Classic Melting Pot

{Congrats to all the winners, Nicole K., Becki P., Lizette G. and Sergio E.!!!}

French/German art rockers Stereo Total will be performing at the Echoplex this Friday along with Oaktown’s the Hawnay Troof and the seriously buzzworthy Kisses  from here in Los Angeles.  If you want a pair of tickets to go see these bands, just drop me a line at michael[at] before 12noon on Thursday, September 2nd!

Stereo Total – I Wanna Be A Mama

Hawnay Troof – Front My Hope

Kisses – Bermuda

Clifton James Weaver III is one of the hardest working DJs in LA, spinning at some of Los Angeles’ best underground spots, including the Legendary Deep Funk weekly Funky Sole, 60s mod+indie/brit pop haven  Club Underground, LoveLife! at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown and just about everywhere else he can throw down some wax with his trademark style.  This past Sunday Clifton came in to Melting Pot to do a guest DJ set during our end of the month all vinyl show and gave us 35+ minutes of nitty gritty from his 45 collection.

Guest DJ Set from Clifton James Weaver III aka Soft Touch on KPFK’s Melting Pot


The Rolling Stones – 2,000 Light Years From Home
Noonday Underground – When You Leave
Belle & Sebastian – Legal Man
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity – Black Cat
Rhinoceros – Apricot Brandy
Wendy & Bonnie – It’s What’s Really Happening
Six Feet Under – She’s Not There
Lou Rawls – Season Of The Witch
The Telescopes – Celeste
The Samurai – Fresh Hot Breeze Of Summer
Lena Rios – Eu Sou Eu, Nicuri E O Diabo
Tony Morgan & Muscle Power – Racial Segregation

Sunday’s show was our second end of the month freeform 100% all vinyl show. Several of the records I featured were things that I picked up during a birthday inspired records binge, in addition to newish wax from Cut Chemist, Best Coast, Brilliant Colors and Chicano Batman. At the top of the second hour we have a guest DJ set from Clifton James Weaver III aka Soft Touch who is a resident DJ at many different nights all over LA, including Underground, LoveLife! and the legendary Funky Sole. Full playlist will be up tomorrow…

Melting Pot on KPFK #13: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #13: Second Hour

Playlist: 08-29-2010

{opening theme} Boris Gardiner – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

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Phil Ochs – The War Is Over – Chords Of Fame (A&M)
Mel Brown – Swamp Fever – The Wizard (Impulse!)
Freddie King – Going Down – Getting Ready (Shelter)
Booker T. & The MGs – Chicken Pox – Melting Pot (Stax)
Humble Pie – Groovin’ With Jesus – Thunderbox (A&M)

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The Jackson 5 – Medley: Walk On/The Love You Save – Goin’ Back To Indiana: Original Soundtrack (Motown)
Yachts – Love You, Love You – 7” (Radarscope)
Brilliant Colors – Never Mine – 7” (Slumberland)
Tiger Trap – Treasure – Sour Grass EP (K)
Mike Curb – Teenage Rebellion – Teenage Rebellion: Original Soundtrack (Sidewalk)
Yuzo Kayama – Violet Sky – All About Yuzo Kayama (Toshiba)
The Gories – Casting My Spell – 7” (Get Hip)
The Naked Angels – Vegas Pickup – Naked Angels: Original Soundtrack (Straight)

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Chicano Batman – Sonhatl – Chicano Batman (Unicornio)
Zoo – If You Lose Your Woman – Zoo (Mercury)
Albert Ayler – Free At Last – New Grass (Impulse!)
The Corporation – India – The Corporation (Capitol)

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Guest DJ Set from Clifton aka Soft Touch

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Cut Chemist – Westside (excerpt) – Sound Of The Police (A Stable Sound/Soul Kitchen)
Best Coast – Each & Everyday – Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)
The Flying Burrito Bros. – Hot Burrito #1 – The Flying Burrito Bros. (A&M)
Louis Armstrong – St. James Infirmary – Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines (Columbia)

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{closing theme} Kenny Baker – Mississippi Waltz – Plays Bill Monroe (County)

Budos Band – Raja Haje

This week is the first of the semester at CSU-Long Beach where I teach classes, so expect the posts this week to fairly brief in length, at least until Friday…The Budos Band’s new record makes some very subtle changes to their formula. Still all instrumental, still very funky, but there’s a slight broadening of the sound, with less of a focus on the more up-front African elements of prior records, looking even further East for inspiration on “III.”

Had the pleasure of filling in for Sergio Mielniczenko on Friday’s Global Village at KPFK. Our tastes are very similar so I figured it would be a smooth transition and give me a chance to play a couple of newer things with the all vinyl edition of Melting Pot coming up this Sunday (with a guest set from Clifton James Weaver III aka Soft Touch of Funky Sole, Underground, Sonic and others!). Also got a chance to chill with Shawn Lee and chat about his latest projects and music in general. The interview begins just about at the top of the second hour. Mr. Lee is a real cool cat, well versed musically and has a great approach to making music, which we discuss during the interview. Enjoy!

KPFK’s Global Village 08-27-2010: 1st Hour
KPFK’s Global Village 08-27-2010: 2nd Hour

Playlist: 08-27-2010

{opening theme} Quantic & his Combo Barbaro – The Dreaming Mind pt.2 – Tradition In Transition (Tru Thoughts)

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Tita Lima – Mundo Pequeno – Possibilidades (Label A)
Pacifika – Chocolate – Super Magique (Six Degrees)
Malombo – Sangoma – Next Stop Soweto Vol. 3 (Strut)
Tim Maia – Bom Senso – Racional Vol. 1 (Seroma)
El Chicano – Viva Tirado – Viva Tirado (Kapp)

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Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics – Rain Dance – Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics (Strut)
Thiever Corporation – Satyam Shivam Sundaram – It Takes A Thief (ESL)
Aloe Blacc – Miss Fortune – Good Things (Stones Throw)
Quantic & his Flowering Inferno – Cumbia Sobre El Mar – Dog With A Rope (Tru Thoughts)
El Michels Affair – Hung Up On My Baby – Babylon Central: Original Soundtrack (ESL)

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Seu Jorge & Almaz – Pai Joao – Seu Jorge & Almaz (Now-again)
Charades – Aguaceros – Revolucion Solar (Bcore)
Betty & the Werewolves – Tu Veux Jouer – Teatime Favourites (Damaged Goods)
Gal Costa – Sebastiana – Gal Costa (1969) (Phillips)
Ihre Kinder – Komm Zu Dir – Cloud Cuckooland (Finders Keepers)
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Flowers – Heritage EP (Choice Cuts)

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Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra – Punjabi Lullaby – Miles Of Styles (Ubiquity)
Shawn Lee – Who Are You? – Sing A Song (Ubiquity)
Shawn Lee feat. Bei Bei and Georgia Anne Muldrow – Willingness – Into The Wind (Ubiquity)
Live Interview with Shawn Lee

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Shawn Lee & Bei Bei – Hot Thursday – Into The Wind (Ubiquity)
Cut Chemist – Eastside (excerpt) – Sound Of The Police (A Stable Sound/Soul Kitchen)
Fela Kuti – Authority Stealing – Authority Stealing (Kalakuta)

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Bertrand Belin – Nord De Tout – Hyper Nuit (Cinq7/Wagram)
Sun Kil Moon – Church of Pines – Admiral Fell Promises (Caldo Verde)

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{closing theme} Baden Powell – Canto De Xango – Tristeza En Guitar (MPS)

Latimore – Let’s Straighten It Out
Latimore – Put Pride Aside
Latimore – Ain’t Nobody Gonna Make Me Change My Mind

Recently picked this up at the West Side records show, during a two-week birthday inspired records binge. Originally I heard this record as part of the original Barnes family record collection. It’s hard to determine if my Mom or my Dad picked this one up, both of them were fans of deep soul and down home blues and this 1974 record straddles the line between both worlds. Me, I was never really fond of “down home blues,” but I love super deep soul and Benny Latimore delivers on this record on that front big time.

“Let’s Straighten It Out” is one of my all-time favorite deep soul slow jams. First off, there’s the sound, smoky and spacious yet strangely minimal at the same time with those sparkling organ lines Latimore lays down and that extra crispy high-hat from the drummer Robert Furgeson. The instrumental intro goes on for so long you’d think the musicians got so locked into the groove they forgot it was supposed to be just an introduction to the vocals.

Eventually the vocals do come, with that iconic opening line, “Sit yourself down girl and talk to me,” and the repeated calls of “Let’s Straighten It Out.” From Straight butta to melted butta in your ears. Latimore’s voice is sorta like a more countrified version of Isaac Hayes, heavy in tone and drenched in soul. I especially love how he’s able to shift emotions slightly throughout the song, sometimes from word to word in his phrasing, sounding frustrated, confused, concerned, sympathetic, playful and even suggestive throughout.

“Ain’t Nobody Gonna Make Me Change My Mind” works almost as a follow up to “Straighten It Out” similar vibe, slightly different message, but so damn smooth. My other fave from this record “Put Pride Aside” rounds out the trilogy of lovin’ with some additional words of wisdom from our man Benny Latimore. It’s no surprise after a single listen that “Let’s Straighten It Out” was a hit when originally released, #1 on the R&B charts, and even charting well on the more “mainstream” Billboard chart too. That might explain why, even though I see this record fairly often, I rarely come across a copy that’s in very good condition. Sometimes that’s just the mark of a popular record, other times it’s the mark of a classic and this one is a classic through and through.



Cut Chemist – Sound of the Police: Eastside (Excerpt)

Is there any doubt that Cut Chemist is one of the most innovative and interesting turntablists working today? If there was, his new mix “Sound Of the Police” should clear things up considerably. This mix was originally put together for an opening stint on the bill for Mulatu Astatke’s concert at last year’s Timeless Composer Series (which has been documented beautifully by the folks at Mochilla). If it were just a mix of super rare African and African diasporic music from around the globe, that by itself would warrant it being one of the best mixes of the year, but what makes this one truly unique is the manner in which Cut Chemist put it together. One turntable, one mixer and a loop pedal. It’s something that needs to be seen live (I was lucky enough to see a similarly styled set at Funky Sole a couple months ago) to fully grasp how much skill is required to pull off a mix like this, but thankfully what remains most important is the music and that is also the number one reason you should pick up this stellar release.

{A couple of weeks ago I was out of town, and the August edition of “Side Dishes” with Oliver Wang of ran at 4pm instead of 5pm.  If you missed it,  here it is: Sides Dishes #2 with Oliver Wang}

Raised a few funds, along with Steve Martin of My Side Of The City (thanks again for filling in on Aug. 15th!), for KPFK during our “Summer of Love” mini-fundraiser. Also got a chance to play some new tunes from Aloe Blacc, Shawn Lee and the Heliocentrics, as well as pay tribute to “Catfish” Collins and a major hero in my life, Abbey Lincoln. I’d hoped to do a much longer tribute to Abbey Lincoln, but I’m still proud to have been able to pay tribute to her here playing some of my favorite tracks by her including “Long As You’re Living,” which I like to think of as the original “My Philosophy.” This week’s show is all vinyl with a guest DJ set from Clifton James Weaver III aka Soft Touch of Funky Sole! And BTW, we “should” be fundraiser free until October…

Melting Pot on KPFK #12: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #12: Second Hour

Playlist: 8-22-2010

{opening theme} Booker T. & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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James Brown feat. Phelps “Catfish” Collins – Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved / Soul Power – Love Power Peace: Live At the Olympia 1971 (Polydor)
The Mgababa Queens – Akulalwa Soweto – Next Stop…Soweto Vol. 2 (Strut)
Troubleman – Paz – Babylon Central: Original Soundtrack (ESL)
Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics – Pari Ruu – Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics (Strut)
Soul Jazz Orchestra – Rejoice – Rising Sun (Strut)
Gabor Szabo – Ravi – Jazz Raga (Light In The Attic)

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TL Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir – Just Like A Ship – Just Like A Ship (Light In the Attic)
Aloe Blacc – Take Me Back – Good Things (Stones Throw)
The GZA – Duel Of The Iron Mic – Liquid Swords (MCA)
Budos Band – Black Venom – III (Daptone)
Various artists – Selections from the Babylon Central Soundtrack – Babylon Central: Original Soundtrack (ESL)

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Shawn Lee – Fade Up – Sing A Song (Ubiquity)
Serge Gainsbourg – Ballad De Melody Nelson – Histoire De Melody Nelson (Light In The Attic)
The Walkmen – Victory – Lisbon (Fat Possum)
Shawn Lee – Selections from Sing A Song – Sing A Song (Ubiquity)

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Abbey Lincoln Tribute Set:
Max Roach feat. Abbey Lincoln – Garvey’s Ghost – Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse)
Abbey Lincoln – Long As You’re Living – Abbey Is Blue (Riverside)
Abbey Lincoln – Tender As A Rose – That’s Him (OJC)
Abbey Lincoln – Retribution – Straight Ahead (Candid)
Max Roach feat. Abbey Lincoln – Mendacity – Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse)

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M.I.A. – Space – MAYA (NEET/Interscope)
Pupajim – Cool Out – 12” (Hyperdub)
Dusty Springfield – Something From Nothing – Love Songs (Rhino)
Best Coast – I Want To – Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)
Budos Band – Selections from III – III (Daptone)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Batar (Kemado)

Quick turnaround on this one, if you want to see the GZA at the Echoplex on Tuesday August 24th, e-mail me at michael[at] before 3pm Monday (Tomorrow!)…and Happy Birthday to the Genius!

Supposedly the RZA and the GZA are working on a Liquid Swords sequel, can anything top the original? Maybe you’ll find out if you win the tickets.

Zoo – If You Lose Your Woman
Zoo – Mammouth
Zoo – Endless Words

My wife and I spent the past weekend in the Bay Area for our anniversary. Any trip to the Bay Area wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Groove Merchant, but the real surprise for me this time around was over at the SF Antique & Design Mall. In most cases antique stores don’t have particularly good records. Most of the time they have 15-20 copies of Streisand, Elton John, Barry Manilow, etc., etc., etc. A small bin of records by the classic magazines was filled with the likes of those, but a little further in, in a totally different section, it was an entirely different case.

What I expected to be a bin full of Engelbert Humperdink, instead included Captain Beefheart, the Left Banke, Contortions, Crazy Arthur Brown and all kinds of other really quite good records. Prices were a bit steep for antiqueland, $15-45, but there were many fine albums (I didn’t even mess around with all the 45s that were strewn everywheres, just didn’t have the patience, and, after all, I was originally there looking for an anniversary gift).  After about 15 minutes of moderate digging, I just about flipped my wig when I ran into this bit of French prog-rockery from 1969.

I first heard music from Zoo on the Funk Rock comp. that BBE put out in 2001.  “If You Lose Your Woman” was one of the better tracks that I had never heard before when that compilation dropped and I’d been looking out for the LP since then. A quick spin on the wobbly (but working) fisher price turntable at the store confirmed that the record was definitely worth the wait.

“If You Lose Your Woman,” with that scintillating opening drum-organ-horns break, remains my favorite track on this set, but many of the other tracks are mighty solid too. The instrumental “Mammouth” is also pretty breaktastic at times, with some wicked and eerie organ sounds created by Andre Herve. “Endless Days,” which is actually sandwiched between those two tracks on the original record, starts off heavy then lightens the mood and gets extra breezy up til its abrupt end. Posting these three shouldn’t give you the impression that the first side isn’t good, it’s not shabby by any means, but of the 8 total tracks on the record, these three were my favorites.

I did run into this instrumental track “Ramses” on Youtube and now I’m wondering if there are alternative versions of this record, if this comes from a 45 or if this song comes from a second LP…time will tell. 



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