since parties began.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
I was lucky enough to go to a party in LA last Friday - DJ Revolution's King of the Decks album release party. The line up included: Jazzy Jeff, Dilated Peoples, Bishop Lamont (no show dammit), Strong Arm Steady, Pacific Division, Crooked I and King T. Don't hate me.
*NB the screaming was about 30 people at the front, it was empty behind them - they should have been tearing the place down to a classic West Coast megamix like the one above.
I was so excited about it but was really surprised to see how young the crowd was - they looked about 17...and seemed to have no interest in any of the acts that came on (bit like a school disco where people just want to pull). By the time Jazzy Jeff came on about midnight the place had started to empty out - he opened up his set with Luchini by Camp Lo and I just assumed it was party time. I was on the balcony in the VIP area (that's not impressive in any way it's relevant hang on - ), where the average age was probably 25+. We all started dancing for a sec then realised the crowd below wasn't happy. Jeff continued with his early to mid- 90s hip hop set and the kids trickled out. I've never felt so old! Then we realised - they were under 10 years old in the mid 90s, why would they care about this stuff?
This is my point - I was 6 in 1989. I might know some of the music from that era and before but I definitely don't remember it or identify personally with a lot of it. So here's the question. What's more 'real' - learning music like a school subject and 'skooling' (berating) your peers for chinks in their knowledge, or just experiencing it organically when friends or DJs share it with you? More to the point, does it matter?
All I know is I really don't care about who Chuck D's best mate at primary school was, or all of the irrelevant tiny historical details boys collect in their brains. I just want to listen - is that such a big ask?
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
i hope you've all heard of the black cab sessions, if not, please get yourself acquainted. the vision is simple; music in motion, strictly no re-takes.
as someone currently developing her solo material, i fully endorse this concept, i find nothing more powerful than hearing the essence of a song. no fireworks! just music please.
the moment i was asked to produce a demo - i dried up like the red sea: i had no clue how i was supposed to capture 'my sound'. for as long as i could keep their expectations at bay, i have fought with the music industry's demand for songwriters to record & distribute their music. at the time, i thought i was being unique, beneath the surface; i found myself feeling trapped, uninspired, and, overwhelmed by the subsequent loss of focus, and creative wishy-washiness produced by a misappropriated creative comfort that comes with defining the work i make through contemporary genres. it's not because i'm a rebel non-conformist but because i'm just too stupid to understand how genres are defined and feel as though i'm setting my audience up for disappointment, i mean - it's not quite 'R n B' is it?
nope. i don't qualify. but hey, i'm no beyonce or her marketing officer.
still, i do what i do until it's done and when it's done; don't ask me to explain it. it's why i love about the black cab concept; there's only room for a song.
sometimes, we creative folk focus too much attention on exacting this (superficial) aspect of our musical/creative work, often to the detriment of our development as performers and composers. a total waste of time and energy. songs die when they are forced to live as images, or branding, or silly i.d tags. public/cultural/social acceptance is an undeniable aspect of our humanity and influence on our sector, yet too much self monitoring only means we're well monitored - it does nothing for 'the cause' and if i'm honest it makes me forget my reason and purpose in mooosic.
this little girl simply wants to write at least one song that says nothing more, or less than 'i love singing', or, 'i love music'. if i could be a genre, or tick a box: that would be it. anything else is beyond me, because there's nothing more powerful than hearing the essence of a song. simple, honest and effective.
anyway, i digress, and withal, a toast to the essence of the thing i create for- long live the song!
Monday, 22 September 2008
Here's some of 'Anniversary' followed closely by 'It Never Rains (In Southern California)' - as you can imagine the place went crazy.
...And 'Oh Girl' from the new album.
Sorry about the quality - best I could do on my phone, can't find anything on youtube yet so maybe this is a l'il exclusive for a couple of days!
I know you all know Plastic People. I know most people are kind of sick of it too.
I like small dark places with good soundsystems. Our goal is to make it THE place to go not just A place to go. NONSENSE IS here, 3rd Saturday of the month. We are Benny Blanco and Judah from Chaingang. Friends on regular rotation: Benji B, Sir Ed, Santi, Seam Mcauliffe. Special guests each month...watch this space
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
My mate'd kill me for calling her that! Was too lazy to find a rhyme with visual artist...Anyways, recently I've had a good injection of really inspiring and inspired eye fodder thats transformed my ear's experience of music. All definitely 'ones to watch'....
ladies first as they say....
Someone who'll be giving Anish Capoor a run for his dolla is Sophie Clements. Last weekend I was very chuffed to go see her show move from a bare-brick workshop in Hackney to a massive glasshouse round the back of the Royal Opera House. Acclaimed choreographer Wayne MacGregor had commissioned a load of artists to create works that scintillate the senses for his Deloitte Ignite 08 Festival. Sophie collaborated with experimental sound artist Scanner to create this massive live installation called "Of Air and Ear", a series of huge screens were suspended from the ceiling across the room, projectors pointing in from each end of the hall. Most of the time I don't quite 'get' abstract modern art, but what she did with just squares, circles and lines was breath-taking. The pic is just a glimpse, so if you feel like some understated grace, check the link to her online portfolio, award-winning film Evensong is a beauty.
Across several time-zones and media, voted top 10 of the world's best VJ's by DJMag,
Tokyo-based illustrator Shantell Martin unravels playful delicate stories with a live drawing technique she calls PPP (pen-paper-projector). Plenty plenty clips here to bring her fantastical delight to an afternoon skiving off work, surfing netdom. This woman is fresh!!
On the lo-fi hand-made tip, also keep a peeper out for The Paper Cinema. Was blown away by a show they did with band, Perico for a Future Shorts night in SE1. They cut out little characters, sets n whatnot from paper and using a simple video camera, created a magical live animation. Their latest show 'Night Flyer' is on at the BAC (18-20th, 25-27 Septth, 2-4th Oct).
And to wrap it up a piece by long-standing collaborators and general bad-men Jamie Lidell and VJ Pablo Fiasco. This is going back to '04 but its still as fresh and filthy as a lynx on heat...
Thursday, 18 September 2008
There was some bizarre programming - A.G. went on before P.Casso - I know, I don't know who P.Casso is either and I doubt you'll be hearing much from him considering his performance (FYI there were a few other programming issues and Large Pro was supposedly going to show up for a surprise thing but didn't - which may be his new party piece). Maybe putting acts on at random despite their status and crowd-pulling power is a New York thing. The show was pretty good - wasn't very busy but then underground is underground wherever you go. I left during P.Casso's set due to jet lag, and an overly-bloated line up (let me spit one more reeaalllyyy long freestyle fo y'all...).
What I couldn't get my head around was the crowd - it was a small sea of backpacks and they barely even nodded their heads. The only person who seemed to be really enjoying it was Homeboy Sandman?! I asked about it and was informed that NY heads have become so intellectual about hip hop they've forgotten how to party which I found incredible, but to be honest - they were so dry. I'm about to see if they know how to party in LA (fingers crossed) - in the meantime here's a little clip of Homeboy Sandman from another night, he's considered one of the most prolific performers and energetic hip hop fans in New York. Reminds me of a grime artist.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Enjoy, and go buy the album...
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Dr. Dog "The Ark" Park The Van Records
Friday, 12 September 2008
There are plenty of rappers out there who can sing, and for some reason a lot of them keep it very quiet. Apparently it's seen as 'gay' by some - personally I think it's fear. As I mentioned earlier, Kokayi and Cee-Lo are great examples, also Phonte from Little Brother and - yes, Dilla...
With "Nag Champa," which was either the first or the second song for Like Water for Chocolate, we had it for a long time with no chorus. We kept trying but there wasn't nothing good coming out. I took T3 and them to the studio to work with me on the chorus; T3 started chanting something, he didn't finish, but he had a little idea. Jay Dee heard and started really singing it and got it together. Jay had an incredible voice-he actually was going to do a singing album. We used to talk about that when he would stay in LA.
For full article click here
Yep - Fall N Love, Serious as Your Life Is, Eve, Baby, loads of your favourite choruses were him singing (you may already know but I didn't, Layla from Deviation informed me the other day).
What I'd definitely never seen was Black Thought singing!
So go ahead - if you can rap we won't think less of you if you can sing as well, we'll be most impressed. Just don't do it badly or we'll rip you to shreds.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
I'd never seen anything like Portico Quartet before - it was jazz but it didn't make me feel the way jazz usually does (slightly wondering if I'm missing something). Four unassuming guys in their early twenties with a powerful mastery of the soprano sax, double bass, percussion and Hang making some bad ass beautifulshockoutlovesongchilloutgetdeepbump music. I'd never heard of a Hang before either but maybe that's because it was invented in Switzerland in 2000 - you can't just buy them, you have to be invited to apply for one, go to Switzerland to collect it and have an induction. Think steel drum crossed with gamalan but softer and more ethereal. I can't really describe it, here's them performing my favourite Zavodovski Island (I swear this is hip hop, and if you listen really closely at start you can hear a girl whisper 'ah, I love this!') at the Union Chapel back in Feb which sold out and I'm gutted I didn't go:
In case you weren't aware Portico were one of this years nominees for the Mercury Music prize - the only UK music prize anyone really cares about. Portico didn't win, most people thought Burial would but in the end Elbow did. I'm sad they didn't win but many people say that winning the Mercury is the kiss of death and the Gorillaz resigned from their nomination back in 2001, with "basist" Murdoch stating that winning is "like carrying a dead albatross round your neck for eternity". (Needless to say no Damon Albarn project has been nominated since). So maybe it's not such a bad thing they didn't win...
Perhaps the most confident, but to my (uninformed) mind the most obsessed, Nick Mulvey appears to have become a bit of a front man for the group. I actually met Nick at my good friend Tanya from Elova's house party before I saw him perform - he grinned, handed me a drum I had no idea what to do with and got back to conducting the 50 strong jam session. He slips in to this role comfortably for the Onetaste Jazz Cafe sessions (incredible, get to the next one) and it's hard to imagine he's not on the path to greatness...I think he's an amazing songwriter and had to share this with you. Goosebump guitar.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
I love the saying – “there are only two kinds of music, good and bad”. Kokayi [his name means to summon the people] seems to abide by that mantra because there’s nothing he doesn’t make – hip hop, soul, electronica, rock, funk, minimalist house, Afro punk, ghetto tech, the list goes on…the thing it all has in common? It’s damn good.
We rep the DMV hard on this blog and Kokayi is easily one of the best examples of why. I love any artist who does everything – if you can rap, sing, beatbox, write songs, play instruments, produce, and put on a great live show you’re a rare breed. Pharrell (mmm, maybe not the singing) & Cee-Lo are the best examples of artists of this caliber that spring to mind, and when I speak to other people I know who’ve seen Kokayi perform live they put him right up there. One artist in particular I can't really name said “Kok is just amazing on stage - one minute he’s rapping, then he’ll just break out singing - and he can really sing, he has this real powerful gospel voice – it’s just crazy!”
He’s been a busy man – touring Europe & the Middle East with his band Opus Akoben, (don’t worry the London show is coming), he released a solo self-produced album called Mass Instructions last November, has a rock band called the Caesarz, is working with DJ Sharkey as Dastardly, and DJ Roddy Rod (another one of my favourites – so underrated and so heavy) as FOTO.
He sent me through some exclusive cuts for you guys to check out and I’ve been really struggling to pick 10 favourites. Have a listen – I get NERD, Outkast, Cee Lo, Antibalas, Arovane, Bjork, and all kinds of other tasty vibes from these tunes. Check them out then do yourself a big favour and cop Mass Instructions – you need it on your shelf.
I’m calling this one - Less Talk More Walk – click to download.
Monday, 8 September 2008
Grand Pianoramax: The Hook - http://tinyurl.com/the-hook
Spoken word that's not half bad.
Grand Pianoramax: Nikola Tesla - http://tinyurl.com/gp-nikola-tesla
Check Bopstar's blog for some tasty podcast pressure on the 'brukky brukky'.
My Last.fm says it's all about:
* Goldie (Sine Tempus - composed 2004, released 2008 and still sounding hawt, though the cover art looks a little dated...)
* Day Might Same
* Dorian Concept
* Herbert (Matthew, that is.)
* Nubian Mindz
* The Spirit Music Jamia
* Aesop Rock
...and I'm out.
The following is taken from the CMU bulletin.
STUDY FINDS LINKS BETWEEN PERSONALITY AND MUSIC TASTE
A new study of more than 36,000 people by Heriot-Watt University has found that musical tastes and personality traits are very closely linked. Amongst the findings, it was discovered that both heavy metal and classical music fans tend to be gentle and at ease with themselves.
Professor Adrian North, who conducted the research, told the BBC: "We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we've been able to look at it in real detail. No-one has ever done this on this scale before".
He added that the findings could have significant uses for marketers. He said: "If you know a person's music preference you can tell what kind of person they are, who to sell to. There are obvious implications for the music industry who are worried about declining CD sales".
He continued: "One of the most surprising things is the similarities between fans of classical music and heavy metal. They're both creative and at ease but not outgoing. The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and of being a danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things".
There is still time to take part in the study. Just fill out the questionnaire at www.peopleintomusic.com
Here's what your taste says about you:
Blues: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease.
Jazz: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease.
Classical: High self-esteem, creative, introvert and at ease.
Rap: High self-esteem, outgoing.
Opera: High self-esteem, creative, gentle.
Country & Western: Hardworking, outgoing.
Reggae: High self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease.
Dance: Creative, outgoing, not gentle.
Indie: Low self-esteem, creative, not hard working, not gentle.
Bollywood: Creative, outgoing.
Rock/Heavy Metal: Low self-esteem, creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, at ease.
Chart pop: High self-esteem, not creative, hardworking, outgoing, gentle, not at ease.
Soul: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle, at ease.
Friday, 5 September 2008
Here's Smokey & The Miracles performing Tracks Of My Tears - I love the fact dancing used to be compulsory.
After splitting with the Miracles he wrote Cruisin' and Being With You, and then he made this with Rick James but he was a coke head at this point so that might explain it:
I'll finish up with this - another cover I prefer to the original but I don't think Smokey will mind me saying that...D'Angelo, Cruisin'
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
I'm reliably informed the guy who runs it is much younger and further away thank you think...