Monday, January 31, 2011

1-31-2011 Playlist

1. Ole Man Trouble-Otis Redding
2. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy-Marlena Shaw
3. Wade in the Water-Ramsey Lewis
4. Pushin On (f/ Alice Russell)-The Quantic Soul Orchestra
5. Big Easy (f/ The Infamous Young Spodie & The Rebirth Brass Brand)-Raphael Saadiq
6. Love Is Alright (Bonus Track)-Mayer Hawthorne
7. Love Comes And Goes-Lee Fields & The Expressions
8. Slippin-Quadron
9. Meet Me By The Water-Saturday Looks Good To Me
10. Gimme Little Sign-Brenton Wood
11. Let Me Be Good To You-Carla Thomas
12. Mr. Lee-The Bobbettes
13. It Won't Be Long-Clarence "Frogman" Henry
14. We Can Work It Out-Stevie Wonder
15. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)-The Staple Singers
16. Good Lovin'-Betty Wright
17. We're Doing Fine-Dee Dee Warwick
18. You Are Mine-Eddie Ray
19. Never Gonna Give You Up-The Black Keys
20. I Can't Hear You-The Dead Weather
21. The Mother-Xavier Rudd
22. El Monte-Girl In A Coma
23. Seen It All Before-Amos Lee
24. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom-Robert Johnson
25. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out-Bessie Smith
26. Love In Vain-Robert Johnson
27. Born Under A Bad Sign-Albert King
28. My Bebop Gal-Dr. Isaiah Ross
29. Standing-Patty Griffin
30. The Birds They Circle-Karen Elson
31. Cripple Creek-Leo Kottke
32. Embryonic Journey-Jefferson Airplane

All the best,

~La Boheme~

Originally written in 1962, Kaukonen composed this instrumental piece as an improvisational exercise at a guitar workshop in Santa Clara. Ethereal, whimsical, and oh-so-sweet.


Lost & Found

Nearly thirty years after the label closed its doors, a mysterious box of tapes turned up at an estate sale in Columbus, OH. Originally thought to be the lost Prix masters, it was instead discovered to be dozens of demos, rehearsals, and a few unfinished songs recorded in Harmonic Sounds' prime. The tape boxes were for the most part unmarked; creating a puzzle that would require some time to solve. Penny & The Quarters' "You and Me" is a random rehearsal by a group no one can remember, but one more song we wouldn't let be forgotten.


Featured Artist: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis


As her fellow students at the Acland Burghley School in North London were looking for part-time jobs this summer, 16-year-old Kitty Durham already had hers lined up: opening for Coldplay’s U.S. tour. Of course, her classmates might’ve appreciated the enormity of that more than Kitty. She doesn’t listen to much music made in the last 40 years.
“There’s some good stuff out today,” she says, “but the kind of music from back then had a good sort of energy. You can tell even in the recordings that the musicians were having fun. It has a certain feeling that makes you want to get up and dance.”

 She wasn’t alive for the birth of rock ’n’ roll and R&B, but Kitty recaptures that magic with her brother, sister and parents in the rockabilly quintet Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. Kitty was only eight when her then 10-year-old brother Lewis was asked to play some banjo at a Camden pub that hosted country bands on Sunday nights. Kitty jumped up with him and got behind the drum kit. After a few gigs with the pub owner on guitar, their 12-year-old sister Daisy and father Graeme joined the band. Eventually, they made their mother—Ingrid Weiss of all-girl post-punk outfit The Raincoats—learn double bass to complete the family affair. 

“We’ve always been sort of playing at home together,” Kitty says. “My dad used to sing us songs on the guitar when we were little. We always had lots of instruments lying around the house, like a piano and banjo and stuff. We couldn’t really properly play, but we’d pick them up and bash them around. A lot of parents these days would be a little wary and be like, ‘Don’t touch that, you’ll break it.’ But our parents were just like, ‘Yeah, go on, do what you want.’ So we picked it up and learned it ourselves.”

The siblings each play a handful of instruments, taking turns singing and playing drums, banjo and guitar, as well as ukulele, trombone, accordion and lap steel. In 2007, they released their first album, A to Z of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: The Roots of Rock ’n’ Roll, and began playing music festivals such as Glastonbury. Their self-titled U.S. debut dropped this August, just a few days after their last show with Coldplay. 

“Obviously, whether the band lasts or not, we’ll always be playing music together at home,” Kitty says. “We only do it because we enjoy it. It’s nice to know that other people enjoy it, as well—that’s why we do gigs. We don’t really aim to get anywhere, so we’re just kind of playing and seeing what happens.”-Josh Jackson

Buh-bye now,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Featured Artist: Roxanne Tataei

-Roxanne Tataei-

"It just happened naturally; I never sat down and thought, I want to make a soul record," explains Roxanne Tataei. Her 1960s pop-tinged debut album Memoirs, certainly has the retro-soul aesthetic that turned fellow Brits Duffy and Adele into household names--in classic Motown fashion, Tataei even discovered her voice singing in church as a child. But while such thumping tracks as "I Don't Believe" have the feistiness of a hit from Amy Winehouse, other songs demonstrate a nuanced, almost Nina Simone-like depth. It turns out Tataei has always been drawn to confessional songwriting. "When I was fourteen, I went to an Alanis Morissette concert," she says. "I thought to myself, I want to be the black version of this woman." -Freddie Campion


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sara Meets Otis

A white musician covering an Otis Redding tune is by no means a new event, but I find this cover to be so beautiful and textured. Plus, the feminine spin gives this tune a deeper complexity of the forlorn pining that the original famously embodies.

Oh, MTV. I Just Can't Quit You.

MTV's most controversial television show, Skins, has recently embraced "northern soul" music in its most recent episode in which a young, self-assured and slightly enigmatic high school girl grapples with her sexuality and relationship woes by anesthetizing herself with the sounds of Marlena Shaw and other northern soul heavy hitters. Question #1. Has MTV been reading my diary? Question #2. Is this what it's going to take for my generation to embrace this treasure chest of a genre?

Check out the behind the scenes clip here and the choreography bonus clip here.

Dance it out,

Featured Artist: Raphael Saadiq

(hear the interview here)

"Raphael Saadiq is a new soul making "old" music. His latest record, The Way I See It, could have come right out of the '60s, but his style doesn't mesh well with modern marketing.

"In this climate of the industry, to do the record like I did was kind of unheard-of," Saadiq says. "Even my label — they never heard the record until it was done. They were like, 'What do we do with this? He's not a blonde girl. He's notAmy [Winehouse]. He's not Duffy.' "

But Saadiq is making the music he loves. In an interview with All Things Considered host Michele Norris, Saadiq says he doesn't think it's "retro" at all.

"I don't even see it as retro, because I've been there so long in my life," Saadiq says. "I feel like something is retro if you're trying it out. But I've been doing it all my life. I don't do it in my sleep, but I dream — I feel like I should've been there back in the day, like I was born a little too late."

His album cover even reflects a certain '60s hepcat quality: Saadiq is sporting heavy glasses, a skinny tie and snug pants. It's a style he's been cultivating over the years.

Celebrating The 'Big Easy'

The Way I See It is full of three-minute songs, a nod to '60s singles, but one stands out in particular: "Big Easy." The song came to him while watching Spike Lee's Hurricane Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke, yet it's upbeat.

"I wanted to do something in the spirit of New Orleans," Saadiq says. "In New Orleans, when they mourn, they really celebrate and have a great time. I wanted to give it that same spirit."

The Cinematic Quality

The album sounds like there are many people in the studio, but Saadiq practically recorded every instrument: first drums, then bass, then piano and everything else. He'd then call in others to record other tracks, like Joss Stone on vocals and Stevie Wonder on harmonica.

His says his real desire, however, is to make music that could be in films.

"I watch a lot of old movies and Quentin Tarantino and Jackie Brown. I always hear good music like The Chi-Lites and The Delfonics," Saadiq says. "I wanted to make a record that [Martin] Scorsese could take a piece of my music and put it in his films."

Comparing Saadiq's early-'90s group (Tony! Toni! Tone!) to his recent solo work, the former sounds polished and highly produced. The Way I See It sounds more raw. After Saadiq's engineer heard his self-recorded vocals, he said it sounded distorted.

"But he said it was a good sound," Saadiq says. "We wanted it to sound as dirty, as grimy as it possibly could."

That Old-Fashioned Love Song

The songwriters behind Motown and Stax Records talked a lot about love, and not in a cheesy way. They wrote songs with clever lyrics, which Saadiq says don't exist much anymore. Saadiq even jokes that The Temptations and Smokey Robinson took every subject possible. But that didn't stop Saadiq from trying.

"I guess my mission was to make it clever, but to make the music and the words mean the same thing. It has to be one," Saadiq says. "Back in the day, it wasn't two separate things — the instruments said the same thing as the lyrics, and that's what I wanted to do with this record." -All Things Considered

(courtesy of Z. Greenwald)

Soul & Love,

Santa Barbara Independent Interview 1/25/2011

Greetings and salutations!
-KCSBeat by Colin Marshall-
My interview with Mr. Marshall in the SB Independent! An archived example of my verbosity.

Stay fly,