MUSIC

8 Feb

In Coversation: Quincy Jones

Photograph by Art Streiber / AUGUST The music legend on the secret Michael Jackson, his relationship with the Trumps, and the problem with modern pop. by David Marchese | Vulture In both music and manner, Quincy Jones has always registered — from afar, anyway — as smooth, sophisticated, and impeccably well-connected. (That’s what earning 28 Grammy awards and co-producing Michael Jackson’s biggest-selling albums will do.) But in person, the 84-year-old music-industry macher is far spikier and more complicated. “All I’ve ever done is tell the truth,”...
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12 Jan

Beyond Straight No Chaser: Ancient to Future

by Paul Brad | Ancient to Future STRAIGHT NO CHASER: From World Jazz Jive to Interplanetary Sounds : Ancient To Future – 1988 – 2009 For nigh on two decades Straight No Chaser magazine went around the globe reflecting the musical pre-occupations of a devoted readership which included musicians , DJs, crate diggers, music junkies, artists and designers  and those people who just wanted that bit more. Conceived as a magazine of “world Jazz Jive” that was attuned to the “Freedom Principle”, Straight...
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11 Jan

Unreleased Demo of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ w/Nile Rodgers

Getty This Unreleased Demo of  'Let's Dance' Might Be More Timeless Than the Album Version; Hear the recently released track with Nile Rodgers. by Matt Miller | Esquire   When David Bowie first played an early version of "Let's Dance" for Nile Rodgers in 1982, the Chic guitarist was not impressed. "I come from dance music," Rodgers told Bowie at the time. "You can't call that thing you just played 'Let's Dance.'" So Rodgers tinkered with the structure and the chords and turned the song into one of...
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1 Dec

Joni Mitchell: Fear of a Female Genius

Getty Images/Ringer Illustration   One of the greatest living artists in popular music still isn’t properly recognized. Joni transcends gender, genre and time. Here’s why.   by Lindsay Zoladz | The Ringer In one of the golden, waning years of the 1960s, Chuck Mitchell told his young wife to read Saul Bellow’s novel Henderson the Rain King. It was not a gesture of marital kindness so much as a power move: Chuck was older and more educated than Joan, and to her ears, his book recommendations always...
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18 Nov

O.M.G.: ‘Betty — They Say I’m Different’ Film Premiere

Image taken from Betty – They Say I'm Different poster by The Wire Betty – They Say I'm Different profiles the groundbreaking funk musician described by Miles Davis as “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince” Film maker Phil Cox has written and directed a documentary about the reclusive funk songwriter and vocalist Betty Davis. Called Betty – They Say I'm Different, the film draws on archival footage, animation, interviews and song lyrics to tell the story of Davis’s life, from her childhood through...
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1 Nov

NYC Votes to Repeal 91-Year-Old Cabaret Law

This April 24, 1953 file photo shows people dancing at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, in New York. (AP Photo/Hans von Nolde, File) Associated Press/NY Daily News   10/31/17 | NEW YORK (AP) — Cut loose! New York City lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize dancing in bars, repealing a 91-year-old law that banned boogieing at most city nightspots. The anti-dancing law was first enacted in 1926 and prohibited dancing in bars and restaurants that don't have a cabaret license. Critics said the so-called cabaret law originated as...
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30 Oct

Bootsy Collins: ‘LSD was a big part of why I left James Brown’s band’

Gamin’ on ya! Bootsy Collins. Photograph: Alias Imaging/Michael Weintrob   by Candice Pires | The Guardian The musician, 66, on free love, Funkadelic, coming to earthly consciousness and getting away from being Bootsy My mother never said to me: “You can’t do that.” When it came to finishing high school or going on the road with James Brown, I decided to go. She knew I wasn’t really choosing anything harmful. She just wanted me to have fun with whatever I was doing. She was my backbone. You...
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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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