Classic Melting Pot

Wow, it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve been on the air! Just about three whole weeks. So much was going on on the personal end that I just needed to take a break, which coincided witth our recent fundraiser (thanks to all who supported KPFK!). Nice to come back to our all vinyl show at the end of the month, along with a number of things I just recently picked up around my birthday. Becky & Sandy you should be familiar with, since that’s what I left you with here on the blog, also fantastic music from Sonny Rollins, Laurindo Almeida, Funkadelic, the Pogues, Max Roach and we begin with a short tribute to the incomprable Chavela Vargas who recently passed away. Back with a “regular” show next Sunday and ALSO we’ll be back at The Virgil on Tuesday nights in a couple of weeks as Breakaway becomes a weekly affair!

Melting Pot on KPFK #95: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #95: Second Hour

Playlist: 08-26-2012
{opening theme} Boris Gardiner – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

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Chavela Vargas – La Llorona – Chavela Vargas (RCA)
Laurindo Almeida – Amor Flamenco – Brazilliance (World Pacific)
Gal Costa – Mini Misterio – LeGal (Philips)
Dr. John – Glowin’ – Babylon (Atco)

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The Meters – Ease Back – The Meters (Josie)
Mike & the Censations – That Was The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back – Don’t Sell Your Soul (Luv’n’Haight)
The Temptaions – Take A Stroll Thru Your Mind – Psychedelic Shack (Gordy)

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Becky and Sandy – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – Becky and Sandy (Mission)
Louvin Bros. – Keep Your Eyes On Jesus – The Great Gospel Singing Of The Louvin Bros. (Capitol)
TL Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir – Like A Ship – Like A Ship (Light In The Attic)
Jimi Hendrix – Jimmy/Jimi Jam – Nine To The Universe (Reprise)

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Max Roach – Mendacity – Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse)
Tim Maia – Tributo To Booker Pittman – Tim Maia (1970) (Polydor)
The Pogues – A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (Stiff)

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Sonny Rollins – East Broadway Run Down – East Broadway Run Down (Impulse)

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Joey Pastrana – King Of Latin Soul – Joey (Cotique)
Hell Preachers Inc. – Turn, Turn – Supreme Psychedelic Underground (Marble Arch)
Funkadelic – Friday, August the 14th – Free Your Mind… (Westbound)

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

Becky and Sandy – I Wish We’d All Been Ready
David Lewis – Coming Super President Of The World Sermon and Prayer
Becky and Sandy – Ten Thousand Years

{In addition to being off the KPFK airwaves until Aug. 26th, I’ll be taking a bit of time off from the blog as we move to a new house and I celebrate a birthday. Enjoy the sounds, especially these from Becky and Sandy!}

Just the other day I was waxing poetic with a friend about how 2012 has been somewhat disappointing on the apocalyptic front. We got some good stories at the start of the year, but now everyone has been focused on the Olympics and the Presidential Race, it’s like they forgot about the end of the world that’s supposed to come in December. Well, thanks to this find dug up at the Record Jungle in Montebello for $4, I think we’re covered by this blast from the past rapture and antichrist “gospel doom” record.

When I run across albums like this, created by a family, I can’t help but wonder what happened to these people. Did they stay in the church? Did they lose themselves in Hollywood or Sin City? Or did they just lead (or are leading) normal lives? When you see a cover like this, with music AND a sermon like this, you just have to wonder. As best I can tell, the Lewis family was from West Virginia. I’m guessing this was their only recording on the Nashville based Mission Records, who boast “let us record you at prices you can afford.” Lord only knows how many of these were pressed, but they’ve found there way onto a couple of other blogs largely for the slightly unsettling cover art. Perhaps more unsettling, at least for those not familiar with this kind of preaching, is the explicit focus on damnation for those who are not saved. The title of the record, “I Know Where I’m Going” and also the title of the best song here, the rapture anthem, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” hint at this. Becky and Sandy are part of the saved, they are clearly going to heaven. But when the rapture comes, ALL of us are not going to be going because ALL of us simply were not ready. There’s some truly classic lines in “Ready,” perhaps I’ll transcribe the lyrics at a later date, it’s definitely the best “Left Behind” song I’ve ever heard and almost has a Nancy Priddy kind of quality to it.

As quirky and unique as the songs from Becky and Sandy are, on the flip side we have a 17 minute sermon and prayer by their father David Lewis. This simply just has to be heard and experienced so I’ve put virtually the whole thing out there (only cutting off the somewhat crass reminder that they also have cassettes of this sermon available for sale). For non-religious ears, there are a number of sample worthy quotations to pull from this as Lewis talks about the anti-christ and the powers of Satan. For the faithful, a record like this (as well as the countless other unknown or obscured private press gospel albums like it) is a reminder of the powers of belief. Such an extraordinary record, guaranteed to be on my year end list of best digs of 2012…that is, IF we make it to 2013.

Cheers,

Michael

I’m thinking he likes the “Moon Strut” version best!

There have been a couple of very nice discussions of why there are all these different versions of this classic breakbeat, including one from Oliver Wang of Soul-Sides. My question is much more simple. Between the 4 versions of this break, which one do YOU think is the best? Each one has a subtle difference from the others. “Happy Soul With A Hook” was the first one I heard, but as soon as I head “I’ll Be A Happy Man” I thought that one was on top, but damn if it isn’t nice to just hear those horns all by themselves on “Happy Soul” or with the extra appeal of a little grunting shout of “Hippy Strut” from “Hippy Skippy Moon Strut.” Somewhere I’m sure there’s a bollywood version of this that tops them all…

Latin Blues Band feat. Luis Alves – I’ll Be A Happy Man

The Moon People – Happy Soul

Dave Cortez and the Moon People – Happy Soul With A Hook

The Moon People – Hippy Skippy Moon Strut

La Yegros – Viene De Mi

Future Sounds of Buenos Aires is one of the first collaborations between US label Waxploitation and Argentina’s ZZK Collective. It represents emerging styles and sounds, primarily focused on Nu-Cumbia, which mixes the classic genre with electronica. ZZK has an interesting story, having grown out of the Buenos Aires club scene in 2006 to being one of the great exporters of contemporary Latin music. Of all the tracks, the one that stands out the most for me is from Mariana Yegros aka La Yegros. La Yegros’ track here lacks some of the more “future” elements of artists like El Remolon or King Coya, but with her distinctive vocals and the fantastic mid-tempo cumbia beat, it’s a perfect sound for the summer. There should be a full-length release from La Yegros later in the year, so don’t worry not only is the more to come, but you will definitely hear it here on Melting Pot.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Make It With You
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Ain't No Sunshine
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Blacknuss

Last year at this time I was surprised that I hadn’t posted up a record from Rahsaan Roland Kirk, given that he’s one of my all-time favorite musicians and all around human beings. Since today is Rahsaan’s birthday, I thought I post up another of his records (which I believe makes him the first artist that I’ve repeated in this section to date). Blacknuss is very much connected to Rahsaan’s activist work with the Jazz & People’s Movement, a group he formed to put pressure on networks to broadcast more “Black Classical Music” as he called jazz. The album primarily features a number of covers of contemporary soul songs, the best of which are “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Make It With You,” but the way Rahsaan covers these songs is clearly less focused on riding the coat-tails of popular melodies and instead on highlighting both the accomplishments of the original artists and his own style.

The song “Blacknuss” stands by itself, but also helps to put the whole album into focus. Highlighting just the black keys doesn’t mean that the white keys aren’t important on the piano, but when they receive most of the attention, it’s good sometimes to throw a little shine the other way. The focus on those “minor” keys gives the song a certain mood, as does the singing of each letter of the title by Rahsaan and Cissy Houston (makes you wonder if a little 8 year old Whitney was in the studio at the time, I think it is very likely that Rahsaan’s activism influenced her own). Incredible sounds from an incredible musician who brought so many beautiful bright moments to the world.

Cheers,

Michael

Enjoyed myself so much back in May playing records at the Virgil for KPFK’s Elevate, that I’m returning this Tuesday night to play more records. It’s been a long time since I spun just by myself for 4 hours, and I’m not sure how things will develop. Tuesday nights are fairly laid back but with all-night Happy Hour, this is THE night to check out the Virgil’s vaunted drink selection. In terms of my selections, expect a lot of funky material, from all over the world, but mostly in the pocket and from the States. If you’re in LA and out and about on a Tuesday night, swing on by, say hello or just enjoy the sounds. The Virgil is located at 4519 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90029.

I can guarantee that I’ll be playing this, since it’s the theme song of the night:

I can also guarantee that I’ll be playing some Rahsaan since August 7th is his birthday. Might start off with this:

…and I can also completely guarantee that I’ll be closing up the night with some deep soul and blues sounds, more than likely finishing up with this one:

With a lot going on in my personal life and the KPFK fundraiser upcoming, this will be the last Melting Pot for at least a couple weeks. Gave away a ton of tickets and played a good bit of new tracks. Show starts with a early birthday tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the patron saint of this blog and the show, his 21 minute epic “Saxophone Concerto.” Because of a recording mishap you don’t get the full song (or my intro to this show), but you still get to marvel at the virtuosity of Rahsaan, 19+ minutes of sax solo without taking a breath or a break. New tunes from Antibalas, Gaslamp Killer, Ondatropica, the Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra, KonKoma and more “lost” music from Can. Though I won’t be doing a show for several weeks, there will be plenty of music here on the blog and as I mention in the show, I’ll be spinning some records at The Virgil Tuesday night from 10pm-2am for a night I’m calling “Breakaway,” with hopes it might turn into a regular thing next month. The second hour starts off with a short set that features some funky tunes, a few classic breaks and the basic idea of what “Breakaway” is going to sound like. Enjoy the sounds, the radio show should be back later in August.

Melting Pot on KPFK #94: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #94: Second Hour

Playlist: 08-05-2012
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Saxophone Concerto – Prepare Thyself To Deal With A Miracle (Atlantic)

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El Remolon – Atras – Future Sounds of Buenos Aires (Waxploitation)
Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra – Onze De France – Last Odyssey (Ubiquity)
The Bamboos feat. Aloe Blacc – Where Does The Time Go? – Medicine Man (Tru Thoughts)
Can – Barnacles – The Lost Tapes (Mute)

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The Lions – Sweet Soul Music – Jungle Struttin’ (Ubiquity)
Ondatropica – Linda Manana – Ondatropica (Soundway)
Konkoma – Accra Jump – Konkoma (Soundway)

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Steve Karmen Big Band feat. Jimmy Radcliffe – Breakaway – 7” (UA)
Johnny Otis – Watts Breakaway – 7” (Epic)
Marva Whitney – Unwind Yourself – 7” (King)
Eddie Bo – The Thang Pt. 2 – 7” (Bo-Sound)
The Explosions – Garden Of Four Trees – 7” (Gold Cup)
Mandrill – Fencewalk – Composite Truth (Polydor)

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Antibalas – Ari Degbe – Antibalas (Daptone)
Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn – Turn Down The Sound – Something About April (Wax Poetics)
Gaslamp Killer feat. Miguel Atwood Ferguson – Flange Face – Single (Brainfeeder)
Echo Lake – Further Down – Wild Peace (Slumberland)

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Lee Fields & the Expressions – You’re the Kind Of Girl – Faithful Man (Truth & Soul)
Mexico Institute Of Sound – Se Baila Asi – Mexico (Nacional)
Shintaro Sakamoto – Mask On Mask – How To Live With A Phantom (Other)
Paul Weller – Amongst Butterflies – Paul Weller (Go Discs)

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

KonKoma – Accra Jump

Long known for reissuing fantastic sounds primarily out of Africa, Soundway has spent most of 2012 putting out fantastic contemporary music from all over the world (particular attention has to be paid to the Ondatrópica project which was just in LA for a stellar show!). KonKoma is based out of London, but has it’s roots primarily in Ghana by virtue of Alfred Bannerman and Emmanuel Rentzos, long-time members of afro-rock group Osibisa. That in itself should be enough to garner a listen, but then add Nostalgia 77’s Ben Lamdin into the mix plus production work from Prince Fatty and the result is truly golden.

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