Classic Melting Pot

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Been a really long time since we did one of these vinyl only shows, so it was my pleasure to pack a big bag of vinyl and saunter down to KPFK. Was able to throw on a few things I haven’t played for y’all yet, including a real choice number from Hopeton Lewis, Ame Son, Barry Goldberg, Silvinha and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (somehow the left channel didn’t come through on that one…all apologies). The last Sunday in November is always special because of our tradition of paying tribute to one of my musical heroes, Jimi Hendrix, whose birthday is Nov. 27th. For this year’s tribute we just focused on tracks recorded live from Jimi and so far, after 4 of these tributes, we still haven’t repeated ourselves, though as ever I’m gonna need more vinyl to keep that from happening next year. Hope you enjoy the show, we’ll be back with more new music next week.

Melting Pot on KPFK #147: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #147: Second Hour

Playlist: 11-24-2013
{opening theme} Booker T & The MGs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

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Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra – War Orphans – Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse)
Yes – Yesterday and Today – Yes (Atlantic)
Ame Son – Reborn This Morning On The Way Of… – Catalyst (BYG/Actuel/Metronome)
Cymande – Them and Us – Second Time Round (Janus)

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Hopeton Lewis – Why Must I Cry – Take It Easy (Merritone)
Barry Goldberg – You’re Still My Baby – Two Jews Blues (Buddah)
Clifford Coulter – Yodelin’ In A Whatchamaname Thang – Do It Now, Worry About It Later (Impulse)

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JJ Julian – 100lbs Of Pain (In My Heart) – 7” (Eleventh Hour)
Silvinha – Banho De Sorvete – Silvinha (Odeon)
Johnny Pate – You’re Starting Too Fast – Outrageous (MGM)
Cactus – One Way Or Another – One Way…Or Another (Atco)

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Jimi Hendrix – Drivin’ South – Early (Baron)
Jimi Hendrix – Stone Free – Band Of Gypsies 2 (Capitol)
Jimi Hendrix – We Got To Live Together – Band Of Gypsies (Capitol)

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Jimi Hendrix – Red House – In The West (Reprise)
Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ – Rainbow Bridge: Original Soundtrack (Reprise)

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Jimi Hendrix – Wild Thing – Historic Performances Recorded At The Monterey International Pop Festival: The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Reprise)

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Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing – In The West (Reprise)

Nock

Mike Nock – Blackout
Mike Nock – Magic Mansions
Mike Nock – Mambucaba

Sometimes it really is all about the cover of a record. Something about the way the graphics were put together on this one just screamed “There will be jazzy breaks on this LP.” It took me a minute or two to remember the name Mike Nock, but once I did that sealed the deal. Nock was a member of the fusion group the Fourth Way, along with Michael White, Eddie Marshall and Ron McClure. McClure is featured on this record, so it’s kind of a 1/2 of the 4th Way (which I guess would be the 2nd way?) but added into the mix is the always alluring saxophone of Charlie Mariano, who like Nock, started off playing straight-ahead hard-bop but made a turn towards fusion styles in the late sixties and early seventies. Aside from those three, there’s also some rather breaktastic drum work from Al Foster, who cut his teeth with Miles in the early 1970s and certainly lays the voodoo down on “Blackout” and the title cut. Quality jazz fusion is often hard to come by once we get into the late 1970s, so this was a welcome find and is worth digging up on your own.

Cheers,

Michael

DannyBrown

Danny Brown feat. Freddie Gibbs – The Return

For some reason, until very recently, I haven’t been able to take Danny Brown seriously as an MC. Maybe it was the hair. I’m not sure, but with the release of his latest record Old I’ve been able to put any issues I had Brown aside and just enjoy his music. Old’s sound is a bit all over the place, but when you are as an eclectic figure as Brown, this is to be expected. I feel like a lot of people dig on Danny Brown because of his seemingly outlandish style, which is certainly unique amongst top-level Hip-Hop MCs, but Brown is at his best when the man just gets down to business as he does with LA based rapper Freddie Gibbs on “The Return” or on some of the deeper and possibly more autobiographical songs on this record. I’ve realized this year that the majority of problems I have with contemporary Hip-Hop is almost always connected to the way MCs flow or increasingly just the sound of their voice. Musically, the production is as vibrant as ever, but it’s rare these days that I encounter an MC I haven’t already known for years who I enjoy just hearing them rap. Brown might just be one of those few who you’ll hear quite a bit from on the radio show.

DeanoSoundsKPFK

It was hard sitting on this one as long as we had to, but I’m finally glad to be able to share this guest DJ set and interview with Deano Sounds of the Cultures Of Soul record label. Clifton from Funky Sole had suggested to Mr. Sounds that it would be a good idea to swing by while he was in town doing a guest set at their funky soiree. Due to the fundraiser we weren’t able to broadcast it when he was in town and with the past couple weeks of special programming, we just had wait a little longer. I think you’ll find that it was very worth the wait as Deano Sounds mixes together a collection of things that have been (or will be soon) reissued from Cultures Of Soul, with a few choice cuts from elsewhere (JJ Julian!!!!). Matter of fact, having that extra time between when we recorded the set and broadcasted it on-air worked out for us all, because it gave him time to write down a full playlist of all the tracks. Enjoy the sounds and good luck digging for these!

Deano Sounds Interview: Recorded 10-11-2013
Guest DJ Set from Deano Sounds for KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 10-11-2013

Playlist:
Stevo – Pay the Price
Evans Pyramid – No I Won’t Can’t Get Arrested
CS Crew – Doing the Good Thing
Afro Kelenkye Band – Jungle Funk
Mighty Mo and the Winchester 7 – The Next Message
Pearl reeves – Cool with A Groove
Cuppy Records Studio Band – I Keep Forgetting
Darling Dears – And I Love You
Jade – Siesta is Over
Emanuel Taylor – You Really Got A Hold On Me
Vashonettes – A Mighty Good Lover
Everyday People Unlimited – Soul Living
JJ Julien – 100 Pounds of Pain
Roy Roberts – So Much In Love

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Not too much new stuff in this one, solely because better than half of the show is given over to an interview and guest DJ set from Deano Sounds of the Cultures Of Soul record label (separate post to follow). We did manage to some new tracks from Deltron 3030, Omar Souleyman, Chelsea Wolfe, Tony Allen, Baloji & M1 of Dead Prez and a track from last week’s session with Hiatus Kaiyote. Everything else is courtesy of Deano Sounds of Cultures Of Soul. We had a little problem with the recorded audio so I had to get a little creative with things, so you’ll notice a big change in the audio quality about half way through the 1st hour. From there everything else is A-OK, so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Next week we’ll playing all vinyl ourselves with an hour dedicated to Hendrix (as is our custom) just before his birthday.

Melting Pot on KPFK #146: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #146: Second Hour

Playlist: 11-17-2013

{opening theme} Booker T & the Mgs – Melting Pot – 7″ (Stax)

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Tim Maia – Ar Puro – Nuvens (Seroma)
Omar Souleyman – Mawal Jamar – Wenu Wenu (Ribbon Music)
Tony Allen, Baloji & M1 of Dead Prez – Afrodisco Beat 2013 – Red, Hot & Fela (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Fear Not For Man – Fear Not For Man (Knitting Factory)

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Hiatus Kaiyote – Mobius Streak – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
Chelsea Wolfe – House Of Metal – Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House)
Deltron 3030 feat. Casual & Damon Albarn – What Is This Loneliness – Event II (Bulk)
Poets Of Rhythm – Choking On A Piece Of Meat Pt. 2 – The Anthology (Daptone)

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Darling Dears & Funky Heavy Prod. – I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Love Another – 7″ (Cultures Of Soul)
Deano Sounds – Interview – Recorded At KPFK
Stanton Davis – Delta 6 / Brighter Days – Isis Voyage (Cultures Of Soul)

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Deano Sounds – Guest DJ Set – Recorded At KPFK

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{closing theme} The Corporation – India – The Corporation (Capitol)

Mayall

John Mayall – Looking At Tomorrow
John Mayall – Prisons On The Road
John Mayall – Travelling

I realized recently that I hadn’t posted this album, which is fairly inexplicable since it’s one of my favorites to listen to, especially in the Fall and Winter. Back To The Roots is an interesting album for a variety of reasons. First, it is a reunion album that features many of the various sidemen that Mayall had been associated, stretching almost all the way back to the original Bluesbreakers in 1963 up to the latest incarnation at the time of this recording in 1971, which featured Larry Taylor “The Mole” and Sugarcane Harris. Mayall had a knack for finding exceptional guitarists and most of them (except for Peter Green) return for a song or two on this double lp set, including Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Harvey Mandel.

Another reason to seek this one out is the truly fantastic packaging. In addition to the gatefold, there’s a long booklet that should accompany the album that tells the story of the music, lyrics for the songs, biographies for all of the players and a “family tree” of all the players associated with Mayall over the years. The love and care put into this collection is a very rare thing indeed, but it was a testament to Mayall’s influence that he was allowed to produce an album and package like this.

In terms of the music (the main reason to pick this up), the playing, recorded in Los Angeles and London, is exceptional and wildly eclectic. Mayall’s songwriting at this point was also quite strong, regardless of the subject matter which varies just as much as the sounds, from the deeply personal to the more political and enviornmental. For years (I’m thinking I first came across this record while I was at Album 88 hosting their blues show Crossroads in the mid 1990s) “Travelling” was the first song that came into my head as I was leaving for an airport or once we’d safely made it in the air. The flute and the breezy accompaniment always puts me into a sublimely serene mood. “Prisons On The Road” is a quintessential Los Angeles song, written from the perspective of an outsider who simply can’t abide the traffic and the reliance on automobiles in such a beautiful space. “Looking At Tomorrow” might be one of my favorite tracks from Mayall’s entire career, just a gorgeous arrangement, gorgeous soaring solos from Clapton and lovely sentiments from Mayall.

Cheers,

Michael

ChelseaWolfe

Chelsea Wolfe – House Of Metal

It seems like it happens much more often than it actually does, but I literally ran into this music from Chelsea Wolfe as I was strolling through Amoeba. “House Of Metal” was the song that was playing and it’s a very enchanting sound, nominally gothic and dark, but flirting with a variety of genres and styles. I’m only a recent convert to Wolfe’s music, but from everything I’ve read Pain Is Beauty might be a career defining album. I’m hoping that Wolfe will be a guest on KPFK sometime in the near future, that’s much to discuss and explore with music this rich.

Haitus Kaiyote Performs At KPFK

Haitus Kaiyote Performs At KPFK

I’ve written before how enamored I am with Australian group Hiatus Kaiyote, and when the opportunity came up to have them in the studio I jumped at the chance. Due to the fact that the fundraiser was still ongoing and we couldn’t use our usual performance space, we weren’t able to accommodate all the usual audio requirements, but that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Haitus Kaiyote KPFK (3) Since they knew ahead of time that they wouldn’t be able to present their “usual” sound, the band worked out a more stripped down performance style, that according to them, was the first time they were playing like this. The group performed 4 songs, 3 of which, “Mobius Streak,” “Malika,” and “Lace Skull” are featured on their EP Tawk Tomahawk, as well as a song that is as of yet unreleased, “Borderline With My Atoms.” This stripped down approach produces a very different sound than fans might be used to but as singer/guitarist Nai Palm mentions in the interview it allows you to hear the music in a different light and take note of elements in the songs that you might not have noticed with the full production (It was only after I mixing together everything later that I realized I missed an opportunity to talk to Nai about the influence of Jeff Buckley on her singing style, something that really comes through on the performance of “Lace Skull” here that I hadn’t picked up on originally). In the interview we talk about how the group came together, how they feel about their sound and the reception they’ve gotten back home in Australia and worldwide, and they provide some insights into their processes of making music, a bit of background to their song “Nakamarra” and also discuss the work that is yet to come. Big thanks go out to Angela Barkan, Scott Barkham and Brian Kelly for their help getting everything together behind the scenes, as well as Mark Maxwell of KPFK for the splendid sound. Wherever you are, if you get the chance to see Hiatus Kaiyote, don’t sleep on it, there is some serious talent on display here and we were lucky to have them in and honor us with this unique performance.

Hiatus Kaiyote on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 10-29-2013

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Been a while since we’ve been able to play some new tunes, with the fundraiser and the Lou Reed tribute. In the first hour of the program, there are a number of tunes that I’ve been dying to play, including brand new music from Spain, Omar Souleyman, Mazzy Star, Chicano Batman, Dom La Nena, Baloji and recently released reissues from William Onyeabor, National Wake and Unwound. The show begins with what I think is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs that’s ever been recorded, Caetano Veloso’s version of “Cucurrucucu Paloma” performed and gorgeously filmed in the Pedro Almodovar film Talk To Her. The second hour features an interview and performance from Australia’s Hiatus Kaiyote (separate post to follow), where the band played a number of tracks in a more stripped down set-up. Next week we’ll have another guest, Deano Soundz, owner of the Cultures Of Soul reissue label, for an interview and guest DJ set. Enjoy!

Melting Pot on KPFK #145: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #145: Second Hour

Cake

The Cake – Baby That’s Me
The Cake – World Of Dreams
The Cake – Ooh Poo Pah Doo
The Cake – Rainbow Wood

I’m not sure how I found the music of The Cake. It’s quite possible that it was simply browsing around Amoeba looking something from the 1960s that I hadn’t heard before that I could add to the KCRW library when we moved down to LA and I started working there. At KALX I had been a member of the “Record Acquisition Team” aka The Rat, and bought music to fill gaps in the library. For a period of time I did a somewhat similar thing at KCRW, and I’m pretty sure that’s how I chanced upon the CD collection of the Cake’s music put out by Rev-Ola in 2007. It’s possible also that I was looking around for reissued material to consider for my best of 2007 show, but regardless how I found it, the important thing is that I did and I seriously dug it. For years I’d been hoping to run into the original LPs the band released and so when I saw this on the wall at Atomic, there was no way I was going to let it slip away.

The Cake were a fairly late entry into the “Girl Group” sound, arriving on the scene in 1966. While there is certainly that “classic” Girl Group sound on display, especially on their best track, the absolutely exquisite “Baby That’s Me” with Harold Battiste re-creating Spector’s wall of sound at Gold Star Studios, The Cake were clearly not your average Girl Group. For one thing, they really mixed up their styles. By 1967 you might expect a group like this to include some R&B songs, but “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”‘s straight up New Orleans inspired Funk? Perhaps not, though the inclusion of Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John as a session musician certainly must have helped with that. What is really surprising is when the group all of the sudden includes several decidedly baroque songs on the first side, which is split evenly between classic girl group fare and almost medieval sounding tunes, of which “Rainbow Wood” is my favorite.

The Cake released another record together before parting ways, a couple members Jeanette Jacobs and Eleanor Barooshian, sang back-up in Dr. John’s groups and later on Ginger Baker’s Air Force. It’s a shame that the group didn’t catch on. They seemed to be strangely behind and ahead of their time simultaneously, and I’m sure no one knew exactly what to do with a group with all of these eclectic sounds. I’m thankful for the work of reissue labels like Rev-Ola and thankful that I ran into the music of The Cake so that I could share it here with you.

Cheers,

Michael

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