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MUSIC

14 Oct

Interview w/ Vincent Ahehehinnou from Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou

by Ban Ban Ton Ton   Benin`s Orchestre Poly Rythmo De Cotonou have been playing and recording for nearly five decades. Combining West Africa`s Voodoo rhythms of the spirits with Pop and Psychedelia. They released hundreds of records in their own continent before being rediscovered by everywhere else via sublime compilations on Soundway and Analog Africa. Described as “the best Funk band in the world”, their name is often preceded by the justified prefix. T.P. “Tout Puissant”. “All mighty”. As part of the...
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14 Oct

Bowie, Jennifer Connelly & More Behind-the-Scenes in ‘Labyrinth’

by Dangerous Minds A candid moment between David Bowie and his look-alike stuntman Nick Gillard on the set of ‘Labyrinth.’ As Halloween approaches I’ve become more and more convinced that this year will bring a cavalcade of David Bowie fans dressed as various personas developed by the Thin White Duke over his long career. Even yours truly is planning on “becoming Bowie” on October 31st and I’m so committed to my quest to look like Aladdin Sane that I’m planning on dying...
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14 Oct

Abdullah Ibrahim: How Improvisation Saved My Life

by Nate Chinen | NPR/Jazz Night in America The music of pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim conveys an extraordinary depth in stillness. More than perhaps any other improvising artist, he knows how to turn the solitary act of introspection into a communal experience that's both transporting and immersive. There's a history behind that sorcery, which you could say was hard-won. Ibrahim grew up in apartheid-era South Africa under the name Dollar Brand, one of the most prominent members of that country's first generation...
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5 Oct

From Tupac to Lorca: Finding the “Soul” in Hip-Hop & Literature

by Alejandro Nava | University of California Press Taking its name from a song by Bobby Byrd and James Brown, Eric B. and Rakim released a single in 1987, “I Know You Got Soul,” from their albumPaid in Full. By sampling the funky rhythms and throbbing drums of James Brown’s signature sound, the rap looks backward to soul music while at the same time looking forward to a new age that will put on wax many of the hip-hop generation’s distinct...
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5 Oct

Harlem’s Woodstock 1969

(What a sick lineup--and FREE! There's supposedly 50 hours of footage floating around somewhere--I hope it gets released as they keep promising.) by  Richard Morgan | The Smithsonian Stevie Wonder Ethel Beaty-Barnes, then an 18-year-old fresh from her high-school graduation, still remembers what she wore to the Sly & concert in Harlem in 1969: a floral halter top and matching bellbottoms, her hair in a sidebun. "It was so overcrowded. People were sitting in the trees. It was boiling hot but not one...
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5 Oct

The Hi-Fi DIY of Colombia’s Bass Lords

Alex Alema, DJ and owner of the Timbalero Picó, with a coveted 45. Image: author by Taliesin Gilkes-Bower | Motherboard Late nights street dances have gone down on Colombia's Caribbean coast since at least the early 1950s, when picó sound system culture was born. It's 2 AM on a Sunday on the outskirts of Barranquilla, Colombia, and hundreds of revelers are dancing in the streets to the rhythms of three competing picó style sound systems. Up close, each picó is loud enough to drown...
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4 Oct

Massive ‘David Bowie IS’ Exhibit @ the B’klyn Museum in 2018

'David Bowie is' exhibit in Barcelona. Photo via David Bowis IS BCN by Craig Hubert | Brownstoner The Brooklyn Museum posted a bright orange square to all of their social media accounts Tuesday, teasing a big announcement they would be making the following day. As many speculated, the cryptic message was a sign that “David Bowie is,” the vast international touring-exhibition about the famed glam-rock singer, who passed away in January 2016, would be coming to the museum in March, 2018. David Bowie is… coming...
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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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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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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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