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3 Sep

‘Rampage Sound’ Doc on Notting Hill Carnival Sound System Culture

Performers take part in the Notting Hill Carnival in 2016 (Picture: Getty Images) by Rebecca Lewis | Metro https://youtu.be/2k3KlE9649A Notting Hill Carnival is preparing for its 51st year of banging the steel drums, dancing your heart out, and celebrating the multitude of cultures and experiences available in Britain. But the carnival also has another history, that of the UK sound system culture, and a new short documentary featuring the likes of Trevor Nelson, Rodney P and Boy Better Know member Jammer, and pulled together by...
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3 Sep

Alice Coltrane’s Songs of Bliss

by Andrew Katzenstein | NY Review of Books Alice Coltrane and her son Ravi with a photograph of John Coltrane, September 4, 2004 (J. Emilio Flores/Corbis via Getty Images) When the saxophonist John Coltrane was asked in 1966 what he hoped to be later in life, he replied, “I would like to be a saint.” He would be canonized by the African Orthodox Church in the 1980s, but John wasn’t the only holy person in his family. His widow, Alice Coltrane, who had...
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2 Sep

First Black Shakespearean Actor Ira Aldridge is Honoured

Ira Aldridge, stage name F.W. Keene, died in 1867 Coventry & Warwickshire, BBC The UK's first black Shakespearean actor is to be honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque in Coventry. Ira Aldridge was given the job of manager at Coventry Theatre after impressing the people of the city with his acting during a tour in 1828. The impression he made during his time there is credited with inspiring Coventry's petition to Parliament for the abolition of slavery. His life, 150 years after his...
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29 Aug

A View by David Byrne: Eliminating the Human

Drawing by Andy Friedman by David Byrne, Guest Contributor | MIT Technology Review We are beset by—and immersed in—apps and devices that are quietly reducing the amount of meaningful interaction we have with each other. I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has an unspoken overarching agenda. It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction. This tendency is, I suspect, not a bug—it’s a feature. We might think Amazon...
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22 Aug

Frutopia Commercials Scored by Kate Bush & the Cocteau Twins

by Dangerous Minds If I say the word “Fruitopia” to you, there’s a decent chance you’ll respond with some comment about the 1990s—the savviest among you might even say “1994” specifically. Fruitopia was the brainchild of a marketing head at Coca-Cola named Sergio Zyman—he also brought the world the overt GenX pandering elixir OK Cola right around the same time. The fruit-flavored tea concoction was a clear attempt to move in on the territory staked out by Snapple, and while Fruitopia...
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20 Aug

1982: Sade & Pride’s First Foray to NYC

NYC 1982: Sade and her British Pride posse hang with the locals on the streets of Alphabet City   Sade’s new band Pride need a UK record deal – so let’s go and make friends in Manhattan! by Shapers of the 80's The story of Sade Adu’s first steps into the pop world are told by her friend Paul Simper in his new book "Pop Stars in My Pantry", which draws on many unpublished celebrity interviews. This exclusive extract finds Sade, long before fame, invited to Sunday...
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20 Aug

1981, First Blitz invasion of the US

New York 1981: In braided short hair and hallmark narrow pants, Sade fits a model with her outfit on the Demob label. Sade once told Shapers that Princess Diana’s question to her after a Prince’s Trust concert was: “Do you always dress like a man?” Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s (I don't remember how I stumbled upon this amazing blog, but if you love everything early '80s, look no further than Shapers of the 80's. I was waved into this exclusive show...
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19 Aug

The Great 78 Project

Ever think the world could learn from, and protect better, the treasures that are 78rpm records?  Lets do something about it, join the Great 78 Project! The Great 78 Project is a community project for the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records. From about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides (~3 minute recordings) have been made on 78rpm discs. While the commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, there is still...
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19 Aug

‘Loving Vincent’ Film Painted Entirely by Hand w/ New Trailer

by Jordan Mintzer | Hollywood Review Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman worked for 7 years on this entirely hand-painted film, which played in competition at Annecy. There have already been quite a few films about Vincent van Gogh, ranging from the heroic (Lust for Life) to the dramatic (Vincent & Theo) to the enigmatic (Maurice Pialat’s masterly Van Gogh). All of them offer up their own interpretations of the artist’s brief and tumultuous life, which ended abruptly from suicide at the...
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18 Aug

Professor Sun Ra

Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos” by Josh Jones | Open Culture A pioneer of “Afrofuturism,” bandleader Sun Ra emerged from a traditional swing scene in Alabama, touring the country in his teens as a member of his high school biology teacher’s big band. While attending Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, he had an out-of-body experience during which he was transported into outer space. As biographer John Szwed records him saying,...
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17 Aug

Glen Campbell, R.I.P.

(I have to admit, I forgot how incredible Glen Campbell was; how integral he was to the soundtrack of my childhood. I recently risked dropping "By The Time I Get to Phoenix" in the middle of a DJ set, and a young 20-something year old ran up and asked who it was, taking a picture of the album. Success. A friend posted this heartfelt tribute on FaceBook, saying it better than I ever could.) by Yusuf Lamont Even when you see it coming,...
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17 Aug

Trailer for “Digging for Weldon Irvine” Documentary

by Jordan Darville | The Fader (God I loved this guy's music; still miss him.) Weldon Irvine, jazz musician, playwright, pioneer of liberated black artistic expression, and mentor to rappers like Q-Tip and Mos Def, is the subject of an upcoming film Digging For Weldon Irvine. Watch a trailer for the film above.The film, directed by Victorious DeCosta, will cover Irvine's beginnings in Hampton, Virginia, into his breakout as Nina Simone's bandleader and the lyricist behind the civil rights anthem "Young, Gifted &...
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12 Aug

Google Marks 44th Anniversary of Hip Hop w/ Interactive Doodle

by Google   On August 11, 1973, an 18-year-old, Jamaican-American DJ who went by the name of Kool Herc threw a back-to-school jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York. During his set, he decided to do something different. Instead of playing the songs in full, he played only their instrumental sections, or “breaks” - sections where he noticed the crowd went wild. During these “breaks” his friend Coke La Rock hyped up the crowd with a microphone. And with...
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11 Aug

‘A Girl Without a Sound’ by Buhle Ngaba

by Mbali Phala | The Daily Vox As an act of restoring power and agency to young black girls in South Africa, Buhle Ngaba wrote a story about a voiceless girl of colour in search of her own sound. For it to be the catalyst that reminds black girls of the power of the sounds trapped inside them. She describes the journey of her book, A Girl Without a Sound to Mbali Zwane. "The book was born out of defiance and as a response...
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11 Aug

Basquiat Before He Was Famous

(I met Alexis Adler around 1979 walking down St. Mark's Place, the hub of the East Village. I was wearing an English Beat t-shirt and she stopped me, pointing at the shirt exclaiming "My friend Malu Halasa is married to the guitarist!"  That was all it took to make lifelong friends in those days. It was in that 12th Street apartment I befriended Jean, heard Fela Kuti for the first time and fell asleep to the lullaby of Bowie's 'Low'....
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8 Aug

Africa Enters Space Race w/ Ghana’s First Satellite Orbiting Earth

by Jake Bright | Tech Crunch The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends. The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39aat Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed. The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist...
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8 Aug

P.P. Arnold’s Album w/ Barry Gibb & Eric Clapton Cleared for Release

by Paul Sexton | Billboard American soul singer P.P. Arnold's "lost" album The Turning Tide, with songs produced in the late 1960s and early '70s by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, will be released for the first time by independent Kundalini Music on Oct. 6.

 The unheard album showcases the authentic R&B credentials of the vastly experienced Los Angeles-born vocalist, who went on to work with everyone from Nick Drake to Peter Gabriel. Arnold made the recordings in London, where she arrived in...
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