Classic Melting Pot

WildCookie – Something About Those Days

One of the CDs that I’m most excited about in my current 4 pack for the KPFK fundraiser is this new collaboration between Freddie Cruger aka Red Astaire and singer Anthony Mills. Together they form WildCookie and make some really sharp modern electronic soul. This full-length record builds off of a prior EP, and includes many of the “drug” tracks from that release, including “Heroine,” and “Serious Drug.” One of the new originals for the LP is “Something About Those Days,” which brings to mind a heavy dose of 1990s nostalgia (especially this classic from Pete Rock & CL Smooth) and makes me feel like summer has come a little early here in 2011.

Here also is a short film made for their song “Heroine,” also from this record, that I think clears up nicely whether or not this is an anti/pro drug kind of song:

Had a fine time raising funds for KPFK this past Sunday. We’ll have round two this coming Sunday, which will be your last chance to enter for a chance to win this amazing 6 LP Fela Kuti Box Set…somebody’s got to win it, might as well be you! Enjoy the show

Melting Pot on KPFK #33: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #33: Second Hour

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

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Chicano Batman – Itotiani – Chicano Batman (Club Unicornio)
Nostalgia 77 – Simmerdown – The Sleepwalking Society (Tru Thoughts)
Marcus Shelby – Black Cab – Soul Of The Movement (Porto Franco)

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Selections from the Marcus Shelby Orchestra – Soul Of The Movement (Porto Franco)

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Onuma Singsiri – Mae Kha Som Tam – The Sound Of Siam (Soundway)
Shawn Lee – Cairo, Cairo – World Of Funk (Ubiquity)
Miles Davis – Spanish Key – Bitches Brew Live (Sony Legacy)

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Miles Davis – Miles Runs The Voodoo Down – Bitches Brew Live (Sony Legacy)
Fela Kuti – Government Chicken Boy – Army Arrangement (Knitting Factory)

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Wild Cookie – Just Something About These Days – Cookie Dough (Tru Thoughts)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Mecca & The Soul Brother (Elektra)
DJ Lengua – La Jungla – Cruzando (Club Unicornio)

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Selections from Shawn Lee – World Of Funk (Ubiquity)

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Fela Kuti – Original Sufferhead – Original Sufferhead / ITT (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsene – Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsene (Knitting Factory)

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La Sera – Under The Trees – La Sera (Hardly Art)
Pacha Massive – Your Love – Recorded Live at KPFK
Belleruche – Gold Rush – Recorded Live at KPFK

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Fela Kuti – Water Get No Enemy – Expensive Shit (Knitting Factory)
{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Batar (Kemado)

KPFK is having their first fundraiser of 2011 and Melting Pot, heard every Sunday from 4-6pm on 90.7FM KPFK Los Angeles, will be doing it’s part over the next two weeks to raise funds for the station.  We have several goodies for you if you subscribe during my show.  First up is the Melting Pot 4 Pack, with 4 very tasty new releases,  Shawn Lee – World Of Funk, La Sera – La Sera, WildCookie (featuring Freddie Cruger aka Red Astaire and Anthony Mills) – Cookie Dough and the Marcus Shelby Orchestra – The Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Also for this fundraiser we have a very special 7 pack of CDs from the legendary creator of Afro-Beat Fela Kuti.  These records cover the years 1979-1992, essentially the final 10 recordings from Fela, including several of my personal favorites.

Included in this 7 pack are the following records:

  • Coffin For Head of State 
  • Unknown Soldier
  • Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense
  • Original Suffrerhead 
  •  I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)
  • Live From Amsterdam
  • Army Arrangement
  • Beast of No Nation  
  • O.D.O.O.  (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake)
  • The Underground System

 

Finally, in addition to a couple of special add-ons you’ll have to listen in for, every single person who pledges during my show will be entered into a sweepstakes to win the brand new Fela Vinyl Box Set, curated by ?uestlove of the Roots.  This box set features 6 albums from Fela, a special poster and a booklet that features notes from ?uestlove, Chris May and Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam on Fela’s Music, plus lyrics to many of the songs included within.  ?uestlove picked some great records, included in this set are 12″ vinyl reissues of  Everything Scatter, Expensive Shit, Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsene, Beast of No Nation, Fear Not For Man and Sorrow Tears & Blood.  Every record is a classic.

Somebody is going to win this, could be you if you support a true alternative voice in independent media, radio powered by the people KPFK Los Angeles and Melting Pot!

Please tune in, tell a friend and if you can’t support us with some funds, support us with your ears,

Michael

Boogaloo Joe Jones – No Way
Boogaloo Joe Jones – Sunshine Alley
Boogaloo Joe Jones – Holdin’ Back

Pretty busy on this end, planning my shows and premiums for the KPFK fundraiser that just started. Ran into this album just recently on a trip to Amoeba Hollywood. Most of the time Amoeba is really good for me in tracking down records that I used to own, but rarely do I find something there that I haven’t seen before. But, when I was running through the Jazz section, I saw this album and actually said to myself, “No Way! A Boogaloo Joe Jones record I hadn’t heard before,” and lo and behold it even has Pretty Purdie on the drums. So here you go, enjoy a couple of upbeat and funky numbers and one slower blues for the late night hours.

Cheers,

Michael

Janis Joplin – To Love Somebody

Out of all the songs about love that have been spinning around on my turntable or my hard-drive over the past weekend (many of which I played during yesterday’s edition of Melting Pot), this song from Janis Joplin has been stuck in my mind the most. “To Love Somebody” starts off the second side of what was essentially her debut solo release, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, which featured Janis with a more soulful group and perhaps because of that it seems this record doesn’t get the acclaim of Pearl, or the Big Brother records that Janis sang on. This one though remains my favorite, and especially this track. It’s just so massively soulful, every single element, the drums, the understated guitar, the periodic washes of organ, the bass that is up front through most of the verses and those great horns. I just love how all the elements get stripped down for the verses and then everything rushes back for the chorus and the bridge. Pure magic. On this Valentine’s Day, I hope sincerely that your love life is better than Janis Joplin’s was reported to be, and certainly better than the unrequited love she singing about in this song, but even if you’ve got it worse, I do hope you appreciate this soulful track.

First off, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. On yesterday’s show I played a lot of “love” songs, though not all in the traditional sense. There are for sure a number of great love songs, from the likes of Charles Bradley, Johnny Hartman and Paul Butterfield, but also some cynical love songs (Yachts), anti-love songs (Mingus, Betty Davis, Harry Nilsson), some songs about falling out of love (Sebadoh) and even unrequited love (Janis Joplin), little bit of everything for everyone, covering all manner of affairs of the heart. Additionally we have some brand new music from Dum Dum Girls, Shawn Lee featuring Bardo Martinez of Chicano Batman, Vivian Girls, Johnny Polygon and the latest project from Cheky of Jovenes y Sexys, a solo project called Algodon Egipcio. Enjoy!

Melting Pot on KPFK #32: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #32: Second Hour

Playlist: 2-13-2011
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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Max Roach – Freedom Day – We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (Candid)
Umm Kulthum – Wa Daret El Ayam – Daret El Ayam
Arabian Knightz – Rebel – Single (Self Released)

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Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band – Lovin’ You Baby – No Time For Dreaming (Dunham/Daptone)
Janis Joplin – To Love Somebody – I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (Columbia)
Charles Mingus – I X Love – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!)

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La Sera – Never Come Around – Recorded Live At KPFK
Penny & the Quarters – You & Me – Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label (Numero)
The MC5 – Let Me Try – Back In The USA (Atlantic)
Versus – Jealous – Secret Swingers (Teen Beat)

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Shawn Lee feat. Bardo Martinez – La Eterna Felicidad – World Of Funk (Ubiquity)
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – Lovey Dovey – King & Queen (Atco)
Harry Nilsson – You’re Breaking My Heart – Son Of Schmilsson (RCA)
Betty Davis – Anti-Love Song – Betty Davis (Light In The Attic)
Johnny Polygon – Get Over – Rebel Without Applause (Self-released)

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Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High – He Gets Me High EP (Sub Pop)
Yachts – Love You – 7” (Radarscope)
The Vivian Girls – I Heard You Say – Share The Joy (Polyvinyl)
Martina Topley Bird – Valentine – The Blue God (Independiente)
Best Coast – I Want To – Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)

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Algodon Egipcio – El Dia Previo – La Lucha Constante (Lefse)
Adam Franklin – Big Sur – Spent Bullets (Second Motion)
Sebadoh – Soul & Fire – Bubble & Scrape (Sub Pop)
Jessica Lea Mayfield – You’ve Won Me Over – With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (Polymer)
Butterfield Blues Band – I Want To Be With You – Live (Elektra)

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Johnny Hartman – What Is There To Say? – Songs From The Heart (Bethlehem)

This is what Freedom looks like

Like a number of people around the world here on Feb. 11th 2011, I’ve been absolutely amazed at the events in Egypt, where the people have risen up and caused a 30 year dictator to resign making an extraordinary move towards a truly free and democratic society in the Arab world. The future is as always unwritten, but today at least there is an astonishing celebration in Egypt and in many other places in the world. The following tracks are just a few that have been in my mind over the past 18 days and especially on this one, what I truly hope is Egypt’s “Freedom Day”…

Arabian Knightz – Rebel

Arrested Development – Revolution

Phil Ochs – The Ringing of Revolution

Richie Havens – Freedom

Max Roach – Freedom Day

Butterfield Blues Band – Born Under A Bad Sign
Butterfield Blues Band – I Want To Be With You
Butterfield Blues Band – The Boxer
Butterfield Blues Band – So Far, So Good

Growing up I was a major fan of Paul Butterfield and the many bands he led from the mid-1960s to the early-1970s under the title of “The Butterfield Blues Band.” Besides featuring Paul’s legendary Harmonica playing, the band featuring exceptional players at all stages, including Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Gene Dinwiddle, Philip Wilson and even a young David Sanborn. One of the many things I love about the Butterfield Blues Band records was the progression of sound, from raw and gritty Southside Chicago Electric Blues to a more horn driven deeply soulful and funky sound towards the end of the band’s tenure and perhaps best represented on this live album recorded in 1970 out of some sets performed at Los Angeles’ Troubadour.

At this point in the game, it’s almost entirely about laying a deep groove down. This much is clear in the band’s version of the Albert King classic (and what unfortunately still rings oh too true as a personal theme song) “Born Under A Bad Sign.” The funk just bubbles up slowly and slowly until those horns (A horn section incidentially so monstrously tight that they ended up being employed by Stevie Wonder on his classic album “Talking Book”…yep that’s right those horns on “Superstitious” belong to THIS horn section), blast on out. Similarly funky good times are had on “The Boxer,” a track that’s sung by bassist Rod Hicks and with some monster drum licks provided by George Davidson, as well as on “So Far, So Good,” a blisteringly upbeat number that only takes a breather for a lovely soprano sax solo from Dinwiddle before slowing bringing the groove right back to close out the LP.

In listening to this album earlier this week while prepping for my classes I realized how appropriate a post this would be since so many of the great songs on this set are “love” songs, and because it features not only one of my favorite tracks from Butterfield, but one of my favorite love songs of all time in “I Want To Be With You,” a thoroughly realistic love song about how sometimes you realize that you want to be with one person in particular only when you almost lose that person. I know that a lot of blues purists don’t dig on the later records from the Butterfield Blues Band precisely because of the soul and funk elements, but for me these records (basically all the albums after Michael Bloomfield left) remain my favorites because of how the band was able to integrate all the various elements of the members tastes together into one sweet funky batch.

Cheers,

Michael

Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra feat. Bardo Martinez – La Eterna Felicidad

The amazingly prolific Shawn Lee returns with another mix-mash of funky styles from all over the world with World of Funk, his 3,277th record (okay, perhaps it’s closer to 20, but dude puts out three records a year!). As with several of his recent releases, Lee brings in a number of guest players to feature on these tracks, including Natacha Atlas, Curumin, Eliot Bergman of Nomo, Michael Leonheart, Clutchy Hopkins and Cava. The track I’ll feature includes work from Bardo Martinez of LA group Chicano Batman, finally showing more of the influence of Tropicalia in a nice bit of Latin-Psych titled “La Eterna Felicidad.” Seems like a lot of this was put together during Lee’s recent stint in LA, during which he spent a little time at KPFK. World Of Funk might just be Shawn Lee’s best realized project since 2008’s Miles of Styles.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers vote for "We Are the Champions!"

In honor of what was a tension filled and entertaining matchup between two of the truly legendary NFL franchises, (so “Super” that I didn’t do my radio show on KPFK just so I could watch former Cal Bear Aaron Rodgers and former Oakland Raider Mr. Woodson bring back the Lombardi trophy to “Titletown, U.S.A.”), I thought I’d take a time out to consider what is the greatest sports anthem of all time. Being a big sports fan for all my life, and having been to a number of games it was pretty easy to narrow down the list to just a couple of tracks that would deserve to be in the top 5, but it seemed much more intriguing to consider the two songs that were at the top of the list. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” both come from the same album, 1977’s News Of The World. They follow each other on that album and are generally played together on the radio and were also almost always performed together live. But they are two very different songs, the opening of “We Will Rock You” is one of the most ubiquitous sounds you’ll hear at a sporting event, probably multiple times, whereas “Champions” is a song that really only should be played at the end of the season. However I’m not sure there’s a more satisfying feeling that being on a sporting field having won a championship and having people spontaneously begin singing “We Are The Champions”…so what do you think, pound for pound, which song is THE greatest sports song of all time!

Here’s what I think is probably THE definitive performance of them both:

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