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6 Jul

SKA, SKA, SKA! 2-Tone Bands & Their Fans 1979-80

THE SPECIALS, SELECTER & BAD MANNERS by Paul Gallagher | Dangerous Minds Jerry Dammers basically ran 2 Tone Records out of his bedroom. It was a do-it-yourself label started in 1979 to record his band The Specials and promote a bunch of other ska groups—mainly friends and colleagues in and around Coventry, England. 2 Tone was the start of a ska revival. At one point nearly every new British ska band was on Dammers’ label—The Specials, Madness, Selecter, The (English) Beat, Bad Manners,...
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4 Jul

Prince Nico’s “Sweet Mother” Sold More Than Any Beatles’ Record

by Sami Kent | Narratively In a life bookended by tragedy, Prince Nico Mbarga poured joy into his music, including the most popular song in African history. But his own story has never been told — until now. Twenty years ago the man who recorded one of the most successful songs of all time was thrown off a motorbike by a car in Calabar, Nigeria. He hit his head on the road and was rushed to the hospital, where he lay for two...
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3 Jul

D’Angelo & Bobby Seale on Past & Future of Political Protest

D’Angelo, right, with Mr. Seale in Berkeley, Calif. Credit Zackary Canepari |The New York Times  Professor Panther by Zackary Canepari and Ora DeKornfeld | New York Times Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panther Party. The R&B star D’Angelo speaks out on racial injustice in his new album. The two met in Oakland, California. OAKLAND, CALIF. — In early June, before the shootings in Charleston, S.C., the R&B singer D’Angelo stood beneath the blood-red awning of the It’s All Good Bakery here, peering into the window of...
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1 Jul

Acrush: Chinese Boy Band Made Up of 5 Girls

Jiayang Fan | The New Yorker The forces underlying Acrush’s gender fluidity are more complicated than they might appear from outside China. Just when you thought the boy-band phenomenon had finally run its course (in how many more directions can One Direction go?), a Chinese iteration goes and renovates the form. At first blush, the five members of Acrush (the “A” stands for Adonis, the Greek god of male beauty) resemble the prototypical Simon Cowell-culled group: boyishly handsome, impeccably groomed, freakishly flawless...
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1 Jul

Rocking the Stasi

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES   Image copyright, ALAMYDie Toten Hosen in 1989 When music captures the spirit of freedom it can cross any border. In 1961, Communist East Germany built a wall across Berlin, and tried to seal itself off from the West. But new research shows how concrete, barbed wire and a huge effort by the secret police, the Stasi, failed to silence the seductive beat of rock and roll and punk. The rise of Beatlemania in the 1960s brought a scathing response from Walter...
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25 Jun

Unreleased Thelonious Monk From 1959 French Film ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’

Courtesy of Arnaud Boubet - Private Collection Tom Moon All Things Considered | NPR The music Thelonious Monk contributed to the 1959 French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses had never been released until the master tapes were discovered last year. In 1959, the peak of his playing years, Thelonious Monk did something he'd never done before: record music for a film. Released in the U.S. as Dangerous Liaisons, the French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses featured nearly 30 minutes of Monk's music, none of which ever...
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24 Jun

Drummer Profile: Jola of Adam Ant

Photo | Greg Ramar Photo | Michael Sanderson by Lisa Vinciguerra Tom Tom Magazine The background music begins and the crowd cheers as New Wave icon Adam Ant emerges from the mist and takes the stage. Best known for his theatrical style and innovative work in the 80’s that bridged punk and post-punk, Adam Ant’s resurgence is booming. A captivating front man, he is backed by an exceptionally talented and tight band that elevate his songs. Infused with pounding Burundian beats, classics such as...
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19 Jun

Brian Eno Meets Yanis Varoufakis

by Brian Eno and Yanis Varoufakis for the Guardian The British musician and producer Brian Eno meets Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister for Greece’s Syriza government, at Eno’s recording studio in west London. Both are stylish, shaven-headed men famous for their radical ideas. Eno, 67, started out playing synth and wearing leopardskin shirts in the 1970s with Roxy Music and went on to produce, among others, David Bowie and Talking Heads. Varoufakis, 54, who turns up in his trademark leather jacket, describes himself as a libertarian Marxist and has...
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10 May

How Punk & Reggae Fought Back Against Racism in the 70s

RAR carnival against the nazis, leeds, 1981 I was just reminiscing about this movement; there's no real equivalent today, and it's needed more than ever here in the US and around the world. I'd like to help change that.   by Stuart Brumfitt | i-D Vice Syd Shelton’s photographs capture the Rock Against Racism movement that confronted racism in 70's and 80's Britain. When Syd Shelton returned to London in 1977 after fours years living in Australia, he was shocked at how much things had changed. "The recession...
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23 Mar

THIS…Is What You Call a Tribute

This is so f$#king awesome! Can he kick it? Yes he can. And THAT'S what we call a tribute! Mark Arum from WSB-TV dropped A Tribe Called Quest lyrics in his traffic reports to honor Phife Dawg, who passed away this morning. He's definitely invited to the cookout! // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ (function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); // ]]>       ...
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5 Mar

“Sound & Color” by The Alabama Shakes

I slept hard on this gorgeous, wistful 3:03 minute slip of a song--in fact on this band in general. Sure I'd heard of Brittany Howard, loving how she broke all boxes that defined a rock star, Black music, Black woman. But for some reason they were on my shortlist that I never manifested. I don't watch TV so I didn't see the iPad Pro commercial, but after they won a couple of Grammies it was time I woke the f#$k up. Future People and...
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5 Feb

Where Do I begin…Another Chapter of My Childhood Has Died.

I've been trying to figure out how to address my feelings on the passing of Maurice White since he left this earth on February 3rd, 2016. I think I have to go back to 1976, around the time my then 13-year-old brother discovered That's The Way of the World and Spirit. See, my French horn-playing baby bro Deryck was absolutely OBSESSED with EWF. I mean as in carrying-a-boombox-into-the-bathroom-so he-wouldn't-miss-a-single-note-type obsessed. Over and over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I loved them too--but unfortunately hearing...
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21 Jan

You Mourned David Bowie, But You Mock Glenn Frey. Why?

Star men … David Bowie in 1974 and Glenn Frey of the Eagles in 1973. Photograph, Terry O'Neill | Hulton Archive | Getty Images | Rex Features Last night, walking up 7th Ave around 40th Street I hear the last strains of "Witchy Woman" bouncing off the buildings. I follow the sound and trace it to a lone Asian man on the corner, wrapped in a blanket, rocking a Tibetan sort of hat and blaring the Eagles' classic out from a...
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13 Jan

Don’t Deride Those Mourning Bowie – This Grief is Serious & Rational

Flowers and messages left by fans in front of the David Bowie mural in Brixton Photograph by Han Yan/Xinhua Press/Corbis   by Suzanne Moore The Guardian For some, a hole has been ripped in the universe and we are lost. Our sadness doesn’t mean we don’t care about Madaya or Istanbul – but what if there is never anyone else like him? OCTOBER 01: RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL  David BOWIE live onstage, Philly Dogs Tour | Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns | Steve Morley/Redferns/Getty Time takes a cigarette...
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13 Jan

Brother From Another Planet: Bowie & Black Music

by Greg Tate mtv news David Bowie ranks as high in our electric church’s Afrofuturist pantheon of demiurges as Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton, and Miles Davis. That’s for his outrageous aristocratic style, not-just-skin-deep soul, badass brinksmanship, and all-around Alter-Negrocity. Not to mention the Starman’s own sui generis take on The Funk. Bowie remains that rarity — a white rock artist whose appropriations of black kulcha never felt like a rip-off but more like a sharing of radical and bumptious ideations between like-minded...
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